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Jon Fleischman

Jon is the elected Vice Chairman, South of the California Republican Party.


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"Victory Through Unity" - The Rallying Cry For Those Who Say California Taxes Are Already Way Too High


by Jon Fleischman - Publisher (bio) (email)

2-2-2009 6:00 am

The Americans for Tax Reform "no new taxes" pledge is a commitment and a promise that is made between an officeholder and the constituents they represent. No one is forced to take the pledge -- signing it is a voluntary act that a candidate takes if they feel strongly enough that the tax burden on their constituents is too high.

The wording of the pledge is very straight forward: "I [candidate name] pledge to the taxpayers of the [#] district of the State of [California] and all of the people of this state that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to raise taxes.

The pledge is much maligned by the political left and the media elite who do not know how to cope with the idea that there can be a principle so critically important to a fiscal conservative that they would sign a pledge. Understand that Americans for Tax Reform does not shower tens of millions of dollars down upon those who do not sign the pledge, like the unions do to those that don't tow their strict line.. And many Republican candidates can and have won office without taking a "no new taxes" pledge (ATR's or otherwise).

One of the reasons why you see virtually every Republican signing a no taxes pledge is because California state government has ballooned out of control, and spending is literally at an all time high. Despite the fact that Californians are amongst the highest tax people in the entire country, the liberals who drive policy in the Capitol continue produce and drive spending plans that belie all reason and demonstrate a voracious appetite for a state government that frankly is unsustainable economically.

I guess to all of the special interest groups that dominate Capitol politics, they can't understand that their never-ending appetite for more and more has driven California to the brink, and that they are responsible for motivating dozens of Republicans to run for the state legislature -- just to be there are this critical juncture -- to say that this time, for once, instead of government increasing "revenues" to match spending, it is time for the spending to match existing revenues.

With the charged environment in Sacramento right now, it is critical that policy makers understand that it is time for real, meaningful and deeply substantive reductions in the size and scope of state government.

We are now starting to see the beginning of real and impactful changes. The Governor has now grounded state employees for two days a month. Given the bulking up of the state workforce during "times of plenty" (when for the most part Republicans argued for fiscal restraint and legislative Democrats pushed forward with more and more spending), it is now time for state layoffs as part of a restructuring. State government needs to do less, with less.

Those legislators who signed the ATR pledge are committed to seeing a no-tax increase solution to our state's fiscal mess (you remember, the one caused by massive overspending?). Please remember that it's not just a pledge to oppose taxes when they come up for a vote, but to oppose the effort to raise taxes. Hopefully that means that there is a healthy bond between our GOP legislators, each urging the other to stay strong! Victory through unity!

This is an important fact. If every legislator who, like freshman Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the video below, who signed the pledge honors their commitment -- taxes WILL NOT go up in response to this crisis -- at least not by legislative action. Republicans have held out now for months to see real reforms, the kinds that come from having to actually make spending fit within available and existing revenues. I have been very proud of our GOP legislators!

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