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California must follow Trump’s lead and cut taxes now

President Trump’s federal tax reform held up a mirror to tax-loving California politicians and they are afraid of what they saw.

At major issue to the panicked Progressive political class is the state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which, until now, has allowed taxpayers who itemize the ability to deduct their state and local taxes on their federal tax returns.

The average California SALT deduction per claimant was nearly $39,000 in 2015, but the deduction is now capped at $10,000. California was the largest beneficiary of the now-reduced deduction, with tax filers claiming roughly $100 billion in 2014. This deductibility has softened the blow of our state’s punishing tax regimen and helped cover up the fact that our politicians have been shoving our taxes into the stratosphere.

With the capped deduction, coupled with California’s sky-high taxes, could California taxpayers lead another Prop. 13-like revolt and tear down the high-tax, high-spending edifice that so comfortably houses fat cat politicians and their political allies?

It’s this fear that’s led to the absurd, over-the-top howling about the tax bill, with embarrassingly apocalyptic rhetoric about this much-needed reform and the tired talking point that the Trump plan, by letting people keep more of their own money, was somehow “looting” the treasury. That would only be true if all money you earned belonged to the government and was doled back out to you by their grace. But that belief says much more about entitled legislators than the legislation itself.

The problem is not SALT deductibility, it’s the taxes themselves.

California’s top marginal tax rate of 13.3 percent is the nation’s highest, by far.Our state’s base sales tax rate of 7.25 percent is also the nation’s highest, and local add-ons push it above 10 percent in some cities. 

Even those punitive rates might be tolerable if California delivered first-class infrastructure or schools, for example, but our roads are crumbling and our schools hug the bottom of the achievement curve. What exactly have California taxpayers been getting for their money, whether it’s deductible or not?

At the very least, SALT changes could spotlight the terrible bargain California taxpayers get and drag state legislators into an era of greater accountability.

But until then, California politicians will be working overtime to figure out an end-around on the President’s tax plan that will keep taxes high, but allow continued SALT deductions, so they can pull the veil back over the people’s eyes.

I have a better solution and I’m going to introduce a bill to make it happen: Cut California taxes. By lowering our income tax rates, we could help people in every tax bracket keep more of their paychecks, spreading prosperity throughout the state.

Instead of investing time and energy scheming a way around the Trump plan, let’s take this opportunity to provide tax relief to California’s citizens.

Instead of complaining about deductibility, let’s take a page from the majority of states with far lower taxes and give Californians lower taxes themselves. Why not aim to add to the tally of the six states, including deep blue Washington, with no state income tax at all?

Letting people and businesses keep more of their money expands our economy and personal freedom.Trump knows this far better than California’s leading politicians, who will fight tooth-and-claw to keep state taxes among the highest in the country.

Here’s hoping they fail, and President Trump’s tax cut becomes the catalyst for a tax cut in the Golden State.

13 thoughts on “California must follow Trump’s lead and cut taxes now

  • Any talk of tax cuts needs to include who benefits from it and what it adds to the deficit. Trumps tax bill is a gift to his wealthy donors and will add 1.5 trillion to the deficit. Eighty four percent of the tax cuts will benefit the wealthiest in this country. Ted Gaines largest campaign contributors are some of the largest and overly influential corporations this country has. These tax cuts won’t be coming to Plumas county. He needs to pay his donors back for all the campaign cash. Put your boots on middle class we’ve got some tax cuts we need to pay for.

  • Yeah, yeah. La dee da. Campaign cash? Didn’t the Dems spend nearly a billion and a half trying to get Hillary into office? Double what Trump spent. So who owes whom?

    As far as taxes go I’m afraid you don’t understand basic economics. I for one welcome a larger take-home paycheck!! Will probably spend most of it right here in Plumas County.

    Last I looked there are many new help wanted signs in our local store windows. I’m left with the impression things are suddenly much better than they were over the past eight years. Honestly, don’t you?

    • Things are only “suddenly” better if you only watch Fox News. The rest of know quite well the economy improved drastically for years before Drumpf took office.

      • Now that my friends is what you call a hyperactive imagination. I wonder what planet Kurt has been living on?

      • That sounds like something you would hear on NPR. Always pouring oodles of credit on the magic negro.

        • Racist comment Stanley. Are you suddenly feeling emboldened?

          • That’s rassist!

            After hearing that word two million times a day for at least the last nine years or so that word no longer has any meaning.

            Try again?

        • I’m guessing the spelling of racist with ss is intentional. Clever. I must say it’s refreshing when someone embraces their bigotry. So many times words said, actions done, and then the denial. Who me? That’s not who I am. But not you Stanley you’re owning. To that I thank you. Kurt was pointing out that the economy has improved since 2008/2009. To think that it’s only been improving because of the policies of 45 shows ignorance in how our government transitions its leaders and their policies. It also displays how politically identified we’ve become. Let’s hope the hatred you spew is contained in the comment sections and doesn’t become real world.

          • Hogwash. That’s flat silly Like whatever your name is.

          • Settle down you two. Obama was a Mulatto. Half white-half black. Not sure the word racism would ever fit. It is what it is.

  • Yes. Everybody knows and as the Bill Clinton campaign once proclaimed…

    “It’s the economy stupid.” Right now our economy is shaping up rather nicely if you hadn’t noticed.

    My tax cut will also be largely spent here in Plumas County

  • Ted, no offense as you may be a great guy but you are part of the problem. You have been a policitican for 20 plus years. It is your career. You are fundamentally out of touch with CA citizens and our problems. The way you phrase every word in your article reeks of agenda. Come back to the people and get some sense. If the deduction average is 39k per claimant than this SALT deduction pretty much applied to those making well over 200k a year? So you’re debating about taxes for the wealthiest and I’m guessing the wealthiest also provide your campaign funds. Your first press release will be all about lower taxes for all. But your legislative bill will be all about tax cuts for the wealthiest 5%. It’s a game. You are a player. I want a leader.

  • Perhaps this clever gentleman should review the situation in Kansas, where Republican tax cutting has crippled the state.

    In fact, there is no historical evidence from any of the previous Republican tax cutting adventures that this is a viable approach to fiscal management. Every time this has been put into practice an economic downturn has resulted.

    One might think this alone would deter our clearly un-learned legislators from again shooting holes in their feet while bragging about their marksmanship. But no, ignorance is bliss, for some folks.

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