Idea pushed to tax California millionaires

October 18, 2011

Plans for a California attempt to tax millionaires have gotten a boost from the Occupy Wall Street movement. [MercuryNews]

The California Federation of Teachers and a coalition of allies want to place a measure on the November 2012 ballot to hike taxes to people with annual incomes of more than $1 million.

Protests which have spread across the world during the past month have been encouraging, said Josh Pechthalt, president of the 100,000-member teachers’ union.

“With the Occupy Wall Street actions, the American public is being educated on the disparity that has gotten so profound, the crisis that has gotten so bad,” Pechthalt told the San Jose Mercury News. “We’re committed to this and we want to convince others it’s much needed and the right time to do it.”

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said he isn’t worried about such a measure’s eventual success. He called the Occupy Wall Street protesters a “bunch of trust fund babies who need a reason to protest,” and accused labor unions of fueling the protests.

“In the polling, as we see, there is no appetite for additional taxes of any kind,” Coupal said. “Labor groups aren’t going to ask me for permission, and they can do what they want. But they’ve got an uphill fight. The trend is toward fiscal conservatism.”

California’s electorate has endorsed a millionaire’s tax once previously, in 2004, a one percent surcharge on the income of millionaires to fund mental health programs.

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Three dynamics are at the table in private sector negotiations with unions. The employer, the employees, and the market. The market is the “invisible hand” that keeps negotiationson a reasonable track. Why, because both parties know that without the market, there’s nothing to talk about. This vital dynamic is missing when the bureaucrat unionizes. It’s just them against the taxpayers. Allowing the bureaucrat to unionize was a very bad idea, and Ronald Reagan knew it.