Monthly Archives: August 2008

California’s East Berlin Syndrome: the good and bad in the Sunday Merc

The Good: Mike Swift has written an excellent, balanced article, “In taxing times, target the rich?” Paul McCauley and Brad Rooker are attempting to qualify an initiative that will levy a one-time 55 percent “wealth” tax on property worth $20 million (individual) or $40 million (joint) as well as a permanent 35 percent increase on joint-filers making more than $500,000 annually.

This initiative is a cynical play on class warfare. McCauley’s statement to the Merc is the typical socialist fare: “… the educational establishment, the media, government mouthpieces, institutional churches and nearly everyone else have mesmerized the working class into thinking that the rich deserve the wealth and income they have.” Mr. and Ms. Working Class you are just mesmerized zombies who need McCauley and Rooker (whoever they are) to free you from your bondage. The rich don’t “deserve” the wealth and income they have, but they “earned” it and it belongs to them. Here’s a thought: if you want a piece of that pie, use some initiative and entrepreneurial spirit to earn your own! Their choice of targets is rather odd, given that Rooker has enlisted the California Teachers Association (i.e., educational establishment) to collect signatures to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. Of course, part of that 55 percent income tax is promised to fund California’s cause celebre, “environmental protection.” I am waiting for the day when some activist proposes that we protect the California environment by moving all the people to neighboring states.

The article’s most insightful comment comes from Kris Vosburgh of the the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, describing the California Legislature as suffering from East Berlin Syndrome, “thinking there’s a wall around California.” At one time this attitude had merit. The benefits of living in California–its mild climate, myriad recreational activities and entertainment, and once plentiful jobs–kept people and employers bound to the State. However, higher taxes and an increasingly anti-business attitude are pushing individuals and corporations out. Unfortunately, I have personal experience with this phenomenon. Citing the increasing cost of doing business in California, the company for which my husband worked for 16 years, closed all of its California offices–pulling operations back to Colorado and the East Coast. Eighteen months later, my 50-year old husband still has not found another job in his chosen profession.

Is my husband’s dilemma the fault of California’s wealthiest citizens? Does this incite in me a burning desire to tax their heinies in a fit of rage? Absolutely not. Although Mssrs. McCauley and Rooker would be happy if it did. Increasing wealth and income taxes will only inspire some of the wealthy (many of whom are business owners) to move out of California, leaving more workers without jobs and decreased taxes from revenue. It will motivate others to find tax shelters and loopholes. In the end, this initiative will provide no lasting solution to California’s economic woes. It is merely an symbolic act pandering to emotion and resentment.

The Bad: The Mercury News is no doubt a liberal-leaning newspaper, and its Editorial staff have been cheerleading for Barack Obama for months. However, I was surprised by the shallow argument given in support of Obama’s experience in the Sunday editorial “Palin renews McCain’s maverick image, but is clearly unqualified.” The Merc writes “In the Senate, in organizing a stunningly successful national campaign and through 18 months of hard campaigning for the nomination, Obama proved to be capable, articulate and knowledgeable as anyone in Congress–and certainly the equal of McCain.” Obama’s Senate experience is weak at best. He’s spent approximately 143 working days in the Senate (a little more than four months), has authored no legislation that has been signed and enacted, and has never held a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he was selected to chair. This can’t even come close to matching McCain’s 36 years of Senate experience. Even Sarah Palin has more leadership experience: helping her husband run their family business, as city council member, as mayor and in her two years as Governor of Alaska. Does the Mercury News really believe that merely campaigning for President (keep in mind that Obama has staff who organize and run the campaign) qualifies a person for that job? What a stunningly weak argument.

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Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, California, John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin, Taxation

Enjoy Biofuel!

Science at QJ.net has an interesting tidbit “Another victim: tequila threatened by demand for biofuel.” Some farmers in Mexico are abandoning traditional agave farming in favor of more lucrative crops that can be processed into biofuels.

Time for me to stretch out on the sofa and sip my Patron biofuel.

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Nice Big Cake

From HotAir, MSNBC and Michael Moore begin celebrating potential destruction from Hurricane Gustav. Both are pleased that Gustav is about to rain on the parade of the 2008 Republican Convention. Predictable behavior for both, smirking on their air-conditioned sets in the Northeast and eating their BIG CAKE of sarcasm. They are gleeful at their opponent’s possible misfortune despite the potential for significant financial and human loss. But hey, who cares about the fate of the pawns (the ordinary people) so long as they win the political game? Thanks for being so compassionate and caring. Thanks for being Democrats. I don’t have to claim you as one of my own.

The clip provides Olbermann an opportunity to bash Bush (useless since he’s not up for re-election) and to equate McCain to Bush. Other highlights include: (1) Moore’s apologetics for Iran’s escalating nuclear program, (2) “The Chill” Thrill that the Obamatons get whenever The One speaks, and (3) Michael Moore lecturing on what women want. What do I want, Michael? I want to keep as much of my earned income as possible so that I can pay my bills and stay afloat. I want as many people as possible to be self-supporting, making positive contributions to society rather living off the charity of the church or the state. I don’t want other people to murder their pre-born children and use their defense of my “choices” as an excuse. And, I certainly don’t want rich, fat, liberal men condescending to tell me what I want.

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Filed under 2008 Election, Michael Moore, Politics

Hope Renewed: Inaugural Post

John McCain had not been my first choice as a Presidential candidate, but I knew that I would vote for him long before the conservative radio and television pundits had reconciled themselves to the hand they’d been dealt. McCain’s responses at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Forum reassured me somewhat. He didn’t hesitate to choose life and defend it. He was earthy and at ease. Today, his selection of Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, as his Vice Presidential running mate sealed the deal. A maverick willing to buck her own party, strong, athletic, unwilling to destroy the life of her child because he would not be “perfect” or “convenient”, she cleanses the palate of a generation of shrill, self-absorbed, feminist candidates. Yes, this election cycle truly is about hope and change!

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Filed under 2008 Election, John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin

“First of all, the horns and tail are retractable.” Karl Rove

I’m a camouflage conservative serving an extended tour of duty in Baghdad-by-the-Bay.

Email: retractablehornsandtail@gmail.com

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