Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Proposition 30

Paradox at The Left Coaster has a post Monday bitterly declaiming against Proposition 30 upon which, paradoxically, he says he will vote “yes.” He goes on to rant about how afraid Governor Brown is, although what Brown has to be afraid of is unclear since he certainly will not be running for reelection at the age of 90+.

Paradox despises the measure because of, “No extraction taxes on oil, minerals or natural gas. No Prop 13 reform so business can finally pay their way. Pathetic top-rate tinkering on the yacht club and regressive screwing of people who have nothing, this is what a timid Republican would do.”

He has a point on the first, although it would bring in only $1-4 billion of the $16 billion the state is short, and it has been put to the California voters twice and has been turned down twice. It has been turned down for all of the wrong reasons, but it would be a bit silly to assume that it will succeed on the third try when it has failed badly on the first two. There comes a time when you have to go with what you think can work.

I have no idea why he thinks that Prop 13 allows businesses to avoid “paying their way.” Commercial property is treated exactly the same as private property, and I’m not sure why he would think that businesses should pay a higher share of the cost of civilization than do citizens. There is a mania these days for making business pay more, as if that somehow avoids people from having to pay. That assumes that businesses don’t pass that increased cost on to the people who buy things from them, which is delusional.

Then he decries the “pathetic top-rate tinkering of the yacht club,” which is how he describes four new tax rates for upper incomes which raise taxes in those brackets by as much as four percentage points. I recall him waxing quite enthusiastic about Obama’s “tax the rich” plan that raised the top rate by just one percentage point, but Brown’s increase of four times that is “pathetic top-rate tinkering.”

The “screwing of people who have nothing” refers to the increase on sales tax by one fourth of one percent from 7.25% to 7.5% with food, medicine and services exempt. Without the exemptions I would be more in agreement with his argument, but…

Paradox’s arguments, as is common today, consists of “tax the rich, tax businesses, but don’t tax me.” The services provided by government, however, should not go to the rich, or to business but should go to

No on Proposition 30. It is a short term solution to a long term problem.

1 comment:

bruce said...

Oh, where to start...

I don't know wher you got the age of 90+, Gov Brown is 74 and will be termed out in 2015, age 77ish.

This is a fairly simple measure and says nothing about extraction taxes, oil taxes, fart taxes or whatever. Go ahead and try to pass something like that, just do it separately for different reasons.

As far as the business and Prop 13, they can get creative with avoiding owership changes and thus avoid triggering a re-assessment, but that's about all. Does that result in less revenue to the state? Probably, but you can do something separate to close that loophole. And of course business will pass costs on to customers, they call it "business" not charity.

Regressive? Um, I don't see how. The sales tax increase is actually very small, and doesn't apply to what a lot of people us on a daily basis, so I can live with that.

And the top tier tax rates aren't changed too much. They might not feel it so much. Maybe they will. I don't know, but if I was in that position, I'd probably have other bigger worries than that one.

Government services go to everyone, safety nets go to those who have nothing. There is a difference.

I dislike the idea of giving politicians more money when they've mismanaged it badly in the past. And I dislike the BS and disingenuation with which they (Gov. Brown et al) are trying to sell this thing. They ought to be slapped across the face with a Prop 30 defeat, but then the rest of us are the ones to suffer.

This is, like all tax initiatives, a short term solution to a long term problem. The real solution is of course, to get real budgetary reform. If we need to toss all the pols on their asses, once or repeatedly, so be it. But we know how likely that is to happen, damn it.

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