California's Democrat-run state legislature and its girly-man Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have outlined a plan to deal with the states $42-billion budget gap by sticking it to the few people who remain in the state.
Vehicle license fees would nearly double, going from the current rate of 0.65% to 1.15% of the value of a car or truck. The sales tax would increase by 1 cent, raising the rate in Los Angeles County to 9.75%. Gasoline taxes would increase by 12 cents a gallon. And Californians would pay a new surcharge on their personal income taxes, amounting to 2.5% of their total tax bills.
All of this in the middle of a recession/depression that is the worst the nation has seen since the early 1980s (we're not at Great Depression levels yet, despite what President Barack Obama says).
It gets worse.
The new and increased taxes would remain in effect for at least two years. If voters approved constitutional spending restraints that the Legislature would put on the ballot in the coming months as part of the budget package, the taxes would remain in place for five years.
So, the increased taxes remain in effect for two years unless we approve spending restraint, in which case they last five years? Only in Sacramento does that make anything resembling sense.
And, to add insult to economic injury, we have this bit of "good" news.
Some of the cuts and borrowing could ultimately be offset by billions of dollars in federal aid that California would receive in the economic stimulus package that passed the U.S. Senate this week and is awaiting final approval in Congress.
So, if the state gets bailed out by the feds, the cuts to programs and borrowing against future lottery proceeds would be reduced or eliminated, but the newly added taxes will stay no matter what.
Thanks for nothing.