Just when you think you've seen it all, the Governor and his cronies pull another one on the people of California. While the economy created by the Bush "free-marketeers" has sent the country on an economic free-fall; while California sees its unemployment rate hit over 11% and while the number of Californians that have seen their incomes fall below the federal poverty level has increased to over 20% of the population, a report approved by a Governor's commission is recommending that we give a $14 Billion tax break to the wealthiest Californians.
The COTCE Commission (about which we've been blogging for the past few weeks) came up with its report Monday, September 14th. With unmitigated gall and indifference to the plight of California's hard working yet struggling middle-class and minimum-wage earners, multi-millionaire and Chair, Gerald Parsky has pushed through a set of proposals that will result in a boondoggle for the rich and an increase in burden to the rest of us. Added to this insulting charade, Parsky has snuck into the series of recommendations, a last minute play by Commissioner and right-wing think tanker, Michael Boskin, a proposal that calls for opening up the coast for new oil leases. And by the way, Mr. Boskin serves on the Board of Exxon/Mobil, something he has failed to disclose while making this last-minute end-run around the Commissions own rules. (Of course, with Parsky in cahoots, the rules have only applied to the progressive proposals which Parsky and buddies have buried).
For more on this disgraceful waste of taxpayer money, see CalBuzz series on this Commission including the article by Jean Ross' in Monday's Cal Buzz.
It's time to fight back. These "recommendations" were supposed to be in the form of a consensus report. However, Parsky and company dropped that idea like a lead balloon when they realized that the progressives weren't about to agree to yet another giveaway to the rich while California's education, infra-structure, health care, public safety and human safety-nets have been torn to shreds by more and more tax breaks to the rich and loopholes to multi-national corporations. So when all bets were off, Parsky decided to go for the gold (although he himself is reputed to be worth hundreds of millions himself) and produce a lop-sided set of proposals that would only keep a corpse from laughing at their outlandishness.
This report shouldn't see the light-of-day and should be relegated to the trash heap where it belongs. But the Governor is going to try to may hay with it so it's up to us, the people of California, upon whom the burden of giving away yet more to those who have the most already, must rise up. Taxes are supposed to be about fairness and investment in the programs and services that benefit the community.
Contact the Governor, Senate President Pro tem Darrell Steinberg and Speaker Karen Bass and tell them:
NO MORE GIVEAWAYS TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST AT THE EXPENSE OF THE REST OF US. NO TO THE COTCE COMMISSION REPORT THAT CONTINUES TO PUSH ITS RIGHT-WING AGENDA BY GIVING TAX BREAKS TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST AND PUTTING THE BURDEN ON THOSE WHO HAVE THE LEAST.
What we need is a tax system that is fair, places the most responsibility on those who have the most so that all Californians have the opportunity to get the best education possible; be safe in their homes, schools and on the streets; are able to access quality, affordable healthcare and live a life of dignity and respect, regardless of their financial circumstances.
Urge the Legislature to take up a tax reform package that incorporates the ideas and principles recommended to the COTCE Commission (which were thrown aside by Parsky and his wealthy cronies) but which would make the system fairer, promote jobs, protect the environment and reflect a 21st Century economy.
Let's take back our state and create a future that is fair to ALL Californians, not just the wealthy.