California’s unemployment rate has soared to 8.2% — third highest in the United States! We need to stimulate California’s economy. We need a massive jobs and infrastructure investment program, rebuilding our roads and bridges and schools and making our buildings energy-efficient, and hiring more teachers and police and firefighters. We can do this, while balancing the budget at the same time.
How can we do this? We can raise taxes on big corporations and the wealthy and use the money to stimulate the economy and balance the budget and get things moving again.
Our economic system is not perfect, so over time income tends to concentrate at the top, which makes it harder for most people to get by. People spend less and things slow down. We are seeing this today — wealth has massively concentrated at the top, and the consumer is “tapped out.” No one is buying cars and Christmas sales will be much lower.
Taxes on the wealthy and corporations fix this by recirculating money that has bunched up at the top. Taxes provide the resources that We, the People can then use to stimulate the economy and get it moving again.
The corporations will try to say that this tax increase will slow the
economy. But this isn’t what has happened when this has been done in
the past. Actually history shows that taxing the wealthiest and
corporations helps our economy. This is not surprising when you realize that more people with more jobs and money to spend is a good thing in a consumer-driven economy.
There is a problem, though. In California we have a rule that we cannot pass any tax with less than a two-thirds vote. A little over half the people voted to impose this two-thirds requirement — and now 100% of us are hobbled for doing what we need to do to fix the economy. Instead of stimulating the economy we have to lay off teachers and firefighters and road workers, further worsening the recession, because cutting budgets is the only option available. Even if 55% or 60% of us would rather hire people and stimulate the economy, we still can’t.
So we need to change this rule. We need to be able to pass taxes on the corporations and the rich, and get the economy moving again.