For The Children

California Governor Jerry Brown thinks the wealthiest Americans have a “moral” obligation to pay higher taxes?. Under Prop. 30, the two-time Democratic governor is calling for a 3% tax hike on the state’s richest 1% to help pay for the cash-strapped state’s education system.

“It takes a refined theory to say to billionaires that it’s easier to take three weeks of school away from kids in Los Angeles than it is to take 3% away from people who make hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” said Brown in an interview with The Financial Times

The problem is that it is not the billionaires who are taking away the three weeks of school; it is the teachers and the massive education bureaucracies who demand an excessive price for the school time. There is no moral obligation for taxpayers to pay whatever price is asked for the education service, particularly when part of that price is being channeled to the political class to support their lifestyles and continued incumbency. The political class returns the favor with such shameless demands for money, yet another variation on the Washington Monument strategy.

I think that public employees have a moral obligation to refrain from using their state-granted monopoly power to extract monopoly rents. Obviously they do not agree. California teachers are among the best paid in the nation, typically ranking first through third compared to other states. Retired teachers in California are paid more than working teachers in 28 states. 45 percent of school employees are non-teachers, not counting more than 20 distinct state agencies overseeing education.

A further example of the real beneficiaries of taxation can be found in the welfare system, where two-thirds of the money spent is consumed by the bureaucracy and fails to reach the claimed beneficiaries:

“According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,” the Senate Budget Committee notes. “If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.”

This dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household on poverty lives on per year. “If the spending on these programs were converted into cash, and distributed exclusively to the nation’s households below the poverty line, this cash amount would be over 2.5 times the federal poverty threshold for a family of four, which in 2011 was $22,350 (see table in this link),” the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee note.

I don’t mind helping the unfortunate; but government defrauds me and steals the money it claims is helping them. For shame, Governor Brown.

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