California Taxin’

In 2012 California raised the state’s top income tax rate nearly 30 percent to 13.3 percent to boost education funding. Proposition 98 spending on K-12 jumped accordingly:

By 2015 the state’s school funding already ranked in the middle of states according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, by 2016 the National Center for Education Statistics ranked the state in the top 15, and funding grew faster than any other state over the next five years. Federal and local funds add billions more, lifting annual spending per pupil to nearly $18,000. Yet even before COVID, California’s schools were laying off teachers and understaffing classrooms. That’s because pension spending grew even faster. After a ballot measure to reform pensions was scuttled by then Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2013, pension spending more than tripled at San Francisco Unified and nearly quadrupled at Fresno Unified.

Some lawmakers have proposed more tax increases, which we have worked to stop. But you can be sure more tax increases will be proposed if pensions are not addressed. Many lawmakers would like to do so. To succeed they will need long term protection from retribution by government employee unions. That’s where we come in. Our job is to liberate lawmakers to serve the general interest.

Recently the prospect of more tax increases has led a number of new people to us. They are welcome but they should understand that tardy engagement only when threats become manifest is how government employee unions captured Sacramento. Unopposed in the legislature for far too long, government employee unions have instilled a fear in lawmakers not unlike Soviet domination of Eastern European puppet regimes. Like NATO, organizations like ours have to be there in force and for the long haul. To help, see here.

Originally posted on Medium, 8/14/20.