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A Lesson From The Schoolyard
Sacramento's slow kids get their revenge…
[Ray Haynes] 3/13/06

Remember when we would run out to the schoolyard and play football or tag at recess? First, through various methods, two kids would become the respective team captains. Their task would be to assemble the best team. It was a cutthroat affair. There weren’t any allegiances; just a no holds barred thirst for victory.

The most athletically gifted were selected first, always. The free market worked without fail. Then the middle tiered talent would be sifted through, plucked one by one. All that remained were the clumsy, slow kids. Always the last ones picked, if they got picked at all.


Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

It is a simple lesson learned from the schoolyard and judging by the actions of our socialistist legislature, we have a bunch of clumsy, slow kids attempting to exact their revenge in Sacramento.

A recent study put out by the venerable Tax Foundation called the “State Business Tax Climate Index” found that California has created an incredibly hostile tax climate for businesses. Their ranking system is comprised of several individual components. California ranks 39th on the Corporate Tax Index and 47th on the Individual Income Tax Index. Overall, the Golden State ranks 40th in the nation in terms of the state business tax climate.

Anyone who earns more than $41,500 in taxable income is taxed at 9.3% with the top tax bracket reaching 10.3%, the highest in the nation. The cost of housing has skyrocketed thanks to numerous taxes and fees placed on developers, and subsequently passed on to the home buyer. In Southern California, roughly $100,000 of the cost of a new home is directly attributable to various transportation mitigation and other fees. Burdensome environmental regulations for rats, fleas and weeds artificially limited the supply of new homes and businesses by suppressing development and resulting in higher prices. Even the cost of gasoline is more expensive, thanks to so-called environmentally friendly additives. Never mind the fact that studies have concluded that these additives have had no beneficial impact on vehicle emissions.

In the real world, businesses are the captains in the schoolyard picking the states in which they will choose to operate. The most athletic and skilled are the states that foster a climate that is pro-business by lessening the tax burden. To be brutally frank, California is the klutz surrounded by superior athletes.

Every state west of the Mississippi River, except for Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska, rank higher than California. Even more damaging is the fact that Nevada and Oregon rank in the top 10. Is it any wonder why so many businesses and residents are either leaving the state or choosing to relocate to other states in the western United States?

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however. As bad as California currently ranks, it has improved since Governor Schwarzenegger took office and began enacting his agenda of reform. Previously, California ranked 46th overall and an abysmal 49th on the Corporate Tax Index in 2003. It is easy to forget about how bad it was in this state before Governor Schwarzenegger took office. But we are starting to turn around, and beginning to undo the reforms that helped move us up the ladder.

Socialists in Sacramento think that they can simply “ban tag or dodgeball” to protect the slow and the weak. This may work in our politically correct public schools, but no such luxury exists in the real world for California. Businesses and people are voting with their dollars and their moving vans, for this is the way of the schoolyard. -CRO-


Mr. Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to


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