Today, 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.