Alex Blaze

"I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization."

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 29, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, California, education policy, governor, HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS, ronald reagan, safe sex

Woo-hoo! Reagan's tax revolution has another victory:

Today's cuts to HIV/AIDS programs include: an 80% reduction in funding for Education & Prevention, a 70% cut in HIV Counseling and Testing, a 50% cut for Early Intervention (that provides primary medical care), a 100% cut in Therapeutic Monitoring Program (the program that monitors the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS drugs administered through the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program), a 20% cut in Housing and more than a 50% cut in funding for Home and Community-Based Care.

"With a single stroke of his blue pencil, Governor Schwarzenegger has terminated the state's AIDS programs and, along with it, the lives of some of the state's most vulnerable citizens," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "The Governor's heartless act is not only deadly, but guaranteed to cost California taxpayers millions more in the future. With HIV testing programs sidelined and the state's ability to prevent new infections stymied, new infections in California will increase--each new infection can mean up to $600,000 dollars in lifetime health care costs. A 100% cut to the Therapeutic Monitoring Program is the definition of penny-wise and pound-foolish--with the ability to monitor the effectiveness of lifesaving AIDS drugs hampered, the state's already cash-strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Program will only end up spending more for drugs."

Education & Prevention for HIV/AIDS? If people really wanted that, they'd buy it in a free market! Therapeutic Monitoring Program? People can just ask their friends which HIV drugs worked for them and the invisible hand will guide people to better meds.

Duh. Haven't these whiners read Atlas Shrugged? If they did, they'd know that capping property taxes at ridiculously low rates and drowning the government in a bathtub is the only way to spur the innovation required to finally cure HIV. Srsly, markets are awesome and the only real solution to our problems. The people who die because of the massive poverty of resources created by this pseudo-philosophy are just losers whose bodies were getting in the way of progress.

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every time i put something huge to the curb
i love my taxes, lol
i wake up and it's gone....
"privileged" civilization, don't knock it till you've tried the other...
ps i never understand repubs wierd world view,garbage collection is just one of many, many things they don't think out
(oh wait people will have to pay PRIVATELY, what WAS i thinking...)

AMAZING! I think I want to print this and pin it to my wall! I feel like its art.

Note from Bil: I edited this comment to remove personal attacks. I left this much because the commenter had obviously put thought into this section. Be warned: follow the comment guidelines below about what's acceptable and what's not or next time I'll just TOS the whole comment.


CA tax policy in 2009 is not "Reagan's" policy. Reagan was governor 30 years ago. And the property tax limits created then were passed by popular vote, not by executive decree. Property and income taxes have been modified many, many times since then and could be increased now if the 2009 electorate wanted to do so. The fact is that CA spending has increased 40% since 2005. That is why the state is broke. If spending had increased with population growth, or if the 2009 electorate supported a massive tax increase, they'd be running a surplus.

Considering he made it "mission work" for about 10 years to protest taxes in that state, had a band of followers and came up with (or maybe someone who worked for him did) the "two santa claus theory" of politics (that is, Democrats are one santa claus for social spending, so Republicans can be two for social spending and cutting taxes), his legacy's still involved.

I'm not saying he acted alone. Seriously. But his ideas and his political impact left a mark.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 30, 2009 7:45 AM

Nice to see an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote as your title...It would have been nicer with attribution.

What was your property tax bill last year?

Here is the conundrum. Were you a property owner in California (and had just been laid off from your job and you are looking in the eyes of your own family and how to feed them) would you be looking for the government to give you a tax increase on the house you are trying to buy which is worth less than what you contracted to paid for it?

We are in for a very rough 18 months. There is going to be a lot of hurt out there and it is a time for people to expect less because there simply is less. California is not unusual in it's problems which is why I commented some time ago about health insurance needing to be federally regulated and supplied, because the states are broke.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | July 31, 2009 2:55 PM

Thank you, Robert, for spreading yet another Conservative myth regarding taxes and Prop 13.

Prop 13 actually benefits corporations FAR more than average Californian homeowners. If a corporation, say, sells or merges a shopping mall, the property technically stays deeded to the corporation; hence, no tax re-assesment occurs under Proposition 13. According to Wikipedia, large companies are nominally owned by shell companies whose sole assets are the properties in question; they cite a case reported in the LA Times in which the property tax bill for the historic Capitol Records building in Hollywood is approximately five cents per square foot, while a small house assessed at $300,000 may pay up to 60 times that on a per-square-foot basis.

Add this bonanza to the the other tax windfalls received by corporations--more than 50% of which pay NO income taxes whatsoever in the US--and you understand the REAL reasons Prop 13 is not being reversed.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | August 1, 2009 12:06 PM

How dare you call me a conservative in anything. Wash your keyboard off with disinfectant and say ten "Oh Marys!" facing Fire Island.

As a former resident of the tax haven of Ireland you should know better. Capital flees to where it is taxed less and employment follows.

I am a realist Brynn. Alex really did not attribute his quote. Here is what else is real. Should their buildings be taxed at a rate that moves jobs out of California? Large buildings have common area corridors where no work is done but the space is REQUIRED BY REGULATION for fire escapes, handicapped employees, EMR accessability etc. Should that square footage be taxed at the same rate as a house too?

Will anyone have a job in California if taxes are raised on corporations? The "governator" today is going after state pension holders in California as well. Do you think he wants to do any of this?

I am not suggesting that reductions in services to vulnerable groups is not God Damned Awful, but to get a tax increase bill through the California legislature at this time is both impossible to accomplish and stupid to consider. Many corporations are small businesses taking legitimate write offs for depreciation of equipment that CAUSED EMPLOYMENT in it's manufacture. Are they going to be replaced with newer causing more employment and efficiency or for reasons of taxation will we run along with second rate manufacturing. So, let's tax that too and be sure there is less capital spending and additional loss of jobs. This describes how Britain, once the world leading manufacturer, now manufactures nothing but scotch, gin and processed foodstuffs.

You can tax employment away completely if you like, but since no one is going to vote for yourself or I we can presume that little will change here and reality will continue to rule.

If you can provide significant jobs to a community you deserve tax breaks because all employees pay taxes, the corporation pays state sales tax and property tax (if nothing else). Many people depend upon these entities for employment Brynn. Take away their "evil" tax breaks and you take away jobs.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | August 1, 2009 3:19 PM

I am SO SICK of this justification used to support the destruction of what used to make America a great country.

You could just as well say that "Employees sustain corporations." Or, "Consumers keep business going." Both are as true as your statement, and even MORE vital, given the rate that corporations in this country have been shedding employees and under-paying those they keep for the past 30 years: look where it's gotten us!

If corporations in California want to benefit from the state's infrastructure, education, and consumers, they should pay a fair rate of taxes. THEY ARE NOT. Yet every time someone wants to correct this situation, the scream goes up, "Do you want to lose the jobs?" Well, I've got news for you, Robert. WE ARE LOSING the jobs, despite the abysmally low rate of taxes corporations pay. Moreover, the same corporate apologists screaming bloody murder at the prospect of tax reform, say the marketplace solves all. If so, as businesses leave California, other businesses will move in to fill the void in one of the most lucrative marketplaces in the world.

As for your quip about Ireland, have you noticed the economy has utterly collapsed there, resulting in a situation worse than any more highly-taxed country in Europe? That's not my opinion: that's objectively reported in any newspaper you read. Why aren't your low corporate tax rates protecting against this? In fact, WHY is it that the most unregulated, low-taxed countries in Europe with the worst (or non-existent) social safety nets that are experiencing the worst economies in Europe right now?

What is lacking in California (and elsewhere in the US and Europe) is fair and proper taxation that makes the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. California prospered under such a system: I know. I lived here in the 1960's.

Robert Ganshorn | August 2, 2009 7:39 PM

Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you Brynn. Internet was out all day yesterday. Probably the cause is an under maintained monopolistic, state owned that is not resposive to it's customers as long as it keeps the government happy...that sort of business. It is kind of like the DMV.

OK Brynn, we can theorise all we want, and you can have your goal of bleeding corporations dry if you like. Go out and accomplish it and changes to the federal and state tax codes that will really screw wealthy folks as that seems your goal. Force those corporations to invest less in technology and innovation and see how much employment you will have.

Or perhaps you can move to Norway which seems to be your favorite country in the manner in which they organize their business and tax interests.

Oh, life is sooo unfair. "Ain't it awful?" The real accomplishment is to organize your life so it is not awful because most lives on our little planet are much damn worse than yours.