La Vista Bustamante!
Campaigning to take the state further down the wrong road...
[Joe Armendariz] 8/25/03
The tax and spend lobby's designated candidate, Lt. Governor
Cruz Bustamante, is proposing the imposition of more taxes on
California taxpayers should he be elected to replace Gray Davis
on October 7.
Memo to Bustamante: since 1991, California's average annual growth
rate in taxes, compared to the average annual growth rate in
personal income, was more than double. In fact, from 1991 to
2001, California's annual growth rate in taxes increased by 6.3%
while income growth was only 3.1%. Today, for every $1,000 of
income, California is ranked 8 out of 50 with respect to state
This doesn't bode well for businesses in this state and their
ability to compete in a competitive marketplace. A marketplace,
after all, that is not just competitive on the domestic front,
but on a global front as well. Incredible as it may seem, in
a recent statement posted on its web site, the Los Angeles Chamber
of Commerce actually came out in support of raising California's
state sales tax. In fact, the President of the LA Chamber suggested
there was a "need" to raise the state's sales tax.
But do we really "need" to raise the state sales tax?
Not when you consider that at the current rate of 7.25%, California
already charges the highest sales tax in the nation.
Moreover, Oregon, Alaska, Delaware, Montana and New Hampshire
have no sales tax and the sales tax in Arizona is only 5.6% while
Nevada's is 6.5%. In addition, Nevada has no individual income
tax. California competes with Arizona and Nevada for creating,
attracting and retaining businesses. Bustamante obviously doesn't
understand the urgency of attracting new businesses to this state
in light of the fact that so many have been leaving in droves
in recent years.
In a recent poll conducted by the State Chamber of Commerce of
its members, a whopping 93 percent of companies, doing business
in California, including small companies which employ over 80
percent of California's labor force, believe California is headed
in the wrong direction, and 90 percent think business conditions
are worse today than they were two years ago.
From the sales tax, to the property tax, to the state income
tax and capital gains tax, California ranks at the top, which
is to say we are winning the race to the bottom, in terms of
our ability to compete for new businesses and to create new industrial
sector jobs. By endorsing another tax hike, Bustamante, will
simply provide the pathological tax and spenders in the Legislature
the political cover they need in order to continue hiding behind
phony rhetoric about seeking fiscally responsible solutions to
the state's unprecedented budget crisis.
The bottom line is California didn't end up with a $38 billion
dollar deficit because the hard working families who live here
aren't paying enough taxes. Rather, California got into this
mess because the velocity of the state government's gravy train
is out-of-control and gaining momentum with each passing day.
By raising taxes even higher, out of some bizarre and sadistic
desire to impose his own brand of "tough love", Bustamante
is apparently hoping to provide this runaway train with the fuel
necessary to destroy everything in its path, including the state's
already fragile economic-system.
Any candidate running for Governor of this once great state,
with the audacity to propose raising taxes AGAIN, should be immediately
disqualified by the voters. Therefore, the only message to Cruz
should be; Hasta La Vista Bustamante!
is Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Industrial Association
and the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association.