Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jerry Brown Is Still a Smart Fellow

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Although I am not overly fond of politicians, Jerry  Brown, the governor of California, is one whom I at least grudgingly respect - and have for many years.  Brown, who now has served as both California's youngest and oldest governor, is also the son of a California governor.  His daddy, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown was the seasoned politician who defeated Dick Nixon in the 1962 governor's race, causing Tricky Dick to blubber to the press that they would "not have Nixon to kick around anymore."  As per usual, Nixon lied on that one, too.

But Jerry Brown followed the Reagan's into the California Governor's Mansion.  Sorry, that's a lie.  (Just talking about Nixon has gotten me into fabricating facts!)  He followed Ronnie into the governor's office, but refused to live in the Governor's Mansion which was brand new and had been constructed at the behest of Ronnie and Nancy.  He did a tour of the new palace with some television reporters at one point, and scoffed inside of the big empty building that it looked like a Safeway.  Here's betting that Nancy got a knot in her shorts over that one!  (Brown also refused to be chauffeured, instead signing a car out of the California Highway Patrol's motor pool and driving himself where he needed to go.

But even though he refused to live like political royalty, he was super cool in his own way - and even dated Linda Ronstadt - and it's hard to get any cooler than that!

All of that was years and years and years ago - and now he's back in Sacramento once again serving as governor.  He followed Arnold Schwarzenegger into office and found the treasury was as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard.  There was nary a dime in the Golden State's coffers, and there were roads to repair, prisoners to feed, and bills to pay.  Arnold had focused too much attention on his domestic help and not enough on pay-as-you-go government.

So now Jerry Brown, the governor of California, is faced with the unenviable task of bringing spending in line and raising revenues - revenues are generally taxes for those of you who speak only Gop or Jesus.  He has come up with a tax plan that actually makes sense - enough sense that 64% of Californians say that they approve of it.

Governor Brown's tax plan is to increase sales tax by a quarter of a percent for four years, and place a graduated surcharge on the income taxes of people making over $250,000 a year for seven years.

Republicans, especially very rich Republicans, like sales taxes because they are regressive and the brunt of the pain is felt by the poor - the people who spend all or nearly all.of their income on groceries and the other day-to-day necessities of life.  The rich obviously don't want to see their own taxes raised, but that is the trade-off Brown is proposing - and it seems to have hit the right note.

The big problem with "temporary" taxes like these is that when they expire, there is always a move to extend them or make them permanent with the appeal that voting to keep them in place "won't raise your taxes" - (because your taxes were actually raised when the original laws went into effect.)

Politicians are so sneaky!

But I like Jerry Brown anyway.

And I like Linda Ronstadt, too!

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