Liberals blame California failure on tax cuts?

Harold Meyerson:

To understand why the woes of California's economy threaten the nation's, we must understand the state's road to insolvency. The Age of Reagan did not commence with the Great Communicator's inauguration in 1981. For its real beginning, we need to go back to June 1978, when Californians went to the polls and enacted Proposition 13.

By passing Howard Jarvis's malign initiative, California voters reduced the Golden State to baser metal. Under Republican Gov. Earl Warren and Democratic Gov. Pat Brown, California epitomized the postwar American dream. Its public schools, from kindergarten through Berkeley and UCLA, were the nation's finest; its roads and aqueducts the most efficient at moving cars and water -- the state's lifeblood -- to their destinations. All this was funded by some of the nation's highest taxes, which fell in good measure on the state's flourishing banks and corporations.


Let's see, California has the highest income tax in the nation and the highest sales tax in the nation and its corporate tax policies are driving business out of the state and liberals are claiming that taxes are too low? This argument ignores the facts and tries to demonize the success that Reagan had in California.

When Meyerson talks about California schools, he leaves out the fact that teachers in California make 30 percent more on average than teachers in the other 49 states. The decline in the schools is not from lack of money but from lack of standards and lack of accountability for achieving standards.

This Washington Times editorial gives the facts that cut against Meyerson's premise:


The states with a more accommodating attitude toward the wealthy are booming as the redistributive states stagnate. According to "Rich States, Poor States," a new study by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams and published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, high income-tax states are losing to the low-tax states on most significant economic measures.

The study found that between 1997 and 2007, nine states without personal income taxes outperformed the nine states with the highest marginal personal income tax rates in economic growth (32 percent higher), personal income growth (32 percent higher), and population growth (more than 2 1/2 times greater).

Low-tax states created 89 percent more jobs, which makes intuitive sense, especially regarding new ventures. An entrepreneur who expects one day to be in the highest tax brackets is less likely to establish his enterprise in a state that will punish him for his success rather than one that will encourage him to flourish. Meanwhile, those who cannot escape the high tax states are left bearing a proportionately higher burden of paying for the bloated budgets passed by their shortsighted legislatures.


When Meyerson and liberals get tired of blaming Reagan, they will probably start blaming states like Texas.


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