Friday, March 4, 2005
IN MY OPINION (Column)
Of Taxes, Foghorn Leghorn and My Dog Skip
By RAY HAYNES
(The writer represents the 66th Assembly District which includes portions of western Riverside County and northern San Diego County. He is also the Senate Republican whip.)
The bill deadline has come and gone in Sacramento, and now we know the Democrats’ agenda for California in the next two years. The most interesting aspect of this agenda is the stark contrast it makes with the Governor’s agenda.
The Governor is dissatisfied with the status quo, and wants to “blow up the boxes” in Sacramento, so he has proposed a bold agenda, upending the special interests that control our tax dollars and our government processes, making life difficult for the average citizen who doesn’t have their political connections.
The Democrats, who want to make sure that things stay as bad as they are here in California, have decided to defend the status quo, so their agenda is to tweak the status quo, mainly by interfering even more into your individual liberty.
Three specific examples of ideas for new laws in California show just how small the ideas coming out of the Legislative Democrats are.
First, AB 1103 would impose a seven dollar fee on bicycles to fund a “recycling” program for bikes in California. One of the ideas is to recycle bicycles to people who want to ride them to work. I don’t think that there is any real problem with bicycles clogging our landfills (although I think I have five or six in my garage), but to tax ten year old kids who like to ride their bikes to the park to pay for bicycles for 50 year old long haired sixties liberals who don’t care how they smell when they get to work is a little much.
Seven dollars can be a lot of money to a child, adding as much as 10% to the cost of a kid’s bike on top of the 8% sales tax they pay the government already, and may make it impossible for them to buy a bike. Our children will be paying off the “Davis Debt” our government spent us into for most of their adult lives, so must we tax their tricycles, too?
Second, SB 662 would regulate how farmers kill their chickens. The bill arises out of a situation in Valley Center, California, in the rural San Diego portion of my district. A farmer, whose chickens no longer produced eggs, was not allowed by the government to get rid of his chickens by moving them to a “kill farm,” because of a statewide Newcastle Disease quarantine on the movement of poultry. So, the farmer killed them on his own farm with a wood chipper, after getting approval from the US Department of Agriculture.
Though not aesthetically pleasing, who can dispute that chipping chickens is much more efficient than and at least as humane as manually breaking the necks of 30,000 chickens one at a time (which is one of the state-sanctioned methods). The preferred method of the animal rights crew is to use carbon dioxide to kill them. Of course, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, so, if farmers use that, we’ll all die from global warming. A real liberal dilemma-not to mention a serious waste of time of the legislature.
Finally, AB 418 would prohibit dog ear cropping, a practice prevalent for those who show dogs. American Kennel Club requirements for some dog breeds actually require dog ear cropping, so those show dog owners would actually have to move their dogs out of state if they want to show their dogs, should this law pass. Dog breeders and pet stores across the state would lose millions. Another job killer, not to mention a really dumb idea in a state like California where cosmetic surgery is virtually a residency requirement amongst the human population.
These three bills show just how small the Democrats’ agenda for California really is. They like the status quo. They must like the fact that you couldn’t buy the house you now own, and that you are stuck on the freeway every day. I guess it doesn’t bother them that your electricity and water prices, as well as your taxes, could go up from policies they implemented.
The groups that keep them in power benefit from those policies. You don’t. The Governor wants to change that by blowing up the status quo and unseating these interests. We can only pray that it is the Governor that prevails (with our help).
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company