California Dems Try ‘Fresh’ Strategy: Higher Taxes By Scott Ott

A Democrat in California’s state assembly said she has 24 co-sponsors for a bill she described as “fresh, outside the box thinking” to deal with that state’s $15 billion budget deficit.

“The basic idea is pretty radical for Democrats,” said Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, “The bill calls for raising taxes on high-income earners to pay for some of the state’s overspending.”

Ms. Chan said it was a “long slog” convincing her fellow Democrats to boost the personal income tax rate by 7.5 to 18 percent on top earners.

“A lot of my fellow Democrats just stared at me in confusion,” she said. “At first they didn’t understand what I was saying. I had to explain that the state can increase the tax rate, which would bring more money into the government and reduce the need for uncomfortable spending cuts.”

A spokesman for the Democrat National Committee (DNC) said legislators across the nation would “keep a watchful eye on California to see how the radical tax-hiking strategy works.”

“California has always been on the cutting edge,” said the unnamed DNC spokesman. “But this technique goes into uncharted waters for us, and we’re quite cautious about anything that takes more money from taxpayers, rather than reducing government expenditures.”

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