Where are the ‘moderate’ Democrats?

Donkey - WikipediaFeb. 15, 2013

By John Seiler

Now is the time for moderate Democrats to step forward. Controlling every statewide office and with supermajorities in both houses of the California Legislature, Dems rule the roost. But unchecked power devours itself.

Steven Greenhut writes on Bloomberg about the problem for the Donkey Party:

California taxpayers have nothing to fear from the new Democratic supermajorities in the state Assembly and Senate. That’s the assurance we keep hearing from the political class and interest groups in the Golden State, where Republican legislators are now reduced to irrelevancy and Democrats control two-thirds majorities to pass anything they want….

“The deadline for filing new bills for the next state legislative session is a week away, so we will soon see how restrained the Democrats will be. Yet a look at the background of these moderate lawmakers shouldn’t ease high-earners’ concern about rising tax bills in California.

“For instance, Henry Perea, a Fresno Democrat who leads the Assembly Moderate Caucus, has written a bill to increase or extend $2.3 billion in automotive-related fees. This is one of the Democratic majority’s first big maneuvers for the year, with committee hearings expedited….

“At a recent Democratic retreat in Sacramento, the leadership urged a moderate, or at least measured, course, warning legislators that they will be held responsible for anything that goes wrong in California, according to Correa. Reach for the stars, legislators were told, but do so slowly and carefully.

“Republicans would complain that Democratic legislators rushed back to the Capitol and began assembling plans for raising taxes and changing the state constitution. Many of those who will join this session’s new taxing, spending and government-building efforts will call themselves moderates.

“Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway told me that, as she called the new Democrats to welcome them to the Capitol, they all told her they were fiscal moderates. Conservatives won’t hold their breath.”

We’ll soon find out. And if the economy tanks and revenues drop because of all the federal and state tax increases already imposed, as I expect, there likely will be a reflexive action among the supermajority Democrats to increase taxes wherever they can. Their spending constituencies will demand it.

Tags assigned to this article:
Steven GreenhutBloombergDemocratsLou Correa

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