Sacramento — Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s president Jon Coupal released official reaction to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s annual “State of the State” address today:
Any attempt to bring down California’s $20 billion budget deficit must begin with three things: creating jobs easing revenue volatility and cutting spending.
Streamlining the permitting of construction projects and creating CEQA exemptions will take the brakes off job creation and will help to bring down California’s astronomically high 12.5% unemployment rate.
Job growth will lead to more stable revenue streams but only if we end California’s over-reliance on the few major income earners to help balance the budget every year. In the area of Tax reform a flat tax ÛÒ where all Californians are invested in the economic climate of California ÛÒ would be preferable to the Tax Commission’s recommendation of a VAT-style tax. We do not believe it is "bold" to play a game of ‘hide the tax’ with hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
We also join with the Governor in his concern over California’s unsustainable Pension system. The Pension liabilities that the state faces now are insurmountable and unsustainable. As the Governor mentioned Pension liabilities have increased 2000% while revenue has risen 24%. This is an albatross that will ultimately sink any hope for California’s future unless it is reformed.
Legislators must continue to seek innovative ways to make government spending more efficient. Privatizing our state prison system is a step in the right direction to accomplish that objective.
We look forward to reviewing the details in the Governor’s budget this week. We hold out hope that the final budget of this Governor’s term will provide relief to California’s beleaguered Taxpayers ÛÒ who have carried far more than their fair share of the burden who refuse to sustain another cent of Tax increases and who will tolerate nothing short of a plan that reflects their needs in this time of great economic crisis.