Kurt  Schlichter

California’s latest smorgasbord of absurd propositions is just as discouraging. There’s a rule of thumb for California conservatives – well, besides “Leave California as soon as possible.” That rule is “Never vote for anything when the ads contain a schoolteacher’s apple.” The latest of the apple initiatives is Governor Jerry Brown’s millionaire tax, Proposition 30, and of course it is all for the children.

In California, you now apparently become a millionaire if you buy anything, as it raises the sales tax. The “temporary” tax hike – did I mention that it’s for the children? – also increases the already stratospheric top income tax rates and puts small business owners right in the crosshairs. This serves two important purposes for the liberal ruling class – it loots even more money from the most productive of California’s citizens to feed the giant public employee union beast that runs the state while simultaneously demonizing the most productive of California’s citizens.

Not surprising, the most productive of California’s citizens are leaving in droves. For those who want to prosper, the safeword is “Texas.”

As terrible as Proposition 30 is, it’s actually the less insane of this year’s tax hike initiatives. Proposition 38, funded by meddling heiress Molly Munger, is an even worse tax tsunami, and of course it’s even more for the children. It raises rates on plutocrats earning $7,316 or more a year in order to pump more money into California’s failing schools. Only in California could Jerry Brown find himself the comparative voice of reason.

Proposition 37 would create an enormous, expensive and lawyer-friendly labeling scheme for genetically modified foods in order to address a problem that doesn’t exist. One recent afternoon, a band of young nitwits and wizened hippies gathered on a busy street corner in Manhattan Beach to rally for Prop 37. They seemed unaware that the price on the gas station sign behind them represented more of a threat to their fellow citizens than man-eating, mutant carrots running amok.

Still, it might pass – after all, it’s stupid, expensive and will hurt the economy. In California, those are selling points.

Even Los Angeles County is getting into the act with Measure B, a Bloombergian proposal requiring porn actors to wear condoms on the job. It’s surprising to find that there is at least some form of sexual behavior that the liberal elite disapproves of, but sadly not so surprising that they can’t resist the urge to screw with one of the region’s few booming industries.

There is one glimmer of hope. Prop 32 would ban union political action dues paycheck dedudctions, threatening the stranglehold the public employee unions have on the state government. The anti-32 ads – brought to you by firefighters, teachers, cops, and only incidentally by their unions – inform the voters that Prop 32 sponsored by a cabal of Big Oil, the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and Satan. While I’m sold, it’s unclear whether more typical California voters will be.

Proposition 32 is good public policy and would dramatically improve California by freeing the citizenry from its public employee union bondage. That means it’s probably doomed.

And so is California. At this point, the Golden State ought to consider replacing its motto “Eureka” with the more apt “Bring out the Gimp.”

It wasn’t always this way. When I got here 21 years ago, just out of the Army with no money, I knew I could build a future here and I did. But that’s not possible anymore, and what’s worse is that Californians don’t seem to care.

They know what they want, and they seem intent on getting it good and hard.


Kurt Schlichter

Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) was personally recruited to write conservative commentary by Andrew Breitbart. He is a successful Los Angeles trial lawyer, a veteran with a masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a former stand-up comic.