Listening to Jerry Brown talk one is reminded of the old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto. The Masked Man tells his Indian companion “Tonto we’re surrounded by hostile Indians” to which Tonto responds “What do you mean ‘we’ Kemo Sabe?”
In his quest for higher taxes the governor is fond of using the phrase “We the People” to imply that all but a few obstructionists support his program. Perhaps the governor is being manipulative trying to sound both democratic and patriotic in using these first three words of the United States Constitution. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. It is possible this career politician has actually convinced himself that if “We the People” had our way we would gladly increase the already crushing tax burden imposed by the state. After all spending 42 years in politics has a way of warping the perspective of even the most level-headed.
So for the governor’s benefit here in the simple and direct language that “We the People” prefer is a quick summary of who “We the People” of California really are.
It is “We the People” who are over-taxed for all the overspending by government. “We the People” who are expected to pay for the excesses of an irresponsible Legislature. “We the People” who are supposed to work harder and longer to pay for bloated pensions early retirement and platinum health care plans for government workers. “We the People” who are compelled to shoulder the costs for 32 percent of the nation’s welfare case load even though we are only 12 percent of the total population.
It is “We the People” who are forced to pay increased utility rates to subsidize unproven alternative energy. “We the People” who are taxed to fund billionaire investors in green energy schemes. “We the People” who are nearly the highest taxed in all 50 states.
It is “We the People” who are expected to approve tax increases and extensions that will do nothing but offset the enormous government employee pension obligations created over the past 20 years.
Governor “We the People” are the everyday working people — or people who want to be working but can’t find a job. And it is “We the People” who are constantly beaten upon by elitist liberal spenders who care nothing for the working person unless you are a public employee.
“We the People” are the seniors who have worked hard all our lives and now want to enjoy our retirement and a home that took 30 years to pay for without being condemned as “wealthy landowners” that should pay higher taxes out of our fixed incomes.
“We the People” did not create this mess. No Governor it has been “You the Government” that is destroying our quality of life our economy and our ability to support our families. It is “You the Government” that asks “We the People” to bail out the outrageous actions of the extremist California Legislature with tax increases. It is “We the People” who were never asked if “You the Government” could spend beyond our means.
Because of “You the Government” “We the People” are deeply worried — even frightened– about our future. Our jobs our homes and the welfare of our families is at stake. And sadly this is not a joke.
Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.