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The Sacramento Tea Party

by Mytheos Holt, published

It is fully 233 years since the American colonists first declared "no taxation without representation" and struck back against their "virtual" representation in the British Parliament. Those times don't seem so long ago, however, when one considers what the California Legislature has just decided to do - namely, raise taxes by 9.3 billion dollars without so much as a vote from the GOP minority. According to the Los Angeles Times, the reason why this "brazen" attack on the democratic process is even being permitted to be mentioned is because of an "arcane loophole in state law that lets legislators pass a tax bill with a simple majority vote -- if the bill does not raise more revenue."

Well, lovely! So nice to know that when statists can't get their way via argument, they'll just violate the rule of law under cover of crisis.

This tax hike is quite plainly a slap at the much more democratically approved Proposition 13, which requires a 2/3 majority in the Legislature before any new taxes can be imposed. Of course, their hypocritical name notwithstanding, one can't expect the Democrats to recognize such a fact. After all, the neanderthals on the other side simply don't recognize how vitally important it is that we fix the budget by taxing one of the most vital resources people need in order to work. Yes, that's right, the Democrats plan to finance their plan on the backs of not oil companies, but the people who buy from them - namely, the average California consumer. Thank God there's no tax on bikes...darn it, now I've given them ideas.

Of course, the GOP is rightly screaming bloody murder. Republican Assembly leader Michael Villines called the plan "funny math" and "trickery." Unfortunately, despite its obvious truth, the latter accusation is probably the weaker because the idea of a politician accusing his fellows of trickery is somewhat comparable to a cat accusing his fellow cats of cruelty to mice. More importantly, a group of anti-tax advocates have planned to file suit against the Democrats for their vicious disregard for the balance of power.

"If they proceed with this proposal to raise taxes with a simple majority vote, they will be sued and they will lose," Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' association, told the Los Angeles Times. One hopes that Mr. Coupal's optimism is warranted, considering that California's courts don't have the best history of respecting the rule of law.

Indeed, disrespect for the rule of law seems to be the "in thing" nowadays with the Democratic majority. If one reads the quotes from those Democrats responsible for this behavior, the cacophany of totalitarian, anti-debate rhetoric immediately blasts the ears. "Sen. Steinberg and I are committed to getting this job done with or without our Republican colleagues," says Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), while Senate President Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg sanctimoniously sniffs, "there is an even greater responsibility than practicing bipartisanship, and that is to govern. And that is what we intend to do here today."

Yes, because clearly, using arcane legal rules to get around those actually vested with the power to govern is an example of exemplary governance. Come to think of it, I think I read this language somewhere in the voting guide - right between War is Peace and Ignorance is Strength, that is.

Still, even if the legal challenge fails, one can count on the Republicans to mount a concerted and very reasonable opposition to this bit of legalistic malfeasance. It certainly will be easy, given that the taxes imposed by the Democrats are just harsh enough that most of California's citizens will undoubtedly feel the pinch. It's a good thing, too, because while the Democrats might be interested in playing Lord North, some of us still believe in the old American ideas that liberated us from London. Let's hope we don't have to do the same to Sacramento.

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