The burgeoning tax revolt taking place in California has given conservatives hope that, at long last, Californians have grown tired of the Abusive Relationship they have with their state government. Certainly, Gov. Jerry Brown is not amused. He recently called those people who are objecting to a new tax hike on gasoline and diesel, along with an increase in auto licensing fees, as “freeloaders.”

What was Jerry Brown thinking?

Gov. Brown was at an event supporting Assemblyman Josh Newman, who has been targeted as part of a recall effort because of his support for the tax hike.

Opponents of the tax increase are also pushing for a referendum to be placed on the 2018 ballot that would repeal the tax increase. Brown not only dismissed opponents of the tax increase as “freeloaders” who do not understand that “good government” costs money but boasted that Newman would get all the resources he needs to turn back the recall effort.

California is a high tax, big spending state

For the past 20 years or so, California has followed a governing model that exacts a high tax burden to feed an ever expanding government. The state has also imposed a regulatory regime, particularly based on environmental considerations, which has placed obstacles in the way of business. California’s infrastructure of roads and bridges are crumbling because that state’s environmental lobby has successfully blocked improvements and repairs.

Sacramento is pushing a hundred billion dollar vanity project, a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the benefits of which do not seem worth the cost. Central Valley farmers have been ruined because their water supply has been cut off to protect an obscure species called the snail darter. Housing prices have increased to such a level that many middle-class Californians cannot afford to live in the state.

Californians are voting with their feet

People and businesses have started an exodus from California to seek states such as Texas that are friendlier to their existence. The result has been the creation of a death spiral as the state’s tax base has started to leach away, causing the state government to increase taxes to compensate, driving more people and businesses away.

Brown’s snarkiness demonstrates that he is blissfully unaware of the problem that the political elites face in the state he was elected to govern. So far California voters have not given him or the Democratic super-majorities in the state legislature reason to care. California voters, if they want to change the behavior of their elected officials, are going to have to make them care at the ballot box.