A recent poll revealed that Californians are in favor of the idea of raising their taxes in order to pay for Sacramento's massive spending problem. Among other tax hike measures on the ballot the big one, Proposition 30, will hike state income taxes for seven years for those earning more than $250,000 annually. Now certainly most of us aren't making that kind of money including me, but let me tell you why I strongly urge Californians to reject any tax hikes.
1) $250,000 is not rich for a couple. That is middle class. And if the dollar crashes which is highly likely a job making $125,000 could be the equivalent of making $50,000 or even less and we are stuck with those tax hikes for 7 years. Also think about that....7 years....do you honestly think in 7 years a couple making $250,000 a year will be "rich"? It is highly misleading for Brown to label this a "Millionare's Tax" hike. Also you may not be making much money now but in a few years maybe you will be and again you are stuck with these tax hikes.
2) The more money we give them the more money they embezzle, give to corporate welfare programs like redevelopment and CAEZ, or pay out in excessive salaries and pensions. Thus, the more we empower these special interests to lobby for even more of our money. We NEED California to go bankrupt so they are forced to explain to us what they did with ALL our money. If we keep giving them more we will never get to the bottom of the corruption and they will never be held accountable for misappropriating funds. If California actually goes broke then special interests will go after one another and we need that. As it is now the Teacher's union never confronts the building industry billion dollar entitlements because for the most part the special interests always get what they want at the expense of real services and resources like state parks.
3) This measure is billed as helping public schools, community colleges, services for children and older adults, and local public safety. Which simply means that they spent the money they were SUPPOSED to spend on these programs on other things that they don't want to talk about. They always throw out schools and public safety when they need money because everyone cares about those things and they don't want to address the fact that they gave all your money away to special interests. Don't buy it. We gave them plenty of money for these programs in existing taxes.
4) The Governor still hasn't eliminated the excessive corporate welfare programs. Most of us were thrilled to hear that Governor Brown was cutting the much-maligned redevelopment agencies which syphon billions a year in tax dollars from schools. But even in this latest story he is still planning on giving them 3.6 billion dollars over the next two years and if SB 1585 (co-sponsored by our assembly rep Toni Atkins) passes another 1.4 billion to redevelopment. Thus these tax hikes are simply going to pay for these special interest projects. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news%2Fstate&id=8628184 . Additonally, programs like California EZ program give millions to big box companies like Walmart and Home Depot every year for "creating jobs". One report by Sprawlbusters suggests Walmart has been getting about $11,000 per year per employee for opening stores in certain "zones" which are all over California. Multiply that by 1000s of employees. Why are Californians paying Walmart to expand while we are shutting down 70 of our state parks and selling off the land to developers?
5) Additionally politicians like Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) are still doling out state tax dollars in NEW spending programs like AB 1500 which seeks to give $1 billion dollars for middle class scholarships with a tax increase on actual small businesses that are struggling to survive and compete with big businesses. And what do you think the chances are that that 1 billion dollars will actually be spent on scholarships? Again, why are we creating new spending programs when we closed down 70 state parks and not just closed them but are SELLING them off acre by acre? (See what San Francisco is doing: giving state park land away in an innovative technique called "land-for-cash swap" no joke, I mean how is that different than selling the land off? And the state assembly refused to pass a bill that would have protected parks from developers.Thank you Toni Atkins once again for.....nothing).
6) The fraudulent misuse of tax dollars. LA affordable housing developer ADI is currently being investigated for stealing $250 million dollars from tax payers and putting much of it into an offshore bank account. Additionally they used the money to bribe many public officials. The fraud was not discovered by anyone working for the city. It was only discovered because the developer was getting a divorce and a bitter ex-wife turned him in. I mean this is a MAJOR case of fraud and the media is completely silent about it and we are going to give these guys more tax money and sell off our parks to pay for it? "Los Angeles claims ADI, Ajit Development & Investment, Pacific Housing Diversified, and six people, including the companies' shareholders, officers, directors, agents and employees, profited from the RICO conspiracy for years, fraudulently getting money and loans from the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF), which includes state and federal money for development of affordable housing." http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/04/25/36066.htm How many more of these stories have yet to be discovered?
7) The tax DOES in fact hike gas prices.
So I urge you to join me in rejecting Governor Brown's big campaign to hike our taxes. Yes, I know there are plenty of people making $250,000 a year that are scumbags but alot of them aren't and I don't think that targeting them is appropriate. These guys in Sacramento can not be trusted with any more of your money. Whether you are conservative or liberal you should think twice about trusting these politicians with any money at all. We should be targeting the corporate welfare programs that allow some Californians to get rich off state tax dollars and the California politicians that refuse to tell us what they did with all our money. And we should be creating ballot measures that demand valuable assets like schools and state parks be funded FIRST and special interests can fight over what's left.