Letter to the Editor: To tax or not

senatortedgaines

Senator Gaines represents Mono County in the California State Senate.

Taxes not the Answer for California’s Economy
by State Senator Ted Gaines

This month marks Presidents Day, and as we celebrate Lincoln’s birthday it’s timely that we look at the tax farce troubling his home state of Illinois.  Last year, in a move that must have left legislative Democrats dizzy with admiration and envy, the Illinois legislature jacked personal income tax rates up by 67 percent and corporate tax rates up by nearly 50 percent. Despite assurances that were made when the taxes were passed, the legislature still has not closed their budget gap, and they won’t until they get the political will to control their spending.

Let Illinois be a lesson to everyone who believes in the magical powers of tax increases. They do not occur in a vacuum. Unless governments have the discipline to rein in spending – which California certainly does not – tax increases just enable more extravagant spending plans and takes money away from the working families who have earned it.

California’s problem is not that the people are taxed too little, but that the government spends too much.  We have to examine every possible avenue for saving money so that we can keep providing core government services, such as education and public safety, at a price we can afford.

For example, why does California have a full-time legislature?  Texas and more than 40 other states do just fine with part-time legislatures that meet far less often than California’s and where the legislators make far less than we make every year.
Besides the savings, it’s a good idea to get legislators away from the Capitol cocoon more often and out in the real world, living and working under the rules they pass in Sacramento.   I own a business and I’m constantly frustrated by the maze of regulations that grows and changes with every legislative session.  I know how hard California makes it for businesses to succeed.

In my business I can’t just keep spending and spending and then force my clients to pay more and more to cover my spending.  When times are tight, I have to cut back, find ways to save money, provide the same services more efficiently.  Government should be taking that same approach, when unemployment is eleven percent and state government is running multi-billion dollar deficits.   Now is not the time to be growing government.

But, incredibly, Governor Brown’s budget plan spends $6 billion more in 2012-13 than in 2011-12.  And to pay for it, Governor Brown and the Democrats want to pass the bill along to their customers.  The Governor is pushing for a five-year, $35-billion tax increase.  Sales taxes and income taxes will go up during those five years, costing families precious dollars that they could use for groceries, vacations, school clothes and thousands of other necessities that are already hard to afford in our high-cost, highly regulated state.

Let’s take a private-sector approach before we shake down taxpayers any further.  How about putting a stop to the $100 billion-plus High Speed Rail plan that will soak up billions of dollars a year for decades?   How about allowing schools to contract with the private sector to provide services like transportation or food service?

I oppose Governor Brown’s call for higher taxes.  State tax rates went down last year but state tax revenues are growing and are expected to continue growing for the next several years. This indicates that our economy – slowly and precariously – is moving forward.  Let’s not kill that momentum by larding on even higher, unnecessary taxes.
Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento and Sierra counties.

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Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

Ever wonder what it would be like to see the World as a conservative Republican Tea Bag would see it? Well at last there is a way for all us Progressive Liberals to finally get our heads straight and our perspective corrected so that we all are talking about the… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

WRT: Taxes and Obama’s conspiracies — you all should watch last nights Jon Stewart. You get to hear the Republicans describe their idiocy in their own words. And listen to the guest talk about taxes and the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. He echo’s my thoughts with crystal… Read more »

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

@Ken…”he echos my thought’s…” Who’s spin is more substanstiated, …your’s and John Stewart’s or someone like Disgruntled , who’s living the hypocrosisy? Face it Ken, we are sooooo far beyond our intended parimeters….Constintuionally speaking…..

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Rock of Ages

…and who decides what is Constitutional? A right wing leaning Supreme Court that things corporations are people and torture and warrentless wiretaps are ok.

DisgruntledGovDrone
DisgruntledGovDrone
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, Please don’t think that links to Barack and Biden’s campaign website PROVE anything. I thought you had a link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or something. Its a free country so read what you want, but you shouldn’t try to use these propaganda sites as PROOF that your… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

Ok, I’m really looking forward to your interpretation of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. If you find an error — please report it to the President as well as posting it here. I’m sure he would welcome your information and I certainly would like the real truth. http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iagauto.htm#iag31cessaemp.f.P Please… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago

I’ll try this post again lol, last night mine was the only post on this story when I left it at about 1:30 in the morning. I was enjoying reading everyone’s posts, and mine is awaiting moderation, if you get this one Bennet, you can delete the other one, hehe.… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al,
We very much appreciate your comments but must ask you to keep them brief.
Thanks,
Benett Kessler

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Ahhh sorry, yeah I get carried away at times Bennet.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big AL — one of the few post that I completely agree with. There is no reason we can’t be smarter with public money. There is no reason we can’t reform the laws that have let the society become so litigious. Mammoth vs. MLLA is a prime example. But we… Read more »

Eastern Sierra local
Eastern Sierra local
10 years ago

I agree with Senator Gaines entirely, California is one of the most heavily taxed States in the nation. While people have been cutting back, government continues to grow and be straddled with more regulations that require more employees for oversight of those regulations. As an employee of a State Agency… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 years ago

Eastern Sierra Local should run for Governor. You got my vote!

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  Rob

it takes approx 6 private sector jobs to support one government job. “during the last two years the number of public employees has increased from 22.3 million in January 2008 to 22.4 million in January 2010, after peaking at 22.6 million in July 2009. . The number of private jobs… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

Look at it this way — it takes one public service job to support the needs of 6 people. You know, like roads, Fire, Police, Medical Services, water, sewer (now there’s a sweet job), trash(another one) and on and on. Be thankful that there are people who are willing to… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

@Ken

For what they get paid to shovel the so called “SH*T” … I will do it myself..

DisgruntledGovDrone
DisgruntledGovDrone
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Dear Ken, As a career public servant (snicker, snicker, the servants have become the masters) what kind of math is that? By your reckoning, the city of Bishop (assuming a population of 7000) would need 1,166.67 firefighters, the same number of police, the same number of ? medical personnel? 1200… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Methinks you have misinterpreted my missive. I was turning upthecreek’s assertion around to show that even his malformed statistic results in still an overall benefit to the community. Here in Mammoth, I can assure you that one out of six people are not employed in the local government. In California,… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago

Sierra Local- you seem to suggest that you and your co-workers are in need of being laid off or fired. In my opinion deregulation of the banks and the cooperate greed is what is crushing the poor and middle class in our country. Republicans act like only they deserve pensions… Read more »

InyoAlias
InyoAlias
10 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

maybe it’s the way you spell!

DisgruntledGovDrone
DisgruntledGovDrone
10 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble, Sierra local is right, many drones are in need of being laid off and several should be fired. Unfortunately, people like you have no idea what to do or where to start, and defend the higher and higher taxes to pay more drones to tell you what to do,… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

Well Eastern Sierra Local — once again the right wing rhetoric is faulty. Here’s a graph of state individual tax rates which shows that California is about in the mid range of taxes. Oregon being the most heavily taxed state. http://modernsurvivalblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/state-income-tax-rates-36K-2010.jpg As for the growth of state government, that’s an… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Yes Ken, I know, how it is to make ends meet from the perspective of being a government employee, it’s really funny how many of the average govt. employees out there, Federal, state, and local, are living the rich life of kings. I mean seriously, we all know someone who… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken – I’m grateful that someone is able to express my beliefs in a much more educated and nice manor. Because I honestly believe you would have to be either extremely wealthy or completely nuts to support the Republican agenda anymore.

InyoAlias
InyoAlias
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, Oregon HAS NO SALES TAX, last time I checked. We have sales tax, income tax, luxury tax, property tax, gas tax, etc. I pay a weight fee on my small pickup that weighs about as much as half an SUV. Get real, you seem to be forgetting or ignoring… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  InyoAlias

InyoAlias — what is your point exactly? You don’t like taxes yet you use all the conveniences that they provide. If you don’t like being part of this society — take yourself off the grid. Go build a shack in the middle of nowhere and crap in a hole. Is… Read more »

InyoAlias
InyoAlias
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, WHAT IS YOUR POINT? Lets see, I haven’t checked out a book from the library for years. I DO drive on the highway and county roads. I shower and flush the toilet, but I PAY the SEWER district for that privilege. Oh wait, when I shower I use electricity… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago

Ya,ya,ya, tell me more about how Democrats are to blame for all our country’s problems. Laying off everybody and farming out their jobs is the only solution you seem to suggest here. What do you suggest to do to create more good paying jobs for your district?

upthecreek
upthecreek
10 years ago

Of course they will tax us.
This is all THEY KNOW..

Tax tax tax …Spend spend spend

GGW

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  upthecreek

Duh! “Sen. Gaines said. “State tax rates went down last year…”

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

..and another thing — the Republicans complain like it’s the end of the World that the Keystone pipeline is not going to be built saying it would create thousands of jobs. And then complain about the High Speed Rail project which would create thousands of jobs. It appears that the… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

Senator Gaines is a good looking guy and smart too. But regardless of his reassuring words, the national and local economy has been in the control of Republican administrations. And this is what we got. Since Gov. Brown took office, the number of employed people in California have increased. And… Read more »

InyoAlias
InyoAlias
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Yes, What a boon to the economy, just like air service is to Mammoth. Just as long as it’s subsidized by those of us who can’t afford to use it. Also, Brown’s administration is NOT “improving the economy” that is happening in spite of Brown’s administration. Tax rates went down… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  InyoAlias

Yeah, that socialist, Muslim extremist, Kenyan is destroying America with his anti-job and anti-growth and anti-industry over regulation, tax and spend government.

Here’s proof!

http://assets.bostatic.com/frontend/projects/auto-recovery/embed/index.html

DisgruntledGovDrone
DisgruntledGovDrone
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, Graphs are nice, but without any explanation of where the data came from, how it was collected, who collected it, etc. its just a pretty colored picture. I see it came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so is there a related report?

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago

http://www.barackobama.com/auto-recovery

I’ll leave it up to you to prove that their assertions are incorrect.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
10 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

“The national and local economy has been in the control of Republican administrations.” Democrats have controlled both branches of the California legislature for around a decade. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress from 2006 (well before the crisis began) until 2010 (after it was full-blown) – and they still control… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Yes, you are right that the Dems ostensibly “controlled” Congress from 2006 to 2010. But have you noticed that all the Republicans have to do is mention filibuster and that stops whatever legislative process is being considered? And yes I think the Dems are a bunch of spineless oafs —… Read more »