Yesterday, California Gov. Jerry Brown, fresh off his triumph in somehow convincing Californians to raise their own sales and income taxes yet again, announced that California was a model for the nation on taxes. His language was stunningly and unapologetically Marxist:
Revenue means taxes, and certainly those who have been blessed the most, who have disproportionately extracted, by whatever skill, more and more from the national wealth, they’re going to have to share more of that. And everyone is going to have to realize that building roads is important, investing in schools is important, paying for the national defense is important, biomedical research is important, the space program is an indicator of the world leader – all that takes money.
Brown added that he believed that California’s tax increases were part of a national sweep for higher taxes:
Now the cutting, the cutting and the deficits are out of control. Our financial health, our credibility … as a nation that can govern itself, is on the chopping block.
California is currently $16 billion underwater; it has the lowest-rated bonds in the nation; and $617 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. It now has a state unemployment rate of 10.2%. The state sales tax is 7.25% (in most cities it is far higher), and the top income tax bracket will be 10.3%.
This is what America will look like if Jerry Brown is right. And he will be right so long as Americans continue to buy into the fiction that earners “extract” wealth from the community rather than creating wealth for it.