Until Ronald Reagan’s second term in 1984, there was a saying in the political arena: As goes California, so goes America. In those days it meant that whatever position or candidate was supported by the majority of California the rest of the nation seemed to follow suit. Beginning in 1988 when George Herbert Walker Bush was elected president the tide began to turn because of the increasing amount of liberalism coming from California. Fortunately, the rest of America is a bit more conservative than California so many of the ultra left-wing wacko ideas that crawl out of the San Francisco-Berkley Pot Smokers Association usually don’t get passed Carson City, Nevada.
One thing, though, that is very prevalent across America is this notion that the government needs to provide cradle to grave entitlement programs. All of these programs cost money and in order to ensure that these programs get that money, the government likes to stick its greedy hands into your wallet. As more programs come to fruition, the more money is taken out of your pocket. There is not one single government-provided program that does not get its money from your tax dollars. The more programs in place, the more money you have to pay.
But as one of the most liberal states in the nation, California has been giving away state tax dollars like a drunken sailor in an Asian port. Now, the state faces severe budget problems and depending on whom you ask the deficit ranges from $8 billion to $15 billion. With all of this frittering away of tax money the state has to figure out how to pay the piper and it has to be figured out in short order.
As usual, the liberal Democrats in Sacramento want to raise taxes. They somehow believe that this is the most efficient way of making sure they keep the hand-out programs running so they can keep their constituents happy and stupid and in turn, they get to keep their high-paying, sit-on-their-fat-asses-and-do-nothing jobs. Do I sound angry with the state government? I’m just getting warmed up.
His name is Charles Calderon and he’s a Democrat (like I had to tell you) Assemblyman from Whittier. He seems to think that one new way of raising taxes on the already financially strapped citizens of the used-to-be-Great State of California is to alter the sales tax laws. Calderon wants to alter the sales tax laws because he knows his idea is not only blatantly stupid, but he’d never get it passed any of his smarter-that-he-is colleagues in Sacramento. Here is what he wants to do: he wants the State Board of Equalization to redefine the term “tangible personal property”. By redefining tangible personal property, Assemblyman Calderon wants to include Internet downloaded material in that category. His justification is this: if it can be purchased in a hard copy (i.e. book, CD or DVD) then the electronic version of the same material should be taxed as if it were purchased in a book, magazine or on CD or DVD.
This is not your father’s Internet Tax Hoax. This is the real McCoy. Assemblyman Calderon knows that he’ll never get his idea through the state assembly. First of all, to get it through the state assembly as a tax, it requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. By redefining the term tangible personal property, Assemblyman Calderon gets to circumvent (for you liberals, that means avoid) that two-thirds requirement and put the collection burden on the purveyor of the material. Guess what? This will affect all you Internet porn junkies the hardest. You thought you beat the system by downloading your porn directly to your computer so you didn’t have to sneak into a sleazy liquor store under cover of darkness to buy the latest issue of Playhouse and suffer paying sales tax to boot.
This also gives the government additional right to raid your computer for illegally downloading music and/or videos and charge you with sales tax evasion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the illegal download of music or movies, but in addition to the FBI coming after you for piracy, the state can tack on charges of conspiracy to avoid paying sales tax.
Now I know you’re probably waiting for me to jump up from behind your computer and shout “late April Fool’s !” but it just ain’t gonna happen. I wish I could say that, but I have my integrity to think of and I wouldn’t mislead you by writing such a cruel hoax. I may come off as a rabid conservative but as Howard Hughes once said to a Congressional investigation, “I have been called many things, but one thing I cannot be called is a liar.” The bill pertaining to this is AB 1956 and was introduced February 13, 2008. Now if you go to Yahoo and search for AB 1956 you probably won’t find this particular AB 1956. You see, during any given session, a bill is given a number. The same number can be reused in other sessions of the assembly so if you search for AB 1956, you will find virtually every bill introduced as AB 1956. This particular AB 1956 is still too new to turn up in most Internet searches. You can go to the California State Assembly’s website: www.assembly.ca.gov and click on the Legislation link at the left. On the Comment on an Assembly Bill page, type AB 1956 into the Bill Number box and click Search. You can then select the text of the bill as introduced and/or amended as either HTML or download a PDF.
That it was amended in the assembly means that serious consideration is being given to this proposal and it is currently back in committee for additional review. The best way to keep this bill from ever seeing the light of day again is for the people of California call, write, e-mail and fax your assembly representative and tell them do not do this. William Warford of The Antelope Valley Press spoke with Assemblywoman Sharon Runner of Lancaster and Runner says exactly what the problem is: “the budget was $50 billion ten years ago and now it’s $100 billion. So it’s not the revenue, it’s the spending” (emphasis added). This woman, whoever she is, is right. It is not now, nor has it ever been the responsibility of the government – either the state or the federal – to provide an income for you. The responsibility of the government in America is outlined perfectly in the Constitution. Government has no business trying to give you health care, education, money or even a living. This attempt by Assemblyman Calderon is nothing more than trying to steal more money from hard-working Californians and giving it to undeserving, lazy, good-for-nothings and illegal aliens. When are people going to wake up and realize that this has got to stop? Government entitlements have got to stop. Are you aware that between January 1 and April 23 of any given year, you are working for the government? The money you make between those two dates covers your tax liability to the IRS – that doesn’t count what you have to pay to your respective state. You work for the government so that people who don’t work at all can get your money! Does this make sense?
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of my hard-earned money being stolen out of my pocket and given to some slug who won’t work or some illegal alien who should not be here in the first place and AB 1956 is just more proof of the stupidity in both the state and federal governments. Barry Goldwater once said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” California’s government hasn’t gotten quite to that level, but let me assure you, it is well on its way and if California can figure out a way to make money off of something, the Federal Government will certainly sit up and take notice.