Raising taxes

California is in a series budget crisis, with a growing deficit and a shrinking revenue stream. Part of the reason for this is all of the special propositions over the years that have been passed, requiring the legislature to pay for certain things from certain revenue streams, and not pay for other things out of other revenue streams. The whole system has left the politicians in Sacramento fairly paralyzed in terms of how to make changes or adjustments to the budget.

This November, there will be propositions on the ballot to increase taxes in California. The one submitted by the Governor will raise income tax on the very wealthy, and increase the sales tax, and let all revenue go to the general fund, instead of being earmarked for this or that. It sounds like a good proposal, and I hope it passes.

Ironically, it will take a 2/3 majority for it to pass, because of another proposition passed in the 1970s.

By contrast, raising taxes in Iceland seemed a much simpler affair. The legislature simply wrote and passed a law about it, without the general population getting to vote on it. Imagine if 2/3 of Icelanders had to agree, to make any new taxes a reality.


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