On the gas tax, and other regressive taxes

For a while I wanted to write about the smear of Republicans being scrooges, wanting to kick people out of their homes and take grandma off her respirator.  The Democrats have been throwing this about one issue after another, and it’s generally been quite successful for them.

But this latest issue, the California gas tax hike, is a hot issue I’d like to isolate, because it really brings out who the Democrats are – a party that doesn’t care about working people, that indeed wants to tax the poor to protect the rich.

Even on its face, the issue is noxious.  What, you don’t want to pay more money to solve our transportation woes?  You selfish bastard.  This is how the Democrats frame it.  Literally.

But let’s frame it another way.  This is raising $52 billion dollars, based not on people’s ability to pay, but on the mileage they drive.  There isn’t much data on the mileage people drive versus their income, but this graphic of trips versus income gives a decent idea.

US Department of Transportation statistics of trips versus income

What it’s telling us is, the richest Americans drive only twice as much as the poorest ones.  So, if we were to place a similar income tax increase on people, we would be charging every person a baseline tax of about $500, up to $1000 for the richest people.

On what planet is that fair?  And who does this benefit?  I’ll tell you who.  It benefits Brown’s pet high speed rail project.  It benefits the highest highway construction costs in the country.  And it benefits a political class that keeps those costs high and their contractor friends rich.

I live right next to the DMV.  I see the line of misery every morning outside their door.  Increasing the tax and regulation burden on the working poor of this state is not a liberal idea, at least not in the classic sense.  Those who care about the working poor should not be voting Democrat in this state.

I will be joining Travis Allen’s fight to repeal the California gas tax hike.  But this issue is just one of many symptoms of a California political class that has outgrown its usefulness and is now a drain on ths state.

Voting Democrat in California means voting for a status quo where the rich and well connected continue to squeeze the working poor.  California Republicans want to see a government that works and cares for its citizens.  But increasing taxes, especially on the poor, doesn’t solve the problem.  We need new people in office who can tackle this bureaucracy and make government cheap again.

Then we can have a California that really prospers.



Last week in immigration

If it is true that we live in a post-fact society, believe me, most of the outright lies are coming from left of center.  If purely by the fact that they dominate the media.  Couple things happened in the realm of immigration last week that I’d like to talk about, and then draw some conclusions.

First was a scuffle on the Texas legislature.  Rep Nevarez brought some illegal immigrants into the House floor with placards saying “undocumented and proud”.   When Rep Rinaldi responded with a call to ICE and “fuck ’em.”  That’s when Nevarez and his supporters came and assaulted Renaldi on the House floor.   His statement below.

The other one was Sunday, when Maria Hinojosa from Latino USA, a leftist show on NPR, interviewed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti:

Now, he mentions an incident where ICE officers were wearing police uniforms.  I’m not gonna bother investigating this, because it’s anecdotal evidence.  Garcetti doesn’t mention whether the officers acted legally or were “pushing the envelope”.  He just takes it and runs with it.  I’ve already mentioned that Trump’s priority was going after criminal illegals and sealing the borders.  Not using the cops to threaten anyone here illegally.

And it goes downhill from there.

Let me reiterate: the Democrats’ continued conflation of this issue is not an honest criticism of Trump’s policies.  It is a way to weaponize their constituents against the Republicans.  Last week’s two events are a case in point.

First off, Garcetti mentioning his father (Gil Garcetti) was a “dreamer”.  That’s a lie.  A DREAMer today is defined as a child of someone who comes here illegally, dreaming that maybe they’ll be made a citizen instead of being deported along with their parents.  His father was none of these things.  He was simply a standard Mexican/Italian immigrant with the old-fashioned dream of making it big in the USA.  And he did.  Legally.

Now, never mind that striking the DREAM act is a contentious issue and, as I’ve said before, not high on Trump’s priorities of sealing the border and removing the criminal illegals.  That Garcetti brings this up on Latino USA is his way of lying about the issues to suck up to the left.  And they want to remove immigration law entirely.

And it segues very nicely into his defense of LA’s status as a “sanctuary city” – that the local PD will not report illegals to ICE unless they have committed a violent crime.  Really, this is a non-issue.  As far as I can tell, that’s all the Trump administration is really interested in.

And it just goes downhill from there into your garden variety virtue signalling.

I will grant him this – at least he defended ICE.  At least he understands that as an elected official he has a duty to the law and law enforcement which Hinojosa doesn’t.

That puts him a step above Nevarez, who apparently has constituents who can’t even vote.  How does this even happen?  How does a legislator go about violently defending constituents who don’t even vote and shouldn’t even be in the country, let alone a legislature?  To happily announce they’re breaking the law?

I’d tell you exactly why, though chances are you probably already know.  It’s because there’s a deeper move in this country and worldwide to eliminate citizenship and the benefits it offers ordinary people.  These are politicians who already have their elite citizenship, and that’s all they need.  For the rest of us, there’s to be no borders, no citizenship, no protections under the law.

Hinojosa, Garcetti, Nevarez, and all those in their political camp – they all know it, they all support it, they all fight for it, they all lie for it.

That’s why this is more than an abstract issue.  It’s a war.  It’s a war where people will deceive you and intimidate you to get their way.

And it’s a war where I will put my foot down and vow to fight these people, and I won’t rest until their agenda is utterly annihilated.

Trump’s Mideast Trip – an historic event

Finally, some real news (SO tired of the Russia nonsense …)

Trump made his first trip abroad to the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Israel, and then Rome, homes to the three great Western faiths.  And the major media seem to be missing the point, again.  This was an historic trip, by any stretch of the imagination.

You don’t even have to attribute it to Trump at all.  You can continue to hate him as a buffoon.  But consider all the firsts that happened this trip, that I can think of off the top of my head:

It’s the first time a US president visited Jerusalem.
It’s the first time a US president visited Israel on their first trip abroad.
It’s the first flight directly from Saudi Arabia to Israel.

These things may not seem like much to the naked eye, but they reflect huge seismic shifts in the Middle East that have been rumbling since between the ’67 war and the Arab Spring.  I’ve been intensely following the Arab Spring and the Gaza War of 2014.  Up until these events, Israel was seen as the scapegoat for the Arab world’s issues and the galvanizing feature that seemed to hold them together.

But the Arab Spring was the first event where Arabs willingly embraced the West – they literally went by the same pro-Western handbook that the East European revolts did.  Meanwhile, the Gaza War 0f 2014 was the first time the Arab states actually stood back and let Israel do what it needed to do, instead of intervene and demand an immediate halt to “Zionist aggression.”

And where Obama failed to capitalize on these events, Trump filled the vacuum.

Trump’s visit reflects a certain sealing of these new relationships.  What may have seemed to some as a clownish act of touching an orb was actually a fascinating show of unity.

The picture may be comical. But the people holding it are not. Trump, SA’s Abdulaziz, Egypt’s Sissi.

It’s a unity against the face of terror – they’re even using Trump’s “drain the swamp” line.  It’s a unity of understanding that Muslim nations must take the charge against it – in their own countries, in their region, and in their religion.

I really can’t begin to describe the depth of this new alliance or what it means for world peace and prosperity.  I can only say how much both the Democrats and the mainstream media seem to be missing the point.  Because what’s changing here is ideology itself.  And people don’t give up that mother’s milk very easily.

The Economist, for example, put out an article criticizing Trump’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record .  This is missing the point.  There are no human rights where there are terror, chaos and anarchy.  The governed will give consent to a dictator to get them out of this brutal state of nature.  Egypt is a case in point – I’ve seen this first hand.

Abstract human rights don’t work in a region where the religion is such an albatross around the neck of human society.  And while Saudi Arabia is seemingly the most backward in this respect, they are also showing the greatest resolve in moving forward, and bringing the region along with them.

I could go on indefinitely about other events happening in the Middle East – commercial developments, unheard of (and unspoken) military alliances, progress against terrorist organizations and Iran.  These are better left off for future articles.

I will conclude with this.  Those who detract from this momentous event do not see the immense opportunities that are arising from it.  As such, history will leave them behind.  Now is the moment for new leadership to arise and take hold of these opportunities for worldwide prosperity and peace.

And we haven’t even gotten to Rome yet.

Los Angeles Municipal Elections – Endorsements

This is very overdue and considering it’s the night before the election I hope it reaches somebody.  My apologies, it’s been a rough last couple weeks.

Two issues I’m particularly concerned with – the Mayoral election and Measure S.  I don’t like either the incumbent or the measure.

My frustration with Garcetti goes back a while.  I think it’s time for a change.  The last time we had a Republican mayer was Riordan back in 2001, and I’m not sure any of Garcetti’s opponents are even Republicans.  Seems they’re all tripping over themselves with the “progressive” label.

His most well funded opponent (and therefore best bet to unseat him) is Mitchell Schwartz, I’ll probably wind up voting for him.  One thing I like is his commitment to affordable housing – by actually providing incentives for businesses to build houses.  Who woulda thunk it?

When this is your argument against your opponent, you're not a serious campaign.
When this is your argument against your opponent, you’re not a serious campaign.

Measure S is a much more clear cut issue.  It’s been accurately labelled a housing ban.  In fact I’ve never seen liberals and conservatives actually agree on something like this.  You’ve got every major politician and organization urging a no vote.  The Yes on S website pushes a lot of misleading half-truths on the issue, like pretending the LA Times endorses a yes vote when they don’t.

FYI I’m a HUGE opponent of rent control.  Always have been, even as a renter, because it screws up the housing supply for those who need it.  And given that LA is becoming more and more populated, trying to preserve things as they were will be even more disastrous for the housing market and the city.

Measure H – No. Sales tax is a regressive tax that hurts poor people and I generally don’t trust homelessness funds. 

Measure P – extending harbor leases from 50 to 66 years.  Not a major issue.  I’ll probably vote for it.  Extending leases tends to mean stability, not that it’s by much.

Measure M and Measure N are both about taxing and regulating marijuana.  My stance on marijuana legalization is neutral.  I think taxing and regulating will ultimately be decided by the courts, and I’m not sure the city will have the power to do this.  Colorado’s managed to tax it successfully, but their producers still deal with cash since the banks won’t touch them.

City Council seats – I don’t know much about these guys.  At least not enough to give a properly informed decision.  My suggestion is to go to the Ballotpedia page and research them on your own.  In the 12 or so hours between now and when the polls open. 😛