As we come to the end of a very tumultuous year both nationally and state wide, people in California are facing an uncertain future. In spite of politicians telling us that the state is in great shape, the truth is different.
Jerry Brown proclaims that the state is in great financial shape. When you lift the curtain of political smoke the truth is just a bit different. Tax reform has been passed in the two houses of Congress. After reconciliation, there will be a new tax system meant to provide relief to American taxpayers. Many in California are very upset because the new plan impacts some of the tax breaks that Californians have relied upon for years. These include the ability to deduct state property taxes, state and local taxes.
The Los Angeles Times states that Californians claimed about $100 billion in tax savings from the federal, state and local tax deduction. California ranked just 17th among states for claiming federal property tax deductions.
Californians who are upset about losing these tax breaks really need to direct their anger at Sacramento. The federal tax break has masked just how high the taxes in this state are. Local and state tax burdens have reached unaffordable levels, but many taxpayers have not felt the entire burden thanks to the federal tax deduction.
More California taxpayers need to pay attention to what is going on in Sacramento.
There are events going on in this state that are creating anxiety for many citizens. Some of these events are unknown or being ignored by many voters but they do have lasting effects.
The basically pointless decision in the Kate Steinle trail indicates that San Francisco and much of California believe that being a sanctuary city means that certain laws do not have to be followed. An illegal criminal alien, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who had been deported seven times kills Kate Steinle as she is walking along a San Francisco pier. He is found guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. This scenario has been played out across the country. Mr. Zarate was not turned over to ICE in a timely fashion. California is committed to keeping illegal criminal aliens safe. Forget about keeping the citizens of California safe.
There is a profound problem with the California legislature. It has a heavily Democrat majority and in typical Democrat fashion, the laws that are passed reflect the liberal need to pass laws so that everything is fixed and we will all march in lock step. Unfortunately, the results are less than wonderful.
A prime example is the law that is now before the Supreme Court. The California legislature in its commitment to abortion and Planned Parenthood (regardless of those voters who do not agree) passed a law called the Reproductive FACT Act. The law took effect in January 2016 and targets pro-life pregnancy-care centers. The state admitted targeting centers that “discourage” abortion.” The law forces pregnancy-care centers to display a notice that advises women on how they can obtain an abortion from the state – complete with a phone number. Callers are referred to Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities.
Now, the case before the Supreme Court is based on the issue of promoting one religious view over another and the whole issue of the First Amendment. However, there is another factor very wrong with this law. Basically, this law requires that one business advertise for another business. If you follow this logic, then Joe’s Diner could be forced to put a sign in their restaurant advertising McDonald’s. Should PETA be forced to provide information on how to obtain a hunting license?
As a side note, Planned Parenthood does not need forced advertising. Planed Parenthood receives more than $500 million every year in federal funding. It reports more than $1.8 billion in total assets. Does Planned Parenthood really have to force other businesses to advertise for it?
The gas tax is another very important issue in the state. There is no disagreement. Our roads and bridges are in terrible shape. However, the cost of gasoline includes taxes which are supposed to go towards road and maintenance repair. Oops! So much of that money has gone into the general fund where it is not earmarked for things like roads.
Suddenly, the state does not have enough money for roads. Not a problem! The legislature passes a bill that greatly increases the gas tax and vehicle registration. Of course, that revenue increase also includes money for bike paths and walking paths.
Question! Where did the money from the gas tax over the past 30 years go? Why wasn’t maintenance done on the Oroville dam? Don’t worry about it. There are just a few cracks in the repair work done. Move along. Nothing to see here!
When events and laws in the Golden State are put under a microscope, it becomes evident to an objective evaluation that things are not terrific in California contrary to what the Governor and the Democrat legislature declares.
Bringing this state back to really being a Golden State means that voters are going to have to start paying attention and obtaining the actual facts regarding all of the issues that affect our daily lives. This is the work that an informed citizen needs to do.