I find myself actually interested in the statewide Republican proposal to repeal the gas tax. While I am usually a liberal, and I see the need to fix up Highway 37, for SMART, and for local projects, I also can’t afford an extra $500 to $700 a year for this tax.
California is great in many ways, and now with a federal government trying to overtly sabotage the state, we do need locally-generated money to pull off the many projects and programs we need to take care of ourselves.
Now, if the powers that be had been aggressively working to protect my constituency, the working poor who are getting massively squeezed by high rents, crazy inflated prices all around, low wages, and being anonymously externalized one by one, I might feel differently.
I see no Wiener housing bill, no county housing bond, no raised TOT in Sonoma for affordable housing. I see a higher minimum wage coming along too slowly, and nothing bold on the horizon, just the same old stalemate and excuses put up by big money forces masquerading as liberals, as to why they can’t do anything. The working class is being hung out to dry and now we are supposed to support $500 to $700 a year tax that benefits who?
If the powers that be are so concerned about collective benefits, start with the most basic, a roof over the head and enough money to buy food and pay bills. Then we can talk gas tax.
I will vote for the gas tax if I see many representatives and their staffs show up and support the Alliance for a Just Recovery agenda. The agenda rollout event is on 7/19, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, at Christ Church United Methodist, 1717 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. Sure, you might find us labor and climate advocates to be distastefully arrogant and smug, but we do have facts and the moral wind of Truth on our side. We are a real force of gravity calling you to move Left, to a new flavor of common sense. It’s electeds’ job to translate this into directives for your municipal staff, so that we see some action on public spending that benefits the working class (which now subsumes the middle class), and that rolls back climate impacts for the survival of the planet.
My position on the gas tax: you can’t hang the working class out to dry and then expect their votes for other collective good projects. If we want to talk collective good, start by actively taking up the Alliance for a Just Recovery’s agenda, TBA at the event and concerning labor standards, affordable housing, and cutting edge climate protection features for new housing.
The gas tax strikes me as one more scenario where stoking the economy is the underlying goal, but the benefits then only accrue to businesses who don’t share the proceeds. This is not a Republican or Democrat thing, as Ralph Nader said, the only difference between the two is how fast they get on their knees for big business, and in both cases, that is pretty damn quick.
Warning to the status quo, people are fed up with the high cost of living and the threat of being externalized to some red hellhole in the interior, and with climate half measures that don’t apply full cost accounting to greenhouse gas emissions. The political situation is extremely volatile, and anyone trying to take up liberal middle ground as a fallback policy position, may find themselves on the wrong end of history on November 11th.
Too radical? Not going to win being too radical? Bay Area liberals should have thought of this threat when they were content for years to hang workers out to dry. The choice is getting clearer, take active measures to make necessary change from the inside, or the whole house gets torn down and no one wins. Ignore your worker bees, no one to build the hive.
Local liberal business as usual has got to be given a good shake and wake up call. The Trump government is obviously dysfunctional in a host of ways. We are on our own in California, and higher taxes and fees will be worth it if the benefits come down to all in a measurable way. Working class voters in California can’t afford to support half measures by a political class that says they are liberal, but when we look for the benefits, they all seem to be going to business and not the people.
Until there is some definitive motion on social equity and climate protection, NO on the gas tax. If workers can’t be protected, nothing left to do but tear the whole house down. California can’t be a great state for the wealthy and Texas for the rest.