In this battle against growth in government, Republican legislators must stick together and be a team. When I say Republican legislators, I mean both Senators and Assemblymembers. There is strength in unity — and this budget battle is one where, working together, we can end up with a budget that does not raise taxes, ultimately ensures that taxpaying Californians are not penalized for the overspending ways of liberal politicians.
I have heard that Senate President Pro-Tem Don is contemplating bringing up the Governor’s so-called "compromise" plan (we prefer to call it the surrender-to-more-taxes plan) for a vote as early as today.
Here are some guidelines that we here at the FlashReport think would be good ones for our Republican legislators…
- No Republican votes should go up on any budget until that document has been vetting by both the Senate and Assembly Republican Caucuses, and that there is agreement that both caucuses can support a particular budget. Nothing could be worse, this particular season, than one chamber "jamming" the other with a bad budget.
- No Republican votes should go up on any budget that seeks to expand state government by increasing taxes, such as the Governor’s proposals to raise the sales tax, slash the ability of businesses to write off losses, and impose a statewide property tax to fight fires. (For the record, we assume that the GOP "No New Taxes" budget contains no new taxes.)
- No Republican votes should go up on any budget that seeks to "borrow" money intended to go to local governments — which would in turn create pressure for them to try to raise taxes locally (if there is borrowing in the no taxes plan, that borrowing should be replaced with additional cuts ASAP).
- No Republican legislator should undercut the leadership in their respective caucus by doing side-bar negotiations with the Governor or Democrats that are not expressly condoned by leadership. We are going to get our best budget if GOPers act like a team.
I am reminded of those words uttered by Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.
Franklin’s words are as relevant today as they were back then. Like Ben Franklin and the other signers of the Declaration, Republicans in Sacramento are in a battle — and, like back in 1776, the battle is for freedom, and for pushing off the influence of an ever-growing and ever-encroaching central government.
During the debate over independence, there were some colonial leaders who argued that we should compromise, that we should not hold out because the sacrifice was too great, and the goal unachievable. History has shown that those naysayers were quite wrong, and the United States of America remains the greatest place on earth because of the resolve to fight.
There will be some who would say that budget "deals" that are on the table are the best that can be. Not true. The reality is that we only just now starting a process where Senate Democrats and Republicans actually dialogue with each other to arrive at a budget that, if Republicans stay unified, will protect taxpaying Californians.
If Republicans follow the four steps above, we may not end up with a perfect budget (there are too many Democrats involved in the process for that) — but it will be a much better budget.
I am extremely proud of the leadership shown by our Republican legislative leaders. That said, I have heard names of just a few State Senators with GOP credentials that are contemplating a vote for the Governor’s budget (you know, the one with BILLIONS in new taxes). Back in the revolution, the Colonial Army had to suffer defections — I pray we don’t have to do the same in this year’s definitive budget battle.
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