Opinion and Commentary By Donna Westfall – January 9, 2024
First and foremost you have to have taxpayers/constituents/residents/people that want to live in your area. California was up to over 39 million. Income taxes make up the largest revenue source for the general fund. But the population has been decreasing steadily along with revenues.
What’s going on?
High poverty rates, high crime rates, definitely high tax rates along with increased homelessness even after Newsom spent almost $18 billion the last four years. Throwing money at that problem doesn’t seem to be working. Those people that are working, the wealthy, are packing up and moving themselves and their businesses to states with less crime, less taxes, less welfare recipients and politics that make more sense. Now, more middle class families are joining in the exodus searching for the same thing including lower home prices and a lower cost of living.
Expenditures by our California tax and spend politicians include such things as the High Speed Rail costing billions over budget while it may never see the light of day.
What is on the rise? Illegal aliens coming in while more and more Californians flee to tax-free states. The illegals are getting benefits that taxpayers do not approve of like health care through Medi-cal.
Switching to the Feds: What is the Federal Government doing this week to avoid a shut down? Cutting spending!
IRS subject to billions in cuts. Does that means more IRS agents out of a job? The confusing part is whether it’s going to be $20.2 billion or a total of $30 billion in cuts all taking place this year rather than over two years. That extra $10 billion is called “side spending.” Try as I might, I don’t understand what that’s all about. Nevertheless, this cut to IRS is just a drop in the bucket.
Just a couple examples of other line items in the Federal Budget:
Department of Defense: $824 billion for a 3.2% increase over 2023. What then did they cut?
Health and Human Services: An increase of 11.5% from 2023 to a new high of $144 billion. This definitely needs some cut backs.
All in all, there are 15 Federal Departments from Agriculture to Veterans Affairs. Then there are agencies like Environmental Protection, NASA, Small Business Administration, and Social Security.
What is the overall spending level of the 2024 budget? $1.59 TRILLION!
You can go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/budget_fy2024.pdf and review all 184 pages. It’s got some pages that are pretty concise, easy to read and easy to understand. Actually, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting taking place Tuesday, January 9th, covers more materials and hundreds and hundreds of pages during their Consent Agenda which they will probably rubber stamp and barely look at. But getting back to the Federal Budget, be sure to read The Budget Message of the President pages 1-3. I don’t know what world he lives in, but I think they have to take his rose colored glasses off.
Let me just quote one sentence by our illustrious President, “In addition, this Budget cements our commitment to confronting global challenges and keeping America safe.” I don’t think we’ve been this close to World War III in over 60 years thanks to Biden. Example. While President, Trump initiated sanctions against Iran that prevented them from becoming rich and spreading the wealth to terror organization like Hamas. Biden lifted those sanctions and we all see the disastrous results. Just as a refresher, Trump also put sanctions on all nations that would import Iranian oil. That’s one way to make a nation poor. It worked really well until Biden came along.
The Federal government is making some budget cuts now in order to meet the January 19th deadline to keep some parts of the government afloat. Switching gears, I have no confidence that the Democrat controlled California legislature will get it through their thick skulls that they too have to cut spending with a $68 BILLION black hole. But maybe they are truly going to make some tough decisions. I wouldn’t want to bet on it because they spend and spend on things like Climate Change. Then Education is another big budget item which, in my, opinion, isn’t doing a great job of educating our children. I really resent that my tax dollars are being spent so badly to educate our students so poorly. I don’t see how children growing up in public education today will be able to compete in a world economy.
Increasing minimum wage – not the smart thing to do. Reducing the gas tax – now that would be a smart thing to do. After all, our roads aren’t any better. What did they fritter our gas tax money on?
Just to prove the point that our California Democrats will try to increase taxes, tomorrow, Wednesday, January 10th, they will be holding a hearing to propose a “wealth tax” called AB 259 and Constitutional Amendment ACA 3. Call Chair Jacqui Irwin of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee at (916) 319-2042 and let her know we don’t need any more taxes. We need tax cuts. Place a call today, don’t wait for tomorrow.
UPDATE: 10:40 am – I tried calling and leaving a public comment for Chair Jacqui Irwin on their website. I couldn’t get registered. So I called their office back, left my name and the city I reside in. My message: “I’m against any new taxes or constitutional amendment defining wealth and taxing it. I want to see taxes cut. Cut the gas tax Cut government spending and cut dysfunctional agencies.”
I see Crescent City /Del Norte County trying to emulate the big boys. It may work for a while, but finally it has to fizzle out. If our leaders were smart, they would work really hard in trying to attract businesses and create jobs and I don’t mean more government jobs. They would start cutting expenditures left and right and stop trying to be a Nanny state. Perhaps we need a Citizens Oversight Committee checking out each department to see just how functional or dysfunctional they truly are.