Teachers Fired To Pay For Huge Corporate Tax Cut -- Why?

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes Favorites

I've been asking around and it seems that most Californians don't know that the budget deal that fires so many teachers also has a huge tax cut just for big, multi-state and multi-national corporations.

But it's true. Last month's budget deal that fires teachers, cuts essential government services, and guts the investments that bring future economic benefits also has a huge tax cut for the largest of corporations. While this part of the deal has been kept pretty quiet, the LA Times had a story, Business the big winner in California budget plan. From the story,

The average Californian's taxes would shoot up five different ways in the state budget blueprint that lawmakers hope to vote on this weekend. But the bipartisan plan for wiping out the state's giant deficit isn't so bad for large corporations, many of which would receive a permanent windfall.

About $1 billion in corporate tax breaks -- directed mostly at multi-state and multinational companies -- is tucked into the proposal.

But wait, won't a big corporate tax cut cause companies to come to California, creating jobs? No, they are already here and it will drive them away, because it is paid for by firing teachers.

A study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, released in 2005, found that most companies decide where to locate based not on tax breaks but on factors such as the availability of a highly educated workforce. California's proposed plan would cut spending on higher education by hundreds of millions of dollars.

So how did this happen? This was part of the deal to get a few Republican votes. And why did the Republicans want this so bad? Because they understood who really elected them.

If you look at the independent expenditure reports for the 2008 California election you'll see a massive amount of last-minute money. For example, in the 19th Senate District, a political action committee (PAC) named "Californians for Jobs and Education" put almost $1 million into just one race: $570,653 into defeating Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson, and another $373,778 to help elect her opponent, Republican Tony Strickland. When you look this group up on ElectionTrack you learn that this money came from corporations like Arkansas' Wal-Mart, Blue Cross of Ohio (Ohio?), Reliant Energy, major real estate companies, and from other PACs.

Now it gets interesting. Many of the contributions to that PAC came from other PACs, especially one called Jobs Pac. When you track down Jobs PAC you find that it is a conduit for huge, huge amounts of money coming from large corporations like Philip Morris, ATT, Chevron, Safeway, Sempra Energy, Verizon, big insurance companies, big pharmaceutical companies, big real estate companies ... and other conduits like the Chamber of Commerce.

Why did these huge corporations put so much money into California state elections? Because we let them, and because of the return on investment they receive from tax cuts like the one that is forcing us to fire so many of our teachers.

There is a key lesson to learn from this. When it comes time to choose, that is when you can really see who is for or against something -- where their priorities really are. And in this case, when push came to shove, in the end who did the conservatives come through for? The large corporations. They danced with the ones that brung them.

So California doing things at the behest of corporations pushes corporations away? Interesting logic.

How about we just agree that the government hasn't a damn clue what it's doing, and the only way to improve it is to "gut" it's responsiblities, rather than passing the buck onto people who can't vote or aren't born.

user-pic

It seems strange to me that teachers in the US get paid much less than teachers in other G8 nations, and then when a state wants to cut spending they cut teachers.

I'm sure the issue is complex, and that I (we) don't have all the details, but it seems like education is a low priority for the people of California if they don't hang a few politicians over this one.

p.s. I would rather bump 2 families from welfare to working than cut a teacher.

Leave a comment

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Join Our Mailing List
Email:




About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dave Johnson published on March 31, 2009 7:40 AM.

None For You was the previous entry in this blog.

We Need To Tell The Public, Too is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.