Friday, December 16, 2011

Teachers Union Will Not Stop Trying to Drive the Wealthy Out of California

Some months ago, we wrote about the California Teachers' Association's plan to fix the Golden State's broken finances by slapping a hefty tax on millionaires. We still think the plan is a terrible idea, but we have to give the CTA credit for this much: it takes a particular kind of stubborn courage to stand behind a bad idea for this long. Never mind that noted fiscal conservative Bill Lockyer thinks the rich will flood out of the state if their taxes go much higher. Never mind that California voters are wary of tax hikes and have little faith in Sacramento to spend money wisely. And never mind that arguing for forcible theft of someone else's property is indefensible. According to the Contra Costa Times, the CTA and other fans of big government aren't letting the millionaire's tax go gentle into that good night. Even though Governor Jerry Brown has pleaded with other left-leaning groups to unite behind his tax proposal, the CTA-backed Restoring California is going forward with its plan to put a measure on next year's ballot. Under their plan, Californians with incomes between $1 million and $2 million would face a 13.3% income tax rate; incomes over $2 million would be taxed at a 15.3% rate.

Brown and other proponents of higher taxes worry that voters will respond to a dizzying array of tax measures with a collective "no" next November, and it's important to keep in mind that many aspects of the six plans with a realistic chance of reaching the ballot directly conflict with one another. Even leaving this aside, it's hard to believe that many wealthy Californians would put up with the punishing tax rates in the Restoring California plan. The group claims that its proposal would send $6 billion to the state's General Fund, but it's hard to believe that millionaires would still find living here worth the cost. People who earn millions in income don't do so by being careless with money.


  1. "It's not theft if we say it isn't."

    -- every liberal, ever