national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]

















Guest Contributor
Joe Armendariz

Tough Love, or Tough Luck?
More high tax schemes from the Davis-Bustamante team...
[Joe Armendariz] 9/02/03

It insults the intelligence of taxpayers to be told that they need "tough love" and that this inevitably means paying higher taxes. And yet, that is exactly what Cruz Bustamante, Lt. Governor turned sadistic political schizophrenic seems to believe. The man is sadistic because he truly subscribes to this bizarre notion called tough love. And the man is a political schizophrenic if he can actually say with a straight face: vote No on recall, but vote Yes on Bustamante.

Taxpayers don't need, nor do they want Bustamante's love. Moreover, tough love isn't an economic policy, it is something a father shows his rascal teen-ager who refuses to obey his rules. In the case of Bustamante and the state bureaucracy he has devoted his political life too, it is they who need some tough love. A tough brand of fiscal love imposed by state taxpayers who are sick and tired and simply refuse to take it anymore.

And by the way, if the size, cost and general size of government is any indication, the taxpayers of this once great state have already received their fair share of this so-called "tough love". Exactly how much love have we been given? Let us count the ways.

With respect to transportation:
50,000 lane miles of neglected highways. 11 million square feet of underperforming Department of Transportation offices and shops. 209 dysfunctional Department of Motor Vehicle offices and 138 California Highway Patrol offices which is at least 80 more than we require to patrol California's highways.

With respect to higher education:

10,000 buildings totaling 138 million square feet of facilities for thousands of left-wing professors to bash America and all that she stands for.

With respect to natural resources:
1.4 million acres of undervalued and over used state parks with 3,000 miles of littered trails.

With respect to general state office space:
8.5 million square feel of state-owned office space and 16.6 million of leased office space undoubtedly in the most expensive parts of town.

All of this state-owned infrastructure is costing California taxpayers more than tens of billions of dollars annually. And, according to the State Legislative Analyst, it is estimated that over the next five years, the state will require an additional $54 billion be spent on new infrastructure needs just to keep pace with the current rate of growth in our state's population.

But the question never asked is why does the state need to own these assets in the first place? After all, state government should be the largest tenant in California, not the largest landlord. Perhaps if the paradigm were flipped, taxpayers would be less bitter and less cynical about any new love gestures.

Because of this beast of burden, Californian's tax collection rate is 24 percent higher then the national average. We rank 49th among the 50 states when using a State Business Tax Climate Index. Our tax burden, per $1,000 of income, ranks us 8 out of 50. Our tax burden, on a per capita basis, ranks us 7 out of 50. Our state AND local tax burden, as a percent of personal income, ranks us 8 out of 50 and our per capita state AND local tax burden ranks us 6 out of 50. Finally, when compared to the other high tax states, California ranks third behind New York and Hawaii.

There is no question but that government in California, under the leadership of Davis and Bustamante, is pretty tough to love. And at a cost of $130 billion dollars per year, or $357 million dollars per day, taxpayers are more than justified to be all out of love. So, is it tough luck for Senor Bustamante? Perhaps, but then again, as the old saying goes; better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

Joe Armendariz is Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Industrial Association and the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association.



Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005