Monday, May 25, 2009

Thomas Friedman Chimes In

If you haven't had a good laugh this Memorial Day, try reading Thomas Friedman's article in the NY Times today entitled "State of Paralysis." According to Friedman, Calfornia taxpayers are just too stingy. With a 9.3 percent income tax and a 7.25 percent sales tax, somehow Friedman thinks that the average Californian is not paying enough in taxes. He wants taxpayers to pony up to support the exhorbitant pensions demanded by the employees unions in California. Some of those pensions, for retirees still in their 50s, are more than $ 200,000 per year. Sounds like a good use of taxpayer money to Thomas Friedman.

Why doesn't Friedman ask where the California state government spends its money? To Friedman and other liberal pundits, the only issue is miserly taxpayers who won't fund things he wants. Why doesn't he write a check to the state of California out of his own pocket? If he believes that California is spending its money wisely, that is the least he can do. Is there any tax rate that Friedman might consider too high for over-taxed Californians?

Friedman blames the California constitution for the sin of letting the voters vote on what they want. Imagine that! Letting taxpayers have a say. He considers giving taxpayer a vote on the way the state spends their money and increases their taxes is proof of "the political system's inability to rise to the occasion."

It's interesting how "freedom" is interpreted by the left as freedom to do what Friedman and others want but not freedom to do what the voters want. The people are foolish and dysfunctional, according to folks like Friedman. Better to let politicians decide these matters. Politicians seem to have no trouble "rising to the occasion" to raise taxes, though politicians are not so good at paying them (Geithner, Daschle, etc.).

Fortunately, Californians have alternatives. They can move and they are moving. In record numbers, Californians are deserting their state for lower tax states that don't think retirees should be given six figure pensions.