Michelle Malkin notes a tax revolt in progress … in Berkeley, California! The columnist writing about the backlash, Louis Freedberg, bends over backward to explain the opposition to confiscatory tax rates while remaining true to his big-government roots:
It would be easy to explain what’s happening as a sign that Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech Movement and the the first city to pass a divestment ordinance against apartheid South Africa, is losing its progressive edge.
But that would be a faulty analysis. After all, similar measures went down to defeat in other bastions of progressivism, such as San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Statewide, voters rejected 120 out of 186 tax measures placed on the November ballot by cities and counties.
Wrong, Louis. It means that even liberals get angry when it’s their own money being vaccuumed away by overreaching government. Even in San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
As someone who has lived for much of his adult life in Berkeley — and willingly paid extra property taxes so Berkeley could remain one of the world’s most livable and innovative communities — even I couldn’t bring myself to vote for all the latest tax measures this time around.
If you financially bleed a blue-stater long enough his blood will turn red … even if it’s Louis Freedberg.
I was incensed to see President Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger make cutting taxes the centerpiece of their respective campaigns — and winning. I realized that voters in Berkeley (and San Francisco, and other similar communities who are not against taxes on ideological grounds) have in effect been enabling Bush and Schwarzenegger to continue on their anti-tax crusades. By continually voting to impose higher taxes on ourselves to keep essential services going, we have made it easier for them to carry on as if the taxes they’re cutting weren’t needed in the first place.
Whatever the causes, the results of the tax cut backlash aren’t pretty. Berkeley will have to figure out how to cut $7.5 million from next year’s budget. San Francisco and other Bay Area communities are even worse off. Yet our brave tax-cutting leaders in Sacramento and Washington continue give back taxes while they raid local treasuries. Just this year, Bates said, the state appropriated $1.6 million in local property taxes that should have gone to the city. ”It’s the big fish eating the little fish,” he said.
Now the little fish are fighting back.
I feel like Brer Rabbit begging begging Brer Fox not to toss me into the briar patch. Please, Berkeley voters, do whatever you like … but don’t “hurt” us by voting down more tax measures!