Because the state leadership decided to deceptively label and describe every initiative, let me translate all the gibberish: Sacramento refused to do any serious cutting but instead jammed through huge hikes in income and sales taxes while attempting to rip off every other special fund in the state.
Voters watched it closely and were disgusted by the “solution.” They are going to overwhelmingly reject those parts of it which had to be put to the voters.
No doubt the Sacramento crowd will come up with more tax hikes, but the tax revolt that is brewing will continue to build and voters will not forgive or forget this extraordinary failure of government when the pols come around next November. The state is badly broken and run by a coalition of incompetents and a bored and directionless governor whose best days were his first few months in office when he moved aggressively to cut the taxes he is now trying to raise.
The important lesson in the California melt-down and the voters reaction top it and rejection of a tax-hike solution set is that President Obama and the Congressional Democrats are following strategies very similar to those adopted by Sacramento. People like the president just as they liked Arnold when he was elected and then re-elected.
But they hate high taxes and lousy services, complicated government schemes to regulate their businesses and their lives, and especially deceitful, self-serving posturing by elected officials. Arnold is now about as highly esteemed as Gray Davis before him. Like Arnold, President Obama has started his time in office with high popularity, but that popularity won’t protect his electability when the public absorbs the fact that the taxes he is planning are even more staggering than those imposed in the Golden State, and the government growth he is engineering even more vast than that which has occured on the west coast.
Forget Arlen Specter. The most important political message of this season is going to come out of California in three weeks.
Republican politicians like Maldonado who want political futures in the GOP will have to find a way to repent of their almost criminally stupid support for tax hikes to cover massive spending, or they will have to bolt the party like Senator Specter did. This isn’t about “big tent/little tent” but about a core principle that rejects the level of taxation and spending being pushed by Democrats, a level embodied in the non-stimulus package that ruined Senator Specter’s standing in the party (and with many independents). Democrats dismissed the tea parties as marginal outbursts by marginal people. The very blue state of California is about to send a message that will most likely be ignored or misunderstood by MSM, but the GOP at every level should focus on the vote and the voter anger behind it.