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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

Thinking Big
Change is in the Sacramento air...
[John Campbell] 11/15/03

As we prepare for the new Schwarzenegger administration to take office on Monday, it is time to start thinking big. Governor Davis will always be known as a very cautious politician who made few bold or significant structural changes for fear of offending some constituency. Instead, the actions (or inactions) of his administration exposed a number of flaws in our governmental and political systems which need restructuring.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the anti-Gray Davis in so many ways including his desire to make real lasting fundamental changes. There are lots of opportunities for our new Governor in this regard. Last week I talked to you about the spending limit proposal I have been espousing for 2 years now. I believe that is the single most significant lasting (and constitutional) change we could make. But here's a few more ideas:

  • The relationship of revenues between state and local governments is a hodgepodge of distorted incentives that leave cities always fearing that when Sacramento sneezes, they will catch cold. We should give cities and counties diverse sources of revenue that belong to them and them alone.
  • We are one of only 14 states that have a complete and distinct separate state income tax code. We can have a postcard tax return and save the state hundreds of millions of dollars in administrative costs by getting rid of our separate code and basing state taxes on federal taxable income.
  • After we fix the miserable worker's compensation system and the bankrupt unemployment insurance fund, maybe we can start to lead the nation again in a few areas of enterprise and job creation. We could look at creating the most job-friendly regulatory environment for burgeoning industries where we have natural advantages such as biotech, high technology, entertainment and finance.
  • We could restore the doctor/patient relationship by taking employers out of the loop in health care and giving tax credits directly to individuals for their health care costs.
  • The illegal car tax increase must be eliminated but then we should get rid of the confusing trigger mechanism so the tax never goes up again.
  • We must repeal the non-citizen driver's license bill. But perhaps after that we can start to look at a secure and controlled guest worker program to fill our workforce and control our borders.
  • We could lead the world in a free-market approach to energy production and clean-air transportation and housing development and........

.........OK, so first we have to balance the budget, clean up the multibillion dollar left over Davis deficit, fix workers' comp and bring our economy back. But its OK to dream a little isn't it? Let us not fall into the trap of thinking small and acting smaller. May we all use this historic recall opportunity to make lasting improvement in the condition of our state and its people.



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