We’re All Millionaires Now

Thanks to Jerry Brown we’re all millionaires now.

The governor has joined forces with the California Federation of Teachers a powerful public employee union to back passage of what is titled the “Millionaires Tax of 2012.”

The problem is that this so-called “Millionaires Tax” raises the sales tax on everyone — and most of us are not millionaires. So is Jerry talking about the income tax part of his plan? He and CFT want those making $250000 or more per year to pay the hike. But the last we looked $250000 doesn’t equal $1000000. Clearly this a violation of the truth in labeling act.

When challenged by reporters Brown responded “Anybody who makes $250000 becomes a millionaire very quickly if you save.”

OK let’s examine the governor’s logic. If someone making a quarter of a million dollars a year could save tax free while living on air –that we hope is still free — for four years it would seem to make that person a millionaire. This might not seem to be much of a problem to the average Californian making much less but if we pursue Brown’s line of reasoning to its logical conclusion someone making $50000 a year could be classified as a millionaire because if they save their total income for 20 years they too would qualify.

However there could also be a bright side for taxpayers if we fully adopt Brown’s methodology. Using his math system a Californian with a state tax liability of $2000 would actually owe just $500. After all if someone making $250000 a year is now officially classified as a millionaire that means that 25 cents should be defined as a dollar and if one owes the state $2000 then Sacramento should be required to accept only one quarter of that amount as payment in full.

It is beginning to look like what our sly governor is actually promoting is a tax reduction which would be a welcome relief in our state that currently ranks first in sales tax and third in the income tax rate.

According to the Los Angeles Times while Brown was still trying to work out an alliance with the militant CFT he met with the union’s president Joshua Pechthalt at his Los Angeles home. After two hours of negotiation during which the governor nibbled cheese and crackers while sipping sparkling apple juice no agreement was reached on that February evening. However Pechthalt praised the governor for taking time to help his 12-year-old daughter with her homework. For her sake we hope Brown was not providing assistance with basic arithmetic.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.