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Look, maybe I’ve been a little too harsh on my state senator. He’s only been in office a few short months. I shouldn’t expect perfection from someone who has never held public office before. I certainly shouldn’t expect it when those in public office are about as far from perfect as one can get in this world. I realize that I need to be more positive in my discourse. Positivity brings more people to the table. It allows us to look at things in a different, more meaningful way. I want to be positive. I really do. So let’s take a look at Sen. Newman with brand new eyes.
One thing I can honestly say is that he is markedly different than most politicians in California. He says as much in the first line of the Issues section of his campaign website:
First and foremost, I am not a politician, nor do I ever intend to become one.
And right he is. He is not a politician. He’s just a man trying to make sense of the crazy world of California politics. He’s already taken his first major step to cement the fact that he’s not a politician. See, the vast majority of tax revenue in California comes from personal income taxes, and we here in California love taxing our rich to fill those coffers. We love it so much that we’ve voted repeatedly to raise the personal income tax on the rich in recent years. But we always seem to find ourselves in a bad way financially in the Golden State. Maybe we should try a different path. After all, isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result?
Enter Josh Newman. He has a different vision for California. If taxing the rich for all these years hasn’t solved our financial woes, why not try taxing the middle and working classes? Honestly, those freeloaders (myself included) have enjoyed a relatively tax-free life for too long. Everyone must pay his or her fair share. It’s now time for those lazy layabouts to contribute something to this state. And Josh Newman should know a thing or two about this. His District 29 is demonstrably middle class.
I assume this is why he threw his support behind California Senate Bill 1. The tax and fee increases in this bill will be a direct tax on those groups that have not been doing their part to feed the kitty. The bill (well, law, now that Gov. Brown has signed it) raises the gas excise tax on all of California’s 25.5 million drivers. Doing the quick math ($5.2 billion in estimated revenue / 25.5 million drivers), every driver in California can expect to pay around $204 more each year for the privilege of driving your vehicle on our roads. And a privilege it is. Don’t you forget it. This is California. You could be driving in, I don’t know, Oklahoma or something *shudder*. Now, that number might go up or down depending on how much you drive and how expensive your vehicle is, but rest assured California will get whatever revenue it needs from you by any means necessary. And really, an extra $200 per year? You can afford that. Don’t tell Josh Newman you can’t afford that. He knows when you’re lying.
I mean, who cares if you need to travel dozens of miles (or more) to and from work? It’s not Josh Newman’s fault you can’t afford a house or apartment closer to your job. He doesn’t set the home and rent prices in Orange County, so stop asking. What? You drive for a living? Look, Sen. Newman never told you to take that job. You need to stop blaming him for all of your poor life choices. The roads need to be fixed and this was the only way to do it. He did this for you. Remember that. His vote for SB1 was a vote in the interests of the people of District 29. It wasn’t a party line vote. One democrat voted against it! Not him, of course. It was someone else. Someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Josh Newman is not some traditional democratic politician who follows orders just because Kevin de Leon and Jerry Brown tell him to. No no no. He’s a man of the people.
Given everything I’ve just laid out, I can’t, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want to organize a recall against Josh Newman. I mean, granted, he’s partially responsible for the biggest gas tax hike in California history, giving California the highest fuel prices in the country. And, I’ll admit, he had a hand in raising the vehicle registration fee. And I know that other politicians have been recalled for less. But that shouldn’t matter! He’s fulfilling every promise he made in the campaign. He’s being fiscally responsible. He’s not a politician. He’s working for us. Sensibly. Meticulously. We need more people like him in Sacramento, fighting for the rights of the middle and working classes. He is our advocate. Our voice!