In this season of thanksgiving, please don’t blame taxpayers if they
are distracted by the injuries being perpetrated against them by our
California ranks 6th nationally in tax burden, but taxpayers are
being assaulted by brain dead state and local politicians, who won’t
be happy until we are number one. Unemployment is at 8.2 percent and
rising, housing foreclosures are at a record level, and the economy,
which is bad for most of the rest of the country, is even worse in
Our government officials seem to be living in a fantasy world.
Facing a potential $28 billion shortfall over the next two years,
the response by the governor and most in the Legislature is to seek
to raise taxes while begging Washington for a bailout. Don’t be
surprised if their next plan is to have the state invest tax
proceeds in lottery tickets in the hope of striking it rich.
Still, while elected officials are trying to put coal in taxpayers’
stockings before Christmas time, there are a few things for which we
can all be grateful.
First is Proposition 13, which limits annual increases in property
taxes and forces the tax raisers in the Legislature to get a
two-thirds vote of their colleagues to raise taxes. Fortunately,
even in a body renowned for irresponsibility, there are usually more
than a third of the members who understand the detrimental impact of
new taxes on individual taxpayers and the overall economy and will
vote no. So taxpayers are grateful, not only for Proposition 13, but
for lawmakers who will defend their interests against great pressure
for new taxes from special interests including public employee
We at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association hear almost daily from
those who are thankful for Proposition 13 and credit its most famous
feature — limiting annual property tax increases to no more than 2
percent — for allowing them to keep their homes.
Just a few days ago we received a letter from the daughters of a
woman is about to turn 100 years old. The retired school teacher was
an early supporter of Howard Jarvis when he began campaigning to
reform property taxes, and thanks in part to Proposition 13, she has
owned her own home for 70 years. Taxpayers appreciate that, because
of Proposition 13, this centenarian and millions of other homeowners
can live in their homes without fear that their most important
investment will be seized by the tax collector.
Taxpayers are also thankful for an individual who has devoted a
career in politics to defending the interests of those who must pay
government’s bills. At this writing, it appears that State Senator
Tom McClintock will prevail in an exceedingly close contest to
represent California’s 4th Congressional District in the House of
Representatives, where his economic wisdom and common sense are
desperately needed. The only down side is that he will no longer
serve in the state Legislature, and as of yet, no one has come up
with a way to clone him.
For taxpayers, having an ally in Tom McClintock is like having a
small army on our side.
Tom’s energy and his ability to frame tax issues in a way that
average citizens can clearly understand will make him a force to be
reckoned with in our nation’s Capitol. Those members of Congress
looking to raise the tax burden nationally or to load up their
personal shopping carts with pork projects and earmarked wasteful
spending will soon learn that McClintock is on the case, and for
this, too, we are thankful.
While taxpayers are losing one champion in the California
Legislature, taxpayers can nonetheless be thankful for some of the
best leadership we have seen in years from the Republicans. Both
Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines and Senate Republican
Leader Dave Cogdill have guided their respective caucuses through
difficult political shoals and they have rebuffed the relentless
calls from so many quarters to relent and raise taxes.
As we’ve stated many times, the political elites will never get
serious about prioritizing spending and standing up to the special
interests until they realize that the supply of their drug of choice
— taxpayer dollars — is finite. Given that fiscal conservatives in
the Legislature lost only two seats in the national tsunami toward
collectivism, taxpayers can be thankful that we at least have a
fighting chance to stop further raids on our wallets and