AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Villaraigosa doesn’t see it that way. Few politicians actually want to ask the people to support a tax increase on themselves. So politicians give tax increases different names and package them in clever ways to obscure the reality. But what Villaraigosa is really doing is drafting a “hit piece” on himself that will assuredly come back to haunt him in future elections – such as when he runs for governor. A “hit piece,” in politics, is a mailer or TV spot that defines a political candidate negatively on an important issue. In this case, it would be that Villaraigosa supports tax increases. Are we really getting our money’s worth out of the city? Are the critical services really getting the attention they need? How many more cops have been added to the streets of L.A., particularly in the San Fernando Valley, where gang problems are a constant and growing threat? What about improving upon the aging infrastructure we hear so much about? But the absurdity and hit-piece writing don’t end there. Villaraigosa is also exploring putting a different tax increase on the ballot and selling it as a tax cut. Boy, this sounds familiar. Remember the “reform” term-limit ballot measure we just voted on that actually increased the amount of time City Council members can serve? That measure was purposefully crafted to confuse the voters into thinking they were supporting tough term limits and good government. What many mistakenly did was vote to give politicians greater job security. RAISE your hand if you think you aren’t paying enough taxes. Too bad. You don’t have a vote in the matter. That’s what Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council are telling you, anyhow. The city of Los Angeles is suing you, the people, in an effort to take part of the Department of Water and Power’s revenue stream and use it for non-DWP-related expenses. And Villaraigosa is leading the charge. The problem with this strategy, other than the fact that our city is suing us for doing nothing wrong, is that such a maneuver is tantamount to a tax increase. And according to Proposition 218, approved by the voters in 1996, it should be voted on by the people. Similarly, Villaraigosa is exploring a ballot measure that would preserve the much-despised telephone utility users tax we pay at a lower level, then calling it a tax cut. But this tax will likely go away altogether after an upcoming court ruling, meaning any attempt to keep even a portion of it would really become a tax increase. If the mayor really believes the city needs more revenues, he should pursue pro-growth strategies that countries the world over are pursuing. In France, for instance, President Sarkozy is cutting taxes to stimulate economic investment, which will in turn create more profitable businesses, which comes back to government in the form of more tax revenues. It worked when Bill Clinton cut capital-gains taxes in the 1990s, and when the Bush tax cuts were passed in the early part of this decade. In both instances, government revenues rose. Los Angeles is a high-tax, expensive place to do business. It makes sense to cut taxes and encourage investment and job creation. Instead, Villaraigosa has started down the road of taxing and spending without admitting it. By using such cynical campaign tactics that suggest one thing but really are another, Villaraigosa thinks he’s being crafty and clever. But what he fails to realize is that he’s unwittingly writing his own campaign hit pieces. Garrett Biggs and Todd Blair are partners in the Los Angeles-based political consulting firm, Blair-Biggs Campaigns. Write to them by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!