Thank God for term limits, loopholes in term limits, and a perpetual budget “crisis” in Sacramento, for it allows California’s well paid lawmakers to invent new and improved ways to to invent half-assed ideas and “solutions” that just create more problems.
We saw it last year when the state Assembly voted to gut MUNI funding (and funding for every mass transit agency in the state), all the while cooing “green” to the cameras. Today, we have the strange case of Assemblyman Charles Calderon, who’s eager to tax America’s #1 music retailer, iTunes (and apparently all those little dollar gifts on Facebook as well).
To do so, however wants to avoid the 2/3 vote in the Legislature, because well, he’d need some Republicans to vote for it. So instead, he’s trying to get some wording changed in the code that governs sales taxes, which mandate that to levy a sales tax on something, it has to be something tangible, in Our World, as opposed to the virtual world. (i.e. that rubber ducky you bought your high school friend on Facebook should be taxed the same as if you bought one at the dollar store.) The advantage to this back-door approach is that you only need a simple majority to rewrite code language. Clever, but not particularly honest, since the effect would be to, um, levy new taxes on consumers.
First, let’s tackle the politics of this little gem. Ya see, the state of California’s budget system is a joke, hepped up on mandated spending (courtesy of the voters) and mandated debt (all those *@#$! bonds, also voted on by the voters), and the usual Dumb Things Legislators and Governors do. We’ve heard big talk from Gov. Doofinator for years, but after all this time he’s done nothing besides pile on bond debt like crazy. The revolving door of legislators, term limited (thanks, voters!) doesn’t help much either – everyone’s so busy looking ahead to the next job, they really don’t do anything productive to get past the BS and find some honest solutions.
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