Californians were punished with higher gas taxes when taxes went up 3.5 cents per gallon on July 1 because we are doing what the government wants us to do by using less gas. A week prior, the gas taxes listed at the Chevron Station at California Avenue and Oak Street were 18.4 cents federal, 35.7 cents state (both per gallon) and 3.25 percent for every dollar spent. That amounts to approximately 67 cents per gallon for the government at $4 per gallon for the cheap gas.

The government does nothing to earn this money but regulate and control those who do work to provide us with gasoline. The oil companies earn approximately 7 to 10 cents per gallon sold, while the government walks away with over six times more profit, and that isn't enough for them.

Every year, the State Board of Equalization must ensure that the state will get the same amount of taxes because they just can't do with any less. Meanwhile, the tax base is further eroded with citizens losing jobs and homes as the state continues to pile on with more taxation and regulation, all "for the children." It's time for the government to back off before they finish us off.

Bill Curtis