One cannot help but notice what is going on in France and that the disturbance is spreading to other European Union countries.
What is interesting in France is the unrest that has been developing for months and that the fuel tax imposed by President Emmanuelle Macron was only the trigger that sparked the outrage of the working class of the French society. Just recently here in California, a new governor has been elected and will be seated in January 2019. During Gavin Newsom’s campaign, he stated that he planned to double California’s personal income tax rate and just recently I saw a news report indicating that the legislators wish to impose a new flat tax on cellular telephone text messaging, in addition to a new vehicle mileage tax, based on the number of miles each Californian drives annually.
Are local- and state-elected officials so out of touch with the reality of Californians, who struggle every day, that they think that what is happening in France and the rest of Europe cannot happen here only because the demonstrations and unrest are 6,000 miles away? Over my career, I’ve had an opportunity to spend time in France and I can tell you from personal experience that the French society is very much like our disciplined, polite society here in America. It is apparent that President Macron and the French Parliament have pushed that disciplined, polite society to the breaking point and they are speaking out.
Our local and state politicians have short memories because we hear in America — more specifically, California — have been pushed to the breaking point in the past. As an example, in 1978 proposition 13, a property tax revolt; then again in 2003, the recall of then Gov. Gray Davis for squandering a $1 billion state surplus and then raising the vehicle license fees.
There are other examples here in our local San Diego government, when in 2013 we became aware of the unacceptable conduct of then-Mayor Robert Filner, involving sexual harassment of city staff; and again, when we were asked to conserve water usage during a statewide drought and the San Diego City Water Authority demanded a rate increase because they were not selling enough water, thereby reducing their revenue. Add insult to injury, we learned later that the water department had paid out $23 million in bonuses just prior to the City Council voting approval of the water rate increase, which the council did with a simple majority vote with only one no vote — that of Democrat Councilmember Martha Emerald of District 7.
Tax revolts are nothing new to Americans — as an example: Dec. 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party. But things have changed today, and in our disciplined, polite society we are able to solve many problems with a signature on a petition, or when we deposit our votes in the ballot box, and, if need be, in a courtroom with a trier of fact.
—Joe Ney, Del Cerro.