In defense of Republicans

I have never been a big fan of Republicans , but recently I believe they are victim to an underserved amount of flack. The California budget crisis is a result of years of  political incompetence, so blaming one party for the deadlock is hardly fair.

In fact, I agree with the Republicans’ stance of not raising taxes. California’s tax system is highly antiquated, and to make California fiscally stable, we must push instead for broad tax reform.

The problem is that California’s tax system is highly reliant on the upper class. The top one percent of taxpayers in California contributed to more than 40 percent of the personal income tax in 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times. Therefore simply increasing taxes on the rich, which Democrats support, would not solve the core issue of the problem, which is that California must fully utilize its large population base to secure a reliable source of revenue.

If you thought California’s income tax was bad, the truth is the state’s other taxes are equally inadequate, if not worse. The state’s sale tax is based on twentieth century figures designed for a manufacturing and retail economy. California’s economy is  primarily service based, so we should reform the system to fit the realities of our time. Many purchases from billboards, amusement parks, and even wireless telecommunication carries should be subjected to the sales tax, just like other industries. By expanding our narrow sales tax base, we can earn the state billions of dollars while at the same time lowering the average sales tax rate for the consumer.

Politicians must grow a backbone and actually fight to close various tax loopholes. In 2001, 3,662 profitable corporations in California paid no taxes by taking advantage of current California law according to California Tax Reform Association. Multinational corporations escape income taxes since California law permits them to report their place of business.  Corporations based in California that sell assets out-of-state are able to take advantage of this “nowhere income” loophole. Corporations should pay their share to California. It is up to politicians to decrease the opportunities for sheltering.

California has enormous potential. It is ridiculous that the state responsible for around 13 percent of the United States’ GDP is in such a financial mess. It is the cumulative failures of all our politicians in Sacramento that has lead us to this fiscal crisis. So in defense of Republicans I say blame everyone because our collective inaction has screwed us all.

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