Saturday, February 23, 2008
He Who Laffers Last
Here in California we set the trends. We're hip, we're cool. You bumpkins in other states are going to have to try pretty darned hard to get the jump on us. We've elected a State Senate and a State Legislature packed with geniuses and a Governator that made his name offing Cyborgs! And if thats not good enough, if that star-packed Sacramento Crewe cant get the job done, then we have a referendum system where any advocacy group, no matter how extreme, can put a law on the ballot and we, the voters, the citizens, the people, dont have to wait for the sluggish legislative process to work its magic, we can just up and vote it into law. And what great legislation this has led to! The noble mountain lion, persecuted by right-wing gun nuts and greedy developers has been protected to the extent that its better to be charged with shooting the owner of an urban liquor store during a robbery than to turn up in court charged with mayhem against the much beloved Puma. The mountain cats, in the spirit of all over-anthropomorphized critters has responded to this gesture of interspecies friendship by adding Basset Hounds and the occasional unwary jogger to its menu. I could go on but, thats not the point.
In many of these referendums and in much of the legislation that the overaged hippies and Mexican Nationalists that compose our State Senate and Legislature in their wisdom propose there arises the question, Who Pays? Now the six or eight million illegal aliens in this state have already gone broke buying lottery tickets so they've done their fair share. We could squeeze the working class chumps that live here legally but there's the danger that they might get mad enough to stop caring about abortion and gun control and start voting for Republicans who at some point might drop their anti-abortion and legalize machine-gun rhetoric and start trolling for votes on a low-tax platform; not likely but it could happen. The upper middle class? The contributors to the Dem's party pile? Maybe some index creep and a few user and license fees but nothing too salty. So who's left. Lemme think....
OH YEAH! I've got an idea, LETS TAX THE RICH! They stole their ill-gotten capital gains anyway so let's just stick it to them till it hurts! If we get ten billion by taxing the loot they rip from the mouths of the workers children at 10% we can raise that to 15% so we'll get fifteen billion, am I right? (graduates of California public schools will have to take their shoes off to do the math but trust me dudes, its been worked out by budgetary geniuses in Sacramento so it must be right).
But something strange happened. The rich didnt stick around to dutifully hand their stolen billions over to the Tribunes Of Compassion and instead split the scene! Bummer. In many cases they also took the high-tech businesses that were the source of their swag out of the state with them! Now the laws and subsidies and pay raises and boondoggles and gravy that were supposed to be funded by these multi-millionaires are going begging. There's a fourteen billion dollar budget shortfall and a constitutional amendment that the budget has to be balanced (passed by a ballot measure in the bad old Pete Wilson days). More than half of that shortfall is the result of CAPITAL FLIGHT! Now there's a whole range of cutbacks and a whole lot of moaning. The state's economy continues to slide.
But there's good news on the horizon! We're on the cusp of REAL CHANGE! says the Obamassiah. He's gonna do all those things us Americans have been yearning for but have been denied because of the evil Bush Tax Cuts. The math is simple, if we raise taxes 50% on the rich and the evil corporations and also squeeze those horrible hedge fund managers we should get 50% more revenue, am I right? Capital flight is a myth. The Era Of Hope will stop that nonsense, wont it? Now those hungry children in The Other America will have some hope. Thats dandy.