Karen Brooks: Taxed Enough Already – Apri 14, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Constitution’s First Amendment provides for the governed to petition their government for a redress of grievances, especially when those grievances have been inflicted to the extent of causing injury or hardship. The Constitutional Dictionary defines redress (verb) 1. To set right, remedy or rectify. 2. To make amends for.

The grievance that is crippling our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (our ability to prosper) is chronic fiscal irresponsibility. There is no legitimate reason for the people elected to represent their constituents to enslave them with billions of dollars of debt and nearly half a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. This April 15, patriots across the state and nation are standing together to petition our government, “We’re T.E.A. – taxed enough already!”

Voters may be more likely to support a temporary local tax but reject sending any more money to Sacramento. Now that Jerry Brown cannot sell his tax hikes the unions will take up the fight. The California Federation of Teachers is pitching a one percent tax on personal income above $500,000 with two-thirds of the estimated $1.5 billion directed to schools.

Without the necessary structural reform the taxpayer’s burden has reached a tipping point. The Sacramento Bee reported that the Franchise Tax Board claimed the top one percent of earners provided nearly 43 percent of the state’s personal income tax revenue in 2008. High earners will leave the state and take their money with them if this type of targeting continues.

California has the second highest tax index in the country and our Legislators would like it to be higher. The State Business Tax Climate Index, a measure of how each state’s tax laws affect economic performance, ranks California 49th out of 50 for the sales tax index, 48th for individual income tax index, and 33rd for the corporate tax index, with the overall index at 49th. Being first in the index means the people in that state have lower taxes and are therefore more prosperous.

Another indicator of the cost of our government is Tax Freedom Day, the day when we’ve earned enough to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. On the 106th day of 2011, April 16, Californians’ burden will be met. From Jan. 1 to April 16, all the wealth we create from our labor belongs to our government.

Sadly, this doesn’t include the mounting debt. California costs two days more than last year with only four states working longer for taxes: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Maryland.

For government to operate it must print or coerce the funds it spends. Government cannot create wealth; it must extract capital from people to exist. The money government takes removes the opportunity to create wealth for ourselves, other people and the communities we live in.

The choices this state makes forces us to work longer than 46 states and our debt continues climb. Patriots across the state pay their fair share of taxes. When will our Legislature restore fiscal responsibility without creating more taxes? The structural reform that should have started decades ago must begin today.

On Friday, April 15, taxpayers are invited to stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the Courthouse from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.. If we are ever going to stop our tax tyranny we must address our government. April 15 is that day – not to demand that our government spend more- but demand our government spend only what it receives, pay down the debt, and save for the liabilities it promised. We must provide a better future for the next generation.

Karen Brooks lives in Bayside and was the 2010 First District State Assembly candidate. She advocates for everyday Americans concerned about the loss of their liberty from big government and is writing a series of essays explaining the patriot movement’s position on fiscal responsibility.


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