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Coastal Voices: Taxing is not the answer

Jackie Cochran admitted in her April 22 letter to the editor (“Voters should have the right to vote if they want a tax hike”) that she was not at state Sen. Doug LaMalfa’s town hall meeting. I have to wonder if Glen Brunner, author of the Tuesday Coastal Voices piece, “Thwarting our right to vote,” was. He didn’t say so, and he seemed to be unaware of what the senator said.

The people of California have voted many times not to be taxed, but too many in Sacramento think it’s the easy answer. Look around you. People in this county, like many more in the state, cannot afford to keep up the tax-and-spend mentality of the Democrats. They cannot afford the high cost of gasoline, with a high state tax, plus one of the highest auto registration fees, the high cost of commodities, thanks to gasoline, etc. If they can find a job in this county, they cannot afford the gas to get to work! It is truly a vicious circle.

The special election that Gov. Jerry Brown requested would have cost the taxpayers (us) over $90 million! When he ran for his third term, Jerry Brown said he would cut spending, he would do something about runaway entitlements, and improve the business atmosphere in California. Now that he has been elected he seems to have forgotten those things in favor of his special interest friends.

The governor and the Legislature threaten to cut funding to schools and social programs. Why? Because that always gets our attention. Being good parents and caring citizens, we naturally want to protect our kids and those less fortunate.

To be honest, we also want to protect what’s “ours.” Our fat paycheck, our retirement. What the governor does not want is to draw attention to all the waste in California. Did you read Roger Gitlin’s April 23 Coastal Voices piece (“Over-government everywhere”) about the more than 570 departments in the state? All with a hierarchy, all with offices and staffs. Many duplicating each other’s services.

How about all the commissions? We don’t need all that bureaucracy, and like Sen. LaMalfa said, “the California Coastal Commission was once a good idea.” Unfortunately, like everything else in government it has grown into a self-perpetuating monster. Its sole purpose was to ensure public access to the beaches. Now it interferes in every aspect of coastal living from commercial fishing to remodeling your home! Each commission has numerous “commissioners,” each drawing a fat paycheck, and each with support personnel.

No, Senator LaMalfa did not suggest that we wait around for the economy to turn around. He said what many in Sacramento and Washington have been saying for months — for at least the last 18 months — tax-and-spend does not work! Capitalism does work, but only if big government gets out of the way.

We must cut spending, curb our overly generous promises to big labor, and do everything in our power to bring business and jobs back to California. Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro said in an interview a few weeks ago that if we didn’t vote to keep the taxes, we would have to cut spending. Like it was a bad thing. It is not a bad thing. To live within your means is a good thing, and the only thing that will save California from bankruptcy.

A note to anyone with lucrative labor contracts: You don’t want bankruptcy, because then the state can legally get out of those contracts.

Yes, by all means, write your representatives in Sacramento. Encourage them to tighten their belts and get off the backs of the people. Save our state!

Virginia Walworth is a Crescent City resident.

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