CA-GOV: Steve Poizner is Crazy or Stupid or Dangerous. Or All of the Above.

PhotobucketToday, our dear Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (let us all thank Cruz Bustamante for that) released his tax plan.  You can grab the PDF here. Apparently Poizner fancies himself a George W. Bush for California, because he plans on cutting taxes with no way to pay for them. But, as we can’t deficit spend, officially anyway, I’m not sure how he plans on paying for the cuts.

But the whole plan is riddled with more inaccuracies than an intern’s all-nighter project.  Except that this is probably the work of a few interns pulling an all-nighter.  Just check the graph to the right, and somehow that’s plopped down in his PDF presentation on page 5 as if it is supposed to mean something.  Yes folks, that is total tax revenues. Not per capita, just bare dollar figures.  Shockingly, California has far more tax revenue than every other state and the leading revenue states just happen to be the largest states by population.  Now, if anybody who reads this “plan” has half a brain, they’ll think, wait a minute, this data is meaningless, what is this guy trying to pull?

Well, something extraordinary as it turns out.  Poizner is planning on setting fire to state government in a way that even Arnold would find worrisome.  His tax plan simply cuts tax rates down the line. Of course, as is the custom, the rich will get the bulk of this tax cut, thus making the middle class carry more of the burden. The bottom tax bracket, for those making b/w $0 and $7K will be reduced from 1.25% to 0.90%, while the top tax bracket, from about $93K on up goes from 9.55% to 8.37% under Poizner’s plan.  Now, what Poizner isn’t telling you as he continues to hide the ball, but that most Californians know and understand is that people who make less than $7,000 do not actually pay taxes, so this “working class tax cut” is completely illusory.  Meanwhile, even the middle rates do not fall as much as the top tax cut.  

But we should not even be shocked by this.  As we’ve seen from the Parsky Commission, Republicans are feeling their oats.  They have realized that despite defeat after defeat after defeat at the ballot box, they are still winning the war over where this state is heading. They are going to shock doctrine us, whether you like it or not.  After all, they have graphs.

The data seems to be mostly from the Pacific Research Institute, a think tank chock full o’ rightwing “thinkers.”  They are the type who sit around plotting various graphs in efforts to confuse the general public.  They come up with graphs comparing net migration to the top personal tax rate, as if the two have causal relationship.  But, why bother with showing causation when you can point to correlation.  hey, look, I found a penny on the street yesterday, and today I got fired.  Clearly, when you pick up a penny, you will get fired. It must be true, they’re correlated.

But wait there’s more to this so-called plan.  He also plans on cutting the corporate tax as well as the capital gains tax. All this with no actual plan to pay for any of this. Oh sure, he’s going to hire a Chief Innovation Officer, and “streamline” government.  But, unless you read “streamline” to mean “destroy the social safety net” like most interested observers of Poizner’s career track would do, there is nothing to indicate how this doesn’t destroy the state budget even more than it already is.

Oh, and don’t forget, he’s going to make sure that grieving parents cannot recover for the loss of their children by continuing to tighten the valve on tort deform. Because, you know, the fact that the non-economic damages number hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since its inception in the 1970s hasn’t already done that.

Ladies and Gentleman, meet the Real Steve Poizner: The Man Who Finishes The Job That Arnold Was Too Much of A Girlie-Man to Finish. He’ll go ahead and destroy the social safety net and the state budget once and for all.

6 thoughts on “CA-GOV: Steve Poizner is Crazy or Stupid or Dangerous. Or All of the Above.”

  1. Steve Poinzer thinks he’s entitled to office simply because he has money . He literally threw a temper tantrum when he lost in 2004, astonished that despite all that money he spent, he still lost.

    Whatever happens, we can’t let this guy be governor, and Democrats can’t do a repeat of 2006 and screw this up.

    in the meantime, every time one of his ads appears in my Gmail, I’m clicking on it so he has to pay for it.

  2. I suspect that he is going for the Republican Base to win the Primary and then he’ll move center if he wins.  If he becomes Governor nothing he proposes will get done and he knows it.

  3. We have already seen how effective it is to tell people who are economically insecure that you will cut their taxes. Few stop to consider what else will be cut as a consequence. Few take the time to check if somebody else is getting a bigger cut. So the GOP gets away with this time after time. Anybody who thinks they can’t or won’t, isn’t paying attention.

    As the Governator has shown, even with a minority in the Assembly, a veto threat can still go a long way. So, not only does the GOP convince voters that tax cuts for Chevron mean tax cuts for them, they get the Democratic majority in the Assembly to vote for them by extortion and intimidation. So they can honestly say, “You can’t blame us for tax cuts for the biggest corporations in the state, the Democrats voted for them.” And they did.

    Steve Poizner isn’t stupid or crazy. He’s been paying attention. People believe lies if you repeat them enough times. If he says California collects more taxes and has a nice chart, people will believe it. Their taxes feel high. Come April 15th, won’t yours? And the per capita comparison just doesn’t make as good a sound bite. He knows that.

    The fact that he is neither stupid or crazy does, however, make him very dangerous. Unfortunately, the fact that the Democratic candidates so far are not very exciting could make him even more so. Phil Angelides could tell you that.

  4. Taxes come in and services go out. When less taxes come in, you reduce services. Try going out and buying $2k of groceries with $500.

  5. As pointed out, the dynamics of a Republican primary prevent reality from intruding on their discussion.  And the dynamics of the Republican Party in California prevent anybody who’d get elected as a Republican from fixing anything that’s wrong with the state.

    That said, between Brown and Newsome, we’re not getting much reality either.

    How do we change the conversation so that the ideas and issues we discuss around here will actually intrude on the fantasy-based desert of California politics?

    People used to run candidates simply as a way to get issues aired out in a campaign.  This is mostly why people vote for third parties as well.  Rather than let the Greens or similar soak up what is likely to be a large protest vote, is there any way we can get somebody into the primary who’s there less to get elected and more to be a gadfly to force these issues out into the open.

    I’ve heard the same arguments everyone else here have heard about why the economics of running statewide might preclude this, but it’s worth remembering that we’re a lot better at running internet-based insurgencies than we used to be — Obama’s election being a prime example.

    How can we use the techniques and technologies of modern progressive campaigns to make a protest candidacy do some of this work?

    In addition — we didn’t start winning congressional seats in large numbers until we started running candidates in “hopeless” races.  Along these same lines, if we don’t have a progressive in the running in the 2010 gubernatorial race, how can we have a hope of winning.  Since as Woody Allen pointed out, a big chunk of winning (his example was baseball) is just showing up to play.

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