Lies, Damn Lies, and California Budget Proposals
The news out of Sacramento appears good for the California middle class:
The good news, Schwarzenegger glowed, is no new taxes.
Digging a little deeper, of course, reveals the truth:
* Accelerate income tax withholding — $1.7 billion
* Increase estimated tax payments for businesses and the self-employed — $610 million
Between now and the end of the year, $2.3 billion will be extracted from the economy in more aggressive tax collection. Where is that money going to come from? Everyone who works:
It also raises $4 billion by in part accelerating personal and corporate income tax withholdings and increasing income tax withholding schedules by 10 percent.
The state will take 10% more than it does today out of every paycheck issued in the State of California. That means that the Californian trying to stay afloat on a mortgage, pay medical bills, or send a kid to school will have less money to do it. The Californian out trying to support local businesses will have less money to do it. The Californian who lives paycheck-to-paycheck will have less money to survive.
Since this is a withholding change, the taxpayer should get the excess withheld back on next year’s tax return. That, though, won’t undo the foreclosure that happened because a Californian couldn’t pay his mortgage. It won’t make right the bankruptcy that occurred because a Californian couldn’t pay her medical bills. It won’t bring back the corner store that went under because people couldn’t afford to shop there.
The simple fact is that this budgetary shell game will cause each and every worker to pay more to the State of California in taxes. The state is so desperate to pass a budget that it is almost certain that this tax hike will pass. All I ask is that the clowns in Sacramento have enough respect for the taxpayers to level with us and admit that their budget contains $2.3 billion in tax hikes…