Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No New Taxes For Californians

Are Promoters of the Prop. 30 Tax Increase in Panic Mode? - Jon Coupal/Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Promoters of Proposition 30 are losing their cool. Until last week, backers of Jerry Brown’s $50 billion tax increase were content to use their $40 million campaign war chest to broadcast ads describing Proposition 30 as a panacea for California education.

However, when the campaign behind a rival tax increase measure, Proposition 38, began airing comparison spots that showed that Proposition 30 revenue could be spent by politicians in any way they choose, while Proposition 38 revenue would go directly to schools, Jerry Brown’s camp went ballistic....

Californians should not concern themselves that the Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 forces are forming a circular firing squad. Based on good public policy, both measures deserve to go down to defeat.

California already has the highest state sales tax in all 50 states -- it will go up if Jerry Brown gets his way -- and the second highest income tax rate -- which will go up if either Brown or Munger have their way. With unemployment almost a third higher than the national average and the state economy still mired in recession, a tax increase is the last thing our state needs.

And improving education? There is so much more that could be accomplished with existing dollars if only the Sacramento politicians were willing to buck the California Teachers Association, a group so powerful that it is called “the fourth branch of government” by insiders.

At every turn, the union puts up roadblocks to reform. Charter schools, teacher evaluations and even legislation that would make it easier to dismiss teachers for grossly inappropriate conduct with students, are stridently opposed. CTA does not want any changes to the status quo and it should come as no surprise that the union is by far the largest single contributor to Yes on 30.

Administrators, too, must be called to task. A 2011 study conducted by Pepperdine University revealed that despite a 24.9 percent increase in total school spending per capita over a five-year period, “Direct classroom expenditures statewide dropped from 59 percent of total expenditures” to as low as 45 percent at some schools.

Clearly, when it comes to education, California can do much, much better and it does not require a tax increase to get there.

All of our posts on the Propositions