Big money backs reshaped tax system

November 20, 2011

A $10 billion tax increase for Californians is the objective of a ensemble of billionaires and political insiders seeking to place an initiative on the Nov. 2012 ballot.

Proposing an answer to the state’s constricting finances, a group calling itself the Think Long Committee (TLC) envisions an additional $5 billion for public schools and billions more for public universities and local governments.  [Los Angeles Times]

Included on the TLC panel are philanthropist  Eli Broad, billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, and former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis. The committee plans to unveil its proposal Monday in Sacramento.

Berggruen said he will sink $20 million of his own money into the campaign.

Funding will “not be a problem this group will have,” he said.

Based on reorganizing the current state tax system, the blueprint would lower California’s personal income and sales tax, create a new tax on services which currently escape levies, and eliminate most state income tax credits.

The proposal’s primary opponents will come from public education unions.

READ THE REPORT


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32 Comments

  1. Russ J says:

    Strip out everything up to the section with education reform and I’ll vote for it. Eliminating teacher union seniority would be the best think for public education. Clearing out the dead wood during a RIF would really improve our schools.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  2. godislanguage says:

    So here’s the logic of this comittee….

    The existing CA State legislators are too incompetant to balance the budget so lets amend the CA State Constitution so that “THE CITIZENS COUNCIL FOR
    GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY” of intellectuals will have broad powers to enforce a third political party that’s unelected and unaccoutable for their political ideals. It’s ripe with the RELIGION OF THE ENVIRONMENT language.

    Broaden the tax base to include services is just another pocket our CA government will reach into.

    From the report:

    While we tax the sale of a donut eaten in a coffee
    shop, we don’t, for example, tax the sale of legal,
    consulting, accounting or architectural services. In
    essence, those who produce goods such as donuts
    or machinery are subsidizing those who produce
    services and information.

    How convenient that the language exluded plumbers, painters, maintenance, cleaners, tow operators, mechanics, etc

    It’s an elitist power grab trying to maintain the status quo.

    I applaud there effort and would be more impressed if they organized a new POLITICAL PARTY and included all there points on a platform.

    Then they can change actual STATE LAW with their ideas, instead of creating another governmental arm.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      What good does changing the law do if the crooks in power have no intention of obeying it?

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • r0y says:

      Worse, it sets up massive regulation to just bypass any citizen-elected representative body. Much like Obama has been doing these past few years. Make no mistake, the really big government types do not want or need the public’s input, point of views, directions or anything else. They have a plan, so get out of their way. It started with Bush.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        Agreed, except that it didn’t start with Bush (W?). This stuff goes a long way back.

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. r0y says:

    No matter how well opponents lay out arguments against this (see MarketingGuru and godislanguage’s posts), there are a LOT of under-educated people that will just go along with this as if it is mana from heaven. So many people willingly screw themselves over, time and time again, it’s not funny.

    This will be no different. Image is everything to these people, it is how you pass or elect really lame bills or politicians. “They outnumber us” comes to mind….

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  4. MarketingGuru says:

    What a bunch of BS, Schwarzenegger turned into a democrat, after getting beaten down by all the unions and the state politicians. He wishes he was more like NJ’s Governor Christie. The solution is during a POOR economy is NOT to raise taxes on any group, this only slows down the salt in the wound and kicks the can down the road for our children to suffer, you need a SOLUTION that will FIX what is BROKEN:
    1. Too many government employees and useless departments, fire some of them!
    2. Government employees need to contribute more to their pension and healthcare benefits.
    3. Pension reform is a must for all public servants. By 2015, 100% of the income tax the state receives will be going to cover the government employee pensions.
    4. Kick out the Teacher & Prison Guard Unions, they are raping this state out of funds.
    5. California is spending more than $8 billion on corrections this year, more than 10 percent of the massive state budget. State taxpayers spend about $133 per inmate – every day. Texas, which has the second largest inmate population after California, spends less than one-third of that amount – about $42.50 per inmate per day: http://reason.org/blog/show/cutting-prison-costs-california
    6. California’s prison guards make more than twice their counterparts in Texas – $71,000 a year, compared with $31,000.
    7. Revamp the welfare system
    8. Fix the healthcare system.
    9. Fine companies that hire illegal immigrants, most illegal aliens are paid less than the legal minimum wage, this causes an unfair business environment for companies that abide by the law.
    10. Work with Feds to create special seasonal visas for immigrant workers.
    11. Illegal aliens do not pay income tax and for healthcare services, this costs the state and CA tax payers BILLIONS! They may pay sales tax but that only benefits the cities and is a small amount compared to the billions they cost this state.

    California is already one of the HIGHEST taxed states in the USA: http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/15.html

    9,111 retired government workers receiving pensions more than $100,000: http://www.californiapensionreform.com/database.asp
    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/18/opinion/la-oe-fritz-pension-reform-20110118

    LET’S SEE IF ANY OF MY SOLUTIONS LISTED ABOVE, WILL BE IN THERE PROPOSAL.
    DON’T YOU LOVE IT WHEN BILLIONAIRES AND MILLIONAIRES ARE MAKING UP THESE PROPOSALS AND ARE AFRAID TO ADDRESS THE REAL PROBLEMS THAT ARE HURTING THIS STATE. DO YOU THINK I AM REALLY GOING TO TRUST A PROPOSAL MADE BY SCHWARZENEGGER & DAVIS, THE ONES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE DOWNFALL OF THIS STATE BY BENDING OVER BACKWARDS FOR THE UNIONS, AND JERRY BROWN IS NO DIFFERENT.

    (20) 24 Total Votes - 22 up - 2 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Nice list, there, MarketingGuru. You are certainly on the right track, but what you propose practically amount to REVOLUTION. The special interests who have engineered these wonderful perquisites are not going to take it lying down. They are going to fight your kind tooth and nail to maintain the status quo. They have built a huge empire to enrich and empower themselves at your expense. It will take something truly revolutionary and extraordinary to roll back their gravy train. It can be done, but a hell of a lot of people are going to have to get on the bandwagon and make it happen.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down

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