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
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
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
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
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
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.
L.A. Times: Assembly
Approves State Budget
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