by CalWatchdog Staff | September 11, 2012 8:51 am
Sept. 11, 2012
By John Seiler
Governments today wield immense power over every aspect of our lives. That’s why threats by politicians should be taken seriously.
Gov. Jerry Brown recently said he saw “fear in the eyes of Republicans when the tax word is uttered in their presence.” The Sacramento Bee reported:
“To make his point, the Democratic governor recounted a tale from the final week of session (watch the video here) when he lobbied Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, for a 1 percent lumber tax during a chance encounter in the Capitol basement garage.”
Brown, the most powerful person in California, then mocked LaMalfa:
“He kind of got into a little fetal position and started shaking, he literally was shaking. And this big man, he looks like a — wears boots, he’s kind of an outdoorsman, a mountain man kind of. And I saw him kind of start shriveling in fear of, I guess, it was the FlashReport or [Grover] Norquist or whoever the hell it was.”
Jon Fleischman of FlashReport and Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, are two longtime Brown bugaboos. He blames them for threatening Republican legislators who might vote for jobs-killing tax increases.
But neither Fleischman nor Norquist has anything but the power of words. They only can point out when a Republican legislator violates his “no new taxes” pledge.
It’s Brown who heads a vast state police and regulatory force that can crush even the biggest business like a mosquito. Look at how he went after even giant Amazon.com.
And with AB 32’s new Soviet-style Cap and Trade regulations now going into effect, businesses are cowering in fear before the governor — or leaving the state for freedom. LaMalfa is a rice farmer directly affected by this and other legislation implemented by Brown and such Brown factotums as CARB boss Mary Nichols.
And now Brown, in his his extreme egoism, is comparing himself to God — literally. He said:
“At the end of the day, vox populi, vox dei. The voice of the people, as they say, the voice of God. It’s either take the money from those who have even more than we can imagine and give it to our schools or not. And whatever it is, I’ll manage it and we’ll make it work. One way would be better, but whatever way the people decide is the way we’ll go and that’s the way it should be.'”
Brown likes to pepper his conversation with Latin tags from his Jesuit miseducation. “Vox populi, vox dei,” means, “Voice of the people, the voice of God.”
In Brown’s parlance, it means, “The people elected me, and the people is God, so do what I say — or else.”
Actually, one of the earliest uses of the phrase was from Alcuin, whose promotion of learning began lifting Europe from the Dark Ages (I mean the one from about A.D. 500-1000, not the current Dark Ages). In a letter to Charlemagne, Alcuin wrote:
“And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.”
Of course, 1,200 years ago was not a democratic age. But even today, it is not true that Vox populi, vox dei. Sometimes the people do insane things. I recently wrote of the incarceration of loyal Japanese-Americans during World War II. The 1932 elections in Germany couldn’t have turned out worse.
The point is that, as with everything else, the voice of the people must be checked by common sense and common decency.
Brown also was deceiving the populi — the people — when he said, “It’s either take the money from those who have even more than we can imagine and give it to our schools or not.” For one thing, in mega-expensive California, $250,000 — the point where his Proposition 30 tax increase would dig in — is not having “more than we can imagine.” You’re certainly well off, but not rich. After all, at that point you’re going to want to pull you kids from the failing government schools and put them in private schools at a cost of $15,000 or so a pop. If you have three kids, that’s $45,000 right there — after taxes.
And many small businesses file as S Corporations, which pay taxes at the individual level. So raising taxes on an S Corporation with $250,000 or more in profits means less money for business expansion and jobs creation. It could mean less business — or a dead business — and job losses.
And the real problem with our “schools” is not a lack of tax revenue, but: 1) they’re badly managed, commonly scoring 46th or worst among the 50 states on test scores; and 2) California’s massive government pension liabilities of at least $500 billion, only slightly improved by the anemic reform the Legislature just passed with Brown’s backing, is sapping school and state budgets.
Keep in mind that image of big Doug LaMalfa cringing before Jerry Brown. That’s how Brown and the rest of the ultra-powerful government functionaries that lord it over us, want us — prostrate in fear.
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