Local Fresno Assemblyman Henry Perea (D), Fresno, recently wrote an oped piece in the Fresno Bee. The quotes he’s most proud of are here.
Below is my rebuttal – please note that in my research, I only found 1 of 52 Democrats with any private sector business ownership. Only 1.
Assemblyman Henry Perea’s May 12th column “Public Safety Key To Economic Recovery” is full of errors and naïve assertions that need to be corrected so that Bee readers have a proper understanding of what drives an economic recovery. Now, having recently researched the biographies of all of the Democrats serving in the State legislature, I found that of the 52 members of their caucus, 1 has experience as a small business owner. There is a huge representation of academia, legislative staffers, local elected officials and union leaders in the Democrat majority, but no one with any meaningful business experience. I find it audacious that any of their members would even have an opinion about what makes the economy healthy because they simply have no clue what businesses have to go through to make ends meet in this State.
Mr. Perea’s very first point, that public safety is the key to economic recovery, is erroneous and represents typical thinking of someone that doesn’t understand the relationship between the private sector and government.
It is tax revenue that enables public safety. That tax revenue is from various sources, but there must be economic activity to generate the taxes. There must be business profits and employment first – for any government program to exist. Mr. Perea does not understand this. He thinks public safety generates economic activity. It does not. Profits create tax revenue and jobs. Working people spend money. If Perea truly wants to preserve public safety he should be an advocate for small business making as much money as possible.
A recent survey of Chief Executives ranked California 50th in overall business climate – for the 7th straight year. This troubling survey casts a bright light on California Democrats. What is their plan for economic development and job creation? They don’t have one, because collectively they have no experience in this area.
Perea claims that the California is “being held hostage by Republican legislators who refuse to acknowledge or address our ongoing fiscal crisis.” This is absolutely false. The truth is, Republicans believe California businesses and citizens pay enough taxes, and they’ve tried a tax increase before, and it didn’t work, so they aren’t going to do it again. In other words, the Republicans disagree that the tax extension is essential to solving California’s budget crisis. They are as entitled to hold that position is Democrats are in supporting growing, bloated, ineffective government.
If Perea wants to truly lead, he should stand outside Costco, Walmart and Target every weekend this summer and gather signatures for a special election to extend the sales taxes. He can use the opportunity to explain to shoppers why he wants all of their purchases to cost more – and all the great things being done in Sacramento with the extra tax revenue. I am sure he can find a few thousand public employee union allies to help him. But there is just one issue – Democrats don’t want to be the ones to put the taxes on the ballot. They are afraid to be responsible for going back on the promise of temporary taxes, so they want the Republicans to walk the plank with voters instead. It isn’t going to happen this time.
I for one, as a taxpayer, and a businessman grinding it out through a severe recession, am tired of the notion that nothing can be cut from State government. Every business, every family, and every person has had to re-evaluate their situation for the past three years and make adjustments – significant adjustments. California government is still not sized properly to its revenues, there is much more work to do. A great start would be for voters in Democrat districts to start electing some people with business acumen, so we can get this economy back on track again and get our State budget into balance.