by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We did a double take at the report this week that Joe Biden, once inaugurated as president, would treat California as the administration’s “de facto think tank,” placing it “center stage again in Washington’s policy arena.”
Surely, only Biden’s enemies would spread such a vicious rumor about the new chief executive. But the sources for the extraordinary story are supporters of Biden and his Californian running mate Kamala Harris.
The wonder is not that Biden would try to imitate California on policy — he’s always been ready to try anything harebrained — but rather that his allies would admit they planned to do something so obviously foolhardy.
If you haven’t noticed, California is circling the drain. The Los Angeles Times tries to absolve the state and its extremist government of responsibility, whining that the Trump administration “worked overtime to bait, punish, and marginalize California and everything it represents.”
But this does not begin to explain the mass exodus of taxpaying citizens and businesses from a state in which the gorgeous weather and natural beauty are unrivaled in the union. There has been such a massive outflow of population in recent years that the Golden State — the nickname now seems ironic — is about to lose a congressional seat for the first time in its 170-year history. …
… State taxes are among the worst in the nation and fall hardest on those who are not well-to-do. It’s true that million-dollar earners pay an astonishing marginal income tax rate of 13.3%. What’s truly shocking, though, is that people making as little as $60,000 in California pay up to 9.3%, which is higher than the rate millionaires pay in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
California’s minimum state sales tax of 7.25% is the nation’s highest. …