Escondido, CA

If you oppose things that come out of Sacramento, you aren’t helpless

My Democrat friends (and yes, I have them, although generally they will only be seen with me in darkened rooms) like to wax indignant and super-alarmed about the fact that Washington is controlled right now by one party. However, most of them don’t see anything wrong with Sacramento so dominated by one party that it effectively has a “super-majority” of two-thirds in both houses—which means it can effectively pass any bill that affects the state’s finances.

I’ve heard it said that there is even talk in the state capital about making an effort to repeal Proposition 13, passed in the 1980s, that has protected property taxes from state raiders for many years. That is the Holy Grail of Progressives, who dream about opening up the last remaining box of candy in the state . . . and gorging themselves.

However, what the legislature did a couple of weeks ago is almost as bad as repealing Prop. 13: the 12-cent tax on every gallon of gas you and I will buy for the foreseeable future. Oh yes, and also an additional tax when we register our automobiles. That’s a lot of gas pain my friends. Far more than I normally get from eating at my friendly local Italian restaurant.

Governor Brown argued that the tax was needed to help pay for repairing our state system of highways and roads—and it is undeniable that this infrastructure needs repair. But why not do it with the gas taxes we already collect? Instead, a large percentage of the gas tax is used for things that have no relation to roads.

So, what makes us think that this 12-cent tax will be used exclusively for that? Well . . . we have the promise of the politicians in Sacramento.

Time, I think for those who are outraged to hit the trail with petitions to repeal the gas tax by putting it on the ballot and letting the voters decide. If enough voters decide that they are happy to pay an extra $20 or $30 a month, then fine.

Local talk radio host Carl DeMaio, who used to be a San Diego city councilmember, is leading the charge to get a petition drive started to put the gas tax on the ballot and to recall one of the most vocal proponents of it, Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton.)

The strategy here is to show other senators and assemblymen that we the people can hold them accountable.

DeMaio writes: “We’re about focusing in and disciplining these politicians in Sacramento who recklessly raise the gas and car tax and we’re going to start out with Mr. Newman first. We will then turn to the remaining Democrats and tell them, ‘Either you repeal the car tax or we will pick off more of you.”

Sounds reasonable to me. Back in 2002 the people of the state got mightily offended at an increase in car registration fees, so offended that they recalled Governor Gray Davis. The first thing his successor, Governor Arnold, did, was to repeal the tax. Now, the rest of Arnold’s two terms were pretty pathetic, but I think it’s a good idea to scare the living hell out of politicians every few years, just on general principles.

If you are interested in DeMao’s efforts visit this link: Read more: 

Just remember, the politicians work for us. We need to occasionally remind them of that fact.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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