With that, inquiring minds are reading how tax-crushed Californians are joining the nationwide revolt against ever-higher taxes and spending. Please consider Editorial: Is this Prop. 13 all over again?
A tax revolt is brewing, and the tax-and-spenders in Sacramento and Washington appear oblivious – just as in 1978 when overtaxed Californians overwhelmingly passed Proposition 13, the landmark property-tax limitation initiative.
The revolt is long overdue. Even a prosperous populace has its limits, particularly as prosperity evaporates in the most severe recession since the Great Depression.
Like the proverbial frog in a gradually boiling pot of water, Californians apparently didn’t notice taxes being elevated incrementally until they now have the highest income tax rate in the nation, the highest sales tax rate and the sixth-highest overall tax burden among the 50 states. Incredibly, tax-happy state legislators now want taxpayers to add another$16 billion in taxes to their burden by approving an initiative the lawmakers put on a May 19 special election ballot, on the heels of $12.9 billion in new taxes the Legislature itself imposed only two months ago.
Enough is enough.
Recipe For Tea Parties
The USA Today picked up on the theme in Tax revolt a recipe for tea parties.
What started out as a handful of people blogging about their anger over federal spending — the bailouts, the $787 billion stimulus package and Obama’s proposed budget — has grown into scores of so-called tea parties across the country. The biggest demonstration so far drew 6,000 people in Cincinnati.
A nationwide protest in 500 cities and towns is scheduled for Wednesday, the deadline for filing federal income tax returns.
The goal is to pressure Congress and states to reject government spending as a way out of the recession and build an anti-spending coalition around regular taxpayers.
“The tea parties are a means, not an end,” says Mark Meckler of Grass Valley, Calif., a lawyer.
Organizers say they were not pleased by former president George W. Bush’s performance on spending, either, but what moved them from yelling at the TV to rallying in the streets was Obama’s proposed $3.6 trillion budget, a package the Congressional Budget Office says would produce record breaking deficits of $9.3 trillion over 10 years.
Bridgett Wagner, director of coalition relations at the conservative Heritage Foundation, sees a possible reprise of the tax revolt of the 1970s and ’80s, when a California movement to slash and cap property taxes led to successful ballot measures from the West Coast to Michigan and Massachusetts.
“These movements in the past have shown that when people have finally had enough, even the politicians at some point have to listen,” says Wagner, calling it a “bottom-up” phenomenon.
No one should expect miracles from this. However, it’s a start. Let The Tax Revolts Begin.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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