That guy Meathead just annoys me to no end. Somebody ought to buy him a cigar and tell him to lay off the fried foods. For more than a year we denizens of the Golden State have been bombarded by innocuous sounding infomercials touting the bennies of pre-school.
What is the connection between Meathead and pre-school? Easy, Reiner has hijacked millions of dollars from the fifty-cents-per-pack Tobacco Tax fund to soften up the electorate and lull them into a YES vote on HIS universal pre-school initiative come June.
That’s illegal you say? Not quite. Reiner is walking just this side of illegal because he never once mentions his initiative; only that preschool is good for kids and good for society. It falls under TWC rule number 2:
- What’s legal isn’t always moral
- What’s illegal isn’t always immoral
I set out this morning to pitch Shikha and Mrs TWC’s piece appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle, and I got sidetracked. Sorry.
If Reiner's initiative is approved in June, individuals making more than $400,000 a year ($800,000 for families) will face a 1.7 percent tax increase to raise $2.5 billion to finance three hours of free preschool a day for all of California's 4-year-olds -- even the 62 percent who already attend preschool without universal subsidies.
As a tax guy, I can clarify that tax increase. It means that the top personal income tax rate in California will increase from 9.3% to
11.0% 12.0% (1.7 percentage points on top of the 1.0 percentage point increase in tax effective in 2005 applied to incomes of one million and up that I forgot about). That's really a 19% increase in the rate of tax.
Then there is the Canadian model.
The final price tag for Quebec's day care program is 33 times what was originally projected: It was supposed to cost $230 million over five years, but now gobbles $1.7 billion every year.
You can make book that Reiner’s initiative will become law. He has enormous resources available to him, including the $5.00 per carton that you smokers cough up (get it?) every week or so. He's also willing to go to the mat to protect his personal bucket of taxpayer's blood, vowing to oppose other efforts to tack additional taxes onto smokes in order to fund hospital trauma rooms.
The opposition? Lisa, Shikha, and a dozen others who are working with hundreds of dollars rather than millions, and besides, who could oppose free universal child care? Not sure where in the Constitution that part is, but I'm sure someone can enlighten me.
One more reason to leave the Great State of Californicate.
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