Gas tax petition gaining momentum – time to defund the special interest programs that are ruining our state

24 Jan

I’m glad I went to that meeting yesterday, because it relates to some other stuff I’ve been reading in the news. 

First of all, Dude sent me this article over a week ago:

“Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.”

I’ll buy that, because that’s what I’m seeing all around me – more than 1 in 5 of my friends are having money problems, and few of them have been living fast or fancy – they’re having a hard time paying their new PG&E, Cal Water, and Waste Management rates, which are going up hell-bent-for-leather compared to their wages. My kids are working jobs at reduced hours because their employers cannot afford to pay the still-required health care premiums for employees working 28 hours or more a week. 

While you might want to blame welfare recipients, read on:

“Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.”

And then there’s the pressure on the middle income families who have to drive to work – The Moonbeam’s answer to poverty was higher taxes on cars and gas.  There’s no limit when you are spending other people’s money. Luckily a group has come up with a gas tax repeal petition:

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

“We need to stop the car and gas tax hikes because, number one, it’s hurting working families,” said Carl DeMaio, a former member of the San Diego City Council and now a talk radio host who has helped spearhead the repeal. “Secondly, the money is being diverted time and time again from road repairs and road expansion to any special interest project the politicians have.”


Yes, any special interest project – like a busline to Sacramento that  takes an hour longer than driving your car, that will still cost $24 round trip (and screw you if you miss that 4:55 bus), and will still have to be 60 percent subsidized by the taxpayers, even if they get the ridership required by the grant program. 

Read this again, “With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy.”

Including the staffers at BCAG, SRTA, SJJPD, and a bunch of other special districts around the state. BCAG has a $1.5 million dollar payroll to meet, for 12 staffers – whipping out my handy calculator, I see that’s $125,000 per staffer. 

Public compensation drives up the cost of everything, from housing to food to gas to daycare to medical care and so on.  The private sector family living on $40,000 or less has to compete with these people for homes, groceries, everything – in a town with so many publicly employed residents as Chico, the seller or merchant is able to charge top dollar for everything.

This is how these stupid special projects affect our quality of life. Tell your county supervisor you don’t want to participate in this bus line to nowhere, it’s not too late, the grant applications haven’t been accepted yet. 

26 Responses to “Gas tax petition gaining momentum – time to defund the special interest programs that are ruining our state”

  1. Jim January 24, 2018 at 1:55 pm #

    The “Supplemental Poverty Measure” takes into consideration the cost of living. While some of the metro areas have a very high cost of living, fortunately in Chico it’s a lot more reasonable.

    I don’t blame Gov Brown, this has been a steady trend for a very long time, through both Republican and Democratic Governors.

    • Juanita Sumner January 24, 2018 at 2:38 pm #

      Yes, you’re right, every governor we’ve had in the last 40 or so years has pushed us closer to this brink. I pick on Jerry because he’s there now, and he’s not doing anything to make it better, he just keeps putting his foot in it.

  2. Jim January 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm #

    The problem is the source of campaign contributions. Democrats largest donors are the Public Safety unions. So naturally once elected they protect the pension funds. Republicans largest donors are big business, especially the oil companies. Likewise they protect energy interests.

    California has very high energy prices and very high pension costs. Either way, the average taxpayer looses out.

    • Juanita Sumner January 25, 2018 at 5:22 am #

      I blame the average citizen, who lets the politicians run without any supervision.

      They hate it when we come to meetings, they hate to be watched. At first Ory was at the door, shaking everybody’s hand, living it up at the center of attention – but as soon as I asked a second question, he wasn’t such a “nice old man” anymore.

      • Rob January 25, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

        You are right Juanita – when I’ve attended these meetings with concerns regarding my business, the board or committee members have acted very surprised to have a member of the public present. When I asked a second question at one meeting, the chair told me to “let some of these other people make a comment…” There was nobody else in the room except staffers, he was just cutting me off. I raised my hand again to ask my second question and I was ignored until I said, “Excuse me, I have a on-topic question.” The chair acted as though I was intruding on a private conversation, and cut me off before I could get a full answer from staff. When I approached the staffer at the end of the meeting, I swear he tried to run away from me without answering my question. He was very uncomfortable.

        I agree with you – more people need to attend meetings.

      • Juanita Sumner January 25, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

        Wow Rob – that is almost exactly the way Ory treated me at the meeting – he called my questions “comments,” and he didn’t bother to make sure anybody’s questions were answered before he moved the meeting along. BT Chapman had to ask his question twice (were the grants one-time or ongoing, and how would the line be funded when the grants ran out), and Clark still ignored it, and Ory let him. When I raised my hand to ask it again, Ory said almost the same thing your chair said – let the other people have a chance to make a comment. I persisted, and he got really perturbed, but I got Clark to answer Chapman’s question – he ended up telling us a lot more about the grants than he had wanted too, that was clear.

        I’ll repeat what I said to Jim – it’s the people’s fault. We don’t do our job, which is to make sure “public servants”do their job. You have to pay attention, you have to stick to it and insist they stick to it. If our public sector is out of whack these days, it’s because the people are asleep at the wheel. In fact, I don’t think most people are even in the wheelhouse.

      • bob January 25, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

        I raised my hand again to ask my second question and I was ignored until I said, “Excuse me, I have a on-topic question.” The chair acted as though I was intruding on a private conversation, and cut me off before I could get a full answer from staff. When I approached the staffer at the end of the meeting, I swear he tried to run away from me without answering my question.

        And these people have the nerve to call themselves public servants. Most non-government employees will never be able to afford to retire so they will be forced to work until they drop and have to pay for the pensions of these “public servants.” Remember that the next time you’re driving and trying to avoid potholes. Government and the taxation that comes with it are such rip-offs.

      • leonard costa January 30, 2018 at 7:06 am #

        I agree the average citizen does not educate themselves properly before voting for candidates and measures in elections. then don’t follow up by making sure they do what they promise. Tax increases are needed due to departments and groups unable to budget within the economy. If citizens, groups, and departments are accountable and understand there part in a community there will rarely be the need for tax increases. in addition to repealing the gas tax we should also repeal all additional measures on our property tax. Make those groups accountable (butte college, cusd, mosquito abatement) to work within there budget. If there is a measure on the ballet that only affects property owners then it should only be property owners allowed to vote on the measure. It was a joke on how the mosquito abatement increase vote was conducted. It was put into affect yet I don’t know of anyone that voted in favor of it. we were never shown any results of the vote.

  3. bob January 26, 2018 at 8:18 am #

    This is outrageous. Why are taxpayers stuck with paying tens of millions instead of the perps? And do the perps even get fired? How about their supervisors? The numbers in the article below does not include county and local governments or the feds which we already found out Congress has a slush fund for this. Completely outrageous. When the hell are people going to wake up and realize how corrupt and how much our gooberment rips us off?

    Now get back to work, tax cattle. Your rulers need those tax dollars to pay off their sexual harassment cases. So just keep quiet and get back to work…nothing to see here folks, just move along.

    • Juanita Sumner January 26, 2018 at 8:58 am #

      Wow, that’s outrageous.

      That reminds me – Dude sent me an outrageous news story about one California legislator’s plan to fine restaurant employees – with jail time – for offering a customer a drinking straw. I’ll post it later when I get back in the saddle.

      • bob January 26, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

        There is so much outrageousness and absurdity in government…someone could start a Web site called The Daily Outrage and updating it would be a full-time job.

  4. bob January 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

    There was a petition signing event to repeal the tax increases today at that Sinclair gas station. I think it was the same as in the summer (or was it spring?) because I heard La Malfa and some other politicians were there. Although I’m not sure if last summer’s event was for the petition. I missed it but do remember the guy with the bear poster that you mentioned here (with the picture). Anyway, I missed it today and I’m not sure where you can go to sign the petition so the repeal initiative will get on the November ballot. (Or will it be June?)

    • bob January 26, 2018 at 5:09 pm #

      Dang, it was last Oct. Seems like a million years ago…

      • Juanita Sumner January 27, 2018 at 6:11 am #

        Thanks for posting this again, love the sign!

    • Juanita Sumner January 27, 2018 at 6:11 am #

      I wish he would publicize this stuff ahead – I saw it on the news at 4pm. I think he’s afraid the pussy hat fascists will show up, and I guess I don’t blame him. It’s like watching an elephant being taken down by a mouse. If the elephant steps on the mouse, he’s a big asshole, but these pussy hat fascists can shut down a public event and they’re HEROES! I guess they all want to pay the gas tax, fund their own salaries.

      I found a website here:

      But I don’t know if it’s legitimate. I wrote to LaMalfa’s staff and asked if I should sign on the website or come down to their office, I’ll get back to you if they respond. If I don’t hear from them within a week, I’ll probably sign on the website.

      • bob January 27, 2018 at 7:33 am #

        Well, it’s official. The Chamber of Cronyism is coming out with a full court press for tax increases.

        We need to boycott any business that supports this.

      • bob January 27, 2018 at 8:01 am #

        What about the Sinclair gas station? I would think they would have it there to sign but maybe not.

        Anyway, it looks like there will be more tax increases to fight thanks to that b*tch at the Chamber of Cronyism.

        The tax increases just keep coming. If these thieves had their way they’d take everything we have.

      • bob January 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

        I saw it on the news at 4pm. I think he’s afraid the pussy hat fascists will show up..

        Ain’ that the truth! I bet you would see these “ladies.”–oKQUjZOzk-pghnhdJ9mnA

      • Juanita Sumner January 28, 2018 at 7:35 am #

        Thanks Bob, for posting the contact information for the Chamber.

        Simmons has already announced that internet sales are killing Chico retailers. In one “state of the city” address a few years ago she begged people to shop locally – ain’t workin’.

        Chico retailers, particularly Downtown retailers, do not adequately serve the population here. My family has had to go online repeatedly, just to get some products at all, but usually to get reasonable prices. For example – pet stores in Chico want $20 for one dose of worm treatment for my dog – something dogs need regularly, and vets charge a lot for. I got the same product online – two for the price local stores were charging for one treatment. My vet wanted another $10 for a product that has not worked in past.

        Same with shoes and clothes – we went out to buy my husband a new pair of shoes. We went to the same store, the price had doubled since last year. My boots are the same price but crapped out in two months, full of holes. And there are no other choices – we had shopped extensively for those items, only to find the price increased unreasonably, or lesser quality brands were substituted for what we’d bought in past. Now we’ll add shoes to the items we buy online. I already buy all my household products online, and I’ve been buying more food online too.

        Stuff that in your chamber and smoke it, Katie.

  5. bob January 27, 2018 at 8:16 am #

    Here’s the number for the Chamber of Cronyism…give’em a call and tell them you will boycott all their members who support the tax increases.


    • bob January 27, 2018 at 9:05 am #

      We already had 2 tax increases on our homes (one for CUSD and one for Butte College) and tax increases on fuel and vehicle registration. And the Chamber of Cronies is demanding more. This just proves no matter how much they take it will never be enough.

  6. bob January 27, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    Here’s another example of government rip-off…The hOrroville Dam(n) fiasco price just sky rocketed again…bet it will be well over a billion before it’s all said and done…

    Now $870 million, price of Oroville Dam crisis jumps by a third

  7. bob January 27, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    Here are the email addresses of a couple of cronies at the Chico Chamber of Cronyism who want to raise your taxes yet again. Give them a piece of your mind on their tax increases.

  8. bob January 28, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    And Little was out with an editorial about tax increases for fire…they never give up trying to increase taxes.

  9. bob January 28, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

    And lets not forget that the Chamber of Cronies supported that over quarter BILLION CUSD bond even after CUSD mismanaged the Measure A bond money.

    The measure has been endorsed by the Butte County Democratic Party and the Chico Chamber of Commerce.

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