Let's Put California Back on Track

Jun 5, 2012 Issues: Budget, Economy, Tax Reform

With every election comes a choice. Now that the June 5 California state-wide Primary is here, San Diegans have a decision to make and the contrast in choices could not be clearer. 

One option is stamping the codependent relationship between the President Obama and the state of California. This is a direct translation for accumulating more debt, running record deficits and creating roadblocks to job growth and economic recovery. None of this is in the best interest of San Diego. It’s certainly not in the best interest of California and most definitely not in the best interest of the country.

In many ways, California, the White House and Congressional Democrats share the same priority list—and it shows. 

California is facing a $16 billion state-budget shortfall. To bridge the gap, the Democrat proposal of choice is a tax increase on higher income earners, potentially making California’s top income tax rate the highest in the nation. The President’s tax-increase proposal on high income earners is no different. Neither is the fact that he presided over consecutive, record-level trillion-dollar annual deficits, brought on by a failed stimulus plan and unconstitutional health care law that’s been challenged by a majority of states, but not California.

In the process, California is moving ahead with its high-speed rail project, a green-car mandate, and other costly initiatives that are illogical and counterproductive. Soon the state will require businesses to purchase carbon credits to offset emissions, costing nearly 1 million jobs according to estimates. Running parallel is the cap and trade proposal that the President almost successfully rammed through Congress in 2009.

Then there is the unending stream of regulation in the pipeline, from excessive restraint on education to burdensome restrictions on energy. Right in line once again, the Administration and California see top-down regulation as part of the solution when, in fact, it’s part of the problem.

There’s an obvious pattern here. California and the Administration are in lockstep. And while some call California the gold standard for culture and politics, there are some examples that should not be followed—and the California economy is one of them.

San Diego’s small business owners, taxpayers and families understand this. They want certainty in the economy. They want to know that the stranglehold of government is loosening, not growing tighter. They want to keep more of their hard earned money and invest in the things that matter to them without being hassled by an outdated and overly-complicated tax code.

The wheels of government were intended by our founders to move slowly, quite often to the frustration of citizens and even lawmakers. All of it intended by design. As such, there have been successes and setbacks in the last two years, but, in that short time, control of the House changed hands, new spending ceased and significant cost-cuts were enacted. And, finally, tax and entitlement reform are now centerpieces of the national discussion.

With the right leadership and commitment, we can continue building on this success together and put California and the rest of the nation back on track. The California state primary and November election are the next steps in a process with real implications for the future—and the choices