CA media still eager for higher taxes

CA media still eager for higher taxes

The way that Sacramento beat reporters judge developments is so much different than the way a typical California adult would. Consider what the Los Angeles Times’ Marc Lifsher wrote about the agenda of Gov. Jerry Brown after the Legislature ended its summer break. Notice what is and isn’t emphasized:

JerryBrownSchw“SACRAMENTO — In the closing days of the Legislature last year, Gov. Jerry Brown helped forge a compromise on a sweeping overhaul of the workers’ compensation insurance system and persuaded Democratic and Republican lawmakers to pass it into law.

“Now he is taking on another big challenge: He wants to fix the state’s financially ailing unemployment insurance program, which pays jobless Californians up to $450 a week.

“With one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates for several years, the state has had to borrow money from the feds to keep the program going. Now that the jobless rate has fallen to 8.5%, Brown would like to start paying down a $10-billion debt.

“His administration is circulating a draft bill that would put the system on an even keel by raising payroll taxes paid by employers. ….

“People close to the process say that [Brown aide Marty] Morgenstern is proposing an increase in the amount of wages subject to unemployment insurance taxes from the first $7,000 of annual pay to $9,500 and eventually $12,000.”

Impact of higher taxes? What impact? Who cares?

Nowhere in the story are we told that polls show many Californians strongly object to higher taxes.

Nowhere in the story are we told about California’s level of taxation relative to other states.

Nowhere in the story are we told how much working Californians would have to pay extra if $12,000 of their income were subject to the unemployment insurance tax instead of $7,000.

All of these details matter. So does the bizarre way California got in this mess. It wasn’t because unemployment has been high — as the LAT strongly and wrongly implies. It was because a dozen years ago, the genius Democrats in the Legislature had the majority of votes to raise unemployment benefits sharply — by 96 percent over four years — but they didn’t have the two-thirds vote needed to raise the payroll tax to cover the additional costs of benefits.

So what did they do? You weren’t expecting competence or sanity, I hope.

In Sacramento, dumb-de-dumb dumb

“Republicans strongly objected because they thought the big increase was unjustified and that the higher taxes to be imposed on employers to pay for it would be burdensome. … [Nevertheless,] Democrats forced through the benefit hike on a simple majority vote. … The accompanying bill to raise taxes on employers to fund the boost failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds support because of GOP objections.

“The sheer stinking dumbness of this gets even worse. In 2002, the state bureaucrats running the jobless benefits program told The Sacramento Bee this wouldn’t be a problem.”

Shades of CalPERS and SB 400. Math is not a strong suit with state budget officials. That excerpt was from an editorial I wrote last year. Another relevant point from that piece:

“Nevertheless, despite the frequency with which we see such stories, the Sacramento political and media establishment remains resolute in its belief that the real problem with California is Californians – you know, the numskull voters who demand services but balk at paying for them.

“As if voters wanted state employees to be among the highest paid in the nation with pension benefits most Californians would die for. As if voters wanted the number of workers paid by the state to increase by nearly 25 percent since 1997. As if voters wanted the state government to do something as apocalyptically stupid as increasing unemployment benefits by 96 percent without funding the gigantic increase.

“The blame for all these brilliant decisions falls on state leaders and state leaders alone.”

Well, maybe not alone. Some heat should go to the Sacramento media — starting with those who blithely treat proposed tax hikes as if they were something that the public has no opinion about and unworthy of even cursory examination, such as to determine how much they would cost every employed California.

 

 

 

 

6 comments

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  1. Let It Collapse
    Let It Collapse 30 July, 2013, 11:53

    Why would this surprise you? The media nationwide has been locked arm-in-arm with the government for years now. It’s not just Sacramento. I have to go to Russia Today (RT News) to get accurate information about what’s going on in my own country. Haven’t you seen that when elections are reported on, particularly the Presidential elections?

    Do you think your media reported the truth on the 2008 meltdown and it’s aftermath?

    Has the media asked why bankers willfully laundered trillions of narco-dollars for the Mexican and SA drug cartels (documented in successful civil suits) without one banker being arrested or prosecuted or going to jail?

    And on and on and on……

    Your media has been sold at the highest bid.

    Sorry. More truth.

    Hope this comment doesn’t get buried.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 July, 2013, 12:28

    Let it Doomer……..yawn

    Reply this comment
    • eck
      eck 30 July, 2013, 21:36

      Hey Uhaul, hitch up yours and leave. Oh, you’re obviously on the CA taxpayers tit. OK, you can’t.

      Reply this comment
  3. BillyB
    BillyB 30 July, 2013, 15:56

    A doomer? How about a truth teller?..It was just reported that the highest profit industry is back to being the Financial sector. The massive amounts of currency growth is pumping up financial assets, more trading, more profits. Something to build an economy? No, don’t think so. Unemployment coming down? Well yes, more part time jobs for business adjustments to health care mandates. This is going to blow up, large and loud. Some will be connecting hoses to the exhaust pipes of moving vans and breathing deeply to ease pains of reality. Yawn.

    Reply this comment
  4. Steve G
    Steve G 30 July, 2013, 16:32

    Taxes should not exist at all in this country. All governments have made huge profits over the past 60 plus years through investment income. Their debts have been publicized and their profits hidden from the public. The State of California is not broke and neither is any other state, city, or county. A budget does not state the financial standing of a municipality. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report(CAFR)is where you see the reality. As of 2003 California had 59.83 Billion dollars in surplus that they were not using(Federal Accountant Gerald Klatt) It has grown since then not decreased. Check out cafrman.c o m and cafr1 to learn more.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 July, 2013, 17:04

    Such envy….go out and cut some economic pie…..it’s lots of fun!

    Or….you end up in a white coat. Poor thing!

    Reply this comment

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