Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Derrell Steinberg-President Pro Tem, California State Senate--Feet of Clay


Democrat Darrell Steinberg is President of the California State Senate and has been making the publicity rounds on radio, TV and any other place he can get an audience. Steinberg wants to be California's next elected Attorney General. To garner support for his candidacy, Steinberg is also praising the California legislature for doing a good job in dealing with what seems to be California's insoluble budget mess. And what a mess it is!

We had occasion to be part of a Steinberg presentation recently wherein he spoke about how the Democrat dominated California legislature was charting it's way through the worst deficit in the history of the nations most populous State against those dastardly "NO" Republicans. Most of his rhetoric focused on changing state workers benefits and retirement systems, chipping away at the Jarvis-Gann Prop. 13 initiative and raising taxes on the citizens. At no time did Steinberg mention or even refer to taxing the oil companies with a mineral severance tax.

Why is it that California is the only State in the Union without a mineral severance tax? We have blogged this subject before in some detail (see California Needs a Gas and Oil Severance Tax-July 30, 2009). Although such a tax would not solve California's budget woes, it would go a long way in helping to do so, bringing in several billions of dollars each year. So why have our politicians, Democrat or Republican, taken this severance tax off the radar screen and off the table?

There is only one reason. Enough Democrat and Republican politicians have been paid sufficiently to NOT consider a mineral severance tax in California to the detriment of the voters who put them in office. Apparently Derrell Steinberg is one of them.

Is it a time for change? Is it time to elect representatives who represent the people? Now there's a concept!

J.

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