L.A. Times Goes Tax Berserk

John Seiler:

The L.A. Times’ tax obsession goes back decades. I remember back when George Deukmejian was governor (1982-1990), the Times was especially fanatical about increasing taxes. So one of the governor’s advisers sent the Times management an unofficial bill for its share of the new taxes the Times wanted — which the Times, hypocritically, never paid.

Now the Times’ staff has gone beserker over the tax increases. Wikipedia writes of the berserkers (that’s a picture of them above):

Berserkers (or berserks) were Norse warriors who are reported in the Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury….

Now, he’s what the L.A. Times’ Tax Berserkers have been writing.

Tax berserker Timothy Rutten today:

the governor and the Democrats’ legislative majority need to shake themselves free of the direct democracy delusion, and that process begins with abandoning efforts to put budget-balancing tax extensions before the voters, as then-candidate Brown promised.

Tax berserker Michael Hiltzik today backs not only Brown’s $12 billion tax increase, but

other sources of revenue that other states exploit but California ignores, such as an oil severance tax and a fairer approach to assessing commercial and industrial property.

The phrase “a fairer approach to assessing commercial and industrial property” is a euphemism for attacking Proposition 13 with what’s called a split roll, meaning business and industrial property would be taxed at higher rates. Just what California’s severely anti-business climate needs: even more anti-business taxes.

And tax berserker Steve Lopez yesterday lamented that teachers will have to be fired if taxes aren’t increased:

How about an oil excise tax, with the proceeds going to education? How about some of the other things I’ve talked about, like tinkering with Proposition 13, particularly on the commercial side? How about a relatively fair balance of spending cuts and temporary extension of existing tax increases, so we don’t have to destroy our K-12 schools with an extra $4 billion to $5 billion in cuts?

But as someone named Bully4You noted in the comments section:

How about teachers take a 5% paycut, and pay 5% towards health insurance?

Problem solved.

Commentator benjamin1 wrote:

I found a way to save the teachers.  Say it with me now; end the pensions, give ALL public employees 401k accounts and have them make 75% of the contributions to said accounts just like EVERYBODY else, then see how many teachers you need to actually lay off.  My guess is Mr. Yee will keep his job either way though.  Gov. Brown would never dream about having any of his beloved public employees actually feel any effects of the recession.

Both are sensible suggestions. The private sector sure has taken a hit in recent years, with many salaries slashed and positions eliminated. Given that the private sector supports the public sector, when the taxpayers get hit hard, then the tax-takers should get hit hard, too. If the host shrinks, then so should the parasite.

Well, at least the Times allowed these comments on their Web site. The comments also show that Californians no longer can be conned by Brown and the berserker L.A. Times, Rutten, Hiltzik and Lopez.











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  1. David in Irvine
    David in Irvine 27 April, 2011, 12:23

    Should we be treating oil as a public revenue source if at the same time we’re trying to reduce burning fossil fuels to fight global warming? The additional tax will reduce consumption, which lowers revenue and contributes to the next public finance crisis. By this logic we should be taxing solar panels and wind turbines since they are obviously a growth industry that can sustain future gov’t. spending.

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  2. Steevo
    Steevo 28 April, 2011, 00:02

    I am by no means pro-tax.

    It makes no sense having oil companies be able to take oil from California for their own, paying nothing for it, and then selling it for a profit on the commodities market.

    49 other states and every foreign country charge for the oil, but for some reason California oil is *free*.

    I think we can easily justify charging them for the oil removed and use that to defray our taxes. No, I don’t mean that proposed initiative, or any other earmark for education, public employee pensions, none of that. But cut the property tax another 40% and tax oil instead.

    No, it won’t cost us more at the pump. Oil is sold on the commodities market, remember. These same oil companies pay oil pumping tax everywhere else they drill. So it won’t change our costs, just theirs. It would have to come from the oil company record profits.

    California oil is now extra profitable since it’s *free*. But we don’t need to be *free*. We can’t afford to give our oil away *free*. That’s just ridiculous.

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