What Taxpayers Want from Santa

Photo courtesy Franco Folini, flickr

Photo courtesy Franco Folini, flickr

A time-tested Christmas joke describes the four stages of life: First, you believe in Santa Clause. Second, you don’t believe in Santa Clause. Third, you are Santa Claus. Fourth, you look like Santa Claus.

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As they look down from their lofty perches in the State Capitol, members of the political ruling class see taxpayers as perpetually being in the third stage, supplying a never ending supply of goodies (i.e., tax revenue) to be collected by lawmakers and bureaucrats, and kept, or redistributed, as they see fit.

When taxpayers look back at the politicians, they see them in the juvenile first stage, naively believing in Santa Taxpayer who can effortlessly fulfill their every desire and whim.

Of course, taxpayers can best be described as being in the cynical second stage. They don’t believe in Santa Claus, they work hard, they understand there is no free lunch and they are wary of politicians who try to buy voter support with the money they have extracted from our wallets and pocketbooks.

However, if Santa Claus does exist, here is a list of requests that taxpayers might send to the North Pole:

  • A $39.95 toy train to go under the tree. This will be less expensive, and just as useful, as the $100 billion bullet train the governor and the Legislature want taxpayers to put in their stocking.  Based on the current estimate of costs, the dream train for “good” politicians will cost a family of four over $10,000.
  • Gas tax relief. Counting carbon penalties, Californians pay the highest gas taxes in the nation. Most working Californians, who need their cars for work, cannot afford to drive Teslas. While less expensive alternative fuel vehicles are developed, average folks on modest incomes don’t need to be faced with having to make a choice between being able to fill the gas tank or the grocery cart.
  • Time to catch our breath. In an already high tax state, where the government is running a hefty surplus, taxpayers would like to see a moratorium on tax increase proposals and on efforts to undermine Proposition 13 protections.
  • Reversal of both state and federal policies that have led to the 30 hour work week, instead of the 40 hour week, being considered the standard for full employment.
  • For those taxpayers who have reached the fourth stage of looking like Santa Clause, they wish for a normal life in retirement so they don’t to have to work late in life. That’s a big ask in California because high taxes, which allow government workers to retire comfortably, make life difficult for other seniors who aren’t so lucky.

Asking for more, such as having the politicians stop treating taxpayers like second-class citizens, might seem greedy. So Santa, if you could just deliver any of our wishes above, we would be very grateful.

P.S. There is nothing wrong with looking like Santa Claus.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.


  1. With the exception of 3 years in the Army, I’ve lived in California since 1961. My wife and I have lived in our home for going on 18 years and to be blunt, don’t really want to move. Even putting aside issues like the transgender bill signed by Brown and a myriad of other issues from gun control to drivers licenses for illegal aliens, to sanctuary cities, the simple fact is we may not be able to afford to stay. In spite of having replaced doors and windows in our 60 year old home with modern energy efficient ones, adding insulation and upgrading to more energy efficient air conditioning, our electric bill has gone from an average of $130 a month when we purchased our home to an average this year of $328 a month, much of this due directly to California and Brown’s push that California set the example for a push to a non carbon based energy. I wonder what the tax and spend politicians are going to do when the takers far outnumber those of us paying taxes.

    • ” I wonder what the tax and spend politicians are going to do when the takers far outnumber those of us paying taxes.” Frankly Gary, I doubt they give a rats patootie. As long as the likes of Newsome, deLeon and the rest of the theives get theirs they frankly don’t give a darn as long as they get to stay on the gravy train at our expense. BTW, got you beat by 14 years and I was stationed in Fairfield for my tour.

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