Saturday, February 09, 2008
What Is Your Annual Income?.......Send It In.
This is a local story, peculiar to El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Or is it? I'll wager, with no one to cover my money, that in every medium and large city throughout the "free" world, that close variations of what I'm about to write have been heard by every productive, yet struggling individual.
For months now, Antonio Vinaigrette, el alcalde, has been saying that el pueblo needs a yes vote on local Proposition "S" to bring fiscal balance to el pueblo and to assure uninterrupted continuation of vital services--services like police patrols and fire and rescue services.
Proposition "S" claimed to reduce LA's telephone tax from 10% to 9%. What was in the fine print was that the phone tax violates the California Constitution, and that there's a lawsuit in progress to nullify it. By popular ratification of Prop "S", the legal proceedings will end. The 9% tax becomes law, in accordance with the requirements of the California Constitution.
What's wrong with that, one might ask? What no one really says (out loud), is that a No vote might very likely have nullified the tax entirely, once the legal proceedings were complete. Prop "S" was being sold as a tax reduction measure.
Wait. Then, why were the leftists arguing so stridently in favor of a Yes vote? Well, I don't know. There's a real inconsistency there. El alcalde, our imported former New York City Sullivan Law loving Police Chief William Bratton and several other leftist local politicos fairly begged LA voters to ratify what was being touted as a tax reduction. The only individuals I know of that mentioned the full truth, including the legal proceedings about the proposition, were the man posturing himself as el alcalde's major opponent in the upcoming election, and a few local conservative commentators.
There's one more fact that almost no one mentioned about Prop "S": the old phone tax applied to land line phones only. The new, "reduced" phone tax applies to cellular phones, as well. So, hide the skinning knives, fellow Angelinos. Here they come.
Proposition "S" passed.
The very next day after the proposition passed, el alcalde held a news conference in which he thanked the voters for passing Prop "S," and in almost in the same breath, he asserted that the millions to be gained by the passage of the proposition would help, but would not be enough(!) to balance the budget of el pueblo.
He couldn't even wait until our freshly-skinned corpses cooled off!
Now, we have to sit 'pon the edge of our seats, waiting for the next proposal for the next tax increase! I believe an increase in the already confiscatory sales tax has been mentioned.
The "or we'll have to look at reducing some services" threat is already in play, but when they make that threat, they usually refer to the services regarded to be the most vital, never mentioning utter wastes like City Officials' travel expenses, subsidies for the arts that no sane person would actually buy voluntarily, "green" programs that cost more than standard methodology, and sports venues that should be financed by the sports team ownership--among others.
Meanwhile, productive individuals and their businesses are leaving the state for more business-friendly locations and the state's population is increasing due to entries by bottom-rung workers who generally pay little toward the costs of city-provided services, and consume to a larger degree.
Recipe for a Shrugfest.