How the Grinch… err SB1 (Gas Tax) Stole Christmas

William Del Pilar William Del Pilar Leave a Comment

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A conservative Latino’s view on politics…

The $800 average SB1 (gas tax) takes from California families is the equivalent of what we spend on Christmas and shows our politicians to be the Grinch who stole Christmas.

A CHRISTMAS STORY

My mother worked in factories her whole life. She worked hard and sent most of her paycheck back to Panama. My father served 30-years in the military and provided for a family of six. We were never lacking, but money was tight as any enlisted military family will tell you. Come Christmas, we saw our share of toys, but never the trendsetting toy.

When the Atari 2600 came out, my mouth watered with want, but my mother’s incredulous look said, “Fool, do you think I’m made of money?” Always reminded of how lucky we are, compared with family in Panama, we didn’t always understand but knew the realities of life. Our presents were economical – what was on sale yet appreciable but the “Cosby” household we weren’t. More like “That 70s Show.”

Then Intellivision came out. Intellivision was to Atari, what Xbox was to PS2. The Atari killer! But $299? A working-class household? That’s a non-starter. Yet that slick George Plimpton commercial showing Intellivision baseball and football superiority over Atari made me dream and my face lit up every time I saw it. Little did I know my mother noticed.

I remember opening presents that Christmas, look up and see my mother struggling with a box. The box slipping from her grasp, wrapping slightly tearing and there it was, the coveted “Intellivision!” The George Plimpton endorsed console! The Atari killer!

That Christmas was the best. I was happier than Ralphie Parker unwrapping his Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. My mother had to sacrifice money that would’ve gone to Panama. In the early 80s – still a recession – $299 were big bucks in a working-class family.

That’s equivalent to about $800 today and what the SB-1 Transportation bill (gas tax) steals from the average California family!

REGRESSIVE TAX

From Investopedia: “a regressive tax is a tax applied uniformly, taking a larger percentage of income from low-income earners than from high-income earners.” Sacramento knew this and didn’t care. The carnage they leave in their wake doesn’t matter because “the end justifies the means.” Does the term “out of touch” ring a bell?

How can a politician look in the mirror and claim that raising the gas tax and vehicle registration fee helps the poor and working-class family? Truth is, they’re acceptable collateral damage to allow Sacramento’s fiscal abuse to continue. When confronted with the truth of a regressive tax and the Prop 6 ballot measure politicians are like the Grinch! Bitter and ill-tempered. Combative and dishonest. They have no shame!

REASONS THE GAS TAX IS DESPICABLE

There’re various reasons to despise the SB-1 Transportation bill (the gas tax and registration fee):

  • No money from the gas tax is “required” to be spent on roads or infrastructure.
  • Automatic tax hikes.
  • It raises our car registration fee.
  • We’re already the second highest gas-taxed state in the nation.
  • Every $1 spent on 1 mile of road in every other state, California spends $4.7.

GAS TAX COSTS AN AVERAGE OF $800 PER YEAR

SB1 costs a family about $800, increasing costs to:

  • fuel – $405,
  • vehicle registration – $250,
  • goods and services – $124 (conservative estimate).

Poor to working-class families move inland for affordable housing or rentals. That means longer drives to work. Many families who work in San Diego live in Temecula (1-2-hour commute), Hemet or Riverside (2-3 hours). The gas tax hammers them and others all over California! Those with diesel vehicles? That’s 20 cents more a gallon.

DISPUTING THE $800 NUMBER

Critics dispute this number, but even numbers they give – $500 or $600 – ignores the truth. It’s a regressive tax that hurts poor and lower-income families. Most politicians who voted for this are well off – they won’t suffer. There’s a disconnect with Californians, but does this surprise us? NO!

Politicians say they want to help. They don’t. Politicians want to tax to continue their uncontrolled spending. Stating we need the money that’s already there. They purposely misappropriate those funds. They believe if they can afford $800 a year, you can too. It reminds me of the wealthy California congresswoman who said $1,000 tax savings are breadcrumbs.

I know firsthand how far $800 can go. It’s not just Latino families but every poor and working-class family. Giving your child a Christmas gift, they view as impossible is something all parents dream of. A mother making a Christmas memorable. Priceless. Thank you, mom.

WHEN YOU SEE THE BALLOT:

“PROP 6: ELIMINATES CERTAIN ROAD REPAIR AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING. REQUIRES CERTAIN FUEL TAXES AND VEHICLE FEES BE APPROVED BY THE ELECTORATE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.”

VOTE YES!

This article originally appeared in Escondido Times-Advocate, Nov. 2, 2018.

William Del Pilar is politically active, currently sitting on the Valley Center Community Planning Group (VCCPG). As an entrepreneur, Del Pilar drove his fantasy sports company to set the standard for analysis and news distribution, helping to commercialize the industry from 1997-2008. Del Pilar sat on the boards of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) and Fantasy Sports Ventures (now owned by Gannett Co., Inc.).

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