Good News, The Economy not Hurting Everyone

The Yacht Owners of Orange County get the benefit of a loophole where they don’t have to pay State taxes on the purchase of a new boat and when Republicans blocked the passage of a bill that would close this loophole this is how they defended their decision.

Republican Senator Dick Ackerman started off opposition on the Senate floor: “First of all, it is a tax increase. Unfortunately, it follows the trend of some of our colleagues who want to tax the rich. As we found, taxing the rich in California does not work—they have many other alternatives.”

The California Progress Report

Yes, I know, this one has been beaten to death but for good reason. So as I browse the LA Times local edition, this headline for some odd reason of course, caught my attention.

Wealthy buyers keep boat sales afloat

Oh, thank GOD, you know, I was really concerned that the wealthy were not going to be able to keep buying their large boats. Which of course is their God given right, it’s their money and it’s theirs to do with what they please. But there is something about the whole piece that makes my heart shrivel a little bit. I mean, we’ve been reading about the cuts to Education and State Beaches and here, boat sales are at a nice and easy clip. Of course, many people can’t afford to stay in their homes let alone afford the buy a million dollar boat and the piece of “news” to me just felt like a little tiny knife.

The economy is screeching to a halt and the housing market is melting down, but Gerald and Sue Vickers were popping champagne Wednesday at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, christening the 70-foot yacht they described as an impulse buy.

With customers such as the Vickers — five-time boat buyers — business was expected to be brisk at the 35th annual Newport Boat Show, one of the fanciest yachting get-togethers on the West Coast. This year, a record 350 or so vessels are bobbing on display through the weekend.

Yacht shoppers “are not worried about the payments on their house,” said Duncan McIntosh, who produces the event and publishes several boating periodicals. “They’re not affected by what us mere mortals have to worry about every day.”

“Most of the people that we deal with have the ability to do what they want to do when they want to do it,” said Chuck Hovey, who runs Newport Beach-based Chuck Hovey Yachts.

The LA Times
It’s just salt water in the wound and the idea that Republicans are worried about the rich taking their “toys” and leaving our State because of taxes that others are made to pay for the purchase of their cars, which gets them to their jobs, is so beyond short sighted. It’s indefensible as well. The Education cuts, if they stick, will directly affect working families in our County in the very immediate sense but those big businesses we want to keep here won’t feel it until another 10 or 10 years down the road when they start fleeing California when they can’t find the qualified and well educated workforce they will need in order to generate the kind of revenue that will allow them to buy those big boats. By then, Republicans who are in Office now won’t have to worry about explaining this to their constituents, since they probably would have moved on to bigger and better things by then. Guess who gets stuck with this? That’s right, the people who can’t afford to buy those boats now.