Brown Ignores Will of Voters on Taxes

APRIL 14, 2011


Apparently California Gov. Jerry Brown and his staff follow, but not necessarily the will of the people of California.

Gov. Brown issued a curious statement at a press conference held Wednesday in Sacramento to pitch his tax plan that the “ultimate authority rests with the people” when it comes to taxes.

Brown’s statement about the necessity of the sovereignty of the people for raising taxes was made wioth prominent law-enforcement officials present to give seeming legitimacy to his tax plan. Brown says that a tax increase is needed to incarcerate dangerous criminals.

The above statement about the sovereignty of the people perhaps is in response to charges made, including in an article posted yesterday on this website, that Brown is trying to undo the will of the people who voted across the board at the Nov. 2010 statewide election that they didn’t want taxes raised.

Brown raised the issue of a “legitimacy crisis” to his “regime” back on Sunday at a press conference held in Los Angeles and dangerously insinuated that if his plan were not passed that Civil War would be inevitable.

On Sunday, Brown inferred that a Civil War was inevitable. On Wednesday, he threatened to release dangerous criminals back into local communities if taxes are not raised. For all his talk about following the “consent of the governed” on taxes, Brown has resorted to symbolic scare tactics to intimidate the public to undo their message of “no more taxes.”

It is clear that Brown does not want to follow the “will of the people,” but wants to scare them into voting for a tax increase for a high-balanced state budget.  This short-term “fix” to the state budget will do nothing to resolve the huge pension tsunami that will hit state and local governments in 2012 and thereafter.

Fewer Prisoners

Brown failed to mention that the prison population has already been reduced from about 172,000 to 152,000, starting back in 2008 up to today. Brown also omitted any discussion that the $7.7 billion in prison building bonds authorized under AB 900 and signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger back in 2007 has yet to result in a single new local jail being built or an old prison re-opened.

The State Legislature, with a unanimous 70-0 vote, initially passed AB 900. So not only does Brown not want to comply with the will of the electorate, but he hasn’t said how he would comply with the will of the legislature either.

A crucial part of Brown’s purported tax plan is to divert prisoners from expensive state prisons where it costs $44,500 per year to house a prisoner to county jails that can cost half that.  But Brown has shown no interest in fast-tracking local jail construction or suspending the California Environmental Quality Act to get jails built. This leaves litigious environmentalists with a trump card over the sovereign will of the people who don’t want any more taxes.

Political rhetoric to the contrary, Gov. Brown and his Party of Government are squandering their opportunity at gaining legitimacy by continuing to defy the will of the people expressed at the ballot box last year.  If Brown should be able to put his tax plan to the voters and they reject it yet again, then what will he and his Party do?  Will they run to the courts? Or will they foment an insurrection? Or release a flood of prisoners on our doorsteps to undo democracy?

That is apparently what Brown is threatening. Let’s call it democracy by intimidation dressed up with the euphemistic term of “nudging the sovereign people.”

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