Retailers around California are encouraging all of us consumer-types to rush out this weekend to shop until we drop. No, it's not part of some big "Cesar Chavez Chavez Day Blowout," but that would seem like crass commercialism. Instead, we are being asked to get out there and stimulate the economy before our state sales tax goes up a penny on April 1st. Starting Wednesday, every dollar we spend will have an additional penny added to it. This is our last chance to "stick it to the man."
I have recently been given the task of explaining sales tax to my son, who is a ferocious consumer of all things plastic, metal, and video game related. He tends to save his money for items right up to the pre-tax price. Then he has to start scrounging his nickels and dimes and begging his parents to make up the difference. The up side of reaching the ten percent sales tax plateau is that the math becomes so much easier.
And for many, so does the outrage. Ten percent? You've got to be kidding. Where does all that money go? First of all, the swirling vortex that is our state's debt, and then little things like roads and bridges and police and fire and, oh yes, schools. I'm a school teacher. If I want a new refrigerator, I think I'll wait until Wednesday.