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Ronald Reagan once said that the government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Proving the former California Governor and U.S. President correct, a handful of wealthy big-government liberals and their favorite special interest groups are funding a massive campaign that would levy a new $4 billion tax on energy companies. The measure, known as Proposition 87, is on the November ballot statewide.
This measure is bad for a host of reasons, including the harm to consumers, the creation of a new bureaucracy and the lack of accountability inherent in the measure. California already has the third highest gasoline tax burden in the country, and current prices are enough to make consumers angry. But the best way to make the price of gas at the pump go up is to punish production and consumption, which is exactly what Prop. 87 does.
This massive new tax hike will increase the cost of gas for consumers. As with all new taxes of its nature, this tax will be passed on to the consumer by the energy companies, thus continuing the disastrous policy of increasing the burden on both energy producers and consumers.
Not only will the tax harm consumers, but it will create a massive bureaucracy of 50 new political appointees who lack adequate oversight. The appointees would have the power to hire unlimited numbers of staff and spend $4 billion outside the normal state budget review process. Consider that revenues resulting from the new tax would be available for expenditures on goods, services, and research outside of California. If the measure passes, Californians can count on it to completely waste our money.
As The Los Angeles Times editorialized in February, “California is lousy with wealthy people who enjoy buying their way onto the ballot… Sometimes they have good ideas; more often, we wish they’d find another hobby.”
This is one time where all Californians should unite to defeat a bad idea that would cost them billions of dollars. Vote “No” on Proposition 87.
Matt Schumsky is the California Field Coordinator for FreedomWorks. He lives in Alpine and can be reached at email@example.com