Thursday, February 16, 2012

California faces tax choices

by Duane Campbell
It is time that California work again for people who work for a living. There are over 2 million working people who lost their jobs in the financial crisis through no fault of their own.  They would be happy to be working and paying taxes again.  California must reinvest in our schools to make certain that every child has access to the kinds of public schools that will prepare them to compete in the global economy.

Public schools  are being decimated amidst budget cuts and the growing accumulation of wealth by the 1%.  California needs additional revenues to fund the schools and other parts of the safety net. The Courage Campaign, CA Calls and the CA Federation of Teachers have partnered to get a Millionaire's Tax on the November ballot.  The Millionaire's Tax would raise $6 billion for public education, safety, and infrastructure by raising additional taxes on those making more than $1 million a year. 

There is a competing tax initiative by Governor Brown that asks us all to pay a temporary  increased sales tax – and it will produce no new money for the schools. If working people and the middle class are going to take a hit in tough times it shouldn’t be to pay for the tax breaks for millionaires and the big companies that ship our jobs overseas.  It’s time the middle class stop picking up the tab while the rich and the big corporations get loopholes and tax dodges.  Its time that the rich and the corporations start living by the same rules  and pay their fair share of taxes.

The Brown budget and tax proposals would continue to lay off firefighters and teachers.  It is time for the government to put people back to work instead of cut, cut cut.
Focusing only on cuts is bad for the people and bad economics.  Instead we need to build the promise of California.
The promise is an opportunity for a good job.   That promise is a good job for all and the opportunity to have of a good career.  The budget cut-  tax cut mania does not promote good jobs and careers.  Instead we need to invest in the workers of the future – our kids_ by rebuilding the devastated schools and colleges that create an educated workforce.

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