Jerry Brown Opens Door on New Taxes

Elliot Schroeder Elliot Schroeder 26 Comments

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Sometimes I hate being right. Last year, I warned that Brown’s second term would include a tax increase. The GOP candidates didn’t try to get him to pledge again on taxes. He said as much in a press conference. They should of pounded him over and over to at least get another pledge even as their victory was in doubt. This would have been a win for the taxpayers. Now it’s not happening

But why now? Why when Brown touts an improving economy? He’s a termed out politician and has to repay those that patiently waited through the first term. He has to pay those supporters back. So Brown is easing us into a tax increase. First by softly floating the idea. Soon we will see how bad it is.

Elliot Schroeder is a past Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego.

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Comments 26

  1. Let’s hope it’s only ONE tax increase. I think there’s at least a dozen bills in the legislature to raise all sorts of taxes. The biggest is the sales tax on services, but extending Prop 30 would be almost as big.

    The good news is that, if we voters get a chance to vote on such increases, there’s a VERY good chance we can beat most such tax increases, even though it takes only a simple majority to pass. The HSR boondoggle is our friend.

    Sadly, Prop 30 will likely pass (without the sales tax component it now has) as a semi-permanent tax, as we all hate the rich (well, too many of us do).

  2. Does it still take a supermarjority of both houses of the legislature to pass a tax increase? If so, at least a few Republicans would have to vote for the increase.

  3. HQ, it does — IF the tax increase is passed by the legislature. I doubt it will be passed there, but a Rocky Chavez-type Republican or two could flip on the issue.

    But as you WELL know, HQ, if/when the tax increases fail to pass in the legislature, your labor unions will cough up some loose change to put what they deem to be the best choices on the ballot. There as a proposition it requires only a simple majority of the electorate to pass.

    Prop 30 (soak the hated rich) will likely pass — the other increases we can defeat — or at least have a fighting chance.

  4. Richard,

    I thought the point of the post was that the Governor was going to raise taxes and you even pointed out that there are dozens of bills in the legislature that would allow the Governor to do that. I simply pointed out that it would take Republican votes to make that happen.

    Of course, a majority of the public could simply vote to raise taxes. We do live in a Democracy. Do you have a problem with that? Your conservative friends have no problem reminding everyone we live in a Democracy when the vote goes their way.

  5. Yes, HQ, I DO have a problem with a simple majority democracy. That’s different than your spurious straw man claim that if one favors higher thresholds to raise taxes and debt, one therefore opposes democracy. But, to be fair, you are a MASTER of the straw man argument.

    The 2/3 majority requirement is hardly a radical idea. I’m sure you oppose this, but it takes a 2/3 vote of the electorate to pass most LOCAL bonds (except school bonds, which now require a lower supermajority of 55%) and special taxes. Unfortunately state bonds and taxes can pass with a simple majority of the electorate.

    As an advocate of high taxes, massive government debt and ever-higher government spending, naturally you prefer the simple majority standard. I prefer the 2/3. We BOTH favor democracy. Get over it.

    Apparently when they get a chance to vote on CHANGING this standard, the voters usually prefer to keep the 2/3 protection. Indeed, ironically it takes only a simple majority of the electorate to drop our current 2/3 majority protection. Yet your unions haven’t put that change on the ballot — because they know that despite having a 100-1 campaign spending advantage, such a measure likely would not pass.

  6. HQ, I love the way you try to assign the GOP equal culpability for higher taxes when a couple RINO legislators choose to oppose their own party’s wishes and vote for higher taxes (often for some deal in return — think Maldonado).

    Come on, HQ, man up. Take full credit for your party’s relentless drive to raise taxes, over and over and over. You want to take credit for all the good consequences, take credit for the bad ones as well. Stop trying to blame the GOP for the adverse consequences (a.k.a. higher taxes).

    BTW, who is co-authoring EVERY current tax increase in the two branches of the CA state legislature? Any Republicans? I suspect not.

  7. Richard,

    Smooth the way you avoiding the “democracy” question. I always did respect your debating skills.

  8. Richard,

    My apologies. I didn’t see that you needed two posts to respond to my previous comment. I guess we simply disagree on what Democracy means. I think the majority should rule on anything that passes Constitutional muster.

    I usually don’t respond to your union rants but I do have to challenge your contention that unions hava a 100-1 campaign spending advantage. I am not sure your source for that information, but I can tell you that one man, Sheldon Adelson, spent more money trying to get Newt Gingrich elected President than all the people who contribute to San Diego’s many unions have spent since the beginning of time.

  9. HQ, I “avoided the ‘democracy’ question”? I thought my answer was straightforward. I like democracy, though I like supermajority standards for imposing higher taxes and debt. As per our voter-approved and voter-amendable state constitution!

    Seems to me that YOU’VE got the problem with democracy. Perhaps you want simple majority “mob rule” democracy, with no stinkin’ constitution or charter to limit “the will of the people” (a view also held by some conservatives from time to time). That’s pure democracy, I suppose. Given your agenda, that preference is understandable.

    Considering how crystal clear my response was, you also would seem to have a problem with English comprehension. Since I discount that possibility, the logical conclusion I draw is that you’re not being intellectually honest.

    Again.

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    HQ,

    I think you are confusing democracy with majoritarianism. We’ve seen recently in Turkey how a government with a slim popular majority will abuse its position. Fortunately, the Turks finally pushed back. California we’ll wait and see. Even though I disagreed with prop 8 the lack of standing ruling gave the attorney general and the governor the ability to veto anything in the California Constitution they don’t agree with. They just have to be sued for it and not defend it. So we are quickly slipping from a democracy with constitutional limits to majoritarianism unbounded. The abuses haven’t happened but the precedence is there. We should all be worried.

  11. Elliott,

    According to Webster’s, democracy is defined as “government by the people; especially : rule of the majority”

    My response to Richard Rider was “I guess we simply disagree on what Democracy means. I think the majority should rule on anything that passes Constitutional muster.”

    Webster and I agree but I certainly understand why someone would want to require that something they don’t agree with needs a super-majority to pass; just don’t call it democracy.

    As for Prop 8 and the Supreme Court ruling, this is a completely different issue. The issue there was not one of majority rule, but whether an elected official has the obligation to appeal any lower court ruling that overturns a vote of the people regardless of the official’s personal belief and/or the chance of winning the appeal.

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    You’re really going to Webster’s for the definition of democracy? In our complex political world?

  13. Elliot,

    You don’t like Webster’s? OK. The Free Dictionary defines Democracy as “majority rule” and wordcentral.com says “government by the people; especially : rule of the majority.”

    My point is that anything more than a simple majority allows the minority to block any change from the status quo and I do not believe that is the spirit of democracy.

    That said, T.A’s Urban Dictionary reference is the most accurate depiction of the unintended consequences of democracy. Even so, I will still take it over any other form of government.

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    I don’t see using Webster’s for a definition of Democracy when there are college courses on it and broad definitions used in a variety of sources.

    You keep equating Majoritarianism with Democracy. That is not the case, respect for minority rights is a large part of modern democracy. Even more you are confusing Representative Democracy with Direct Democracy and the right/legitimacy of majority rule.

    See, that’s why Webster’s and your definition isn’t useful.

  15. Sooooo, HQ, according to you, no country in the world is a “democracy.” That’s because every democracy has a constitution (the document YOU claim to think a democracy should adhere to) that includes instances of requiring a supermajority vote. Think not? Name one that doesn’t.

    As you’ve made clear, you oppose ANY supermajority requirement — you want pure democracy (a.k.a. mob rule) with no restraints on such 50+% decision making process. Don’t feel bad — many people make your silly assertion of wanting unrestricted democracy without thinking things through. Even too many conservatives.

    You can still recant. We won’t tell.

  16. Richard,

    Did you miss the part where I wrote “I think the majority should rule on anything that passes Constitutional muster.”

    I have no problem with supermajority requirements that are called for in the Constitution. I have no problem with the Constitution limiting the potential for “mob rule” as you call it. I do have a problem with the minority being able to block the will of the majority on issues that are Constitutional.

    I will repeat what I previously wrote – “I certainly understand why someone would want to require that something they don’t agree with to need a super-majority to pass.” On the other hand, I don’t think you would favor a supermajority requirement to cut taxes or shrink the role of government. Would you?

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  18. Elliot,

    Prop 8 was ruled to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution and is a perfect example of Constitutional protection against “mob rule.”

    You make a good point about Prop 13 but it does not prohibit a simple majority from raising any general local tax (other than property tax).

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    I disagreed with prop 8 but it wasn’t shot down because it violated the US Constitution. SCOTUS played games by saying the defendants lacked standing to defend it, even though yes the 9th circuit said it was a violation. That’s why SCOTUS is looking at gay marriage again.

    I believe prop 13 did prohibit the legislature from raising taxes which is why democrats went with “fees”

  20. Elliot,

    Sorry I wasn’t clear about what I meant re: Prop 13. I meant that a simple majority of a public (not legislative) vote can raise a general tax.

    You are correct that SCOTUS did not rule Prop 8 to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution (at least, not yet), but as you pointed out, a Federal Appeals court did.

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  22. What’s amusing is that Democrats such as HQ know they can repeal the 2/3 constitutional requirement for instituting state taxes (not to mention repealing Prop 13) — all it takes is a SIMPLE MAJORITY vote of the electorate (how HQ defines democracy). But for all their complaining, the Democrats choose NOT to put that straightforward “simple majority” proposition on the ballot for the voters to decide.

    Guess why.

  23. The 100-1 advantage I described concerning TAX measures (not candidates) was clearly an exaggeration — especially on statewide tax increases. My bad.

    It was intended to roughly reflect the difference in spending on many TAX measures — not campaigns for office. It probably averages somewhere above 10-1 on AVERAGE for ALL such state and local tax campaigns, but the aggregate of all those contests is unobtainable.

    While the high profile CA state tax increases can generate a respectable amount of opposition spending (though seldom as much as proponents), but the MANY local tax increases usually lack any organized opposition at all, let alone any significant opposition spending. Think school bonds (which include a tax increase), which are specifically backed by the labor unions.

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