The citizens of California are nuts.
The poll reports that:
- 67% of voters want to fix the budget through spending cuts, not tax increases.
- 70% of voters want to keep the two-thirds majority requirement to increase taxes.
- By a roughly 3-to-2 ratio, Californians are NOT willing to raise taxes to balance the budget. Except on millionaires. Certainly no sales, gasoline or business tax increases.
The general consensus seems to favor sin taxes (booze, tobacco, and porn), and - get this - legalizing and taxing marijuana. 56% backed legal weed. It doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone that legalizing and taxing pot won't save the day, because - marijuana is a weed. It's extremely easy to grow in the back yard, and requires very little processing to make into your own tea, or even your own smokes - unlike tobacco. Once it's legal, there will be some market, but the main buyers will be people who either don't want to bother growing their own, or want the high quality weed produced by specialty growers. That isn't gonna cut it, folks.
Maybe it's my depression background, but it seems clear to me that if we want the services - and this poll makes it clear that we do want the services, especially public schools, public health, and higher education - We Have To Raise Taxes, including the income tax.
We pay the highest taxes in the country, you complain. Actually, I think New York is worse; but not by much. But - citizens of this country pay some of the lowest taxes in the world - particularly the gasoline tax. Europeans currently pay between $5.75 and $6 per gallon for gasoline - except the Netherlands, where it's $6.41.
You want to discuss taxes, talk to a Swede. Or a Frenchman. They pay the taxes, and they get the services.
So maybe the citizens of California are getting exactly the legislators they want. Sigh. I wonder how long it'll take all of them to grow up and realize that the money isn't going to fall out of the sky to fix this - even with what we're getting from the Obama stimulus package.