Steven Greenhut, the onetime editorial writer at The Orange County Register and a man loathed by public employee union bosses, and state Senator Lou Correa recently met with 12 food truck owners who claim Santa Ana police and California tax officials are harassing their businesses.
According to Greenhut's July 13 Reason.com report of the encounter, the businesses are run by hardworking individuals who have become the targets of people who don't like the sight of the trucks on public streets and for bureaucrats at the state Board of Equalization desperate to boost government revenue.
Greenhut, who is now the vice president for journalism at the right-leaning Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, says he's found a couple of ironies in the mess:
--The food truck owners say government harassment is hurting their businesses more than a lousy economy;
--Callous bureaucrats told at least one owner that he should quit and join the ranks of welfare recipients;
--These businessmen know that the state squeeze for more tax revenue is fueled by government employee unions who want to protect money sources for their own pensions.
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Here's Greenhut's reasoning:
"These business owners understood that the state is shaking them down to come up with money to pay for its lavish overspending, on programs including six-figure pensions for government employees . . . The state Capitol is controlled by liberal Democrats, who frequently invoke the poor, working-class people and immigrants to justify their latest government spending ideas. Yet here is the latest example of how these officials put the demands of the well-paid and powerful unions over the needs of hard-strapped immigrants and working people."
Go HERE to read Greenhut's entire Reason.com column, "California's Food Truck Shakedown."