Monday, October 22, 2012

Class warfare hidden in plain sight on the California ballot

Daniel Shays - leader of Shays' Rebellion 1787

Proposition 30 and Proposition 38 both raise the rates of the California State Income Tax to cover the current state budget shortfalls.  Please stay with me during the numbers to see what they mean politically.

Here is the Prop 30 income tax increase table from page 13 of the Official Voter Guide -  

Joint filers                Additional Prop 30 tax                  
$0 - $500,000                       0%

$500,000 - $600,000            1%
$600,000 - $1,000,00           2%
over $1,000,000                   3%

This is clearly a soak-the-rich plan.  The rich pay 1% or 2%.  The filthy rich pay 3%.  Nobody else pays.

Here is the Prop 38 income tax increase table from page 59 of the Official Voter Guide -  -

Joint filers                Additional Prop 38 tax     Difference from Prop 30
           $0 - $14,600                       0%                         same

$14,600 - $34,600             0.4%                        pay more
$34,600 - $54,700             0.7%                        California median $53,367
$54,700 - $76,000             1.1%                        pay more
$76,000 - $96,000             1.4%                        pay more
$96,000 - $200,000           1.6%                        pay more
$200,000 - $500,000         1.8%                        pay more
$500,000 - $1,000,000      1.9%                        pay more

$1,000,000 - $2,000,000   2.0%                        pay less
$2,000,000 - $5,000,000   2.1%                        pay less
over $5,000,000                2.2%                        pay less

This is what class warfare looks like - columns of figures.

But the numbers come out to this - under Proposition 38 everyone pays more up to incomes of $1,000,000.  Incomes above $1,000,000 pay less.  Proposition 30 will tax the rich and only the rich.  Proposition 38 will tax people with household incomes of $14,700 more in order to tax households with incomes over $1,000,000 less.

The only way that such a regressive tax could even be considered would be if those who wrote it were reasonably sure that you would not find your way through the tables of numbers.

If both 30 and 38 pass the one with the greater number of 'yes' votes becomes law.  So it is important not only to vote 'yes' on 30 but also to vote 'no' on 38.

What is especially interesting about this divide is that it shows how the rich and powerful define themselves.  One would have thought that an income of $500,000 to $1,000,000 would qualify.  It doesn't.  

The authors of Proposition 38 wrote it in favor of those with incomes of a million and more and adversely to everyone with less.  To them, those with incomes of half a million are the working poor.


  1. Einstein on Prop. 30, Prop. 38 – “Spending more money on doing what has been done in the past and hoping for a better outcome is insanity”.
    Have the innovative, thoughtful, insightful, creative teachers and faculty create methodologies to increase learning with significantly reduced resources $. Be American do more with less!
    No on 30, No on 38 and No on 32

  2. I am not sure what your point might be, Milan. But if you're concerned about seeing your disposable income go down because of increased taxes, I suggest that you create methodologies to increase your standard of living with significantly reduced resources $. You should be American and do more with less. If that prescription is realistic for California education then it is realistic for you too, no?

  3. Proposition Soylent: Feed the homeless to the hungry.