By Steven Greenhut | California’s state budget is flush with cash and spending levels have hit record highs. After last decade’s recession, state lawmakers talked about making up for spending “cutbacks,” but those days of slowed spending growth are long-distant memories. Nevertheless, every few seconds, it seems, a legislator proposes some new, major tax increase. No matter what these Democrats say, their appetite for taxation is insatiable. Good times or bad, there’s always one, simple solution: Raise taxes on the “rich” to pay for more programs for the “poor.”
The latest insanity comes from Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, who actually is considered one of the more moderate members of the Democratic caucus, which should tell you something. His idea is to impose a death tax on Californians unfortunate enough to be living here when the Grim Reaper calls. The goal is to counteract the effects of the Republican tax overhaul law and provide an estimated $1 billion a year to pay for programs that help the poor “end the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”
A hint for Sen. Wiener: The best way to create wealth and end intergenerational poverty is for people to become less dependent on government programs and to, you know, get jobs, save money, buy houses and that sort of thing. To his credit, some of Wiener’s other legislation has tried to untangle some of California’s housing regulations, which make such upward mobility less feasible. But this proposal is a stinker in that it will only chase away the kind of people who might otherwise be building businesses that employ the inter-generationally challenged.
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