Gov. Jerry Brown previewed his pitch for a package of five-year tax increases in a meeting with The Chronicle's editorial board Tuesday. By his own admission, it's a complicated argument and a tough sell - especially in comparison with the populist millionaires tax being pushed by the California Federation of Teachers.It also won't raise near as much money as project - millionaire's taxes never do. Look at New York or anywhere else they've added punitive taxes on success. Millionaires figure out how to move their money elsewhere and avoid the tax.
"It's pretty clear. We know that if you tax 2 percent of the people to benefit 98 percent, that's a winner with the 98 percent," Brown said. "That's simple. That's third-grade arithmetic. The problem is, we have to put something together that works - the other people don't have to do that."
Brown said the teachers' proposed 3 percent tax on million-dollar incomes would do nothing to cure the state's structural deficit because its revenue would be directed to specific programs (60 percent education, 25 percent social services, 10 percent public safety, 5 percent road and bridge repair) "on top of" previously locked-in spending commitments, including for education.
He also noted that a heavily top-weighted tax would amplify the volatility of a state tax structure that already sways wildly with boom and bust cycles.
This is nothing more than class warfare being waged by a labor union that's unwilling to give up a dime in benefits but more than willing to take any dimes you have left. Californians should vote down ALL of the tax proposals and force the state to live within its means.