10.01.2008 0

Standing Firm in the Earthquake State

  • On: 10/22/2008 11:49:29
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • In a day and age where compromise and the ceding of important issues is so highly regarded, California Republicans are doing what political parties are really supposed to be doing: standing up for party principles. This time around, Republicans in the earthquake state are standing firm for what very well may be the core of Republican political ideology: lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.

    California, a state suffering from a severe budget crisis, is all up in a frenzy right now as lawmakers from both sides of the isle are attempting to fix their state’s money problem–mostly by passing it on to the state’s already strapped taxpayers. As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday, the Democratic Majority and Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented a budget plan including—among other strategies—a raise in the sales tax. As Republican Senate Minority Leader Dave Cogdill warned, however:

    “Our economy is suffering like it hasn’t in decades…Raising taxes at this time is something that will definitely damage and hinder this economy at this time.”

    Mr. Cogdill and his GOP colleagues are not simply all talk, however. They echoed their words with actions by presenting a budget proposal of their own to counter the Democrats’ and Governor Schwarzenegger’s Big Government and higher taxes solution.

    The Republican plan, which was submitted over the weekend to leaders in the Senate and Assembly, forgoes the increased sales tax and proposes $1.6 billion in additional cuts and borrowing around $2 million from state lottery proceeds. The article goes on to quote Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal, who praised the plan arguing that it would:

    “Force the Legislature to stop their reckless overspending once and for all.”

    And, as expected, the Republicans’ proposal has come under heavy fire from those on the other end of the ideological spectrum as well. Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democrats alike have launched all sorts of criticism at the hard-hitting plan.

    Nevertheless, the California Republicans ought to be commended not just for voicing their concerns but also for drafting a plan that walks the walk of fiscal conservatism. After all, just because they are the minority party in their state does not mean they don’t wield any power in lawmaking. In fact, they are essential to getting anything done in the California Legislature.

    California Democrats ought to understand this. In a state legislature where a two thirds vote is required to pass any type of legislation, every player matters. Because Republicans have over one third of the seats in the California Ass, they emblyhave the power to essentially block the passage of any laws. In other words, they could stalemate the budget issue for as long as they want.

    These Republicans are not afraid to let the tremors be felt. And they shouldn’t be afraid. Politics is about fighting back as opposed to merely buckling under to a misguided majority.

    At this point in time, Governor Schwarzenegger needs to stand up for his party’s principles and join with this defiant Republican minority. He ought to quit taking his orders from the California left and jump into the fracas in defense of lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.

    It’s time for the all-too cozy California Democrats to be shaken up a bit.

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