California Tax Revolt - Part 2

The voters in California on Tuesday severely rebuked the big-spending, big-taxing Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzennegger. They overwhelmingly rejected, by a 2-1 margin, Governor Schwarzennegger's proposed tax increases and budget proposals which were supposed to meet his gargantuan $21.3 billion budget gap. And this was the governor who was elected to change things after the voters recalled his Democrat predecessor a few years ago because of the Democrat's big-spending, big-taxing ways.

California, in recent years, has rarely given the rest of us in America anything which was good for the nation. Considering that 33 states have either raised taxes to eliminate budget deficits or are trying to do so, the voters of California -- as they did with their earth-shaking Proposition 13 vote in 1978 -- have fired a shot across the bow of state legislatures and governors, and indeed, the Democrat-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama.

In the 1978 vote heard around the world, California voters voted for Proposition 13, a constitutional amendment which resulted in a cap on property taxes in California, reducing property taxes by an average of 57%. The proposition also forced a 2/3 majority vote in both chambers of the state legislature in order to raise state tax rates.

Governor Schwarzennegger, after Tuesday's vote, lamented that the voters did not want to have their services cut, but yet did not want to pay increased taxes to pay for these services. Apparently, he did not learn the lesson from President Ronald Reagan that strong leadership means that you need to do the tough things including cutting back government programs. The current president has proposed spending programs which will create more deficits than all the deficits created by the previous 43 presidents put together.

What Proposition 13's passage did in 1978 was to spark a revolt in many other states and two years later helped lead to the election of the tax-cutting president, Ronald W. Reagan. His tax-cutting policies created a 25-year economic boom.

The question on the minds of many Republicans and Independents is will the Republican Party mimic what was done in the late 1970's and strongly advocate smaller government and lower taxes? If their leaders do that, they could make great strides in the United States Congress during the elections next year.

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