This post originally appeared at Speak Out California.
Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger ordered 10,000 state government employees laid off and ordered the wages of 200,000 more cut down to the bare minimum allowed by law.
This is 210,000 people who will not be keeping up with their mortgages or car payments or attending “back-to-school” sales. This is thousands of local retailers that will see a sales decrease. This is how many foreclosures and car repossessions. What will this do to our own jobs and housing prices?
This is 210,000 families disrupted.
Why is this happening? Because the Republicans refuse to make wealthy yacht and private plane buyers pay the same sales taxes the rest of us pay. This is happening because the Republicans refuse to make the oil companies pay us for our oil as they take it out of the ground. (Yes, even as oil companies post the largest ever profits of any companies in the history of the world.) The citizens of Alaska not only don’t pay state taxes, they receive a check every year, because their state government asked the oil companies to pay to take their oil. In California the Republicans in state government apparently think they were elected to represent the interests of oil companies, not the public.
Republicans like to say that taxes “take money out of the economy” but the Governor’s actions yesterday show exactly the opposite: laying off workers and cutting their wages takes money out of the economy. In fact taxes drive the state’s economy by building the infrastructure that enable economic growth. The California state government is police and fire protection and schools and roads and courts and all of those are the engines of economic growth. Taxes fund the services that people want like shorter lines at the DMV and libraries and did I mention schools? These layoffs and wage cuts just illustrate what I wrote a while back about how tax cuts make us poor.
This is the Republican choice — giving the very wealthiest even more money at the expense of regular working people.
Click through to Speak Out California.