Jerry Nabs Tax Supporters

John Seiler:

One good thing — if you can call it that — about Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $7 billion tax: It is revealing who is the “Establishment,” both Democrat and Republican, that really runs this state.

With the Republican Party basically moribund, Democrats are the only show in town. So the Establishment will funnel to them campaign cash, for candidates and favored initiatives.

That doesn’t mean the donors favor a particular donor or initiative, or Democrats in general. It means they’re buying influence with the powerful.

So it is with Brown’s tax. It’s unlikely to pass. Opponents will paint it as funding the cushy pensions of government retirees and the ridiculous High-Speed Rail boondoggle. Brown will insist, “No! It’s just going to schools! It’s guaranteed!” But few will believe him. All government money is fungible.

But the Establishment wants to be in good graces with Brown. Although the measure won’t pass, funneling money into it is a signal of membership in the Establishment. It’s ironic how Brown, who for decades has portrayed himself as a maverick, quirky “outsider,” has in his dotage become the ultimate Establishment “insider.”

Brown’s group is called, Californians to Protect Schools, Universities and Public Safety. It should be called, “Californians to Gouge Taxpayers to Fund Lavish Pensions.”

Here are some of the Establishment donors to the tax-gouging initiative, as reported by the Mercury-News:

* $500,000: California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems; now I know why a friend went to have his appendix carved out, and it cost $40,000 for a three-day stay: the hospitals are splurging on political influence peddling;
* $250,000: state building trades; now we know why housing, despite the recent decline, remains so unaffordable in Taxifornia; the money is splurged on stuff like this;
* $100,000: Blue Shield of California; my health insurance; thanks a lot for jacking up my insurance rates to pay for jacking up my taxes; that’s just sicko;
* $300,000: four Indian tribes; time to free the Indians and make them separate nations; then they’ll become tax havens like the Cayman Islands, instead of backing higher taxes;
* $250,000:  Occidental Petroleum Corporation; Lenin pal Armand Hammer’s old outfit.
* $250,000: the American Beverage Association; how about a booze tax, fellas? Or maybe we should bring back Prohibition? Where is Carrie Nation when we need her?

Feb. 1, 2012




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