Sunday, July 12, 2009

goin' ta California

... dreaming of the moment when everything looks right ...

From this week's Economist:
[California's] roads and schools are crumbling. Every year, over 100,000 more Americans leave the state than enter it....
Ballot initiatives, the crack cocaine of democracy, have left only around a quarter of its budget within the power of its representative politicians. (One reason budget cuts are inevitable is that voters rejected tax increases in a package of ballot measures in May.) Not that Californian government comes cheap: it has the second-highest top level of state income tax in America (after Hawaii, of all places). Indeed, high taxes, coupled with intrusive regulation of business and greenery taken to silly extremes, have gradually strangled what was once America’s most dynamic state economy. Chief Executive magazine, to take just one example, has ranked California the very worst state to do business in for each of the past four years.

As if on cue, the past week's news about California's continuing descent into failed state status coincided with Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach promising "As long as I'm premier of this province, there will be no tax increases ... No tax increases, period." Apparently the Premier felt a show of authority here was necessary to convincely shoot down the tax hike trial balloons launched by the notorious lefties in his caucus: "Just Monday, Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton said taxes are inevitable because the shortfall in this year's budget is so great."

You'd think the Premier could have summed up his presser with, say, something like "read my lips: no new taxes", just to underscore how immovable he is on the topic. Instead we got "So just to close: cold beer, hot day, during very difficult economic times." Got that? You should: Ed said he was "very clear" no less than seven times.

1 comment:

Alberta Altruist said...

Nice Post Brian,
Don't quite get Ed's way of thinking, pisses everyone off with the tax, waits till the issues dead, and then rescinds. Would have made more sense to add something of value at that point, whether its prescription for seniors or help for the homeless. Wouldn't matter what it was he did with the money as long as it went to good use people could accept it. What I can't accept is how wishy washy he is on his decisions. I don't see how people could believe he did not want the tax in the first place, he did pass it.