In an otherwise fine article, Marc Cooper leaves the impression that the higher income group is overtaxed. It is not. One real test is the total percentage of income paid in combined state and local taxes. California is regressive, in that the highest quintile pays a lower percentage, just like in virtually every other state.
Also, he could have mentioned the total lack of the "user pays" principle in any tax discussions. One example: rather than raise gasoline taxes, general taxes are being used for bonding authority to expand highways. Meanwhile, assistance to transit is being eliminated.
The example of transportation spending hypocrisy brings up yet another issue Cooper could have discussed more: aggravated by an irresponsible tax structure, California is moving in an unsustainable direction despite all of the national press coverage implying that it is an environmental leader.
Eric C. Bruun
Aug 4 2009 - 12:05pm