California’s War on the Poor

Gas Prices

Why does California hate poor people? More accurately, why does the CA State legislature continually pass bills that make it so expensive to live there? Even, worse, to address the inevitable poor results of their initial bad laws, they then mandate new regulations to fix the mess they created in the first place that usually screws things up even more.

Inept, unaccountable, politicians plus layer upon layer of ill conceived and economically illiterate policy has created a dysfunctional state government and enraged populace.

Case in point, California’s double-digit increase on fuel taxes that took affect this past Wednesday. These additional taxes, passed via party line by Democrats, bumped the price up 12 cents per gallon and 20 cents per gallon respectively for gas and diesel. Vehicle registration fees went up too.

This is on top of already sky-high pump taxes and the extra fees brought on by California’s special fuel blending requirements. Oh they’re special all right, as they give us poor saps in California the privilege of paying more for a blend of gas no other state in the nation uses and who manage to get along just fine without.

The new tax is supposed to raise $5.2 billion annually for road and bridge repair but call me skeptical. It’s true, we have horrible roads; I sometimes wonder if I’m in a third world country, as I watch the front end of my car bounce up and down while navigating enormous potholes that have been known to swallow up entire cars.

The thing is, we Californians have been paying some of the highest gas taxes in the nation for eons, yet our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate. Why?  One reason is a good portion of the money that’s supposed to go towards repairs gets sucked in to the general fund for CA state expenditures. This is akin to pulling bills out of your wallet and lighting them on fire.

So here we are with a big mess of a road system created by years of neglect from clueless, greedy politicians, who would rather spend our hard earned tax dollars on things like a bullet train to nowhere that nobody wants and patching holes in an imploding state pension fund that again was their fault to begin with.

But things will be different this time, as we are promised  that the extra tax dollars really will go towards fixing the roads. Uh, huh. Meanwhile, while we wait for that enormous herd of pigs to fly on by we get the privilege of paying $4-$5 per gallon of gas.

This will affect everyone, but the poor and middle class will get hit hardest. Being forced to spend an extra $20-$30 per week is painful to someone already living paycheck to paycheck, doubly so for those whose jobs require a lot of driving. Look also for the cost of food and other goods to rise, as companies  factor in extra fuel costs for distribution.

The California state legislature doesn’t really hate poor people. They just care more about feeding the growing blob of government bureaucracy that gives them power and job security. Their reckless spending of our money and complete inability to pass responsible budgets means that taxes and fees will only continue to rise.

A better question to ask is why do we citizens of the formerly great state of California continually reelect these opportunistic morons?

 

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36 Responses to California’s War on the Poor

  1. Sorry to hear you live in California. I live in Texas and we see a ton of people migrating here from California. They stories are typically the same.

    It is hard to reconcile what is said about wanting to help the poor and what is being done. The increase in the price of gasoline particularly hurts the poor. Sad!

    Keep the faith. God is with you. Blessings for your insight.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. but Tricia, it, as in Cali, wants to be a sanctuary state…even better, it’s own independent country—that’s what they’re saving all those pennies for……. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. YaksterX says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you on all this. I live in Orange County, in Irvine, and when I moved in here about ten years ago I was surprised how everything was very clean and quiet, and more surprised to see that there were no homeless people. Like really, not at all. Yes the price of everything was higher than the rest of OC but it was nice.

    Then one day I walked down the street because you know, I have nothing better to do and wanted a breather. I saw two police cars around what looked a homeless man with a shopping cart full with whatever he had. I thought that something had happened to the elder man and that the police was just helping him out. They put him in the car and drove away to the opposite direction from the station which I thought was odd.

    The man next to me shook his head and said “See you in Santa Ana.” I was surprised, “What do you mean?” I asked. Apparently, according to the man, they were dropping the elder man at the nearest city to conserve the quiet village like scenery. I was shocked to say the least. I then looked around and noticed that the City of Irvine, at least to my knowledge doesn’t even have a homeless shelter.

    So yeah, treating the poor like they were subhumans infuriates me. I always give something when I see someone in need and can’t understand what is the harm in doing so. California wants to be glamorized, beautiful, and shiny. And it cannot have poor people apparently.

    I personally gave food, drink, and even my shoes once, forgetting that I had no good pair of shoes for myself at home, to homeless people that I see. I hope that people would wake up and something will be done before this state is going to be elite only. It is already hard to be in the average income and above poverty line.

    Money and the way you look is much more important than poor people who are not necessarily poor because they are lazy, but mostly because they have been unlucky or couldn’t finish the month – you can’t live here from minimum salary at all, unless you have three jobs and no life to live.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks for your detailed comment and recent follow Yakster, much appreciated. We have a huge homeless problem here in San Diego which has lead to a hepatitis epidemic unheard of in todays first world countries, thanks to the ineptness of local politicians and their giant heads being continually wedged in the sand. For years they would shuffle the homeless away and do very little to address root causes. This has morphed more recently in to just letting them be and normalizing the horrid conditions they live under which again does nothing really to help.

      I too share your concern with the state becoming elitist because of the high cost of key things like energy, housing and food. In my view most of the problems here arise from the foolishness of our state legislature because of the added cost their ill thought out bills bring to these areas and more. I hope to get in to this in more detail in future posts.

      Like

    • Citizen Tom says:

      @YaksterX

      I am not anything close to being expert on the homeless problem, but I think it is fair to say that loitering is against the law for a reason. Even a well off society is going to have a certain number people who will make a nuisance of themselves. If they are begging they will congregate where they can get handouts. Since businesses generally do not their customers being hassled, they demand the police move the vagrants. Ideally, they move them to a spot where if they need it they can be helped. The point is that the police don’t mean to be heartless. They just have a difficult job to do.

      Since some the homeless need a bath and have fleas, ticks, and who knows what else, I suspect this is one of the most unpleasant parts of being a policeman. If the police actually have some place they can take vagrants that can help them, it may also be one of the more rewarding, but it has to be extremely difficult to help many of the homeless.

      When I was young, we institutionalize most such people. Now, supposedly to protect their rights, we don’t.

      Government can be quite cruel and thoughtless. That is why I argue for keeping it small and limited in power. Here is a more direct example. Where I live in Virginia we have zoning laws. The object of such laws is simple: Not In My BacKYard (NIMBY). Your own experience, even though it is more justifiable, is an example of how this NIMBY attitude works. Anything that is unpleasant or difficult we want to keep at a distance. So it is that the rich counties where I live in Northern Virginia strive to zone land to attract the well-to-do and drive inexpensive housing out of their counties. So it is that whenever a developer wants land rezoned residential or for greater housing density, the board of supervisors fight for the maximum number of single family dwellings on the biggest lots. These are guaranteed to pay more in taxes than they use in services and least likely to clog roads. That is one of the reasons inexpensive housing near work is nearly impossible to find. Therefore, for the sake of keeping the poor at a distance, many who live in Northern Virginia spend hours commuting every day.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Tricia says:

        I agree Tom that the police have to deal with a lot of public nuisance problems involving the homeless that can make them seem heartless. My town for years has allowed them to sleep and loiter in public areas and pretty much let them be. Some of them are very sick mentally and there’s been some serious assault and battery cases recently that will only only get worse before things are addressed.

        I strongly believe society needs to do what they can to help people transition out of that lifestyle. What that means for sure I don’t know, but probably some combination of forced institutionalization for the severely mentally ill, increased money for housing that requires adherence to alcohol/drug free rules and an overall societal attitude that living on the streets off handouts is not acceptable.

        We also need more relaxed policies on building homes here in SoCal as the added fees, taxes, environmental regulations, etc…. literally add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of single family homes pricing most workers out of home ownership.

        I was in Laguna Beach recently where they have a large fake parking meter in the center of town with a sign asking people to NOT give money to beggars as it only enables their unhealthy lifestyle and causes aggressive behavior. You can put money in the meter which the town collects and then puts forth towards charities that more directly address the needs of the homeless. I thought this was a great idea and am going to suggest it to my town council.

        Liked by 1 person

      • YaksterX says:

        While I uderstand what you are saying, I will have to say that not all homeless people are just finding it easier to bag for money. Not all of them are lazy. The ones I saw were elders and there was probably Better way to deal with them than two police cars on them like they have done something wrong. We have an issue with our society that prefers rich people over unlucky ones who are not successful. Yes the police has a shitty job when it comes to doing this and I am not saying that they heartless as they are doing g their job keeping the area looking like a fairytale. All that I am saying is the fact that California has a really bad issue with stuff mainly because people can get stuck in here for lack of being successful and can’t even afford to move sometimes because moving also Costa money which they are depleted off. It is rough time for a normal median family to earn a living and actually use the money for anything even with two incoms. The homeless part was just to show how bad it is and the bubble that people have around them when it comes to how they live and how others do. By no means it is my fault or your fault or anyone else’s fault that there are homeless people out there. But there should be a better way of dealing with the issue. We all live in the US and so many are in the streets it is just not right. And within California, every other week the prices goes up even for basic stuff, yet the paychecks are the same. If three years ago a family could save a $1,000 a month after expenses, today they can barely scratch $200. Things are just getting out of hand and it is sad. I don’t see a sign saying California for rich people only. It is just a problem that is becoming worst with every year. If you are a young couple who are both working in a normal job, it is almost impossible for you to find an apartment. Not talking about a house to call your own even when you are fifty. Apartments just going up every year even in cities that no one wish to live in. It just goes up and up without having an equal raise to paychecks. That is an issue. Few years from now there will be only rich people living in California because everyone else would be homeless or forced to leave.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Citizen Tom says:

          Read Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a French aristocrat who visited America in the 1830’s. He rode around on horseback, and he carefully studied our nation for a couple of years. Then he wrote about what he had learned. One of his observations was that Americans had an astounding capacity to organize private associations for accomplishing worthy causes. We have exchanged much of that capacity for Socialism, which has an astounding capacity to waste money and empower politicians.

          Homeless people don’t vote, and they don’t donate money to political campaigns. Politicians have very little practical interest in them except for the sake of appearances.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. David says:

    Hmmm….. Something is wrong. Something doesn’t seem right. Hmmm…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dennis says:

    Good post on questions I have been asking folks in CA for years.
    You get the government you vote in. Plain and simple.I think the majority of the voting population has been sucking on the teat of the taxpayer for so long that they want the gravy to continue. The problem with that is you soon have to raise taxes and fees to support the “takers” that the working folks can’t afford to support the government taxes and they vote with their feet.

    Google that special blend required and see how much it benefits your auto. By raising the tax on diesel they have increased the retail cost of everything delivered by truck. I would estimate that roughly 80% + is hauled in a truck before it reaches the consumer.

    Our gas price at the pump is up to $2.40 for 87 octane which most every car can run efficiently on and it has 10% ethanol by volume. Price increase is due to refinery shutdowns during hurricanes. Ethanol harms every engine it’s used in but our Congress sold out to the corn growing lobby for campaign contributions. They are talking about raising the requirement even higher in the coming years.

    As you know I live in TX and we think some of our fees are high until we look at states with democrat liberal social governments.TX legislature meets every two years. Wish it was every five!

    Old Gov. Moonbeam and his associates are doing a number on CA. And he’s talking about running for President! Yeah, good luck with that!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      You are so right about stupid ethanol subsidies and congress selling us out! California and it’s dumb blend requirements too do nothing but benefit lobbyists and the politicians they pay.

      Everything is such a scam in Sacramento and now that the Dems are in completely control they can and are pretty much doing whatever their Marxist brains tell them to. I’m not kidding either about the Marxist part as some of them openly and proudly label themselves this way.

      The main problem in addition to what you state, is that so many people out here automatically vote Democrat because that’s what they’ve always done. The legislature knows this and so don’t hold their members accountable, so really crappy people remain in office for years. Or, if faces change the bad and corrupt personalities remain.

      $2.84/gallon? That sounds like heaven! 😉

      Like

  6. Mike Hohmann says:

    My condolences… I’ve sworn off CA and refuse to return… toooo crazy out there!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dennis says:

    I’m with you Mike. If I didn’t have a son and two grandchildren AND not to forget the beautiful and talented Tricia I would have no desire to cross the border.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Salvageable says:

    It’s expensive to be poor. If you can’t afford to move to a nicer neighborhood, you’ll pay more for gasoline, groceries, insurance, and almost everything else. Taxes are also higher in urban areas where poverty concentrates. It’s not fair, and answers are hard to find. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Al says:

    The poor have yet to figure out that they are a part of the biggest scam in political history. The Democrat mantra is: “Keep ’em poor and dependent, then tell them we are the only ones that can help you, with handouts, of course. Don’t vote for Republicans, they’ll make you work for it.” Clever, them Dems.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Although I am not a fan of typical politicians and their all too common two-faces with lips that spew verbal lies, I am inclined to blame the “common laymen” for this dilemma. Personally, I’m tired of hearing the phrase, “what can we do about it?” When people are placed at the edge of a cliff, they don’t typically jump. They fight, scratch, scream and do just about anything they can rather than voluntarily jumping off the edge. Unfortunately, until people believe they are at the edge of the cliff, they merely complain and then comply with rules and/or regulations.

    I write about health issues that politicians and regulators typically decide with potentially dangerous (if not outright detrimental) outcomes, yet the public’s common response is, “that’s interesting” or “something to think about.” The typical consumer has decided to ignore issues that greatly impact their lives because they believe these issues don’t truly place them at the “end of the cliff.” They believe they have enough to deal with when it comes to family and work responsibilities. I hate passing judgement, but this one time I will. Consumers want “OTHER PEOPLE” to deal with any of these (not yet apparent) “end of the cliff” issues. They want to be the recipient of beneficial changes without requiring any effort or personal contributions. Even when clear evidence is provided that personal injury can result from governmental policies, they are reluctant to participate in the process of change. It is only when actual injury is experienced, that a “call to action” is demanded by them. These same people are then incensed when their peers respond to their “cries for action” with, “that’s interesting” or “something to think about.”

    Life is challenging and certainly not necessarily fair. When potential falsehoods or outright dishonest policies are imposed on society, it is society’s responsibility to organize and reveal these corrupt issues. It is also each of our responsibility to confront these issues with appropriate defiance to make certain elitist gains are not achieved at our expense. “That’s interesting” and “something to think about” is exactly what our elected officials, regulatory agencies and Big Industry relies on to control our lives.

    Whether it’s gas taxes or health mandates, the “cliff” remains a distance just outside our concern. This lethargy leads to political candidates re-elections resulting in political legislative careers. Until we change our ATTITUDES and our THINKING, our complaining will remain a joke to our elected officials, our medical industry, our pharmaceutical industry and our agricultural industry.

    This long winded response to your post can either cause your readers to:
    1. find my comment, “interesting” and “something to think about”
    or
    2. motivate them to rent the movie “Network” so they can learn how to develop a backbone and respond with the movie’s famous line, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore,” followed by ACTION STEPS leading to productive changes! Words by themselves (even angry words) do not cause change. They cause people to say things like, “that’s interesting” or “something to think about.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      I very much agree with your comment Jonathan. You are so correct that many people just won’t pay attention until that “cliff” suddenly comes along and some pain is felt. With political issues, most just tune out because they think it’s boring or there is nothing they can do or even worse, they vote like robots, just looking for the D or the R next to a candidate’s name or they like the way an initiative sounds without looking in to the details. Now California is a bit different because we are under one party rule and the legislature really does have a license to do as they please which they most certainly are. Those of us that are paying attention and who most certainly did not vote for these criminals can only sit back helplessly and watch while we try and educate others. Most, as I’m sure you can relate to, don’t really appreciate this.

      I know I’m mad as hell and am not gonna take it any more! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  11. David says:

    It is all orchestrated and planned. Nothing is by chance. An action causes a reaction and the truth is stranger than fiction.

    Like

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  13. Good post, Tricia. We too have a war on the poor going on. Drives me batty.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. timholman says:

    Great post Tricia and thanks for blowing the whistle on them!

    Liked by 1 person

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