California as a state is in an unenviable position. We have high unemployment -which means that people are buying less and paying less in taxes – and we are cutting public sector jobs, increasing that unemployment and prolonging the recession while simultaneously reducing services which protect and enhance our economy: police and firefighting forces, schools, maintenance of roads and rail and cable.
I know, that is asinine. Why would we do that?
If we were to instead invest in our state infrastructure: education, energy, transportation, communications… that would lower unemployment while providing needed services. With lower unemployment more people would have money to spend, which would bolster private sector growth and employment. In addition, tax revenues would go up, as more people would have money to tax.
The power to properly fix things does exist at the state level, and is the power to balance a budget. However, there is a significant body of legislators who rather than applying their intellect to solving the problem, prefer to abdicate their responsibility with a one-size-fits-none response to revenue raising which is: no. No taxes. Not if they support necessary services, not if they discourage harmful behavior or even crime. No. Just no, they don’t want the details, they will just say no.
This is negligent to a degree that would be criminal if we were taking about private stewardship of an estate or guardianship of children rather than shared governance.
These politicians (almost 50 either in office or running for office in California alone) have a greater allegiance to corporate lobbyist Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” and to the various corporate tax loopholes he is protecting than they do to California or to the Constitution of the United States of America.
These politicians are responsible for our deficit and for California’s inability to effectively address its recession. They are protecting corporate profits at the expense of our state, at the expense of small business and at the expense of every person in California who is not a rich lobbyist or politician.