Once again Governor, you have called upon Californians to bail out Sacramento by calling for higher taxes. Rather than sending us a bill for your future spending increases, which will top 25%, I suggest you moderate your Party’s positions and concentrate on adopting policies that will put people back to work.
As you know, we have a revenue problem. Tax revenue is down over 25% from 2007. We don’t have this problem because some people are not paying enough taxes. After all, a mere 118,000 people paid over 40% of all state income taxes in 2008. We have this problem because too few people are working and therefore are not paying income taxes. Indeed, we have 1 million fewer people working than a decade ago. In order to recover those jobs, I suggest you moderate the policies of your Party.
For instance, California has the highest regulatory burden in the country. Rather than the highest burden, why don’t you have your Democrat friends introduce legislation that would make California 25th in the nation? That would make us middle of the road and not extreme.
Our tax burden is in the top 6 in the country if not higher. Why not shoot for 25th on taxes so we are not extreme on that as well?
If you did, we could go from being ranked 50th in the nation as a place to start up a business and likely make it above 25th because we have so many natural benefits in our great state.
If you made those changes, you would see revenues rise for the very reason John F. Kennedy said so long ago – “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut tax rates now.”
As for your Party claiming it has cut back on government, you well know that the vast majority of those 5500 positions you say you cut weren’t even filled – so there has been no real savings. Why would you deceive Californians like that?
Rather than deceive voters on savings, why don’t you moderate your Party to be more like New York Democrats who actually reduced the number of state bureaucrats by thousands? You could also moderate your views by adopting Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s mantra: “The old way of solving the problem was continuing to raise taxes on people. And we just can’t do that anymore.”
If you did that, you can make it easier for someone to save the money it takes to open a business and hire someone. Starting a restaurant in this state can take hundred of thousands of dollars. Your higher tax proposal will prevent people from achieving those savings and prevent them from hiring employees who can then pay the taxes you want.
You could also adopt the proposal given to you earlier this year by Republican leadership to cut the State’s Operations & Equipment budget. That would save over $2.5 billion – the equivalent of saving over 31,000 teaching jobs in this state.
In sum, Mr. Governor, rather than penalize those with jobs with higher taxes, think about concentrating on helping those without jobs. If New York can do it, so can we.