Why does the election matter this November in California? Because the real problem with our economy is that the richest 1% have steadily been robbing the rest of us by reducing the amount they pay in taxes while pulling in an ever greater share of all of the income earned in this country. In 1977, the top 1% was taking home about 7.5 % of all of the income in California. They were doing pretty well and many were working hard. So maybe good for them.
But, by 2007, this same 1% was taking home closer to 24% of all of the state’s income. Now, I’m a real believer in work hard and earning rewards, but it’s not like the top 1% were working especially harder than the rest of us in 2007 and at the same time, their taxation rates didn’t go up at all. In fact, on both counts it’s been the opposite as working people picked up multiple jobs just to make ends meet while tax rates on the wealthy fell dramatically.
The graphic here demonstrates just one way in which we can understand the decline in our country’s tax base and why we are having so much trouble paying our public bills for schools, pensions, parks and social services.
Right here in the Bay Area, we can now do something about this problem. Vote YES on Nov 6 for CA’s Prop 30. This will raise billions in taxes to pay for schools, social services and public safety, almost all from people in the top 1%. Vote YES on San Jose’s Measure D. This will raise the city’s minimum wage from $8 to $10 per hour, raising the standard of living for tens of thousands of San Jose families. Finally, Vote NO on Prop 32, another millionaire power grab aimed at silencing the voices of working people and giving millionaire’s free reign to pour $ billions into elections without being challenged.
Yes, we can!