Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on May 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm
What you linked to, Pleasanton Dad, is not an article. It's an editorial.
What that means, Allen, is that it's a set of opinions, which cannot be correct or incorrect. Factual assertions can be correct or incorrect. Opinions can be consistent with your own or in conflict with your own. But to say that the editorial is correct just blurs the distinction between fact and opinion.
The editorial states a number of different opinions, and I agree with some, but not with others. Trina asked me on another thread what my opinions was of the editorial, so I came over to share my opinion.
Which opinions do you agree with?
- You have sympathy for Governor Schwarzenegger?
- He's decided to settle for the lowest common denominator reform, which isn't nearly enough?
- The rainy day fund is a sensible reform?
- Public unions neutered the Gann Amendment in the early 1990s?
- Prop 1B is worse than 1A?
- Props 1C, 1D, and 1E are gimmicks?
- Sacramento needs to rethink its highly progressive antigrowth tax code?
- Stronger reform is needed -- a better spending cap, and a flat-rate income and sales tax?
- Let companies drill for oil offshore and tax revenues will grow?
I actually think the article about Schwarzenegger in the WSJ is much more valuable. (This one: Web Link )
The article provides useful and detailed reporting, particularly about the reasons WHY revenue has been so unstable in California compared with other states.
The key quote, as I see it:
California is "highly dependent on one volatile stream of revenue -- personal income taxes, which account for about 53% of the general fund."
In the end, I think Californians are going to need to recognize that we need a stable source of funding for the services that the state provides. It's not about getting people to pay more or less in taxes -- it's about balancing the revenue from income, property, and sales taxes in a way that smooths out the bumps that economic booms and busts create, rather than turning them into a world-class rollercoaster.
For the record, I agree with 1, 3, and 6 above -- oh, and with half of 7, of course. I do believe the tax code needs to be redesigned, as I have explained above. But the reform that is needed is not about making the tax code more or less progresssive, or pro- or anti-growth -- it's about making tax revenue more predictable.