Read Skelton's lips: More new taxes!

I’ll give L.A. Times columnist George Skelton marks for consistency: He always favors tax increases. Here he is back in 2007, even before the economy crashed, calling for “a temporary tax increase to balance the books.”

And I’m consistent, too: I always oppose him and his obsession. I’m always on the side of the wearied, oppressed, overworked taxpayer. I’ve written maybe 20 editorials and blogs in recent years against Skelton’s mania for grabbing more of your money and giving it to wasteful, tyrannical government.

Today he writes: “Republicans, as usual, are dug in on the far right” against taxes.

How is it “far right” to want to protect businesses and citizens who already are gouged more than those in almost any other state? More, next year federal taxes are going to rise. The end of the record $13 billion 2009 Schwarzenegger tax increases in 2011 is the only hope many people and businesses have of remaining solvent.

And anyway, how did that $13 billion tax increase work out? It was supposed to solve our budget woes. Yet here we are, 15 months later, and there’s still a $19 billion budget deficit. Even Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown says he wouldn’t increase taxes unless voters first approved it.

Doesn’t Skelton see that the unemployment rate in this state remains at a staggering 12.6%? And that it’s expected to stay that high?

Doesn’t he have any sympathy for people standing, for months, long months, depressed, dejected in unemployment lines? Or for small businessmen working 18-hour-days trying to figure out how to stay in business as sales slump and taxes rise?

No, he doesn’t. He just cares about his pals in government. Sure, he writes:

For example, Schwarzenegger’s most controversial — and unrealistic — budget proposal is to eliminate the state’s welfare program, which serves 1.4 million Californians, two-thirds of them children.

OK. Then how about this: Cut the pay, pensions and perks of government employees 10% until the economy recovers. In fact, how about not paying the $4 billion from the general going this year into the state pension funds because they made bad investments.

You have to change the state constitution to do so? Then change the constitution.

Retirees already get massive pensions, commonly retiring on 90% of pay after 30 years on the job. So cut that to 70%. If their last year of pay was $150,000, then they still would get $105,000 — plenty to live on, especially if they retired to Idaho, as many of them do.

Skelton again:

Fact is, any objective analysis of California’s budget quagmire would conclude that the state can have an honestly balanced budget. Or it can have a budget that doesn’t include a tax increase. But it can’t have both.

Wrong. Just cut the massive waste. Cut the massive pay. Cut the massive perks. Cut the massive pensions.

Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut.

You’re going to have to cut anyway because tax increases would only drive more businesses and taxpayers from the state, reducing the tax base, and making the budget deficit even worse for the next governor.

But Skelton doesn’t care. He has his tax addiction to feed.

— John Seiler


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