Unholster The Class Warfare Argument In CA
by Deacon Blues
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Senate GOP caucus are about to drive the State of California over a fiscal cliff next week, simply because they can't get everyone else to cave in to their "cut it all - no taxes" demands. I think it's time to ratchet up the pressure on the Senate GOP caucus in a way that will provoke howls of outrage from them, but will resonate with the media and the advocates on our side. And please spare me the diatribe about the results of the special election being a true referendum against taxes and fees - we all know who the typical voter was in that 28% election last month.
Unlike the caution we get from the centrist Dems about waging class warfare, what's going on in California right now is an assault by better-off, mostly-white people against everyone not like them. Sure, there are exceptions, but when you look at the make-up of the Senate GOP caucus and see what they did this week after their peers in the Assembly worked with Democratic Speaker Karen Bass to push the ball down the field with spending cuts and other measures to improve the state's fiscal situation, they and the Guv have opted to screw the vulnerable and state workers, and for that matter small businesses and contractors who do business with the state, and endorse furloughs and IOUs.
And all just because the vulnerable weren't being hurt enough.
Which leads me to this: Has anyone on our side done a study of the average net worth of the Senate GOP caucus? I know some of them are ranchers and growers, and not all of them are financially comfortable or wealthy, but they are the ones happily endorsing the state's looming fiscal insolvency unless more pain and sacrifice is inflicted upon the poor and vulnerable. Most of the members of this caucus represent folks who don't think they need the state for any services and therefore don't care if the state shuts down. But this looming insolvency will affect small business owners, highway patrolmen, correctional officers, and the people who maintain the roads that the wealthy use just like the rest of us.
What I'm suggesting is that someone pull the financial disclosure forms on the Senate GOP caucus and put together a study on this. And then we blast the results throughout the media. This is not something that we need to keep secret, since I would love for word to get out that we're zeroing in on this and will be making hay over it by the end of next week when Arnie and the Senate GOP push us into IOU-land. It could be a wake up call to the other side that we will be making their detachment and insensitivity an issue.
Sure, initially they will howl about class warfare like they always do, and most of their constituents in their districts may not care. But each one of them has people in their districts who will be severely harmed by these cuts and budget delays, especially small business owners who do business with the state, who are already being battered by the recession. And here come the Senate GOP caucus members, who I'm willing to guess have an average net worth above that of the typical middle-class family in CA, who are willing to shut things down until those "other" people are hurt even more, all while protecting their big oil company and other corporate buddies from sharing equally in the sacrifice. I'm sure the members of the caucus enjoy their health care and paychecks while they send the state into the abyss.
I'm thinking it's time we signal to Mr. Hollywood and the Senate GOP caucus that we will make this about class warfare, and are prepared to go nuclear. There's one thing the GOP has taught us all these years: the ends justify the means.
Payback is a bitch.