Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jerry Brown's tax plan breaks faith with California

Gov. Jerry Brown likes to talk about "loyalty to California." For Brown, that means that public people should put aside their partisan interests to do what is best for the Golden State. - Debra J. Saunders/SFGate

Last week, Brown failed his own loyalty test. He agreed to a deal to put a tax-increase measure on the November ballot when he has to know that the new measure exacerbates California's dysfunctional finances....

"I understand why he did it," noted GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, but the business community, which was trying to work with the governor, now has reason to see Brown "basically by force of politics being driven back to the arms of labor."

Make that big labor and the spend-happy Legislature.

Hoover Institution economist John F. Cogan noted that over the past 25 years, California has had liberal and conservative governors, but one common trend: "Movement toward a welfare state of liberalized benefits, removing taxpayers from the rolls at the lower end, (while) keeping tax rates high, and ever-increasing regulation of business. We see the results. When you see these trends, what's common? It's the Legislature."