Del Beccaro: It's Time for Republicans to Speak Out
It is not often enough in politics that the two major political parties provide voters with a clear contrast. This year, the California Republican Party and Democrats will do just that. Democrat Jerry Brown is set to make his case that Californians should pay more taxes while refusing to cut back on the bureaucracy. California Republicans know that the tax-and-spend policies that caused our current problems will not solve them - and it is time for us to speak out about it . . .
California Democrats have dominated the California legislature for the better part of two decades. Even with a Republican governor, that one-party dominance has led to a more than doubling of our state government. Most fair-minded observers agree that California would benefit from a more balanced legislature.
The first step in achieving that balance within the Capitol will be for Republicans to provide more balance to the statewide discussions outside the Capitol. For far too long, Democrats have dominated the California airways. The new California Republican Party, in partnership with our Republican leaders and legislators, is set to reverse that dominance and go toe-to-toe with Democrats all over the state.
Two weeks ago, during my acceptance speech of the Chairmanship of the California Republican Party, I said that California Republicans had become the party of limited communication, not just limited government. I said that because our direct interaction with voters throughout the state and among many groups is far too limited. To remedy that, among other efforts, I announced our statewide "California Speaks Out" Tour that we are kicking off on April 7th. We will visit at least 20 cities and towns across the state, communicating directly with voters - where they live and in terms they understand.
Since that announcement, Jerry Brown has called off budget negotiations and announced his own tour of the state. He wants to convince voters that they should pay over $60 billion more in taxes over the next 5 years. Although I can't believe that Jerry Brown wants to publicly brand his governorship and his party as the Party of Higher Taxes - I appreciate his honesty on the subject.
We Republicans, on the other hand, understand well what Churchill said long ago that "We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." We also agree with the Democrats' favorite economist John Maynard Keynes when he said that "Nor should the argument seem strange that taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, and that, given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance, than an increase, of balancing the budget."
But it is not enough for Republicans just to understand the laws of economics. We must carry the debate to all Californians if we hope to identify with them on this important issue - and recover our brand as the party of lower taxes. Given that Californians have turned down the last six statewide tax measures, Republicans look forward to reconnecting with them on this issue.
I also will look forward to speaking to Californians about the list of permanent reform proposals the Republicans in the legislature put forward in the recent budget negotiations. Those ideas, if enacted, would help reverse decades of bad policies that have led us to our current economic and budgetary problems. Those reforms can lead us back to economic prosperity.
I call on Jerry Brown to join me at any one of our town halls so that we can discuss these important issues. The voters should see and hear our differences on display. The Republican Party is ready for that debate and, whether Jerry Brown accepts or not, I look forward to a new day in California politics.
Link to the Fox and Hounds Daily article: http://on.cagop.org/f70HWQ