December 7, 2011 Leave a comment
Just posted to YouTube; text is below and here’s the video link: Laura Wells – We won’t stop – Tax The Rich!
This is a quick response to an open letter about taxes from California Governor Jerry Brown.
I ran for governor as a Green Party candidate in 2010 against Brown, and was arrested outside a debate. But, just like the people all over this state, we may get arrested, but we will not stop.
There are solutions. We need to know that, to keep heart and to keep growing this movement – this Occupy Movement – which is being led by our young people.
For years, people have been calling on Sacramento to stop the cuts, and now we’re calling for the solution: tax the rich. Thirty to forty years ago the richest 1% were taxed much more, and they could still get richer. Just not filthy rich.
In his letter, Governor Brown talks about a ballot initiative that would increase sales tax on everybody, and would increase income tax a little bit on higher incomes. This proposal would hit the vast majority of us – the 99% – by increasing the tax we pay almost every day: sales tax. Already in California it’s almost 10%.
Proposals like this one from Jerry Brown cause the disparity. When you look at all the state and local taxes in California, people in the lowest one-fifth as to family income – with an average of $13,200 per year – spend 11.1 percent of their income on state taxes. The wealthiest 1%, with an average income of $2.2 million, spend 7.8 percent of their income on state taxes. That’s what this kind of proposal perpetuates.
Let’s look at real solutions, like a state-owned bank to partner with local banks and credit unions, and invest in California not Wall Street.
As to taxes, let’s look at a tax on financial transactions; let’s look at an oil severance tax, like all other oil-producing states; and let’s look at real progressive income taxes.
In order to correct the trend that started 30 to 40 years ago, let’s keep only the good of good old Prop 13. Close the corporate property tax loopholes, and fix the rotten part of Prop 13 that gave a 1/3 minority veto power over taxing the rich. Bipartisanship is the game they play to keep this system in place. Gridlock is their excuse for drastic cuts, and for taxing the rest of us, and not the rich. Only voters have the power to fix it by passing a state proposition.
We will change this system. They can arrest us, but they won’t stop us.