Californians support raising taxes on the rich

April 28, 2011

Fear of teacher layoffs and other cuts to public schools is leading a majority of Californians to support some combination of spending cuts and taxes in order to close the state’s $26 billion budget gap, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll released today. [CaliforniaWatch]

A majority of likely voters – 61 percent – support the general framework of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to fill the budget hole with a combination of spending cuts and new revenues. But the poll also shows an electorate that is still very divided over what those revenues should be.

A majority of adults opposes raising sales and income taxes, but more than two-thirds of adults support raising taxes on the state’s wealthiest earners, California Watch said.

A majority also said they would support local bond measures to pay for school construction projects, and 59 percent said they would support local parcel taxes in order to help fund schools. Since Proposition 26 passed last year, new taxes and fees must now be passed with a two-thirds vote, leaving support for parcel taxes well short of the required threshold.

“Californians’ support for maintaining K–12 spending remains strong. It is a significant factor for the state’s leaders to take into account in any proposals that they put before voters this year,” institute President and CEO Mark Baldassare said in a statement. “Residents are worried about the toll that reduced spending is having on the quality of K–12 public education, and public school parents are noticing the impact of state budget cuts on their children’s schools.”

The poll, which was funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (also a major donor to California Watch), focuses largely on parents’ attitudes toward education in the state.

Among other things, it seems to show that voters are supportive of school reform measures. A majority of Californians said they believe teacher salaries should be tied to performance – a rallying cry for school reformers that has been picking up momentum in other states.

The poll also shows that voters overwhelmingly prefer having local control over their schools. That view fits closely with Brown’s desire to give local governments more control over critical services – perhaps one reason why his approval rating rose to 40 percent in this poll from 34 percent last month, according to California watch.


Poor Exxon, just heard that they went down a notch, they only made the second highest profits in the world during first quarter of the year…they only make a profit of $5,000,000.00 an HOUR 24 hours a day,,how do they get by. We should give them more subsidies and tax breaks.


Exxon also paid the most taxes of a company in history. Don’t forget that factoid while you are whining for a more socialist america.


They paid taxes but they didn’t pay it to us.

This is from Forbes:

(quote) “Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. No wonder that of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas.” (end of quote)

In 2008 Exxon earned more profits than ANY company in the WORLD. Although they made a good chunk of that fortune in this country in 2009 they paid 0% to this country in Fed income taxes. I and probably YOU, paid more to the feds than Exxon. How do you people feel that’s fair? I don’t get why you aren’t as mad as me. I just can’t understand why you feel it’s okay to not only let them get off scot free for doing business here but then we subsidise them,,,WE PAY THEM! How on earth can anyone in their right mind defend that?! Exxon destroyed part of our environment, they make a fortune off of us and yet we are carrying the load for them. I just can’t believe how you people are able to wrap your minds around this. You might not like taxes but we all need to support this country. I don’t care how conservative you repubs are, do you have to always march in lockstep. Don’t get me wrong, dem leaders are also in part to blame for this but at least libs will speak out against this nonesense and try to change it.

IMO it’s unpatriotic to not want to support our govt.. If one doesn’t want to pay their fair share to help pay for the roads, the prisons, the schools, the PDs, etc then they should leave.


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,”declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!” “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.


Excellent post chop.

I have seen this analogy used before and it still baffles liberals every time…

Why do you think businesses take their companies out of state or off shore? It’s economics 101, it’s too damn expensive to run a bsiness in CA…

CA is loaded with those who want and those who want to take, and less and less of those who actually provide.

The piper has come again and the legislature just can’t seem to get their budget ready in time and balanced, so guess who they turn to to pay for all those who want?


It doesn’t ‘baffle’ anyone. It’s dumb. It’s a ridiculous analogy. There’s a huge difference between charging people for beer and paying taxes,,,apples and oranges. We are not talking about the middle class or the poor not paying taxes. I personally resent that I paid more taxes than GE or that Exxon had a tax rate of 0% but hey, that’s just me.

Please easymoney, tell us why during the lower taxes that Bush enacted over the past 10 years have more corps done exactly what you said, they have left, they are in other countries. Do you repubs not see that we have FEWER jobs since these tax breaks,,how do you not see that? Are you like Sarah Palin, do you not read the papers. We have one of the highest unemployment levels in history and one of the lowest tax rates for the wealthy since taxes were enacted. Now I am talking about the country not just Ca. but it is an example that shows that your theory of the poor and middle class carring the weight for the wealthy just doens’t work.


Typo, watch the personal attacks, stick to the topic not the poster…

“I personally resent that I paid more taxes than GE or that Exxon had a tax rate of 0% but hey, that’s just me”

Well typo, I would bet big money you personally did not pay anywhere near what any major corporation especially GE or Exxon paid in taxes….

And where is the correlation between higher taxes and new jobs. Anyone with a high school education understands that business does what is best for business and will continue to look to lower operating costs including taxes or fees to do said business. No one is going to employ new workers if operating costs and taxes go up, it is just the opposite…

That being said the top earners pay the most and according to the COB the lower 40% pay no taxes at all. Yet, they receive most of the entitlements paid for by the top 10%.of taxpayers…

No I am not Sarah Palin or even like her, I am a small business owner who does pay my taxes that supports the lower 40% and most of all of the government… I run my business in the black and if costs go up, including taxes, I will lay workers off…

Everyone wants to skate without paying more, but small business owners are hit the hardest and big businesses succeed when they adapt and overcome obstacles like taxes or fees. It is capatlism and economics 101…


We can argue all day about who to tax and how much, but that is not the biggest problem. We already generate ample tax revenue. The real issue is how we spend our tax dollars.

Using Chop’s analogy…we need to drink less beer and use the difference wisely.


slocorruptionhater says:

We already generate enough tax revenues?

Taxes At An All-Time Low

In his review of Obama’s budget, Bruce Bartlett notes that in addition to aging population, one of the biggest drivers of our record-high deficits is our record-low taxes:

According to the historical tables, federal revenues will only consume 14.4 percent of GDP this year – the lowest percentage since 1950. The postwar average is about 18.5 percent and there were many very prosperous years when revenues were considerably higher. In the late 1990s, they averaged more than 20 percent of GDP, which was a key reason why we ran budget surpluses.

Federal Tax Revenue at Lowest Since 1950

Republican talking points may not agree, but federal taxes are at their lowest level since the Korean War by one common measure. Tax revenue in the current budget year equaled 14.8 percent of the national gross domestic product, the lowest level since 1950.

Cali? Revenues are about $36 BILLION less than 2007 levels!


Waste is part of the overall picture but not all of it. Taxing is a also part of the picture. The govt. is like a business, it can’t operate without funding. There’s not enough funding and this article is about taxing not waste.



9 Things The Rich Don’t Want You To Know About Taxes

1: Poor Americans do pay taxes.

Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News host, said last year “47 percent of Americans don’t pay any taxes.” John McCain and Sarah Palin both said similar things during the 2008 campaign about the bottom half of Americans.

Ari Fleischer, the former Bush White House spokesman, once said “50 percent of the country gets benefits without paying for them.”

Actually, they pay lots of taxes — just not lots of federal income taxes.

Data from the Tax Foundation shows that, in 2008, the average income for the bottom half of taxpayers was $15,300.

This year, the first $9,350 of income is exempt from taxes for singles and $18,700 for married couples, just slightly more than in 2008. That means millions of the poor do not make enough to owe income taxes.

But they still pay plenty of other taxes, including federal payroll taxes. Between gas taxes, sales taxes, utility taxes and other taxes, no one lives tax free in America.

When it comes to state and local taxes, the poor bear a heavier burden than the rich in every state except Vermont, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculated from official data. In Alabama, for example, the burden on the poor is more than twice that of the top 1 percent. The one-fifth of Alabama families making less than $13,000 pay almost 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared with less than 4 percent for those who make $229,000 or more.

“When including social security insurance taxes: In 2001 the top 1% earned 14.8% of all income and paid 22.7% of all federal taxes”

“The next 4% earned 12.7% and paid 15.8%”

“The next 5% earned 10.1% and paid 11.5%”

“The next 10% earned 14.8% and paid 15.3%” WOW LESS INCOME THAN THE TOP % BUT A HIGHER PERCENTAGE IN TAXES? LOL Isn’t that the middle class?

completing the highest quintile for a total of 65.3%.

The fourth quintile earned 20.7% of all income and paid 18.5%. The third quintile earned 14.2% and paid 10%. The second quintile earned 9.2% and paid 4.9%. The lowest quintile earned 4.2% and paid 1% of all federal taxes.


There is no correlation between higher taxes and more jobs. Why not tax the big corps as we did during the Clinton admin.? Corps will do business here and keep their business and profits here (on shore) with proper regulation. We need to drop NAFTA and all free trade. If these corps want to take their businesses over seas then then they can pay tariffs.

…”Well typo, I would bet big money you personally did not pay anywhere near what any major corporation especially GE or Exxon paid in taxes….”

I will gladly take that bet. I am also self employed and I am also incorporated but trust me, I did pay (will pay) more fed. taxes than GE did. I have a small business, not wealthy by any means. You may take this as a personal attack but I don’t know how else to say it,,,do you read any newspapers? This is from the Huff. Post but it’s also on every news site ie CBS, NY Times etc, please take note of the first sentence.:

” As you work on your taxes this month, here’s something to raise your hackles: Some of the world’s biggest, most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do–that is, if they pay taxes at all.

The most egregious example is General Electric ( GE – news – people ). Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.

Avoiding taxes is nothing new for General Electric. In 2008 its effective tax rate was 5.3%; in 2007 it was 15%. The marginal U.S. corporate rate is 35%”

Yes, you also paid more to the feds than GE did. You are not supporting the lower 40% you are supporting the upper 2%.


This state is rife with takers, and very few makers. Of course this will pass! And soon, the parasites will have killed the host. Bread and circuses for us all! Whooo-hooo!


Looks like there’s plenty of class envy to go around. Heed the words of those who worry about how we define “the rich.” To those who live off the government, it’s anyone with an earned income.


I wouldn’t define rich as those that make over 250K but IMO that would be fair.. there you go you have an answer. I don’t live off the govt. and I never have. When the taxes were higher during those wonderful prosperous Clinton years I did pay more and I’d be happy to make that much more again and pay more.


Nov 26, 2006 … “There’s class warfare, all right,”Warren Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”


Wow, I hadn’t heard that quote before! He’s right and I appreciate his honesty.


I want to tax the rich, but I also want to define “rich,” and make sure I am below the threshold.

We all look for someone else to pay for the programs we support.

Nothing to see here, move on along.


Oh boys and girls,

I think most people want the ‘rich’ to pay more taxes, almost everyone will say ‘go get ’em!’ The problem comes in defining who is ‘rich?’ If you think two school teachers won’t be defined as ‘rich’, think again. I also get a little anxious when politicians start adopting this ‘soak the rich’ tactic… because, what it usually means is they end up raising everyone’s taxes…. particularly those in the middle.

As Bill Gates and others have shown (see video), there is plenty of money for education… it just has to be spent differently. So, if we aren’t willing change how we deliver and the structure of the educational experience, well… it’s in for a crash.

Just a reminder, only the rich paid taxes before FDR … the “New Deal” meant taxes were for everyone!



Roger Roger Roger: You said: “Just a reminder, only the rich paid taxes before FDR … the “New Deal” meant taxes were for everyone!” Now a look at that particular fact does yield some interesting results, like the “fact” that the income tax was enacted in 1913, some eighteen years before FDR took office. Another inconvenient fact is that one of the reasons for the big crash of 1929 was because the taxes on the wealthy were lowered in 1925 or so and the money was flowing free and fast, which led to more and more risky investments which did lead to the crash. So here is my proposition to you; find us a time in the history of the United States when more and more people did well. I am not talking about creating new millionaires (or billionaires in today’s money), but I am talking about increases in home ownership, more people attending college, a higher educated workforce. The period I am talking about is after WWII, up to the 1980s. Our economy grew and grew, more people did better (a rising tide floats ALL boats, not just the largest ones) and ironically, taxes on the most wealthy were at their highest during those years. Sure, the taxes on the wealthy did go down and down during that time, but until Reagan came into office it was usually better for companies to pay their CEOs a smaller wage in invest profits back into their companies. Tell us a better time in America for the largest segments of the population other than that time, if you can find one, please.


3: In fact, the wealthy are paying less taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service issues an annual report on the 400 highest income-tax payers. In 1961, there were 398 taxpayers who made $1 million or more, so I compared their income tax burdens from that year to 2007.

Despite skyrocketing incomes, the federal tax burden on the richest 400 has been slashed, thanks to a variety of loopholes, allowable deductions and other tools. The actual share of their income paid in taxes, according to the IRS, is 16.6 percent. Adding payroll taxes barely nudges that number.

Compare that to the vast majority of Americans, whose share of their income going to federal taxes increased from 13.1 percent in 1961 to 22.5 percent in 2007.

(By the way, during seven of the eight Bush years, the IRS report on the top 400 taxpayers was labeled a state secret, a policy that Obama overturned almost instantly after his inauguration.)


Brown is proposing raising sales and income taxes partly because the state’s wealthiest earners have not paid their fair share in taxes. Time and time again, we see that the wealthiest earners have not taken the opportunity to create jobs with the money they pocketed from their tax breaks. The unemployment rate in California continues to climb, and in March, the rate increased to 12.3%. Where are the jobs?

Increase the taxes on the wealthy, and let voters decide how they want to invest in California, not the richest 1% that thrives on the blood, sweat, and tears of the middle class.


You ever try to start a business in California? Maybe that’s something to look into.


Yeah roy I own a small business and the fees, taxes and ordinances grow every year.

It is a good thing I’m only a small business or I would move out of state…

And maybe razor should be asking “where are the jobs” from some of those in the legislature and politics who levy the taxes yet provide nothing in the way of jobs or opportunity to the public sector.


Make that read “private sector”, it’s been a long week and my quarterlies are due…


I’m not defending the California legislature. I believe in job growth for the public and private sector, but job growth has not come from the trickle-down economics that we’ve seen happen during Schwarzenegger’s tenure as governor. Both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the economic stalemate in California, which has affected many small businesses.

Mr. Holly

This just varifies why California ranks #49 or #50 as the worst state to do business. If these ideas are approved it will remove the or from my previous statement and make California the worst state to do business. This is why business people are leaving the state and taking the jobs with them-da.


Many of us have come to the conclusion that those top 2% of the wealthiest aren’t doing us any favors, no jobs no taxes just getting rich off of us, the middle class and the poor. They’ve had 10 years of a tax free insentive to create jobs,,,so when are they going to start? BTW they aren’t just leaving the state, they’re leaving the country.


What’s the down side of the wealthy population paying the the same tax rates that they did during the Clinton years? They’ll take their business over seas???….oh wait they already do.

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