Sneaky Govt Expansion Tax

Katy Grimes: 20,000 California teachers found pink slips in their mailboxes recently.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the termination notices are the result of a more than $10 billion deficit and decades of reckless overspending.

With California’s education bureaucracy claiming to be teetering on the edge of even more classroom cutbacks, most would expect that California’s political class would be looking at every possible way to divert money back into education. Schools and teachers report that they already have to make choices between  reading specialists and basic classroom needs like paper, pencils, erasers, paint, scissors, and crayons.

The ballot in June instead shows just the opposite is happening. As Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy recently wrote, “…instead of reining in their habit of creating new autopilot spending programs that only add to an already too-big bureaucracy, state politicians have come up with a new ballot-box boondoggle. Proposition 29 on our June 5 ballot creates yet another government bureaucracy… even though we can barely afford to fund the programs we already have.”

Proposition 29 will ensure that more California teachers will receive a pink slip, as will police officers and firefighters, as a bigger chunk of California’s spending goes towards paying off special interests.

Behind this measure lurks Don Perata, notorious politician and former state Senator. Perata is pushing Proposition 29, the ballot measure that would create a brand new state spending program on the backs of the same overburdened taxpayers.  Called the California Cancer Research Act, the measure would add nearly $1 billion worth of new spending annually, and pay for it with tax hikes on Californians.

If the ballot initiative is approved by California’s voters, the tax on cigarettes in the state will increase by $1.00 per pack — again. Unaccountable bureaucrats will be allowed to spend $110 million every year to buy equipment, buildings and real estate, under the guise of anti-smoking. The additional tax revenue will be used to fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement. This spending will also include $16 million for the new bureaucracy to run the program, along with all the salary and pension costs that go with it.

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office reported:

“Increase in new cigarette tax revenues of about $855 million annually by 2011- 12, declining slightly annually thereafter, for various health research and tobacco-related programs. Increase of about $45 million annually to existing health, natural resources, and research programs funded by existing tobacco taxes. Increase in state and local sales taxes of about $32 million annually.”

That Perata is a career politician, should be reason enough to vote against Prop 29. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The fine print in the measure will provide voters even more reasons to reject this flawed spending measure.

Proposition 29 raises taxes by nearly $1 billion per year and would give completely authority over the money to a commission staffed with six political appointees. The spending decisions of this commission would be untouchable by the Governor and the state Legislature, even in cases of fraud, waste or abuse. There are no restrictions on how the $1 billion by taxing Californians raised can be spent – the money could be spent out of state or even overseas.

The charade is that 20,000 California teachers just received pink slips, and now Perata and cohorts plan to spend money on facilities that Californians will never see, and programs that will probably do nothing to end tobacco-related illnesses — the ballot measure just a convenient vessel for government spending, hiding behind a health issue.

While California’s tax-and-spend lobby can’t get its priorities straight, California voters still can — Proposition 29 is a massive spending boondoggle, and needs to be defeated.

MAR. 30, 2012

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  1. larry 62
    larry 62 30 March, 2012, 13:37

    Count my spouse as one of the 20 thousand. If we can work it out, within the next couple of years Ca. may be in my rear view mirror.

    Reply this comment
  2. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 30 March, 2012, 15:54

    Ah come on. Of those 20,000 teacher pink slips how many do you think will actually get executed? 1%? Not even. We’ve seen these propoganda tactics used before every major election when taxes are an issue. When is the general public going to finally call BS on this nonsense? How many times are they going to fall for the same old crap? If the teachers can’t supply their students with pencils and erasers then it’s fine time for them to take cuts in their salaries and pensions so they can. The educators given themselves priority over the students for a decade now. It’s time to reverse it.

    That cig tax money will get diverted to the government coffers to fill the budget holes. Cancer research? 😀 The morbidity rates and expected survival time for lung cancer patients are about the same as they were 30 years ago. How much money has been poured into ‘cancer research’ during that period of time? Wake up.

    So who do they tax and punish? Largely the underclass who smoke. Why don’t they just get it over with and make tobacco illegal so they can seize your home and car if they find traces of tobacco inside? Turn it into a money maker for the goverment just like they have weed, coke and heroin!

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  3. Melissa
    Melissa 30 March, 2012, 19:30

    Wow… way to exploit PIECES of facts maliciously…are you in bed with the tobacco companies? Prop 29 is self contained, it doesn’t reduce any monies that would otherwise be allocated to schools, it doesn’t require any monies outside of the $1 tax on cigarettes to operate, and none of it goes to the state because we don’t want politicians using it for their own little earmarked agendas.
    Prop 29 is for the health and safety of Californians and anyone who can benefit from cancer research, which could very well be you Ms. Grimes. All you would need to do is take a look at who the big supporters are in this game; you’ve got a plethora of big name health oriented charities like the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Live Strong Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, & Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids just to name some of them. Whose against prop 29? Besides some politicians who may be a little jealous that they have to keep their hands off of the money; Philip Morris USA, & RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. Big Tobacco. These companies are FOR PROFIT and against life. These guys are getting rich selling poison.
    Now Ms. Grimes, any good educator would tell the public all of the facts, tell them to do their own research, and not to just trust what others might tell you. Have you yourself read the proposition? My guess is no.
    Next time you dare to call yourself a ‘watchdog’, be sure to let people know that you represent the rich tobacco companies and not the millions of Californians who are suffering because of big tobacco.
    Melissa Riddle~ VOLUNTEER not a sell out.

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  4. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 31 March, 2012, 13:57

    Instead of giving the Prop 29 (cig tax) revenue to the big corporations and special interests who fill the pols pockets with campaign contributions (bribes) at election time – why don’t they use the revenue to help those who get cancer to pay their medical bills? 😀 But you would NEVER see the money go back directly to the people who really need it. Instead it pays the salaries and administrative fees for Directors and CEO’s who run these so-called non-profits and corporations. Some stupid drug company manufactures a pharmaceutical that costs $15,000/mo that prolongs a Stage IV cancer patient’s life for 2 mo. and they call that ‘progress’. 😀 The whole system has been turned into a racket.

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  5. queeg
    queeg 31 March, 2012, 22:42


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  6. SDCAZ
    SDCAZ 1 April, 2012, 13:44

    If people would just look at the facts, which are clearly posted on the website –, Prop 29 is supported by the California Parent Teacher Association, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and school boards across California. They wouldn’t support Prop 29 if it hurt our kids. They support it because they know the truth: Prop 29 will prevents kids from smoking, saves lives and fund cancer research. It is also backed by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Lance Armstrong and the Livestrong Foundation, to name just a few! They will also see that this money is NOT controlled by bureaucrats, but by doctors, scientist and cancer survivors. Prop 29 ensures that funds go to cancer research and tobacco prevention programs, including law enforcement programs. These so-called “bureaucrats” will save hundred of thousands of lives.

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  7. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 1 April, 2012, 14:02

    “Prop 29 is for the health and safety of Californians and anyone who can benefit from cancer research, which could very well be you Ms. Grimes”

    Yeah, sure. Pull my other thumb too. They’ve poured hundreds of billions into cancer research over the last 50 years and the best they can do is produce a drug that costs $15000/mo to prolong a cancer patient’s miserable existence for 2 lousy months. You need to check out how much the executive goons at ACA, AHA, ALA, etc… are making in salaries and pensions. And you need to check out how much those organizations donate to political campaign funds. I have no idea why you people who are seemingly educated cannot figure this stuff out on your own. Do you need to see it on the 6 o’clock news before you understand how the general public is being conned?

    The cig tax is just another tax on the poor. Why don’t they impose a surcharge on pork and beef? Why don’t they impose a surcharge on ice cream? Why don’t they impose a surcharge on all sunbathers? If they are going to tax the underclass for smoking the least they could do is help pay their medical bills if they happen to get cancer. But the money goes to the government cronies who run these worthless non-profits and corps who have done little or nothing during the past 50 years to improve the survival or morbidity rates of lung cancer patients.

    Reply this comment
  8. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 1 April, 2012, 19:44

    “They support it because they know the truth: Prop 29 will prevents kids from smoking, saves lives and fund cancer research”

    No. Some of that tax revenue will get siphoned off and end up in the government coffers. That’s why they support it. If they weren’t in line to benefit from it they wouldn’t even raise the issue.

    “It is also backed by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Lance Armstrong and the Livestrong Foundation, to name just a few!”

    OMG! Lance Armstrong supports it? That changes my entire opinion! Where do I sign up?

    If there was a tax measure on the ballot and you would be a recipient of the proposed tax revenue would you support it?

    “Prop 29 ensures that funds go to cancer research and tobacco prevention programs, including law enforcement programs. These so-called “bureaucrats” will save hundred of thousands of lives”

    Next time you go to the beach and sunbathe I want you to pay a surcharge of $50 to go to the Melonoma Research Fund.

    Next time you buy a steak or some pork chops at the grocery store I want you to pay a tax for that product that exceeds the cost of the meat for the Colon Cancer Research Fund.

    Next time you dump a cup of sugar into your favorite cake or cookie recipe I want you to pay a $5 surcharge for the Diabetes Research Fund.

    Afterall, it will save HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of lives!!! 😉

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  9. Eric Wadsworth
    Eric Wadsworth 2 April, 2012, 13:39

    If there is something that a State doesn’t want, I think a great alternative to making it illegal is to tax it to the brink of the black market. The problem is that the state budget is in danger of becoming additcted to that tax revenue. The solution? Compartmentalize that tax revenue, and spend it on stuff that can tolerate variations in funding, ideally on solutions to problems created by the unwanted thing in the first place.

    As such, I think proposition 29 seems like a good idea. Am I missing something important?

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