Raising Taxes for Budget Shortfall Is Unjustifiable

Published July 7, 2008

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said, “a wise and frugal government is the sum of a good government.” This quote should hang in big, bold letters above the budget meetings in Sacramento (July 5, “Time for the governor to show leadership”).

It’s true that tough decisions are going to have to be made — but that is a good thing. With a $15.2 billion shortfall for 2008, it is time to tighten the belt on spending rather than adding additional weight onto the backs of taxpayers.

Lack of revenue is not the cause of this catastrophe — the general fund has grown by more than $25 billion since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in 2003.

California already has the third highest unemployment rate in the country, and if state officials continue looking at tax and fee increases, instead of reducing spending, the state’s residents and economy will continue to suffer.

John Nothdurft ([email protected]) is the budget and tax legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.