Wednesday, March 31, 2010
IN MY OPINION (Column)
Let’s Put an End to Tax Tyranny
By JON COUPAL
Taxpayers are sick and tired of being used, abused and forced to pay for government programs and services they don’t want at prices they can’t afford. They are irate at having to bail out politicians, most of whom have no notion of what true public service is all about and who run for office only because they can’t get real jobs and have egos that require constant maintenance.
In the immortal words of Howard Jarvis, “We’re mad as hell!”
California taxpayers are carrying an unsustainable tax burden. They don’t need to see the new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures to tell them that last year’s tax increase was the highest percentage increase—more than 10 percent—of any of the 24 states that raised taxes in 2009. They feel it in their bones. They also don’t need to hear that unemployment is at 12.5 percent—without counting the marginally employed and those who have given up looking for work—and home foreclosures are at record highs, to know that they are struggling just to get by.
And taxpayers have no doubt who is to blame. They know their representatives have lost touch with the words of Thomas Jefferson, the father of the Democratic Party, who eloquently stated at his first inaugural:
“With all [our] blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens—a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”
And 23 years later Jefferson wrote, “I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. I believe it might be much simplified to the relief of those who maintain it.”
And, of course, by “those who maintain it” he means “taxpayers.”
Inspired by the work of Jefferson, who was also the primary author the Declaration of Independence, we at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association have sought to develop a statement that would be a simple distillation of these principles. We call it the Declaration of Taxpayer Rights and we hope it will provide hope and strength to beleaguered taxpayers as well as a reminder that we can fight back and win.
We the people of the State of California declare that all taxpayers are endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the right to limited taxation, the right to vote on tax increases and the right of economical, equitable and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
If you would like to sign the declaration and send the politicians a message that we are not going to take it anymore, please go to www.hjta.org. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association will deliver the signatures of thousands of patriotic taxpayers to the State Capitol, on Tax Day, April 15.
The only thing that keeps the politicians from raising taxes again is fear of the taxpayers. Let’s make sure they hear from us!
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company