I was intending to write something lighthearted as my last entry for Fox and Hounds in 2008. (F&H will not publish again until January 5, 2009.) But then I read that the California Teachers Association has filed an initiative to raise the sales tax. And another initiative has been filed, I assume by the same group, to lower the vote requirement to raise many other taxes. (You can find the initiatives on the Attorney General’s site numbered 08-0021 thru 08-0023.)

Of course, we have the call for permanent tax increases to solve the growing budget deficit. And, then there is the report by the Department of Finance, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, that for the fourth year in a row more people are moving out of California than are moving in. Read that as taxpayers are leaving.

If all these tax measures are successful, expect the exodus to continue.

I don’t feel so lighthearted as I see the California Dream drift away for so many. California was a magnet for people to come and employ their own initiative so they may prosper taking the risks but often capturing the rewards along the way.

But so many believe the deck is stacked against them now. Special interests’ unquenchable thirst for tax dollars goes unabated. While Californians in the private sector lose their jobs in a bad economy the public sector workers file lawsuits to prevent even missing a couple of days of work to help deal with the deficit problem. While private sector workers see their pensions diminish, public sector workers look to the taxpayer to make sure their pensions are paid in full.

I have written on this site before that I expected temporary tax increases would be part of the budget solution. But all the tax increase proposals mentioned above are meant to be permanent. And, that will result in more job loses and more woes for California’s economy over both the short and long term.

Perhaps the only business that will prosper is the one that helps people and businesses move to other states where their efforts will be more welcome than they seem to be in California.

Happy New Year anyone?