“Money doesn’t talk, it swears,” Bob Dylan says in one of his songs. If he is is right, our state is cussing up a storm.Â

California’s financial situation can be fixed, and Proposition 30 on the November ballot would take the right steps in taxing the rich. But it would also tax those who need to save their money: the poor and the middle class.

Gov.  Jerry Brown believes he has an answer to California’s financial crisis with Proposition 30.

Proposition 30 will increase personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years, and increase sales and use tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years. It allocates 11 percent of temporary tax revenues to community colleges.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Do we take from those who are already struggling financially? From students who can’t afford to pay for classes? From people who have lost their jobs or from families struggling to make ends meet?

The current unemployment rate as of July is 8.6 percent, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are 51, 340 people in Los Angeles County that are homeless, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority. And 60 percent of students at PCC are on financial aid, according to Kim Miles, dean of scholarships and financial aid.

Gov. Brown is trying to help Californians. But is asking the majority of us to pay more taxes the right way to do this?

In an opinion article published on August 14, 2011 in the New York Times written by the second richest man in America Warren Buffet, he says: “What I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.”

The one good thing about Proposition 30 is that it does include taking money from those that who can afford to help. It doesn’t specify, however, how much the tax will be increased for those making over $250,000.

The analysis published by the state Attorney General’s office says: “Increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years.”

Buffett has it right: “The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on,” he said.

Although Proposition 30 has good intentions of helping fund education, its major misstep is in increasing taxes for those who truly need the money.

 

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