It’s always trite to complain about taxes and the intrusion of government into private lives, but if you are one of the now-unfortunates who lives in California, you have every right to complain.
The reality of it all is that it will only get worse, especially now that the state has a new liberal-to-the core Democrat governor, Gavin Newsom, and that every single state office is inhabited by a Democrat.
To say that Republicans are out-numbered in the Senate and Assembly is the understatement of the year. To assume it will only get worse over the next years is probably a sure bet.
The headline last week was that the legislature had approved a $214.8 billion budget. It was tasked with approving a balanced budget by June 15. Supposedly this is it, although there will be some modifications by the July 1 deadline for the Governors’ signature.
This spending-tax-raising plan was approved despite the fact that the state has a budget surplus of $22 billion, the largest in 20 years. One would think some of that “excess” money would be returned to the people who put it there – the taxpayers of the state – but no. The thinking of Democrats is that they never have enough, and the bank accounts of hard-working residents are just cash-cows waiting to be milked further.
One aspect of the budget, besides its massive size, is that the state will now provide health care coverage for undocumented immigrants (read: “illegal aliens”) between the ages of 19 and 25.
This is estimated to cost some $98 million per year.
That got massive national press coverage, touting the fact that California is the first state to do that. Left out of those headlines is that the state already pays for health care for illegals up to the age of 19 who are considered low income.
However – if you are a legal resident of the state and/or a citizen, and you do not have health insurance, the new budget requires that you will now be taxed (read: fined) because you can’t afford private insurance. This is the same as the individual mandate penalty that existed under Obamacare until Congressional Republicans eliminated it in 2017.
The implicit warning to the rest of the country in all this: As goes California, so goes the rest of the country: so WATCH OUT!
There were some issues that Governor Newsom wanted – a tax on drinking water and further taxes on dairies, animal farms and related issues, for example – that were not approved. Neither was a refund of taxes to low income people, but the issue isn’t dead. It will be dealt with in later budget meetings.
Nearly a billion dollars is allocated for homeless issues, including housing. Public schools will be getting more than $102 billion.
Speaking of schools, the mood of the people about the money going to schools is more than mixed. Most Californians are disgusted with the quality of K-12 education in the state – disgusted with the curriculum and class discipline.
A perfect example of that was the proposed school tax in Los Angeles which was heavily supported by the politicians and the school unions. They believed that a big parcel tax, one that would hit large property owners most heavily, would get approved to “solve” all the problems. It was estimated that the 16 cents a square foot tax on buildings would bring in some $400 million annually.
They got Measure EE on the ballot last week and it went down in flames. It didn’t get the two-thirds majority it needed to pass; but on final vote count, it didn’t even get a simple majority of the vote.
The Los Angeles school district is the second largest in the county. It sucks out millions of tax dollars annually – tax support is estimated at being up 60 percent in the last nine years. This is despite growing discontent of parents and students, to say nothing of teachers. This, in a budget with the highest levels of school funding state history.
Californians now pay the highest gas taxes in the country. But hold on. As of July 1, the price per gallon will increase 5.6 cents. The legislature approved that in 2017. It’s estimated it will cost drivers another $850 annually.
There are proposals for increases in electric and gas bills to fund expected fire prevention/firefighting costs. This ties in with proposals for increased telephone bills to fund 911 services. There are further plans to raise taxes on water, to provide cities with help for the homeless, and even bills to help college students with housing expenses. These are called trailer bills and can be passed without full legislative approval.
The ongoing and increasing issues with illegal aliens in the state are something that is not being directly addressed. Aside from the “homeless” issue, there is the fact that thousands of people are living in filth on the streets. Virtually all major cities are inundated with such problems, and it seems nothing substantive is being done.
Politicians are too concerned with speaking out against the aliens and being accused of being politically incorrect. They ignore the issue of dirt and litter and the more dangerous issue of diseases that were once gone, but now are being seen daily.
In the view of many, Californians are playing a dangerous game – one with a huge price tag – a game they are bound to lose.