Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on May 14 in Los Angeles… (Kevork Djansezian / Getty…)
Re "'Tax the rich' is not reform," Column, May 21
George Skelton is right: "The rich" have been paying the lion's share of California taxes for years. Too many citizens have no tax obligations at all, and it's fine with them for someone else to pay down our deficit. The tax base should include everyone.
But Skelton doesn't mention that California already has the highest sales tax rate and one of the highest personal income tax rates in the nation. Overspending cannot be overcome by further taxing the remaining rich (employers) in this state or tamping down consumer spending by raising sales taxes.
Until the spending half of the equation is addressed, no amount of taxation, borrowing or creative bookkeeping will solve California's perennial fiscal crisis.
Yes, it's a shame the governor listens to "what the people want when you survey them." He should never do that.
Skelton really nails it when he says that voters are their own special interest because special is supposed to mean "special" — you know, those who can afford private jets and stuff, not people who drive their own cars and send their kids to grungy public schools. "Special" means magically declaring most of my income as capital gains so I can pay a much lower federal rate than, say, a postal worker. Who does this 99% think they are anyway, pushing the rest of us around?
But Skelton is thinking small when he says, "Until then it's soak the rich — before they flee the state." Like Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, I'll flee the whole country if it means I don't have to pay my taxes.
Letters: L.A.'s budget progress
Letters: Resisting the anti-tax pledge
Letters: Washington dysfunction isn't Obama's fault