‘Taxes’ Archive

The Gasoline Tax: Charles Krauthammer Breaks with Republican Orthodoxy March 14, 2016 No Comments

Charles Krauthammer, generally regarded as a conservative writer, declared more than a year ago that he had been for a gasoline tax increase of $1 a gallon for 32 years.  That would be, if I calculate right, since 1983. I’ve been of the same view, especially since I started spending a lot more time in […]

Which Taxes to Raise – A Revision February 27, 2015 No Comments

In earlier posts I suggested that the top bracket income tax could be raised to up to 40%, as in the Clinton era, without hurting government revenues or damaging the economy.  It still might not, but I have decided that there are changes I would like better. The payroll tax is a regressive tax that […]

Edward Kleinbard Says, Don’t Soak the Few and the Rich December 22, 2014 No Comments

Edward Kleinbard, a professor at the University of Southern California, has pointed out that despite and in the face of extreme income inequality, not only is America’s tax system fairly ‘progressive’, its spending is fairly progressive in that the less affluent benefit more from it and the rich can often opt out of the public […]

Man of the Left George Skelton Admits California Income Tax is too Top-Heavy on the Rich! Plus, Apparently Man of the Left Thomas Piketty Endorses Proposition 13! July 21, 2014 No Comments

George Skelton, LA Times columnist and generally a ‘progressive,’ admits, that the California state income tax is too top-heavy on the few and the rich.  A welcome insight from someone on his side of the political spectrum.  Note that Mark Paul, a close associate of Joe Mathews, one of my favorites, disagrees.  Evidently Skelton has been […]

Raise Everyone’s Taxes, Including Mine December 19, 2012 No Comments

A number of millionaires are fine with their taxes being raised. I myself could live with slightly higher taxes, though I don’t like the idea of going higher than the Clinton era levels on federal taxes. The Clinton-Gingrich era was not a bad one economically. I voted for Prop 30 because it had an increased […]

Proposition 13 — The Good and Bad February 5, 2012 1 Comment

As I”ve said before, the famous part of Proposition 13 – the part that protected existing homeowners from being gouged by their own rising home values – should be kept.  Large cash taxes, when cash or liquid assets are not changing hands, are destabilizing and force the unnecessary sale of homes.  For most people, their […]

‘Smart Growth’ or Housing Opportunity October 30, 2011 3 Comments

John Crawford, of Sierra Madre, misunderstands the proper purpose of SB 375.  Yes, it is a form of social engineering, but so are the existing policies in those towns forbidding high density housing.  Yes, it is mistaken if it is trying to get suburbanites out of their single family houses and into apartments.  It is not […]

Raise Revenues by Reducing Taxes? July 16, 2011 2 Comments

Now, Ramesh Ponnuru, long time of National Review, sees it. And Pawlenty is still convinced we are above the tip of the Laffer Curve, and that there are more revenues to be got by reducing taxes. This is debatable. Related: “Free Republicans From the Middle-Class Tax Trap” by Ramesh Ponnuru at Bloomberg.com

And Republicans Were All So Pious About ‘Local Control’ . . . July 9, 2011 3 Comments

And Republicans were all so pious about ‘local control.’  They don’t want local government to raise taxes or fees, but it seems to be OK with them – except for the ever-reliable Chris Norby – for local government to declare a ‘redevelopment area,’ freeze the taxes going to the county and the schools for the […]

Life in the Slow Lane May 15, 2011 No Comments

Our infrastructure has been squeezed between resistance to raising taxes on the one hand, and welfare demands on the other.  Related: “Life in the Slow Lane”  by The Economist

Once Again, the Laffer Curve Curves May 9, 2011 No Comments

Michael Barone, whom I usually respect, confuses, like most Republicans, the issue about tax rates. Yes, when Kennedy cut the top rate from 90% to 70%, federal revenues did actually go up. And when Reagan cut the top rate to 38.9%, federal revenues actually did go up. But the effect of cutting tax rates doesn’t […]

Progressive Consumption Taxes April 26, 2011 1 Comment

I agree with Frank, not with Henderson.  I have a lot less problem with progressive consumption taxes on the rich than with progressive income taxes.  That way if the rich use their money constructively, for capital investment, saving, or philanthropy, they are less likely to be penalized for making the money.  Note that consumption or […]

David Stockman, Again April 17, 2011 No Comments

In this article, David Stockman, although both a hard-money man and a social liberal, comes out against continuing the G. W. Bush tax cuts! Read it to find out why. Related: “The Triumph of Politics Over Economics” by Nick Gillespie at Reason.com

Club Wagner April 15, 2011 3 Comments

I have asked to become a member of Club Wagner. I cannot be both that and a California Republican, that has been made abundantly clear. Related: “Club Wagner” by Douglas Holtz-Eakin at NYTimes.com Blogs Related: “Conservatives for Higher Taxes” by David Leonhardt at NYTimes.com Blogs

Taxes and the Schadenfreude of the Rich April 7, 2011 2 Comments

It is unwise for a state to be too dependent on the fluctuating incomes of the rich – or, for that matter, in my view, any organization.  Instead of this being made an argument for “lower taxes on the rich,” it could be just as easily made an argument for higher taxes on everybody else. […]

For and Against the Negative Income Tax March 11, 2011 1 Comment

Two different perspectives on the negative income tax, a less bureaucratic substitute for the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Guy Sorman is for, Jim Manzi is against.  I’m not sure where I stand.  (Don’t you welcome a little ambiguity for a change from the arrogant Blue Kennel?) Actually, one of the persons who first proposed a […]

Dan Morain: One Town’s Enterprise Zone Steals Another Town’s Lunch February 24, 2011 No Comments

Apparently enterprise zones have turned out to be the same sort of corporate welfare and beggar-thy-neighbor deal that redevelopment has been.  I don’t know much about Business Improvement Districts, but I think they’re kind of like residential homeowmers associations and can assess dues.  They might be the most viable format for brick sidewalks and cute […]

You’ve Seen Dan Morain’s Article… 1 Comment

You’ve seen Dan Morain’s article. For those of you who are interested, here’s the link to the actual answers I wrote!  And you’ll get to find out what NTSEBREE and NESEBREE are. Related: “Howard Ahmanson, now a conservative Democrat, holds forth” by Dan Morain at The Swarm Blog/Sacbee.com

Dan Morain: Unlikely Ally for Brown’s Big Fight February 23, 2011 No Comments

I get some notoriety for cutting across political lines on behalf of an important social justice issue. Related: “Dan Morain: Unlikely ally for Brown’s big fight” by Dan Morain at Sacbee.com

Herdt: On taxes, redevelopment and teamwork February 20, 2011 No Comments

Timm Herdt of the Ventura County Star does an excellent column on how redevelopment cuts across traditional partisan lines.  I still say we have the social justice opportunity of the century! Related “Herdt: On Taxes, Redevelopment and Teamwork” by Timm Herdt at the Ventura County Star

Cal-EITC and Gasoline Tax February 15, 2011 1 Comment

I don’t know whether the state can afford it at the moment, but a Cal-EITC would be a good and civilized thing to have. If we institute a higher gasoline or carbon tax, especially, which I do advocate, common decency requires that we balance it with a Cal-EITC that would be enough to cover the […]

CA Special Election February 10, 2011 No Comments

Mimi Walters is doing a commendable thing standing up against the no tax ever ever Republicans but using the Republicans’ leverage to have a public vote on public sector pensions, to install for future public employees a “defined contribution” plan like every one else in the state has. She should be commended, not obstructed. Related […]

OASDI Taxes Are Also Unconstitutional February 9, 2011 No Comments

If this court is right, OASDI taxes are also unconstitutional. If it is upheld, I will so interpret. And the payroll tax is far more ‘regressive’ than the income tax. On the other hand, I am fine if we want to call an insurance requirement unconstitutional, but only if we can call “the hospital can’t […]

I Like Some Taxes Less Than Others, Notes on the California Situation February 3, 2011 1 Comment

Originally the Republicans were going to be totally obstructive and try to keep the necessary ballot initiatives for the special election regarding taxes from going to the public at all.  Now Mimi Walters, who had been the Republican candidate for Treasurer in the last election, says she might consider voting to put the initiatives on […]

The Social Justice Opportunity of the Century January 20, 2011 3 Comments

Much to the surprise of all of us, the new governor of California, Jerry Brown, has proposed shutting down all redevelopment agencies in the state.  The reason for this is that a city (or probably a county, where a county rules directly) has had the right to declare an area a “redevelopment area” and then […]

If I lived in Virginia . . . December 23, 2010 No Comments

Ah. I suppose if I lived in Virginia, I could stop paying my Social Security (also known as OASDI and FICA) tax. That’s ‘insurance’ too. [Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance] And it’s a regressive tax that falls mainly on middle and lower income people. If this decision is upheld but my application of it […]

Schrag on Voters’ Muddled Thinking December 1, 2010 No Comments

Peter Schrag is a man of the left, but he is strikingly honest here on the desire of Californians for well funded education in the face of lower taxes. Even more interesting is his theory that after Proposition 13, “fiscal conservatives” and business interests lost interest in local governments and school districts, after these entities […]

The Passive Aggressive Public November 26, 2010 1 Comment

Joel Fox here reflects on the inconsistency that the people seem to oppose “higher taxes” but favor many well funded government services. His conclusion is that there has been a breakdown of trust in our leadership, not any move towards “smaller government” in theory. I think that if the distrust has now gone beyond our […]

One Reason to be a Red Sox Fan… August 9, 2010 1 Comment

One reason to be a Red Sox fan is that they were the one team to rehab their stadium without using any government money – and this in blue big-government Massachusetts! Mark Yost describes this in the Wall Street Journal and then some letters say that Fenway Park isn”t really that great after all.  They […]

Taxes to Raise, Taxes to Lower April 14, 2010 3 Comments

I thought that I had better get this out, because April 15 is just around the corner. Taxes that should be raised: The gasoline tax, by $.50 to $1 a gallon.  I oppose cap and trade, however, because it is a bureaucratic mess.  If California were in a position to afford it, I would say that we […]

When I am elected to the Board of Equalization… February 27, 2010 2 Comments

When I am elected to the Board of Equalization, I will move my headquarters to Fresno. It is well located at the center of the state, and for reasons specified here it is the best place from which I can fulfill my campaign promises. Related: “Fresno, Calif., tops list of ‘drunkest’ U.S. cities; Boston least” […]

Tax Auditors Keep Tabs on Bars by Imbibing… February 16, 2010 1 Comment

I have never considered running for office, but I think I shall now consider running for the Board of Equalization. And I promise to anyone who votes for me that I will not delegate the important matter of liquor taxes to any faceless unelected bureaucrat, but shall take responsibility for these particular matters myself! Related: […]