Arnold, Let's Not Forget the Little Things
Get the out for vote for the propositions...
[by Jon Coupal] 10/18/05
taxpayers, given that they spend their time working and looking
after themselves and their families, are not always aware of
the intricacies of government action and the manner in which,
as a class, they are being fleeced.
are generally aware of the biggest battles involving policy
and politics. But even on the major issues, the lack of understanding
is striking. With less than three weeks prior to the November
special election, voters are only now starting to educate themselves.
not Californians are experiencing "ballot fatigue," we
still have to gear up for yet another trip to the voting booth.
At issue are eight measures, four of which are the elements
of Governor Schwarzenegger's reform package.
measures, Propositions 74,75,76 & 77, are all important
and deserve a yes vote. But taxpayers who may not have the
time to carefully study these initiatives might be asking why
should we trust this Governor who is urging us to vote for
this reform package?
Coupal is an attorney and president of the Howard
Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- California's largest
taxpayer organization with offices in Los Angeles
and Sacramento. [go to website] [go
to Coupal index]
There are obvious and not so obvious answers to this question.
Under the obvious category, this Governor's first official act
was to repeal the dreaded car tax that inflicted disproportionate
pain upon California's middle class. Another obvious answer is
that, for homeowners, we can rejoice in the fact that Arnold
has embraced Proposition 13 like a long-lost brother. He not
only likes Prop 13, he understands how this 27-year-old initiative
has made housing more affordable for millions of Californians.
This Governor promised not to raise taxes and he has kept that
promise. When other Republican governors throughout this nation
have traveled down the tax increase road, this Governor has refused
to take a single step. Even more remarkable is that he has declined
such a move in the face of extraordinary pressure from a far-left-leaning
So much for the obvious stuff. For those of us who are tax policy
junkies, we also see actions from this administration on a day-to-day
basis that hearten us about the current direction of California.
Some of the lesser known actions by Governor Schwarzenegger
include his willingness to use the veto power to stop anti-taxpayer
legislation. Last week, his veto pen must have run nearly dry.
Among the bad bills he vetoed were four bills strenuously opposed
by Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association which would have imposed
additional taxes on cars. These proposed tax increases were not
huge -- $5 here, $6 there - but the Governor agreed with us that
the issue was not so much the taxes themselves, but rather the
fact that local voters were denied the right to vote on them.
By labeling these
incremental car taxes as "fees," the
tax-and-spend majority in the Legislature hoped to avoid the
voter approval requirements placed on taxes by Jarvis-sponsored
Proposition 218. Taxpayers can see right through this "taxes
disguised as fees" scam and fortunately, so can Arnold.
Every one of his veto messages noted that voters were being deprived
of the right to vote on these levies.
All told, Governor
Schwarzenegger vetoed 232 bills, with a veto percentage of
24.1% -- a near record. Many of these bills were "fee" bills
and others were attempts to authorized wasteful expenditures.
For those of us who follow the small battles as well as the
overall war, we can safely say that taxpayers have both big and
little reasons to trust this Governor and his efforts to move
the reform train further down the track. CRO
is an attorney and President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers
2005 Howard Jarvis Taxpayers association