Like most of you, I don’t like to pay taxes on anything: my Social Security income, nonfood items, the purchase of a new car or washing machine, a flat-screen TV or tennis shoes.
But I like public education, public highways, and fire and police protection.
Do I think some of my tax money is wasted? Of course. When I talk to friends about so-called government waste, I get many different lists of what they consider wasted expenditures by government, from the city level right up to the feds.
I am pleased to know there will be some drastic cuts to the military’s budget, while others abhor the thought.
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But taxes are a necessary part of life.
I certainly applaud efforts to modify retirement programs for state and local employees to reduce that burden on cities, counties and the state.
But I also believe that as Californians we need to consider giving our approval to at least one of two propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot, Propositions 30 and 38. Both of the measures, if passed, will provide some needed income to California’s schools, public safety programs and even state government in general.
Fully supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, Proposition 30 would increase the sales tax by a quarter cent for four years and increase personal income tax on annual earnings of more than $250,000 for seven years. Not all the new money goes to education.
If Proposition 38 is approved by voters, there will be a tax increase to fund education at almost all levels, including early childhood education. It raises taxes on a sliding scale from 0.4 percent from the lowest earners to 2.2 percent for those earning more than $2.5 million.
I plan to vote in favor of both. Because the two propositions are in conflict, the one with the highest number of “yes” votes prevails, according to the state’s voter information guide we got in the mail.
Nothing good for California or the nation comes from politicians who sign a “no new taxes” pact.
Too many of our friends and children lose.
My wife and I have no children in school. But we have four grandchildren sitting in classrooms in four different school districts from the San Joaquin Valley to Southern California.
We know too many teachers who have been laid off.
Neither of these propositions is out of line with what I consider a reasonable increase on my part to help the state in general and public education out of a jam.