How Democrats lost $1.8 billion

Money from offshore drilling could have saved many social services

Mr. Thompson is chairman of the Butte County Republican Party. He lives in Biggs.

Your editorial last week [“A reckoning coming”] blames Republican legislators, a minority in the California Legislature, for cuts in this year’s budget. It blames them for cuts to welfare, education, and a number of programs for the needy. It snidely suggests that they oppose increased taxes with no other ideas of how to fund these programs. Therein lies the falsehood.

Before the budget deal reached the state Assembly, it passed out of the state Senate. In that deal was a provision to allow for new oil drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara. This bill passed in bipartisan fashion, but it was killed by stubborn Assembly Democrats.

This action couldn’t have been taken to satisfy voters, since more than 55 percent now are in favor of offshore drilling. It couldn’t be to protect Santa Barbara, as local officials helped draft the plan that would bring more than 450 new jobs to their community. The Democrats’ actions certainly do not help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

So if we didn’t gain anything from this action, what did California lose with the rejection of offshore drilling? Only about $100 million this fiscal year, and only about $1.8 billion over the next 14 years. Enough to have covered the programs for abused and neglected children, as well as community services for the elderly. How many IHSS workers could be hired with the $100 million that Democrats tossed away so callously?

Sadly, while local proponents of these programs did protest Republican legislators over the proposed cuts, they remain loyally silent when it comes to the Democrats. Perhaps the attendance of the chairman of the Butte County Democratic Party (in his purple union shirt, no less) at the protests reveals where they get their direction.

It is increasingly obvious to California voters that we cannot tax our way out of a recession. The middle class is taxed out, and any further increases on the wealthy will mean the loss of more jobs. The only way out of the recession is to bring in new revenues by letting businesses create wealth.

Open the gates and remove the shackles. Put restraining orders on the regulatory agencies and let people once again make money. Get government out of the way so that our economy can rebound. The abundant wealth created in newly opened markets will provide more than enough tax revenue for those dependent on the system.

Put more succinctly, Drill, baby, drill!!!