It’s Groundhog’s Day, Again

Mario A. Guerra
Mayor, City of Downey

This Saturday was Groundhog Day, and once again I got to see the Bill Murray movie where he wakes up every day only to find he’s living the same day over and over. He tries his best to get it right this time, so he can finally break out of limbo. But, he’s stuck reliving his mistakes day after day.

Californians are about to have that “deja vu all over again feeling” when they realize the huge tax increases they just passed in November aren’t going to solve all our problems.

The governor’s budget drives us into the same spending that got us into this mess in the first place. We are relying on one-time windfalls and temporary taxes, while increasing state spending by $25 billion over the next four years.

What happens when the “temporary” tax increase goes away, and we’re still spending an extra $25 billion?  In which year will those elected to office finally get serious about tackling the hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded liability and debt we face?

Raising taxes may have gotten us off the edge of one cliff, but we’re still veering dangerously close to the next one.

As many in the Legislature continue to play Robin Hood, taking from one group to give to another, California is still ranked the worst state in the nation in which to do business. It is still dead last in terms of job creation.  California has the third highest unemployment in the U.S. as businesses leave California for business-friendly states.

By failing to focus on creating jobs, we force families into stressful situations. People must work two jobs or move in with family members to make ends meet. Families have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and even their pride.  City Leaders are forced to make cuts that endanger services that residents desperately need.

What will it take to break the cycle and force those who run this state to finally deal with reality? When will they realize we can’t keep doing things the same way over and over and expect a different result? We need only look at the past to find a clear path to the future.

Higher fees, taxes on gasoline, food, and other household items are not the solution.  We must control spending and pay our debt. We must grow our economy with innovation, technology, entrepreneurial spirit and incentives for creating jobs to ensure all children have a future here, in California, not some other place.

Someone needs to push “stop” so that we can end having to relive the legislature’s mistakes year after year.

Mario came from Cuba at the age of 6 and was raised locally. After majoring in Economics in college he Co-Founded Scanlon-Guerra-Burke Insurance Brokers and is President of the firm. His firm was recently named one of the Top 10 largest brokerage firms in Southern California by the Los Angeles Business Journal. They were also named as one of the Top 100 Brokers in the United States.

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