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.
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.