national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]

















K. Lloyd Billingsley - Contributor
[Courtesty of Pacific Research Institute]

K. Lloyd Billingsley is Editorial Director for the Pacific Research Institute and has been widely published on topics including on popular culture, defense policy, education reform, and many other current policy issues. [go to Billingsley index]

Higher Taxes by Ballot?
Nice sounding liberal tax grabs...
[K. Lloyd Billingsley] 4/27/04

The California Teachers Association had been up to their usual business of resisting reform, and plotting to raise taxes through yet another ballot measure, the "Improving Classroom Education Act." Then on April 8 the CTA withdrew its initiative, to the benefit of both students and taxpayers.

The CTA measure would have raised commercial property tax rates from one percent of the value of the property to 1.55 percent - a 55-percent hike. The proposal sought to raise $6 billion, a lot of it for a system of universal pre-school, another bad idea. But this was not the measure’s only flaw.

Sacramento Bee columnist Peter Schrag, generally a faithful apologist of the educational status quo, called the measure a "blatant piece of single-interest ballot box budgeting," and "so riddled with problems that it deserves the ripping it’s likely to get if it makes it to the November ballot."

Mr. Schrag noted that the measure lacked accountability and would likely get gobbled in salary and benefit hikes, a "fat windfall" for teachers who are "already the highest paid in the country." The kids, the parents and the community, he added, "get little in return."

Though it pulled the measure, a move it denied until the end, the CTA did reveal that it likes the idea of higher taxes and is oblivious to the reality that tax hikes on business harm individuals. Small business would have been hit particularly hard. But the withdrawal of the measure by the CTA, though welcome, is no reason for Californians to sound the all-clear. Two other measures on the ballot would also hike taxes.

A second measure would slap a three-percent surcharge on phone calls and use the money to pay for emergency-room care. A casual perusal of a phone bill will reveal that calls are already subject to a number of fees. The California Healthcare Association pulled out of the coalition backing the measure.

A third measure, backed by Assemblyman Darrell Stenbert and a network of mental-health clinics, would increase the income tax on millionaires by one percent. The backers expect this to be more palatable to voters but that may be a miscalculation.

On March 2, voters rejected Proposition 56, which would have made it easier for legislators to raise taxes. Last year the anti-tax candidate for governor won. The pro-tax candidates lost. Most Californians are now aware that many legislators consider "the rich" to be anyone who owns a home, an automobile, and is gainfully employed.

During the 1990s, the state attempted to tax editorial cartoons as though they were works of art purchased privately in a gallery. The "laugh tax" got shot down, but not before enlightening voters to the insatiability of state greed.

The CTA withdrawal of its $7-billion gambit showed that even the shock-troops of the pro-tax movement have at least some inkling that voters are not exactly fond of giving yet more money to a wasteful state. The phone-tax boosters may opt to withdraw their measure. By most accounts, the mental-health measure is the most likely to reach the ballot. But at that point, the voters take over.

In a bloated high-tax state like California, there is no reason anyone should have qualms about voting against higher taxes. When in doubt, follow the CTA and withdraw support for high-tax measures. CRO

copyright 2004 Pacific Research Institute




Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005