Millionaires Tax merger is a risk and opportunity

That simple concept has now gotten a bit more complicated

My first reaction to today’s news that the popular Millionaires Tax measure was merging with Gov. Jerry Brown’s broad-based tax measure was “What the fuck!?!?” Taxing millionaires had over two-thirds support in recent polls and seemed to clearly tap the tax-the-rich zeitgeist that animated and was amplified by the Occupy movement.

Now, it’s being married to a measure that increases the regressive sales tax and brings the income taxes increases down to those making $250,000 per year, possibly turning more self-interested voters against it. This just seemed to blow a golden opportunity to do the one simple thing that most Californians agree we need to do to address the state’s perpetual and deepening fiscal crisis: tax the rich.

But then I talked to Assembly member Tom Ammiano, someone with longstanding and unwavering progressive values, and he said, “It’s the art of the deal. It’s acceptable to me, not because it’s perfect.” While he’s not a fan of sales tax increases, he explained how it improves upon the Millionaires Tax in a couple key ways, and that is finally represents some new political cooperation after years of frustrating dysfunction in Sacramento.

“This is something we can build on,” Ammiano told me. “It’s a pretty good coming together.”

Clearly, there is value in creating a functional center-left coalition to counteract the inflexible conservatism that a shrinking minority of Republicans has used to mindlessly block all revenue measures, defund education, and plunge the state into a serious fiscal crisis. And it is good strategy  to reduce the number of competing tax measures on the ballot, and to broaden the coalition of supporters.  

But beyond those tactical benefits, the new measure is worth supporting on its merits. Ammiano notes that it actually raises more money than the Millionaires Tax (about $2 billion per year more) and frees up how that money can be spent (rather than limiting it solely to education).

“We raise more money over more years and we cut back his sales tax increase,” said Steve Hopcraft, a spokesperson for the campaign, noting that Brown’s proposed half-cent sales tax increase is now a quarter-cent increase and the measure now raises $3.3 billion per year from the top 2 percent of wage earners. “It’s a progressive measure that has almost a consensus now...It’s basically what we were proposing but with a quarter percent increase in the sales tax.”

And a expiration date that the Millionaires Tax didn’t have. But while the sales tax increase sunsets in four years, the income tax increases -- which range from a 1 percent bump for $250,000 earners to 3 percent for those making more than $1 million -- last for seven years.

So Brown’s measure, which had broad institutional support, gets better. And the Millionaires Tax -- developed by the California Federation of Teachers and others and receiving strong popular support -- gets watered down just a bit. I suppose that alright, if they can still make the ballot and win over voters in November.

That’s a big “if,” perhaps bigger today than it was yesterday. And if supporters of this measure blow this important opportunity -- after all, the threshold for approving tax increases drops to a simple majority only during presidential elections, so the stakes now are high -- then we’ll all pay a heavy price for this decision. 


because it's "regressive". That's a weasel word anyway - if you call it "broad based", which it really is, and as most taxes have to be, then it really doesn't sound so bad.

But the problem is that CA already has the highest sales tax rates in the country, often with a hefty county sales tax on top. And once sales taxes cross that 10% barrier, people get upset.

And that's the problem with the income tax rates being proposed too. Adding 3% to rates is a lot. (OK, it's only for 5 to 7 years, but we all know that "temparary" taxes have a habit of becoming permanent). But it will also take marginal rates of income tax above 10% too for many people. And 250K pa isn't that much for two marriedf IT workers in the Bay Area.

So I think this prop could go down on the basis that it breeches an important round number - 10% - in not one, but two types of taxes. And that's worrying for everyone and not just the "rich".

The real and sad truth is thatw e can't fix the budget on the back of a small minority of people. If ou really want to balance the deficit (and I'm not sure you do) then either everyoen has to pay more tax or we start getting serious about attacking the pensions and benefits excesses of public sector workers. Or just have less of them.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

Any opportunity to raise revenue was already "blown" when this compromise was made. Why should working people who are already barely getting by vote to tax themselves, especially as the cost of living has gone up so drastically in the past 10 years? And why the need for this compromise when the approval for the original CFT Millionaire's Tax was so high?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

The Millionaires tax is better without the regressive sales tax. Why the ill-advised merger? It's the CFT honchos. Union big shots just can't miss an opportunity to kiss Democratic Party butts rather than go independent.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

It's absurd actually.

Why should any senior pay higher sales taxes to support public employees who retire ten years earlier at three times the pension?? It's actually disgusting - the thought that people like Redmond will peddle this cobbled together piece of crap of a tax plan.

I luv that they're still trying to reference it as a "millionaire's tax" when it's a tax on everybody. Hey if you make $250,000 in the Bay Area -- you're rich, you're rich, you're rich!!! Step right up and hand your money over so our productive royalty class of public employees can retire in their 50s at six figures!! Wheeeeeeee!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

They elect their own pet representatives, write laws that these people put forward, they lobby for new departments and entitlements which means more public employee jobs. etc...

Then when financing these things becomes problematic life's victims like Steve bemoan that the money has run out.

I tend to trust Brown a bit more than the average crying and wailing progressive and union shit bag, but when all levels of government look at me the tax payer as an ATM, I'm not willing to give more and see no reason why anyone else should.

We can't finance all the crazy schemes of the left, no matter how entitled they feel they are.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 15, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

fiasco is resolved. If voters allow the unions to dupe them with their self-serving demands, all under the guise of class warfare, there will be trouble down the road.

People are sick of the grubby, greedy public sector workers. They are worse than the banksters.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 7:19 am

I have to think the anti-tax groups are licking their chops as this will be an easy campaign to message against.

They will parade out talking points regarding public employees retiring at age 50 while private workers work into their 70s to pay taxes to support those pensions.

They will point out that Stockton will likely soon declare bankrupty after the city gave city workers free healthcare for life after working for a single month.

They will point to the city of Bell, California and remind the public about that salary/pension scandal.

They will say that California already has some of the highest sales and income taxes (and ask what are we getting for that money?)

They will claim (perhaps incorrectly, perhaps not) that high income individuals and capital will move out of state.

Posted by The Commish on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 9:33 am

This List of State of California agencies, departments, and commissions is a partial list of the more than 500[citation needed] California state government agencies, departments, and commissions.

* California Access for Infants and Mothers[1]
* California Acupuncture Board[1]
* California Administrative Office of the Courts
* California African American Museum
* California Agricultural Labor Relations Board[1]
* California Air Resources Board (CARB)
* California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority[1]
* California Animal Health and Food Safety Services[1]
* California Apprenticeship Council[1]
* California Architects Board[1]
* California Arts Council
* California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus[1]
* California Athletic Commission[1]
* California Bay-Delta Authority[1]
* California Biodiversity Council[1]
* California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists[1]
* California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors[1]
* California Board of Accountancy
* California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology[1]
* California Board of Behavioral Sciences[1]
* California Board of Chiropractic Examiners[1]
* California Board of Equalization (BOE)
* California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind[1]
* California Board of Occupational Therapy[1]
* California Board of Optometry[1]
* California Board of Pilot Commissioners (BOPC)[2]
* California Building Standards Commission
* California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education
* California Bureau of Automotive Repair
* California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine
* California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
* California Coastal Commission
* California Coastal Conservancy
* California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)[3]
* California Conservation Corps
* California Contractors State License Board
* California Council on Criminal Justice
* California Courts of Appeal
* California Data Exchange Center[citation needed]
* California Data Management Division[citation needed]
* California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission[citation needed]
* California Delta Protection Commission[citation needed]
* California Demographic Research Unit[citation needed]
* California Dental Auxiliaries[citation needed]
* California Department of Aging
* California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
* California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
* California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board[citation needed]
* California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating)
* California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS)[citation needed]
* California Department of Community Services and Development[citation needed]
* California Department of Conservation
* California Department of Consumer Affairs
* California Department of Corporations[citation needed]
* California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
* California Department of Developmental Services
* California Department of Education
* California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
* California Department of Finance
* California Department of Financial Institutions[citation needed]
* California Department of Fish and Game
* California Department of Food and Agriculture
* California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF)
* California Department of General Services
* California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing[citation needed]
* California Department of General Services, Procurement Division[3]
* California Department of General Services, Procurement Division, Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services[3]
* California Department of Health Care Services[citation needed]
* California Department of Housing and Community Development[citation needed]
* California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)
* California Department of Industrial Relations, Office of Self Insurance Plans (SIP)[3]
* California Department of Insurance
* California Department of Justice
* California Department of Justice Firearms Division[citation needed]
* California Department of Justice Opinion Unit[citation needed]
* California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit[citation needed]
* California Department of Managed Health Care[citation needed]
* California Department of Mental Health[citation needed]
* California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
* California Department of Parks and Recreation
* California Department of Personnel Administration
* California Department of Pesticide Regulation
* California Department of Public Health
* California Department of Real Estate[citation needed]
* California Department of Rehabilitation[citation needed]
* California Department of Social Services
* California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch[citation needed]
* California Department of Toxic Substances Control
* California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
* California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets)[citation needed]
* California Department of Water Resources
* California Digital Library
* California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program[citation needed]
* California Division of Apprenticeship Standards[citation needed]
* California Division of Codes and Standards[citation needed]
* California Division of Communicable Disease Control[citation needed]
* California Division of Engineering[citation needed]
* California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control[citation needed]
* California Division of Gambling Control
* California Division of Housing Policy Development[citation needed]
* California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement[citation needed]
* California Division of Labor Statistics and Research[citation needed]
* California Division of Land and Right of Way[citation needed]
* California Division of Land Resource Protection[citation needed]
* California Division of Law Enforcement General Library[citation needed]
* California Division of Measurement Standards[citation needed]
* California Division of Mines and Geology[citation needed]
* California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA)
* California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources[citation needed]
* California Division of Planning and Local Assistance[citation needed]
* California Division of Recycling[citation needed]
* California Division of Safety of Dams[citation needed]
* California Division of the State Architect[citation needed]
* California Division of Tourism
* California Division of Workers' Compensation[citation needed]
* California Division of Workers' Compensation Medical Unit[citation needed]
* California Economic Strategy Panel[citation needed]
* California Education Audit Appeals Panel[citation needed]
* California Educational Facilities Authority[citation needed]
* California Elections Division[citation needed]
* California Electricity Oversight Board[citation needed]
* California Emergency Management Agency
* California Emergency Medical Services Authority
* California Employment Development Department (EDD)
* California Employment Training Panel[citation needed]
* California Energy Commission
* California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA)
* California Export Laboratory Services[citation needed]
* California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo)
* California Fair Political Practices Commission
* California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
* California Geological Survey
* California Health and Human Services Agency
* California High-Speed Rail Authority
* California Highway Patrol (CHP)
* California Horse Racing Board
* California Housing Finance Agency
* California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
* California Integrated Waste Management Board
* California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
* California Labor Market Information Division[citation needed]
* California Lands Commission[citation needed]
* California Landscape Architects Technical Committee[citation needed]
* California Latino Legislative Caucus[citation needed]
* California Law Enforcement Branch[citation needed]
* California Law Enforcement General Library[citation needed]
* California Law Revision Commission
* California Legislative Analyst's Office
* California Legislative Black Caucus
* California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus[citation needed]
* California Library Development Services[citation needed]
* California License and Revenue Branch[citation needed]
* California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board
* California Maritime Academy
* California Medical Assistance Commission[citation needed]
* California Medical Care Services[citation needed]
* California Military Department
* California Mining and Geology Board[citation needed]
* California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts[citation needed]
* California Museum Resource Center[citation needed]
* California National Guard
* California Native American Heritage Commission[citation needed]
* California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program[citation needed]
* California Natural Resources Agency
* California New Motor Vehicle Board[citation needed]
* California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board[3]
* California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board[3]
* California Office of Administrative Law (OAL)
* California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
* California Office of Legislative Counsel
* California Office of the Attorney General
* California Operations Control Office[citation needed]
* California Opinion Unit[citation needed]
* California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)[citation needed]
* California Park and Recreation Commission[3]
* California Physical Therapy Board (PTBC)[2]
* California Physician Assistant Committee (PAC)[2]
* California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services[citation needed]
* California Policy and Evaluation Division[citation needed]
* California Political Reform Division[citation needed]
* California Pollution Control Financing Authority[citation needed]
* California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
* California Postsecondary Education Commission[3]
* California Primary Care and Family Health[citation needed]
* California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA)[2]
* California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)[2]
* California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)[2]
* California Public Utilities Commission (PUC)[3]
* California Real Estate Services Division[citation needed]
* California Refugee Programs Branch[citation needed]
* California Regional Water Quality Control Boards[citation needed]
* California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee[citation needed]
* California Registry of Charitable Trusts[3]
* California Research and Development Division[citation needed]
* California Research Bureau[3]
* California Respiratory Care Board (RCP)[3]
* California Rural Health Policy Council[citation needed]
* California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission[citation needed]
* California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy[citation needed]
* California San Joaquin River Conservancy[citation needed]
* California Science Center
* California Secretary of State's Office
* California Seismic Safety Commission[3]
* California Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)[3]
* California State and Consumer Services Agency
* California State Assembly
* California State Assembly Democratic Caucus[1]
* California State Assembly Republican Caucus[1]
* California State Board of Education
* California State Controller's Office
* California State Emergency Relief Administration [4]
* California State Lands Commission
* California State Legislature
* California State Library
* California State Lottery
* California State Personnel Board
* California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
* California State Railroad Museum
* California State Relief Administration [4]
* California State Senate
* California State Senate Democratic Caucus[citation needed]
* California State Senate Republican Caucus[citation needed]
* California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)
* California State Summer School for the Arts
* California State Superintendent of Public Instruction's Office
* California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS)
* California State Treasurer's Office
* California State University (CSU)
* California State University, Bakersfield
* California State University, Channel Islands
* California State University, Chico
* California State University, Dominguez Hills
* California State University, East Bay
* California State University, Fresno
* California State University, Fullerton
* California State University, Long Beach
* California State University, Los Angeles
* California State University, Monterey Bay
* California State University, Northridge
* California State University, Sacramento
* California State University, San Bernardino
* California State University, San Marcos
* California State University, Stanislaus
* California State Water Resources Control Board
* California Superior Courts
* California Technology Agency (CTA)
* California Technology Agency, Office of Technology Services
* California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
* CaliforniaVolunteers
* California Youth Authority (CYA)
* Humboldt State University
* Judicial Council of California
* Little Hoover Commission (LHC)
* Medical Board of California
* Regents of the University of California
* San Diego State University
* San Francisco State University
* San José State University
* Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
* State Bar of California
* Supreme Court of California
* University of California
* University of California, Berkeley
* University of California, Davis
* University of California, Hastings College of the Law
* University of California, Irvine
* University of California, Los Angeles
* University of California, Merced
* University of California, Riverside
* University of California, San Diego
* University of California, San Francisco
* University of California, Santa Barbara
* University of California, Santa Cruz

Posted by matlock on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

tomorrow and most voters would never notice.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

If you get a bad hair cut, don't go back.

So much of that is just looking out for people too stupid to look out for themselves.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

And who do you complain to if you get an infection from unsanitary practices?

Gascon is too busy prosecuting political opponents, so I don't think you'll get much help there. This is exactly the kind of thing that these licensing boards are there for.

Maybe you think that we shouldn't have state licensing boards for professions, and in these crazy times you'll get a lot of agreement from the likes of Newt "drown government in a bathtub" Gingrich. I for one think that protecting the health and safety of consumers is a legitimate function of government in a civilized society.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 16, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

My point proven.

The below pops up ever non and then in various news outlets, this was the first one that came up. The rote liberal Greg (as opposed to the false Greg) likes government involvement in our lives at every turn because we are all too stupid to make our own way in life.

"On July 1, 1998, a pair of undercover police officers posing as husband and wife walked into Braids by Sabrina, a small shop in Compton, Calif. After the store’s proprietor, 29-year-old hair braider Sabrina Reece, spent five hours braiding the woman’s hair, the male officer handed her $150 for his “wife’s” new hairstyle."

Posted by matlock on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 12:04 am

Ok, so you found an example where an overzealous cop exhibited what was arguably regulatory overreach. Do such examples happen? Sure. Are cops often jerks? You betcha.

But your alternative, the elimination of licensing boards to let businesses do whatever they want in terms of health and safety protocols, leaving consumers at their mercy, is just loony extremism worthy of Ron Paul.

You'd have us live in a world where the first clue we'd have that a restaurant isn't following proper health and safety practices is when we're getting our stomachs pumped at the emergency room, and the first clue we'd have that our cosmetologist isn't following protocols is when we get herpes zoster.

The free market at its finest. Lovely.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 9:28 am

You are concerned about the enforcement of petty laws?


it is horrible that the cops enforce these crazy laws that are the result of these beloved commissions and full time law makers with way to much time on their hands, I Greg am too stupid to go through life without the state holding my hand at every turn. I Greg get to pick and choose my way through life though, busting pot clubs bad busting hair salons bad (sometimes), but we really need all this government at every level to protect me from myself.

Posted by Matlock on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

It really shows how intellectually bankrupt your position is, by the fact that I can address your arguments directly on their merits, while you are reduced to arguing with a straw man version of me.

Take that little swipe about pot clubs. I'd like nothing better than for the government to tax and regulate pot clubs, and yes, fine them or even shut them down in cases where they were doing something improper that endangers public health and safety in some way that consumers aren't likely to know about just by walking in. Not shut them down for the sake of shutting them down, but regulating and taxing them, absolutely. I think most of the pot clubs themselves would approve of that. Just like any other licensed business.

But you know that. You just feel compelled to make up positions I don't hold, because your own position has become so extreme as to be indefensible. Do you really hold that position? Who knows. I actually don't think you hold any positions at all. Your main purpose here is to find an angle to trash propgressives for everything under the sun, even if it doesn't have anything to do with progressives.

It would have been so easy to just get out of this rhetorical corner from the very beginning. This started when you made a facile remark about licensing for cosmetologists, ignoring the complexities of the issue that these boards have much more important functions than ensuring the aesthetic quality of a haircut. When I pointed out the obvious flaw in your knee-jerk swipe at government, you could have just said, "You're probably right, Greg. I didn't think about that angle." Now how hard would that be?

Of course you can't do that... because you're not trying to engage in reasonable debate; you're just an internet troll.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 8:18 am

the fed, you know, that government that you love, and yet complain about all the time.

Posted by Matlock on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

Your first instinct of "what the fuck" was correct. Except that I wouldn't have been so surprised. When you guys endorsed Jerry you openly wondered which Jerry it would be -the liberal of his youth, or the corporate Jerry of today. Well the liberal Jerry is long gone -he sold out long ago. The Jerry of today is a standard corporate politician. And when politicians who serve the corporate elite offer "compromise," they do so out of weakness, never out of the goodness of their hearts.

To put it bluntly, Jerry's not afraid that both tax measures will fail. He's afraid that they'll both PASS. And what he's really afraid of is that the millionaire's tax is going to get more votes.

Now is not the time to compromise, when we have a unique opportunity to make millionaires pay closer to their fair share. Ammiano's wrong on several counts.
-This compromise will NOT bring in more revenue. It sunsets, whereas the millionaire's tax didn't have a sunset provision!
-The sales tax is a bit of a poison pill, so combining the two will not help it pass.
-A regressive sales tax is just wrong on the merits.

The only good thing is that the revenue won't be limited to education. But the measure is watered down, not improved -primarily because of the nasty "sunset" provision. And I think the teachers will soon find that the extra "support" it will get on paper from certain interest groups will be worthless.

Why the hell do progressives always have to give it away when we come close to victory?

NOTE to progressives: When your measure is leading 2-1, that is NOT!!! the time to fucking compromise!!!

WTF indeed.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 9:51 am

Dan Walter may be a little too moderate for this crowd, but few people have his years of experience closely following state finance issues.

I'm assuming the sunset clauses on the tax increases, along with the provision to "guaranteee" $6 billion to local jurisdictions for realignment if the tax passes, are in there to make it easier for the fence-sitters to support the measure, and easier to renew the taxes a few years later. (I recall a recent campaign with a similar slogan, "It's not a new tax increase....")

One positive development that has come out of the discussion of competing tax measures is the near unanimous conclusion on comment boards across the state that sales taxes are terribly regressive and should be voted down whenever presented to voters. That's a fairly recent development even in tax-loving San Francisco since the fauxgressives used sales taxes for their 2003 Prop K transportation funding (.5%!). I don't recall much grumbling or an active campaign to vote against the regressive sales tax then. In a city that has about $2 trillion of land value and that conducts billions of dollars worth of commercial sales activity each year, to support ANY tax other than those on rents, land values, and/or gross receipts is about as anti-progressive as one can get. Taxes are critical for any civil society. Of that there is no debate. But taxes are a burden too, so how the government raises taxes is as important as how the tax money is spent.

Prop K Blather ("Sell the sizzle, not the cholesteral and disease")

"If you believe that a city thrives best when its people can meet most needs with a safe and pleasant walk, and have the choice to take a safe and easy bike ride or fast and efficient transit for most other trips, you should be *****really happy****** with this [sales tax] proposal."

"A mere sales tax extension...."

Posted by Guest on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Many people might like the diea of millionaires paying more tax but then they realise that by approving measures like this, everyone will pay more tax, while nothing is being done to cut empployee benefits.

The only way tax hikes will work is if they are broader based and, if that emans there's a risk that voters will reject it, then so be it. But props based on class warfare typically don't do well.

Better to have a weaker, broader-based tax that might pass than a divisive measure that will fail.

The art of politics is compromise, which everyone learns once they obtain any power. Only "activists" and "lobbyists" believe in no compromises.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

Fortunately the other 99% is finally starting to wake up. And incidentally, your use of the term "class warfare" to describe only efforts to fight back, says a lot about which side of the class war you sympathize with.

There's no sure thing in politics, but 63-31 is about as close to a sure thing as it gets. Props that poll 63-31 generally pass.

Besides, weaker is not better. You won't get your opponents to like you more by making your measure weaker. You just wait -you'll see the same interests throwing millions of dollars against it as you would've had against the stronger measure. And I don't think watering it down will move many people. There aren't that many people whose votes will turn on fine details. In fact, injecting a poison pill sales tax into an otherwise clean up or down vote on taxing millionaires, will make some people vote against it.

Bowing down before your opponents and giving it half away before the debate even begins is how progressives get their heads cut off. When will we learn that lesson?

No Guest, it's not just "activists" and "lobbyists" who believe in no compromises. You know who else believes in no compromises? Republicans. And they're damn successful. They put initiatives on the ballot, make their opponents exhaust themselves spending money to constantly fight defense, and if they lose they come back and do it again, and again, and again. Not a problem for them, because at one point they win. And even when they lose, they shift the debate to the right, moving the Overton Window their way. Rick Pearlstein is just the latest pundit whose noticed this trend:

Progressives need to stop playing defense. Compromise when you're weak. When you're ahead 2-1, go for the fucking jugular!

Posted by Greg on Mar. 17, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

lazy and the losers who invent class warfare to express their envy.

And if it's only "one percent" then why do most voters still oppose higher taxes in general. Even the poor oppose confiscatory rates of tax to achieve wealth redistribution.

Your message is lost.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 5:22 am

Leading 2-1 in the polls.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 7:54 am

Brown is already giving away the store shows that his political antennae tell him that when it comes to polling day, many will balk at supporting tax hikes.

The left tries to paint successful people as evil but most voters see through such shallow, self-serving rhetoric, and Americans generally don't do envy.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 11:52 am

Not only that, but it may not be *his* measure that gets more votes. That's what he's afraid of. Giving away the store to the 1% is nothing new for the New Jerry. Just look at his tenure as Oakland mayor.

As for this...
"The left tries to paint successful people as evil but most voters see through such shallow, self-serving rhetoric, and Americans generally don't do envy. "

Could you possibly fit any more tired rhetorical cliches into one sentence? I don't think it's humanly possible. In case you haven't noticed, people are seeing this sort of rhetoric for what it is now.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 18, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

Did you life that right out of the Sermon on the Mount?

I don't believe that most Americans think that way at all. Most Americans want to succeed and don't think that success should be punished, nor it's rewards confiscated and given to those who fail.

If people simply voted their pocketbook, then we'd all vote to take money from the rich and give it to ourselves. And yet, by and large, we let Gates, Buffett etc. keep their wealth, pour encourager les autres.

The sixties called and want their hopeless idealism back.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2012 @ 6:22 am

I haven't seen the polls on the new, combined tax proposal. The agreement was just reached. Is there polling already?

Posted by The Commish on Mar. 19, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

but Brown has the resources to see whisper numbers that the rest of us don't, and it seems that those led him to believe that having competing tax measures could give voters fatigue and overload, and lead to all tax measures being rejected.

I also think that polls might be misleading on this topic. It's fashionable right now to diss the successful, so people may join in with that in public, while privately feeling appalled by such excesses of envy and class warfare.

Anyhoo, Brown is a seasoned operator, and if he is backpeddling, you can bet he sees the writing on the wall for too much "tax, borrow and spend" big government.

Posted by The Donald on Mar. 19, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

I posted a link to the Field Poll on March 17th. You were too busy trying to get in another dose of your rhetorical cliches to look... finding new ways to combine the terms "successful," "class warfare," and "envy." As if repeating them another time in a new combination makes them any more convincing.

If you care to take a quick break from your mindless propaganda, let me give you instructions on how to find the poll I'm talking about:
1. Go to my post above.
2. Take your mouse and move it over the red link to the Field Poll
3. Press the button on the left hand side of the mouse (once is sufficient, though some like to press twice).
4. Wait for the pdf to load, and read.

Next time try reading the thread before you respond... though I suppose it's not necessary when all of your responses to everything involve writing the terms "class warfare," "envy," and "successful" in various combinations.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 19, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

We know from the experience of the last few elections, that voters do not like higher taxes, and that politicians know supporting them can be the kiss of death.

Sorry, Greg, but I trust Jerry Brown's political acumen a lot more than yours, and if Brown thought these emasures had a good chance of failing, chances are that they do. He's trying to save himself.

Posted by The Donald on Mar. 19, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

It's his politics. He's a business Democrat. At best, I think he's afraid that *his* measure will lose, not because it loses outright, but because it passes with fewer votes than the millionaire tax. In such a case, where the measures have components that compete, the one that gets the most votes wins. That is, *if* there's a severability clause. If not, then the whole measure that gets fewer votes may be thrown out. That's what he's afraid of.

As for the poll, saying it's dated and it has methodological flaws doesn't make it so. To me it looks pretty fresh, and Field is well known as the gold standard of California polls. Nate Silver has actually done an analysis of this, and at least for California (which is all they do), their accuracy is unmatched. But if you have another poll you feel is more accurate and/or fresher, please link to it.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 12:01 am

Just curious. Which 'Greg' is this, the 'real' or the racist.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 12:22 am

You're smarter than that. Does the above really sound like the troll Greg to you? I think it's pretty easy to differentiate.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 7:55 am
Posted by Greg on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 8:34 am

....and enjoying every minute. Actually, you are correct kemosabe, I was trying to elicit a response from the troll; even in his wildest fantasies that 'Greg' would be hard pressed to compose a single sentence of the above, let alone a full paragraph.
No insult intended to the real you.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 22, 2012 @ 9:38 am

In a nutshell, Brown compromised because he was afraid his measure would lose while the millionaires tax would win. And in the process of saving his ego, he put the whole thing in jeapordy... not that he cares.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 26, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

Surely a seasoned commnentator like you would know that?

Even Ross knew to take a deal rather than take his chances with the roll of a dice. A bird in the hand . .

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2012 @ 7:26 am

Jerry may have just let it go.

Again, you compromise when your position is weak. When you're winning anyway, you go for the jugular. Every Republican knows that.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 27, 2012 @ 9:42 am

Maybe even has more experience of governing?

Oh wait, he does.

He doesn't want all-out victory against the right. He wants a compromise solution.

And remember, these taxes are only to reduce the deficit and NOT for pet pork and lard, or extra spending.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2012 @ 10:51 am

For the umpteenth time, I am not questioning Jerry's political acumen. I think he's a very clever politician. He's just not on our side. He's a corporate Dem.

Posted by Greg on Mar. 27, 2012 @ 11:25 am

you're either for the State and consensus, or you prefer divisiveness and internal warfare.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

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