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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: 2 Governors Driving Business Away | 02-28-2013
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Commentary by Tammy Messina
| Thursday, Feb 28, 2013

tammymessinaIt’s a proud moment when our governor, Jerry Brown, comes out to defend California against the brutal attacks by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In case you missed it, Perry launched an ad campaign attempting to woo California business owners to his tax-free state. When asked for his response to the ad, the ever-classy and dignified (she said sarcastically) Brown told reporters, “It’s not a serious story, guys. It’s not a burp. It’s barely a fart.”

I don’t know about you, but I expect my elected representatives to behave in public with more decorum and a lot less crass.

Brown knows what he’s doing. A consummate politician can take any question and spin an answer with ease, deflecting until the desired outcome is achieved. Mission accomplished.

Rather than focus on the real issue – the loss of jobs in California – his crude remark is garnering all of the attention while trivializing Perry’s very serious ad campaign … at least to the news media and the general public. Was there even a follow-up question to get a serious answer about California’s job situation? If there was, we didn’t hear about it.

One thing is guaranteed: Business owners heard that “tax-free” sales pitch loud and clear over the burp and fart comment.

California business owners are struggling tooth-and-nail to hang onto their businesses and maintain a profit. It’s not easy here. The cost of living is higher than most other states, and taxes on businesses have gone up, yet again, this year. With Obamacare looming on the horizon, business owners are having to make serious decisions as to whether they can continue to operate in California.

Following a recent legal ruling, California’s Franchise Tax Board is now seeking retroactive tax payments from businesses dating back to 2008. The retroactive payments were not a stipulation of the legal ruling, nor are they a requirement. But the FTB must have thought this was a good way to entice businesses to remain open in California. Not.

California’s unfriendly business environment is not only driving businesses out of state; it is also driving workers – read: taxpayers – out of state. Fewer businesses means fewer jobs, which means workers leave the state looking for work elsewhere. All of this leads to an even bigger budget deficit because there are few taxpayers.

We’re circling the drain. California needs more money to fix the budget, so Sacramento raises taxes, which drives people out, so we collect fewer taxes and we need more money. Rinse and repeat.

The problem isn’t a result of not having enough taxes to support the state budget. Rather, we don’t have enough taxpayers, and their numbers are continuing to drop.

 

Tammy Messina is a conservative wife, mother, grandmother and small business owner who believes in the free market. She is a producer of “The Real Side” talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS and SCVTV.

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