The Governor’s proposal for a tax increase argues there is a funding shortfall that will impact our children’s future. However, as recent disclosures show: over 30% of taxpayers’ money is used for special funds. It would appear that there is not a cash shortage issue, but an allocation issue – which begs the question, what is the real number we need to run California?
We were assured that if we supported the California Lottery Proposition 37 in 1984, education would be supplemented without any new taxes. There were also many ads promising new technology in the classrooms. The Proposition passed with 58% of the vote; since then, education in California has continued to decline.
There’s an old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Sadly, this common sense adage has become increasingly relevant these days when it comes to evaluating the job performance of our elected officials. It is especially useful in helping us decide whether we should trust our officials with more of our families’ hard-earned money.
Governor Brown and California’s Democrat leaders are doing their best these days to convince the people of California that they need $47 billion from our paychecks so that California can continue to operate. Is that the real number?
To justify the need for more money, the Governor recently released a campaign web ad applauding himself for reducing the number of cell phones and take-home vehicles used for state workers, and reorganizing some state boards and commissions. These measures are just the tip of the iceberg, considering that the recently passed budget increased spending by $5 billion over last year’s total.
We need the Executive Branch to order an internal audit and ascertain where the special funds (over 30% of General Fund) are being spent. The first step in finding a solution is to define the problem. The problem is not funding, it is executive management.
Rather than taxing Californians again; a more responsible solution is to adopt some budget-balancing regulatory and job-creating reforms that our Latino small business community has offered for consideration, such as relaxing workplace scheduling rules to match those in most other states, or cutting the sales tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment. These are simple changes that would make California more competitive and perhaps stem the flow of companies fleeing our harsh business climate.
Getting people back to work and into jobs that generate higher tax revenues will do more to balance the budget and reduce the need for tax increases than the cosmetic cuts made.
Without real reforms in efficiently operating the State and the desire to create jobs, why should we trust the Governor or any elected official with our hard earned money?
(Rocky J. Chavez is a retired Marine Colonel and former Undersecretary for the California Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a candidate for the 76th State Assembly District, and is a member of Grow Elect. Originally posted on Fox & Hounds.)