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New Progressive America or Tea Party Nation?

Posted By Conn Carroll On May 20, 2009 @ 10:57 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

The Center for American Progress recently released report titled New Progressive America [1] claiming “20 Years of Demographic, Geographic, and Attitudinal Change Across the Country Herald a New Progressive Majority.” When analyzing different states, CAP specifically left out California explaining:

This paper confines the state discussion to states that have been recently contested between progressives and conservatives, leaving out states such as Illinois and California that have moved so heavily progressive since 1988 that were not seriously contested in recent elections.

CAP’s report goes on to make the case that the New Progressive America is ready to pay higher taxes, especially for the environment [2] and education [3]:

Here are some illustrative findings from a 2001 ETS survey: 89 percent of the public supported hiring more teachers to reduce class size; 89 percent supported raising teacher salaries to hire and retain good teachers; and 81 percent supported raising teacher pay for most teachers and doubling salaries for the top 20 percent of teachers, based on performance and qualifications. In a 2006 ETS survey, the idea to “dramatically increase teachers’ salaries to attract more well-qualified teachers” still received 73 percent support even when it was specified that this would entail “a significant increase in taxes.”

But telling a pollster you support high taxes is one thing. Actually going into a ballot box and voting for them is another. Yesterday Californians had the opportunity to do just that. Five ballot propositions were on the ballot yesterday in California and two of them, props 1A [4] and 1B [5], would have specifically raised taxes and then dedicated those funds to teacher’s salaries.

Teachers unions and other big government allies outspent opponents of the propositions by 10 to 1. [6] So how did real live voters actually vote? The tax hikes failed by a 2 to 1 margin. [7] Why? Californians, who are so progressive that CAP didn’t even bother to analyze the state, do not support tax hikes.

And reading today’s papers we see that the fledgling grassroots Tea Party movement was key to mobilizing the vote against big government:

Orange County Register [8]:

About 100 protesters lined the four corners of Marguerite Parkway and La Paz Road this evening, expressing anger at measures before voters Tuesday and outrage at state spending.

The planned protest is the second of its kind. On April 15, the Republican group organized a Tea Party – “Taxed Enough Already” – to protest increased federal spending. It was one of hundreds of such protest rallies around the country, including several in Orange County.

“We oppose spending more on taxes,” said Michael Ferrall, president of the assembly. “We’re also concerned and opposed to the ever-growing size and scope of government. It’s an ongoing battle between the taxpayers and the tax users.”

Redlands Daily Facts: [9]

On the eve of the state’s special election, citizens with the nonpartisan group Tea Party IE protested Proposition 1A in Ontario on Monday in an eleventh hour reminder to commuters.

Waving flags and signs that read “Give me Liberty, not debt,” and “Don’t tread on me,” more than 60 people surrounded the intersection of Fourth Street and Milliken Avenue on Monday evening in a show of opposition to to the propositions.

“It is time for local, state and federal governments to tighten their belts instead of asking the citizens to make sacrifices for politicians’ irresponsible behavior,” said Laura Boatright, organizer of the protest.
For Upland’s Ernest Arroyo at the Ontario event, it’s time the government evaluates its own spending before it comes to the taxpayers for more money.

San Diego Union Tribune: [10]

The crowd of about 200 gathered at a so-called “tea party” at Spanish Landing Park on Harbor Drive to protest the measure, which proposes a two-year extension of temporary increases in sales taxes, car registrations and income tax.

Thousands of people in San Diego County have participated in similar protests against taxes and government spending policies as part of “tea parties” around the nation.

“We are tired of politicians raising taxes every time they get into financial trouble,” said Leslie Eastman, an event organizer and co-founder of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition.

“I’m fed up with all of these tax hikes,” said Rich Green, who works for an information-technology company and who signed one of the petitions. … They should be focusing on cutting spending and not raising taxes in the middle of a financial crisis.”


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/20/new-progressive-america-or-tea-party-nation/

URLs in this post:

[1] New Progressive America: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/03/progressive_america.html

[2] environment: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/03/pdf/progressive_america.pdf#page=41

[3] education: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/03/pdf/progressive_america.pdf#page=42

[4] 1A: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_1A_(May_2009)

[5] 1B: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_1B_(May_2009)

[6] outspent opponents of the propositions by 10 to 1.: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-props20-2009may20,0,5134709.story

[7] The tax hikes failed by a 2 to 1 margin.: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-19-budgetshowdown_N.htm

[8] Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/protest-spending-assembly-2417422-april-group

[9] Redlands Daily Facts:: http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/sanbernardinocounty/ci_12399033

[10] San Diego Union Tribune:: http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/17/1m17tax002941-prop-1a-foes-protest-ahead-election/

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