Bash-and-tax the rich is a simplistic response

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It is fashionable to bash the “rich.” With the “rich” in California now subject to the highest progressive state income tax structure in the nation, there will be consequences to this action. In 2007, the top 1 percent of income earners in California (the “rich”) paid 48 percent of all of the personal income taxes raised. With the “rich” being vilified by the failed legislators and a small and ignorant segment of public who fail to grasp the fact that 1 percent of the population pays nearly 50 percent of all personal tax revenues, the state will lose these critical income earners. States like Nevada and Texas will reap these “rich” who have the option of moving to states with a better business and tax climate. The solution to the state budget problem? Tax the “rich” more? No, the answer is one that many small business owners (some of which have been highlighted in the Auburn Journal over the past few months coping with tough economic times in various ways) and many individuals are doing today: reducing expenses. It is illogical to expect any entity to be able to run itself in a revenue “vacuum” that cannot adjust expenditures downward when revenues decline. The argument that the state is too big and too complex to compare with small business or individual economic models is spouted by state legislators who are intellectually lazy. It’s easier to proclaim: “Tax the rich, they can afford it.” Raymond Tan Auburn