No New Taxes, Again


New York and California haven't stopped voting for liberals, but they have, once again, gotten fed up with taxes. In a bit of a triumph for the Reason Foundation and for this magazine, California voters defeated Rob Reiner's universal preschool initiative and several other tax-hiking ballot measures. At the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne urges liberals to crawl back up off the mat but don't ever, ever try this crap again.

Universal programs carry large price tags. In retrospect, Reiner might have gotten closer to his honorable goal with a smaller program directed at the poorest kids and requiring a smaller tax increase. Is there a lesson here on how to expand health insurance coverage?

It gives me no joy to say these things, since I wish both California propositions had passed. But realism is not the enemy of idealism, and taxpayers aren't being selfish when they place a heavy burden on those who would ask them to part with some of their money. Advocates of public action need to meet that test.

Meanwhile, in New York—set to elect the nanny-tastic trio of Spitzer, Clinton and Cuomo in five months—might be primed for a property tax revolt.

As frustration with high property taxes mounts on Long Island, more residents than not would prefer funding schools with a local income tax instead, a Newsday/NY1 poll has found.

Long Islanders favored the idea 41 percent to 33 percent—making the region the most supportive in the state.

Upstate suburban and rural voters favored a local income tax, 40 percent to 36 percent, while upstate urban voters opposed it, 50 percent to 32 percent. Political party was not a factor, and men were more supportive of the change than women.