Thoughts On The Sacramento Tea Party—Immigration Dimension Must Be Added!
On April 15, I attended the Sacramento Tea Party on
the Capitol steps along with my friend and colleague,
Rick Oltman, and at least
five thousand other angry and concerned Californians.
We made a giant check reminding taxpayers of the
billions of dollars wasted annually on social programs
for illegal aliens (photo).
It was a beautiful spring day. The crowd was
friendly, but the tone was urgent.
In California, we have double-barreled budget
trouble; both Washington and Sacramento are in
slash-and-suck Dracula mode to gobble up all available
treasure from our pockets and piggy banks. While many
Tea Parties around the country were focused on future
taxes from the Obama-Congressional crazed spending
spree, higher taxes are here and now in this state, with
more to come.
On April 1, the
state sales tax increased by one percent, a terrible
turn of public policy with the unemployment rate now at
11.2 percent, up from
6.4 percent in March 2008. Talk about falling off a
In February, a highly
contentious budget was passed that raised taxes to
cover part of the $42 billion hole. The
legislative package included $15 billion in spending
cuts, $11.4 billion in borrowing, $12.8 billion in taxes
and about $2 billion of federal stimulus funds. But
despite the legislators
grinning and high-fiving in self-satisfaction over
the new budget, it was only a temporary fix and depends
on several tax-increasing propositions which will go
before the voters on May 19.
Unlike the familiar,
unpredictable earthquake disasters we Californians
know and understand, the budget disaster has been like a
Mississippi flood that approaches in slow motion, takes
weeks or months to pass through, and afterwards you are
left with a total wipe-out.
Those in power, particularly Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger, have been spinning a web of lies in
order to avoid the politically painful steps that must
be taken to get California`s fiscal house in order.
Schwarzenegger was voted into office in a
historic recall of Democrat Gray Davis, because of
voter anger against Davis` mishandling of the budget and
over his signing a bill to award drivers licenses—highly
state identification—to illegal aliens.
Candidate Schwarzenegger promised to
repeal the hated DLs, which he did. But he also
promised to fix the budget, which he did not do. In fact
he has done
a far worse job of financial management than Davis.
The first thing Arnold did in office was to borrow up a
storm with the promise that the strategy would somehow
help the state get a grip on its money problems. He used
the increasingly common political tactic of kicking the
can down the road, hoping some extra
tax money will turn up.
That possible good fortune is not without precedent
in California. Larger-than-expected funds did indeed
pour into state coffers during the
boom. But hoping to get lucky is no way to run a
Three decades back, California led the first
tax revolt. The late
Howard Jarvis was not merely a
player in the original
he was also an author of
Proposition 13, a successful 1978 initiative that
lowered state property taxes. Prop 13 was the beginning
round in a nationwide populist groundswell against
crazed government spending. The
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers
Association remains as a voice for his philosophy.
So while California may
look battered by demography-changing immigration,
and has rapidly flopped from a Republican bastion to a
hopelessly blue state—given that Republicans are too
cowardly and stupid to adopt the
Sailer Strategy and mobilize their
white base—there is still a strong tradition of
revolt against taxation run amok.
Of course, taxation is just the symptom. The disease
And California has a very bad case, complicated by
excessive borrowing (i.e. issuing
bonds) which creates postponed taxes with interest.
As a result, the Golden State was downgraded in March
rock bottom in America as a bond issuer. Last year
the US Census found California to be the
"highest-spending state", and by half as much
again as the runner-up New York.
The San Jose Mercury News, hardly a voice of
conservatism, presented a straightforward analysis of
what has happened in Sacramento in recent years [California
budget mess: Where did our money go?, February
"California`s general fund under Schwarzenegger`s tenure has grown 34.9
percent—from $76.3 billion in the 2003-04 fiscal year to
$102.9 billion in 2007-08.
“But over that
same period, population growth and inflation together
grew by only 21.5 percent.
spending had grown only at that rate, it would have
reached $92.7 billion last year. Instead, Schwarzenegger
and the Legislature spent $10.2 billion more. "
Some of the winners in excess
spending have been illegal aliens
at a yearly cost of $13 billion, America`s highest
teachers and the country`s
highest paid prison guards. The losers were
taxpayers, small business owners and anyone disturbed by
government grown entirely too big.
At the Tea Party, few politicians were invited to
speak. But one was Tom McClintock, who was elected last
fall as the Republican Congressman from
District 4 after serving 22 years as a
legislator. A long-time budget hawk, McClintock got
the Tea Partiers riled up by reminding them of
California`s recent history of tax increases by
politicians who promised otherwise. [Watch his speech on
McClintock urged the people to go home and organize,
first by opening up the website
RecallAdams.org and helping out with the petition.
The next thing to do, he said, was to work against
Schwarzenegger`s tax-increasing propositions which will
be decided in the special election on May 19.
Bear in mind this was a
Congressman urging the recall of a fellow
because Assembly Member Adams earnestly pledged not to
support increased state taxes, but
broke his promise by voting Feb 19 for the
Rep. McClintock was likewise clear that conservatives
should work against the Republican governor regarding
his tax schemes.
Some of the most serious hell-raising in the area of
tax revolt has been nurtured with tender loving care by
the SoCal talk show guys
John and Ken. (As I wrote in a
2004 VDARE article, they created the
Sacrifice” campaign to oust perfidious Republican
David Dreier, who claimed to be tough on illegal
immigration enforcement, but was really a weakling at
best. They did not succeed in getting him voted out, but
got his attention enough to raise his
recent immigration voting grade to A-.)
John and Ken`s new campaign is called
"Heads on a
Stick". This refers to a
rude head-choppy theme of punishing lying
politicians—nearly all of whom happen to be Republicans.
Several GOP politicians are the objects of anger because
they pledged heartfelt allegiance to no tax increases
and voted for them anyway.
California Democrats, by contrast, have said all
along they would raise taxes to enable their spendaholic
evil you can rightly ascribe to them, the Dems have
not been liars or hypocrites—on this issue at least.
Listener response to John and Ken`s broadcast railing
was enthusiastic. Listeners contacted each other on the
John and Ken Facebook page and organized their own
local recall committees and websites. (See the
list here.) John and Ken now broadcast a daily hour
of tax revolt at 5 pm. (Sound archives including
On March 7, John and Ken held a
tax revolt rally in Fullerton which was broadcast
At least 8000 people showed up (more like 15,000
according to John and Ken) with signs and attitude,
happy to chant
"Heads on a Stick" and smash up
Arnold Schwarzenegger movie DVDs and videotapes with
revolt repeal!" was another animated chant.
Some listeners at the Fullerton event wore homemade
buttons showing the amount of additional tax bite on
their family from the new budget. The Sacramento Bee
provided an online worksheet where people could fill
in their personal financial info (family income, value
of cars, number of dependents, etc) and get their new
Nothing focuses the mind like thousands of dollars
pulled from your pocket.
When leftist pundits say the Tea Parties and anti-tax
activity are a
project of the GOP machine, they reveal a stunning
ignorance. If anything, the theme throughout has been
the fury of fiscal conservatives, including many
registered Republicans, against
elite GOP apparatchiks.
The California GOP, in fact, is running scared. The
party honchos had lined up in favor of the RINO
Governor`s tax increases in the ballot props, but by
mid-April, a flood of angry calls and emails had
convinced them a reversal was in order:
"The California Republican Party decided Saturday to oppose all six
measures on the May 19 ballot, including a spending
limit and temporary tax hike proposal championed by GOP
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Republican
Leader Mike Villines.
executive committee voted Saturday at the Sacramento
Convention Center to oppose the six ballot measures that
would complete the Capitol budget deal struck in
Republican party votes to oppose all Schwarzenegger
ballot measures [By Kevin Yamamura,
Sacramento Bee, April 18, 2009].
Proposition 1A has been
falsely marketed as a spending cap, but it actually
extends taxes. The non-partisan Legislative Analysts
Office largely agrees with that point in the paper
The Fiscal Outlook Under the February Budget Package,
Figure 7 which has the heading "Tax
Increases Would Be Extended by Passage of Proposition
These policy details may verge into the wonky, but
politicians of both parties have used confusion,
complexity and outright lies to fool California voters.
And to what end? To continue the current
unsustainable regime of failure? Why many of the
Republicans should partake so willingly in a scheme that
will marginalize the party still further if not supply
the coffin nails is a puzzler.
On the morning of April 22, reports appeared in the
press that the Assembly leadership had decided to award
$551,000 in pay raises to 136 Assembly staffers, a
bonehead act of political stupidity if ever one was.
But by dinnertime, the raise was off the table, with
Speaker Karen Bass (D) and Minority Leader Mike Villines
"acknowledging that the pay hikes sent the wrong message
at a time when the state is in financial crisis and tens
of thousands of other government employees have had
their salaries cut. "
The LA Times story,
withdraw staffers` pay hikes [by Patrick
McGreevey, April 23, 2009],
did not mention how the top pols` bubble of
self-imagined privilege evaporated in a few short hours.
But we can reasonably assume that outraged California
taxpayers phoned in great numbers.
The day`s misadventure contained elements of disgust
and hope. California government officials still believe
deeply that they should reward themselves handsomely and
spend money the state doesn`t have on goodies for
designated classes of victims and special interests.
However the pols can respond appropriately when smacked
hard with a two by four.
The Tea Parties of April 15 were a moment of
reinvigoration for many Californians on a familiar
subject. Many people at the rally I attended emphasized
that continuing action was necessary to force the
legislators to get a grip on their spendaholic ways.
demographic forces of immigration are running toward
social spending, not less.
The bad choices
of California government demonstrate the danger of too
many spendo-Dems and Mexophiles in combination.
Taxation is the
headline today. Immigration must be the headline
tomorrow. The friends of
sovereignty must utilize citizen outrage as more of
a teaching moment about immigration than it has been.
There were only a handful of signs at the Tea Party that
referred to the
cost of legal and illegal immigration. St Still, our
big check sign with its prominent mention of immigration
got a lot of positive attention from fellow tax
well-educated readership of VDARE.com can get the word
to the public at the next Tea Party (July
4?) through signs, letters to the editor and, calls
to legislators—and emailing
this article to friend!
experience of California is a reminder: demography is
destiny.. Immigration suicide must be resisted at all
Brenda Walker (email
her) livelives in Northern California and publishes
ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She says don`t
blame her for CA`s budget mess; she voted for real-deal
fiscal conservative candidate Tom McClintock in the
recall election. (For more of the Sacto Tea Party, check
out the nice
general walkabout video, also
Michael Reagan`s speech.)