Joe Giardiello


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When is a tax increase not a tax increase?
When the L.A. Times is reporting it

By Joseph M. Giardiello


As negotiations to approve the California state budget dragged on, most observers were surprised at the ability of the Republican caucus in the Assembly to hang together and prevent the record $101 billion budget from passing. California law requires a 2/3 majority to pass the budget giving Republicans a rare opportunity to impact legislation in the Democratic dominated house. Democrats had to convince four Republicans to cross over and support the budget.

The glue holding the Republican caucus together was a ľ-cent sales tax increase pushed by the Governor and Democratic leaders. The tax was originally scheduled to sunset in January.

But, Republicans being Republicans, it was only a matter of time before the right incentives (i.e. bribes) were offered by Democrats and accepted by Republicans more interested in pork than principle. Thus, 16 days after mandated by state law, the budget was passed with the minimum necessary Republican votes.

So how does the Los Angeles Times refer to the budget passage? Under the headline Assembly Approves State Budget comes this little gem of a sub header:

Spending: Sales tax cut is restored in $101-billion plan. The Senate is expected to approve.

Does this sound like the budget included a tax cut instead of a $500 million tax increase? And more importantly, did the Times editors do it on purpose?

Yet the Times gets even more creative. According to the Times, the Republican attempts to do away with the tax are described as "restoring the sales tax"!

But if it were just the headline one could chalk it up to sloppy writing. Not surprisingly, the story is also rife with liberal propaganda.

For instance, Republicans "demand" things, Democrats "protect" people. Republicans are "irresponsible," while Democrats want to "rescue the stateís lowest-performing children." Republicans are "extremists," while Democrats are "lawmakers."

The sales tax increase is never directly referred to as a tax increase. Instead they are simply "preserving the extra increment in taxes." And who will pay this tax? Apparently the folks down at the Times arenít aware how a sales tax is collected. Because according to them, it would only "potentially" affect "buyers of expensive items."

Leftist Speaker Bob Hertzberg is given the final word on whether the Democrat plan amounted to a tax increase: "Once and for all, there is no tax increase in this budget."

And of course, should the tax cut go through, we are informed, there would be the inevitable cuts in education and police. Worthy programs the Democrats were only trying to "protect."

As always, it seems to completely escape the liberal media that itís the taxpayers money in the first place. A tax cut does not "cost" the government anything because it wasnít their money to begin with. A tax cut simply allows the people to keep what they earned.

But such a common sense approach to reporting is lost. Because apparently the Democrat press office is now writing stories for the Los Angeles Times.

See L.A. Times:  Assembly Approves State Budget

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© Joseph M. Giardiello, 2001, All rights reserved.

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