It’s not a happy fact that people lie and even less so that those who purport to be leaders do so. In SoCal we are suffering through yet one more scandal involving government officials. This one concerns someone in the L.A. County assessor’s office who took bribes to lower the value of high-end property, costing the government more than a million dollars in lost property tax revenue.
Various cities have indicted their manager or mayor or council members recently because a close look at the financials shows shady doings. Even the Mayor of Los Angeles was caught taking perks such as tickets to high-profile events which he supposedly was attending in an official capacity. As I recall, he ended up paying for the tickets, and all charges were dropped. This is the mayor who had an affair with a news anchor that cost him his marriage.
Ah, yes, lies and corruption.
But here’s the thing. On our ballot are two propositions to raise our taxes. Governor Jerry Brown has said that if we don’t raise taxes–Prop 30 which he favors would raise state income tax for those making more than $250,000 AND sales tax for all of us–then there will be big cuts in education. No cuts, apparently, to the boondoggle bullet train that is supposed to run from LA to San Francisco and is already over budget.
The thing is, we’ve been down this road before. Years ago, the ballot initiative passed ushering in a state lottery which would solve all the funding problems for our public schools. We’ve passed school bond measures and increased our gas tax so that our schools will be guaranteed the money they need. And yet, somehow, we still are spending less per child than most of the 50 states, and our governor is threatening education cuts unless we agree to tax ourselves. Again.
Where will it end, I wonder. Government that proves to be top heavy, tangled in red tap, ineffective, and at a growing rate, corrupt, wants more of its citizens’ money to keep doing what it’s doing–or it will make the children pay.
Sadly we can’t say we’re being taxed without representation. After all, this is our choice. But we’re being talked into buying swamp land by politicians who want to keep their pensions, keep their high pay checks, and keep their positions of influence.
Did I mention that the tax assessor who is in jail is still collecting his salary, and will continue to do so even if he is found guilty–unless he resigns or is recalled. Well, at least that law will change at the end of this year. But we have a ways to go to get rid of the lies and corruption that seem on the rise in our various governments.
I’m hoping California starts by voting No to these tax increase propositions.