Business Groups and Taxpayers Associations

Steven Greenhut

Greenhut writes for American Spectator, Reason and the Orange County Register.


Crossposted CalWatchDog

California taxpayers can hardly get a break. The Democrats who have ironclad control of the state government are constantly looking for ways to hike taxes and the state’s business leaders epitomize the crony capitalist model, as they throw average taxpayers under the bus and seek out special privileges for themselves. The California Chamber of Commerce is no friend of small business or any taxpayer, and even some of the so-called taxpayer groups are basically crony capitalist big-business types who claim to be taxpayer advocates. The chamber has taken no position on Prop. 30, the Jerry Brown massive tax hike. Gee, thanks. When I called the Chamber and asked about it, they were adamant to say they are not “neutral” on the matter, but that they have instead taken “no position.”

This is the kind of unprincipled hair-splitting that goes on at the Chamber and among other business groups that lack the courage to stand up for the state’s business community.  Small businesses concerned about the state’s quickly disintegrating business climate better not count on this group of spineless favor seekers.

Note also the California Taxpayers Association. It’s amazing the group still exists given that it actually opposed Prop. 13. How can one be a taxpayer group and oppose a historic measure that limits property taxes? In the current election cycle, the group has opposed Jerry Brown’s Prop. 30 but it has taken no position on Prop. 32, the paycheck protection initiative that will defund the public-sector unions that are at the root of the state’s fiscal problems.

Even the hapless and unprincipled OC Taxpayers Association — check out the leaders of this group and you’ll see that it is more of a subsidy-promoting big-business group than a taxpayers group — managed to support Prop. 32. Fortunately, Californians who want to save their state from disaster, rather than simply cut insider deals with the lunatics who are destroying the state, still have the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to stand up for them.

The Jarvis group’s foundation released a report last week showing that public employee compensation has been soaring between 2005-2010, mostly through an increase in pension costs. That’s the real reason for the state’s current fiscal problems. Maybe some of the state’s business leaders could muster the courage to point that out. Hope springs eternal.

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