TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT? LOCAL LEGISLATORS SQUARE OFF OVER TAX DAY "TEA PARTY" PROTESTS

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By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—California’s Republican legislators joined in a “tea party” tax protest in Sacramento earlier this month. In response, Democratic leaders staged a “reality check” to unveil a 150-foot long scroll listing $26 billion in budget cuts made since 2003--warning that more severe cuts to schools and other essential programs would be required without the revenue increases in the 2009-2010 budget.

Both sides bolstered their arguments with videos--posted here.

“in our current economy, taxpayers are obviously concerned with how their hard-earned dollars are spent. It is unacceptable for government to hike taxes even further while many hardworking citizens must choose between paying their mortgage or putting food on the table,” Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth, whose district includes East County, said at a rally on the Capitol steps in Sacramento. He accused the Legislature of “fiscal irresponsibility” and said he is pushing for a “fairer, flatter tax system.” To view Senator Hollinsgworth’s full speech, see http://cssrc.us/web/36/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Democratic Legislators held their own event and said that there is no more fat to trim in the state budget. Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego), cited deep cuts in education and observed that Califiornia needs to invest in computers to help students succeed in an increasingly high-tech world. , “As longas we cut back on education, we will not have the workforce weneed for the 21st century,” she said. “The people who are out here protesting today are calling back centuries ago to an old reality…We here stand for a future in which our students will have the skills they need in a an increasingly technologiocal 21st century workforce.” To view Assemblymember Saldaña and other Democratic leaders presentations, visit http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a76/ .