If California Gov. Jerry Brown thought that he was going to tamp down the latest Tax revolt in his state by calling the rebels “freeloaders” then, according to a recent article in the Washington Times, he might want to think again. The leaders of a movement to place a referendum on the 2018 ballot to repeal a massive tax increase on gas, diesel, and auto licensing fees reports being deluged with calls with offers to volunteer. The same was the case for a separate but related effort to recall State Sen. Josh Newman, a vulnerable Democrat targeted for his support of the tax bill.

Jerry Brown heaps snark on tax rebels

Brown, who was a moving force for the tax increase said to be implemented to finance an infrastructure repair project, vented frustration against the rebels, claiming that they don’t appreciate how big government costs money. His use of the term “freeloaders” is turning out to be something that he is going to regret, however, much like Hillary Clinton calling Trump supporters “deplorables.” Brown is playing the part of an out of touch politician, a role that is beginning to enrage Californians. He enjoys super-majorities in the state legislature, which means that Brown can pass pretty much as he pleases. However, Brown may be experiencing a case of hubris leading to nemesis.

What the resistance wants

The resistance, emerging and growing in California, wants to use that state’s robust popular referendum system to rein is the government in Sacramento and show it that it cannot do anything it wants. The effort to recall Newman is an added message that legislators who think they don’t have to listen to the people do so at their peril.

The fact that the referendum, if it is approved, will be on the ballot in 2018 is very significant. Jerry Brown is term limited out, so people in California have an opportunity to make some changes. Peter Thiel, the gay, Silicon Valley mogul and ally of President Donald Trump is thinking of making a go at the office. He could run on a set of new ideas, making California friendlier to business and job creation.

Californians will also have the opportunity to pare down on those supermajorities in the state legislature. It is too much to hope to flip either house, but at the very least the power of the Democrats to do damage could be impaired to some extent/

The battle going forward

One thing is easy to predict, the fight over the referendum is going to be epic, with tens of millions of dollars poured in on both sides. Look for the battle to go national because it will serve as a test for the “blue model” of high taxes and generous spending. If that model is repudiated at the polls in California, will be as big a political earthquake as Proposition 13 in the late 1970s.