Thursday, November 6, 2008

California's State Budget

California will raise taxes to stem a massive budget crisis:

Two items in the article tickled my tragedy bone:

1. The additional 1.5% raising of sales taxes. It's being called a temporary tax, but as we know, the government rarely retracts a policy when doing so would mean a reduction in tax receipts. In addition, this tax will fall disproportionately on the poor and middle classes and will discourage holiday spending. I am not opposed to raising sales taxes in general, but now seems like a terrible time to do it.

2. The state's admitted over-reliance on capital gains tax receipts. Apparently, our controller was basing budget projections on an ever-increasing stock market. Are you kidding me? Someone ought to send Sacramento a self-destructing copy of Dow 36,000 pronto. The origins of California's financial and housing crisis come into clearer focus with each passing day--total blindness and overzealous optimism are never a good pair.

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