Yesterday the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation bestowed four California state legislators – Senator Dave Cogdill, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblyman Mike Villines, and former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass – with the JFK Profile in Courage Award.
It turns out it’s “courageous” for politicians, despite a recession and rising unemployment, to impose the largest state-level tax increase in history. At least, that is what the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation would have you believe, as the instrumental role played by the aforementioned four in passing last year’s tax-hike laden budget was the cause for their award.
It also must now be courageous to go against a central campaign committment to constituents, which Villines and Cogdill did in voting for a budget that raised taxes by $11 billion and did nothing to address the state's structural deficit.
For their part in making California the nation’s leader in raising taxes last year, Schwarzenegger lauded Cogdill, Villines, Steinberg, and Bass as “real action heroes.”
So the courageousness of these “heroes” must’ve saved the day, right?
Not so much.
Schwarzenegger actually had to deliver his congrats by video yesterday because he is currently stuck in California…..dealing with yet another budget crisis. It appears that the “courageousness” of Villines, Cogdill, Steinberg, and Bass solved nothing and only served to put off necessary reforms and spending cuts.
Dealing with what is now an approximately $20 billion deficit, it turns out the Senate Democratic caucus is comprised entirely of what Schwarzenegger would classify as heroes.
Yesterday Senate Democrats proposed raising taxes by nearly $5 billion. In addition to extending last year’s income and car tax hikes, Senate Dems’ plan calls for taxing e-commerce and indexing the state alcohol tax to inflation (AKA putting tax increases on auto-pilot).