California doesn't need another tax hike [Most commented]
Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a ballot initiative this week to raise the sales tax and increase taxes on upper-income Californians. "The money would flow to public schools and community colleges through a special fund walled off from the rest of the state budget," explains the editorial board in Friday's Opinion pages. "Brown's initiative would also write into the state Constitution a recently enacted "realignment" that reassigned some public safety duties to local governments, and would dedicate a portion of sales tax revenues to fund it."
Although commenters on our discussion board are saying The Times has never met a tax hike it didn't approve of, the editorial board is still undecided on Brown's proposal. "It's too soon to judge the merits of Brown's proposal, which is just one of several competing tax measures that could be on the ballot in November," the editorial says. "In the meantime, though, voters should take stock of the cuts the state has already made."
What the board does know: We need more money. We need to overhaul the tax code to mitigate future economic troubles.
Here's what a few of our readers suggest instead.
Better put those lazy liberal brains together and come up with an alternate plan. Because there will not be another tax increase.
Cut, cut, cut
No one will fall for the "walled off funds". Yes, the new taxes would go to education, but they will equally cut the general fund spending to education by the same amount. Net result = 0 for Education.
Cut Cut Cut....it can all be solved by cuts. Increasing taxes will not result in a revenue increase they are far too high already.
Just another way to boost pensions
As long as California and its cities keep paying for public sector union pensions, no tax hike will be enough. If any tax initiatives win, unions will be first in line to collect the money. Brown's plan for "education" and "public safety" already has holes in it because public employees can "realign" their jobs to fall under both of those categories, making the education tax into a public employee windfall.
Get ready for a rude awakening
"More revenue is needed and compromises must be made..."
Or else...what? More editorials demanding tax increases? Oh dear, I can't take it any more. Okay, okay--here's my bank account number. Take what you need, and leave me what you can spare...
Yes, we CAN cure California's problems with cuts. Yes we CAN enact civil servant pay and benefit reform. Yes we CAN do what is necessary without raising ANY taxes.
Californians are not under-taxed. Why can't liberals crack this code? Somehow cutting back on pension spiking, requiring civil servants to contribute more toward their own healthcare and pension costs never enter the debate.
In a state where 30 cents of every tax dollar collected go toward the pay and benefits of public employees, you can expect some serious problems during economic downturns. As far as I can tell Brown has significantly cut back services to save money, but has yet to lay off ONE state worker.
Why? Has working for the government become the latest entitlement, including early retirement with full benefits?
Clearly, civil servants think that economic hard times do not apply to them. They are in for a rude awakening, especially when CalPERS goes kablooey.
Don't threaten the public services we actually need
The title of this editorial is "Cuts alone can't cure California". A good subtitle would be "Tax increases can't cure California either." Jerry Brown needs to reduce spending in all areas, e.g., union negotiated salaries and pensions. Instead he threatens to cut areas that will frighten us, e.g., police, fire, education, to blackmail us into accepting his tax increases.
It's another trick
California public officials try to sell us gimmicks by calling them "solutions." They lie to get what they want. The bullet train is a perfect example. They told us it was going to cost $33B in order to get us to vote for it. After we vote for it, under pressure, they come clean and tell us that it's going to cost $98B.
Why should California voters trust politicians? Their history is one of scandal, deception and outright lies.
If we approve new taxes, a year later we'll discover it was all a deception. A trick. Yet another sucker-punch to the taxpayer's jaw.
What we need
It still won't work. As our state constitution is a patchwork of funding ideas both good and bad, we need to start from scratch.
*For clarity purposes, spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Reuters