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.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

SPECIAL INTEREST LOBBY MONEY: Unions, Business, and Indians

From the SacBee:

“The $211.9 million spent by the California Teachers Association is nearly twice as much as the $107.5 million committed by the second-highest spender, the California State Council of Service Employees, but after those two union groups, the remaining 13 on the Top 15 list are all either business groups, such as No. 3 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($104.9 million), individual corporations or casino-owning Indian tribes, which have three of the 15 top spots.”

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission said the CTA was part of the “billion-dollar club” of political interests pushing their causes in Sacramento.

“This tsunami of special interest spending drowns out the voices of average voters, and intimidates political opponents and elected officials alike,” said FPPC chairman Ross Johnson.

Well, lets see the unions are us, they represent the working people, the working people VOTE for their union leaders. Who do the Pharma corps represent who votes them int?

Yer right, Typo, that was “us” with our picket signs out in front of Doc Bernstein’s.

The unions represent nothing but the unions. The problem is that often the unions are representing their members AGAINST us. We, the taxpayers, are on the OTHER SIDE of the table from the SEIU, the CTA, and any other public sector union. The do not represent us, they represent the opposite of us.

Oh please, don’t even get me on going on Doc Bernstein’s. You can’t even compare that. That demonstration was welcomed by the owner of Bernstein’s. He said that he had the busiest months that he had ever had for that time of year when those union guys were out there, he said that he was glad that they were there. He used all those people that thought that they were helping him. It’s all about the Benjamin’s for him, he was happy to make money from all the sympathetic locals. I know this I know the wife that he is screwing over and it’s absolutely true. He provoked it because he is a marketing genius. He had all those people coming in feeling sorry for him. Like me he’s a big time lib (I’m embarrassed to say) and he had all these cons buying ice cream because they hate the union, he loved it. The union helped get him through a rough time.

Nice try Typo. I worked for the Union for a short time in the past. They don’t care about their members, they care about their own management PERIOD!! Also for all your type living in fantasy land, they also like to put pressure on their members on how to vote in general elections from proprositions to elected officials. Sorry to burst your reality bubble.

So you are telling me that lets say our local Lucia Mar Teachers Union puts the muscle on the teachers to vote for certain officers in their union? LOL okay. I’m not sure if Kevin is still their union prez, he was for years at least up until this year (I haven’t been involved this year). He’s a great guy, one of the nicest people I know. To say that he only cares about his ‘own management’ is ignorant. The teachers voted him in willingly, they weren’t roughed up or intimidated, he is well respected and well liked by every teacher I’ve met that is why they kept voting him in. As much as you hate it unions are democracy at work. You guys hear about one or two unions or watch some mob movie and you think that they are all walking thugs. You are the one living in a bubble.

How do the unions put pressure union members, do they follow them into the voting booth with a knife, or do they simply fire them? LOL whos living in fantasy land, no beenthere, life isnt’ an Al Capone movie.

When you can tell me you have worked for the unions and might know what you are talking about, (which most of the time here you don’t) then get back to me BIG AL Capone! Yea nice try in spinning it off to gangster movies. Deflect when you can’t make an arguement. Did you use to work at Air America??

Here’s what I want to hear from the OWS gang. The class warfare arguement will never go away. It’s our laws that are debilitating.

1) Set the Schedule C reporting threshold to $250,000.

2) Raise taxes for individuals making over $250,000.

3) Direct the Department of Education, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and Department of Finance to develop the Cottage Industry Plan for America. This would encourage making textiles, pottery, baskets, leather goods, and other suitable merchandize to be manufactured in “residential” neighborhoods. The term “Residential Zone” was developed by the greatest generation when easy oil was available…well guess what? That assumption IS WRONG and is undermining our social culture, where neighbors don’t know each other…just like in a corporation where a guy in one cube doesn’t talk to the guy in the next cube. I see Residential Zone’s becoming Cottage Industry Zones. Who’s going to object but a rich bigot?

Include Schedule F reporting threshold to $1,000,000.

Hey bobfromsanluis. How about using paragraphs once in a while. When you run on makes it difficult so see your point.




OWS is not interested in union or partisan parasites. I talk with one of primary agitators, John Penley, on a daily basis. They are getting irritated by everyone trying to claim that OWS represents their ideals, associating themselves, or even taken credit. Even the originator of OWS, Adbusters, is now persona-non-grata, although they are continuing attempts to control the movement.

Lol, OWS… yeah, they were nudged to a spark, then quickly shoved out of the way by their masters who have been organizing this, and using those “useful idiots” all along.

Did you see that the “movement” all of a sudden has a FULL COLOR NEWSPAPER of it’s own? The Occupied Wall Street Journal? That says “grass roots” to me!

They also raised (in New York alone) $300,000 – who gets that? Who holds that purse? Who decides how/where/when that is spent? Hmmm….

Not interested in union or partisan parasites? They ARE union and partisan parasites! Maybe there are one or two people who are there for their own reasons, but most of all these “occupy space” movements are quite partisan (or universities, hollywood, and Washington DC would be occupied).

Some of them are partisan, but they are all DIFFERENT. Some of the occupy groups are anti-federal reserve, some of them are anti-financial sector (break up the banks, no more bailouts), some of them are anti-war, some are anti-corporation (not anti-capitalist), some (probably 30-40%) are full on socialist.. what you’re missing is that there are a LOT of people dissatisfied with things and they are tired of our government just continuing the status quo and ignoring things that are huge issues.. You see the union and partisan parasites because that’s what you’re looking for.. and they are there, so it reinforces your perception. But if you were looking anarchists or Ron Paul types or any other group, you’d find them too. This movement, at its heart, is an attempt to bring all these people together so that collectively, they cannot be ignored. So that SOME kind of action will be taken or the harassment and protest will continue unending. Within the group, there is an attempt to allow everyone’s input on decision making, but decisions aligning the group with any particular party or movement are off the table.

I am not giving you the explanation that I have settled on after watching some news broadcasts, I have been involved with this movement for some time and this is the intent. This movement is aligned with, and at its essence is the same thing as, “Anonymous.” Like everything else involving a group of people, some will sell out, some will try to take it their own direction and attempt to take ownership of control of the “branding” but they will fizzle off into marketing compaigns for special interests… the core will not change. If it fails, we’ll just keep coming. We are not definable. We can’t be shut down. We are Anonymous.

By the way I should also point out that the irony of all this attempt to define “Occupy Wall Street” or for various special interest groups to take credit is rich. “Occupy Wall Street” is itself a special interest gig by Adbusters, that is being USED by the protestors who have been organizing under many different groups and names for some time now. Adbusters could turn OWS into a reality TV show for all the protestors care, they’ll just move on under a different banner.

You are so funny lately r0y. If I didn’t know better I’d say that you were talking about the tea baggers;

“yeah, they were nudged to a spark, then quickly shoved out of the way by their masters who have been organizing this, and using those “useful idiots” all along.”

The tea baggers actually started with a spark, the Koch brothers lit that spark and there’s documentation that confirms that, they are your masters who organized and orchestrated all of the pawns ie tea bags. That is opposed to the Occupiers that started off as a truly grass roots movement and then because the unions represent the working people they later jumped on board. Of course they did, that’s what they’re supposed to do. I would be very proud to be in a union that was down there right now. But it’s not just the unions that are jumping on board it’s also a lot of wealthy people and even corp. heads are lining up with the Occupiers, even they see how out of balance things are. We have people like Buffet, Branson, R. Simmons, etc. they see the issues and they are on board. The bags are tiny compared to the Occupy movement, it is now global.

$300.00, is that supposed to be a lot of money. I’ll bet those buses that the Koch Bros leased for the tea bag express alone cost more than that.

Of course you’re not interesting in the unions of course you hate them, they are the blue collar workers they are us, how can one be pro union and pro big corp rip offs. We know what side you’re on. I’ve been saying for a few years in this forum that there’s going to be financial revolution in this country and this is the start of it and we are on different sides of this battle.

I disagree with the Occupiers in that they think that tea baggers will join them. They won’t they are the pawns for the big corps, the tea baggers are their pawns that we will be fighting to get equality. It’s too bad that the baggers don’t know who they are working for,,baa baaa baaa.

I know that most of you won’t watch this, but George was so ahead of his time. RIP George, you were a genius.

There’s some truth there, but it’s overly jaundiced and hugely leaves out unions and other special interests who own politicians as well.

Politicians should have no master other than the People.

True, but can Carlin actually mention ALL the things that are owned and stacked against us? Hollywood and the school system / universities also got skipped over, but the idea is there: they own everything from Fox News to all those George Soros funded ankle-biters. From the CFR to Heritage Society.

I honestly do not think people know how to react when they hear someone who has thrown off the chains of indoctrination. Usually, they just marginalize them as crazy or whatever. Which is better than what they used to do… *bang*

I think if Carlin were alive he would not include the unions or the school systems in this.

A bit disingenuous, no?


Yeah, but you watch this, Typo, and all you think of is “cons” – your thinking is EXACTLY what he is talking about, too! You are passively accepting the CRAP that the democrats have been spoon-feeding you for YEARS!

Remember, “Corporation” does NOT equal “Conservative” – the Corporation owns BOTH parties, all those little blog sites you visit, all the books you read, all those universities that churn out mind-numb, close-minded fools… and they PAY them to do it.

Please keep watching the link you supplied… every day, if you have to.

r0y is absolutely right in his assessment Typo. Your projecting a specific partisan world view onto Carlin, who is trying to tell you that it’s all rigged and those who believe one party is any different or better than the other are just falling prey to their game.

I didn’t post Carlin’s post as a partisan message but I can go that way. I was posting it as what he said is true and I have always loved Carlin. As I said he was always ahead of his time. I agree Roy that the corps own both parties, absolutely 100% spot on and for that I am sickened by my own party. The difference is that the cons are willing to accept the big corps using them. Every member of a tea party is a pawn for the big corps. The libs are mad that the corps have us, that is why we are out there occupying Wall Street. They are mad at our leaders on both sides for allowing this to happen. You are the people that preaching this nonesense about not raising the taxes for those big corps, the job creators that don’t create jobs. So although I didn’t mean it as a partisan thing, I can easily go that way.

I just received this same Carlin video from the local Occupy mailing list.

The United States enjoyed the longest, most sustainable period of growth for all income levels in the period following WWII up until the late ’70s/ Mid ’80s; during the period of the late forties through the early sixties, those in the highest tax bracket were paying NINTY PERCENT of their earnings in income tax. The result was that very few CEOs were actually paid enough to put them in the highest tax bracket, but instead the companies re-invested in their companies, building new factories, hiring more workers, expanding their businesses. When President Reagan dropped the highest tax bracket down from 74% to 39% and deregulated much of how businesses could operate as well as implemented tax breaks for companies to off-shore their operations, the BOOM in those CEOs becoming millionaires and billionaires was unprecedented. To say that the millionaires pay “their fair share” because they pay so much in actual dollars is not really accurate; it is still the percentage of income that matters. I for one would think that a “donut hole” approach would be beneficial here so that many small business owners could continue to be the driver in job creation. Keep the current tax rate in effect for all who earn up to 150k or so, then have a “tax break” for those who earn between that threshold amount (150k or so) up to say 500k a year, then have once again a “progressive” tax rate for those who make more than that 500k a year. In doing this, those who are running a small business and still making an income between 150k to 500k a year can be rewarded for being successful, and if they become even more successful and earn much more than the upper threshold, they then can pay for that privilege. With a tax rate like this, those who earn that much and don’t want to be bumped into the higher rate can re-invest in their company, expand their abilities, enlarge their workforce, contribute even more to society help push our economy towards fuller employment and more people being able to support themselves.

I know you want to make deregulation sound like an evil thing but it has benifited people. Do you remember what you paid for a phone call before the phone companies where deregulated? Here is a refresher. It was .25 a min. After deregulation it slide in ensuing years to .15 then .10 and finally .5, before it then went to unlimited for most plans.

Is deregulation perfect and not without flaws, no but I think it is better than what we had.

Regulations are not “evil” or “good”, they just “are”. Not every regulation was designed very well or implemented well or enforced well, and some may have even been used as a tool to go after certain individuals or businesses. That said, regulations do have their place; can you imagine a football game with no referees, no officials of any sort, no rules at all? Capitalism works very well for most of us IF it is regulated well. Enforcement of regulations needs to be done evenly without prejudice and no one or no company should be exempt from enforcement of regulations. Your point about the deregulation of the telephone industry is a good example of how deregulation can be a good thing, just like deregulating the airline industry led to more competition and lower fares, more flight availability and so on. What has happened on Wall Street however shows exactly of how deregulation can be a bad thing; allowing banks to act like investment firms (the repeal of Glass-Steagal) was one of the contributing factors to the financial meltdown, just as a complete lack of oversight, enforcement and action by the so-called regulators contributed greatly to the whole situation. Regulations that protect the largest number of citizens should be examined very closely before they are abandoned, those that police narrow arenas should still be examined as well, like the repeal of Glass-Steagal.

So we have a 100,000 Gov. workers, backed by the unions, wanting to go after the private sector. Yea figures.

I’d love to see an April 15th protest… we’ll see how fast things collapse and change should that happen…

This is just wrong minded.

Hypothetical. A guy makes 10 million a year. He’s in the 36% tax bracket. Let’s say, he’s the loophole pro and capital gains king so he only pays 20% instead of 36%. How much tax does he pay every year?

That’s right 2 million dollars. 2 million a year. Is he paying his fair share? Does 2 million a year cover his use of public roads, schools, defense, police, hospital, ss, etc? Ya think? Whoever is reading this, what do you pay a year? How many years of your fair share that you are currently paying would it take to pay what this guy pays in just one year? What, you say in your entire life you won’t pay 2 million in taxes? Well, this guy is paying 2 million every year. In his working lifetime he’ll pay the government 50 million dollars.

Do you think this guy is happy about writing a check to the government for 2 million a year? Do you think that if he didn’t pay the government 2 million a year that the money would just disappear? Of course it wouldn’t as the guy would use it. He’d buy things, he’s invest, he’d leave it in a bank for others to borrow. The money is still there. And it’s being used in the most efficient manner–the free market system manner.

And do you think the recipients of his 2 million will ever be satisfied? Why wouldn’t they ask for another million next year? And another million more the year after that? By what right do these people have to take such huge sums of money out of people’s pockets? –sums 100 times beyond the guy’s “fair share” usage of public services. Why do we want to discourage people from getting wealthy and encourage government bureaucracy and re-distribution of wealth? That’s un-American. If that’s how you view the world move to Switzerland or someplace where those views prevail. America is built on a different system, a free market system where if you earn it or even get luck enough to fall into it, you get to keep it.

I agree. It is easy for people to gripe about greed and excessive wealth, and I’ll agree that usury is a strong root of sin and corruption. That said, the percentages “taxing the rich” are there, and if you could EVER get some ignorant 99%er to answer: “How much is fair?” – you’ll be surprise. Well, maybe not. They are not the most well-informed.

Come to think of it, I can see why they’re upset. All that money for all that schooling, and this is the best they can muster. Wow. I’d be pissed, too… but at the schools!

Still, when is it enough? Probably when there is nothing left to take, and then those same fools who want to take it all will still be in the same boat. Remember, socialism is NOT about equality, fairness or justice of ANY kind. It is about equal misery. Most socialist will never have what it takes to be successful, so they’d rather NOBODY was successful, in my opinion.

I see many conservatives demeaning “socialism” as an unworkable model, that socialist only want everyone to “share the misery” but please, anyone, answer me this question: Which ideology seems to be a more workable model, socialism like is implemented in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and so on, where there is very little homelessness, very low unemployment, medical care available for everyone, versus a libertarian paradise like Somalia or Nigeria where there is no government oversight, no government programs, actually no “real” government other than knowing which official to bribe to be able to carry out whatever business model you wanted to do?

I’ve been wondering for years why ‘socialism’ is such a bad word in this country, I don’t really see where all the hatred for that word comes from. When I argue with a con and they call me a socialist, they act as if I’m supposed to insulted.

Socialism is a general term for a form of governmental structure. Being called a ‘socialist’ is *NOT* a bad word, or a comparison of you to Hitler, as some on this forum may’ve suggested. It *IS* an attempt to label your political view, as you have done in your own post with the use of the word ‘con’.

By referring to someone as a ‘con’ YOU in fact may be offending, as this word usually means ‘convict’ and not ‘conservative’ which is the term I believe you infer. If you were to call me a ‘conservative’ I would not be insulted, but ‘con’ might make me a bit uncomfortable.

I expect your debate opponents are looking at you with disdain for believing that socialism will solve this country’s ills, and not trying to insult you.

I’ve visited a few socialist countries and I’ll stay right here in the USA, warts and all, where people can peacefully protest anything they please.

I must be naive, I’ve never used the term ‘con’ to mean ‘convict’. Perhaps that’s how others meant it but it never crossed my mind. I type out ‘con’ as I type out ‘lib’ for no other reason than to mean conservative as opposed to liberal. To me, conservative is a bad enough word when referring to political beliefs, I don’t need to add more to it. Okay okay, I’m giving you cr@p even about conservatism as being that bad. If I want to insult someone in the right I’d call them either ‘baggers’ or ‘neocons’. People I love are cons I wouldn’t insult them,,even if they are confused.

You just compared a couple of small first world socialist countries that only exist in the first place because they have been propped up by the capitalist giants the U.S. and Great Britain with two third world Dictatorships.

The analogy is wrong on so many levels it’s not worth further commenting on.



And conveniently left out: the highly successful colonial United States.

……an economy, based, in no small degree, upon slave labor

A little background (without getting too personal): My wife was born and raised under communism. My best friend (and several acquaintances) were born and raised (and currently live) in Denmark (one of the nordic “socialist” countries you bring up.

Unemployment is higher in DK now than in the US, as everyone is losing their job and not finding one. Their healthcare system is not covering everyone and has to ration itself. For simple doctor visits, it still does work well. For serious concerns, it is risky at best, and many of the people I know (and they know) seem to go to Germany or Poland(!) for health coverage. No major advance in health care was discovered under their medical or university system. They are currently flooded with middle eastern immigrants and are becoming increasingly anti-muslim, with violence often resulting. Their communist and socialist parties are taking a beating in elections… etc. There is little homelessness because they have unsafe, over-packed community-assigned housing that is generally miserable and would never come close to passing ANY kind of US-style safety inspection (or common sense). Sweden and Norway, I’ve only heard from my Danish friends, are not much better off – the Swedes go to DK to get drunk, because their beer and booze is HEAVILY taxed, so danish people really does not like swedes, in general.

To say that socialism is a workable model is disingenuous at best, and flat-out misleading at worst. Somalia officially has NO government and qualifies as an ANARCHY, I do not know about Nigeria, but I’ll guess it’s a dictatorship, as most African-led, sub-Saharan countries are (with the exception of Ethiopia and Eritrea).