wealth tax

California Lawmakers Want a Wealth Tax to Soak the Rich for Living There. Also, for Leaving.

The proposed tax would apply to not just wealthy residents, but anyone who is wealthy who has lived in the state for the last 10 years.

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A pack of Democratic lawmakers in California are proposing a wealth tax for the state's richest citizens, forcing them to pay more essentially just for owning a lot of stuff. They also, amazingly, want the tax to follow Californians who flee the state in response, attempting to make them continue paying taxes on wealth that's not even in the state.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D–Oakland) is blunt about his reasons for introducing the California Wealth Tax (A.B. 2088). Rich people have money. He wants more of it to pay for and expand state services. And that's it.

"The California Wealth Tax would add critically needed revenue for California by creating a more equitable tax structure," Bonta said in a press release promoting the bill. "Families are hurting right now. COVID-19 has only made matters worse. In times of crisis, all Californians must step up and contribute their fair share. Asking these well-resourced Californians to give a little more to keep our people working and support our most vulnerable is the right thing to do."

The proposed wealth tax would add a .4 percent tax on a taxpayer's net worth for net worths that exceed $30 million, which Bonta estimates will affect fewer than 31,000 Californians. From this proposed wealth tax, he estimates the state will raise $7.5 billion per year. The state currently faces a $54 billion budget deficit due in part to economic downturns from the coronavirus pandemic.

And to be clear, this tax goes beyond wealth and assets held in the state of California. "All worldwide property" of these wealthy Californians would be subject to this tax. If you park your money in real estate, farm assets, artwork, offshore funds, or a whole host of categories, they want a piece of it. (It even lists pension funds as taxable to those who meet the threshold!)

For rich Californians thinking of leaving rather than paying the state for the privilege of owning things, lawmakers are also attempting to tax the wealthy who vote with their feet. The bill contains a special formula to apply to anybody who has lived in the state within the last 10 years, though the tax burden will slowly drop over time for each year they don't live in California. It's pretty much a certainty that former Californians subjected to this wealth tax would challenge the legality of this plan.

Despite Bonta's attempt to present the state's wealthiest as needing to contribute their "fair share," the reality is that California is exceedingly—perhaps even overly—dependent on its wealthiest for tax revenue. According to the state's Legislative Analyst's Office, people earning more than $1 million a year were responsible for almost 40 percent of the state's personal income tax revenue in 2015, though those same people account for only 19 percent of adjusted gross income in the state (see page 10 here for a graph).

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jon Healey notes that this proposed wealth tax could have effects on capital gains taxes, especially if it encourages people to sell their assets at a loss to lower their tax burdens—and California extracts a significant amount of capital gains taxes from its wealthiest citizens. The result here could be a drop in capital gains revenue in the state, meaning (ironically) less tax revenue overall.

You don't even need to ask whose bright idea this was because Bonta is actually quite happy to reveal that the bill's co-sponsors are the California Federation of Teachers, the California Teachers Association, and the Service Employees International Union. These are, without exaggeration, the people who would financially benefit from the tax's passage. The money would be given to the state's general fund, which pays public employee salaries.

Has there ever been a more vivid example to pin the "taxation is theft" saying to? This wealth tax is literally a fine for having assets the state's public employees covet for themselves.

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  1. It begins. One party rule.

    1. I wouldn’t mind California becoming Mexico again if it had the same population as the pre-Mexican War California. At least the environment would be a lot nicer and the people less filthy.

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      2. While it is true that California has some of the worse, most litter roads in the nation and it has some of the poorest performing schools, I can proudly say that at least we have the highest taxes which has given us some of the worse roads and schools in the nation. So…take that!

        1. I forgot to mention that we also don’t have reliable water and we have some of the highest utility bills in the nation. Did I forget to mention CalPERSs, the “managed” state/teacher retirement fund that is about to hit the wall and raise taxes even more. Sure say what you want about California, but there is no denying we beat the best when it comes to taxation and we all know that making people pay more taxes means a better life because elected officials know more than we know and can spend the money better.
          -Signed: The Left

          1. DrZ: As a Wisconsin resident, I’m more than happy to know your state is the winner of the race for the highest taxes. Then again, you must have some extremely wealthy residents. By my estimate, the average net worth of those subject to the tax is $60 million. [The tax will supposedly raise $7.5 billion at 0.4% from about 31,000 Californians whose net worth exceeds $30 million. $7.5B / 0.004 = $1.875 trillion (the total wealth to be taxed at 0.4%). $1.875T / 31,000 = $60 M.]

            Of course, those tax rates and the threshold will apply during year one. Very quickly, the rate will increase and/or the threshold will decrease until even the lower middle class will be taxed on their “wealth.” The income tax, passed in 1913, was supposed to affect only three percent of the population and the rate of tax was one percent. And today?

            Again, congratulations on being the highest taxed state. May you hold that title indefinitely.

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    2. It begins? CA went to one-party rule more than 20 years ago, and the ruling party has had a supermajority in both houses of the legislature for at least a decade.

      The original “Calexit” may have been devised by Putin, but the contingent here that picked it up and ran with it were activists who are tired of the ways in which the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, and 14th amendments have been obstructing their policy agenda.

    3. California already sports the sort of disinterested border guards one might expect to find in a banana republic. Maybe they could be bothered to forcibly stop the disenchanted from leaving. . . .

  2. 1. If they have to reimburse you for your house if they take it for the “public purpose” of building a road, wouldn’t they have to reimburse you for the stock/art/etc they take for the “public purpose” of paying for said road?

    2. Its a small pct on just the richest is exactly the promise these assholes gave when the income tax was instituted way back when.

    1. I’d also say, no way in hell is it going to stay as low as 0.4 % a year. Expect the number to keep going up over time.

      1. and the hyperinflation from the Feds bailing out California will push anyone marginally financially successful up to the affected bracket, just like the AMT

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      2. And/Or, the number of people subject to the tax will grow. They will either lower the worth threshold or they will just wait as inflation does it for them.

      3. They’ll have to keep raising it to make up for the lost cap-gains/income tax revenue that’ll result from people subject to the tax leaving the state the way that so much of the rest of the productive portion of the population has been for the last 25 years. Even more so when the federal courts start preventing them from trying to collect from people who have left the state (especially those who left before the law was enacted).

        1. Us Constitution, Article 1, Section 10: No State shallpass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts
          Taxing people who lived there ten years ago?
          Yeah, right.

          1. The CA state government are probably aware of the Constitution, but they’re not fans. They can add this clause to the laundry list of parts of that document they wanted to get away from with the “Calexit” concept.

            The idea that there should be any kind of limit on the power of the Government (except maybe when it comes to regulating traffic across national borders) seems to be incomprehensible to them.

          2. I’m not exactly sure that the ex post facto clause is the correct one in this case; perhaps the more constitutionally learned amongst us will say differently.

            However, it certainly should be well within the commerce clause for the Feds to step in and prohibit an exit tax. And if they won’t, then I would think every one except Breyer (and maybe Ginsburg) would slap this down hard.

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    2. They aren’t taking your property. They just want money equal to a part of its value. If they can tax you for not having health insurance, they can tax you for having lots of stuff.

      1. Money isn’t property?

        1. Nobody (except maybe lottery winners for a short time) with a net worth over $30Mil has most of it sitting in the form of cash for very long.

          The reason why “progressive” policies to reduce inequality end up doing the opposite is that they all create inflation, and that inflation raises the value of the assets (stocks, real estate, high-value collectibles, artwork, etc.) held by the “haves” and devalues the savings of the “have nots” while also putting the possibility of acquiring the kinds of assets that would allow them to actually benefit farther out of reach. It’s not exactly that the system is “rigged”, it’s that the people who are most vocal about wanting to undo that don’t understand the dynamic they’re trying to change and they’re generally too focused on myopic first-order solutions to a second-order problem; the other subset of the inequality warriors are the ones who have realized that simply destroying all wealth will ultimately reduce overall inequality, but they seem so focused on that part of it that they either ignore (or maybe are willing to accept) that they’re just making everyone equally impoverished and ultimately degrading the standard of living for everyone, since the new “average” will often end up at a lower level than the previous “poverty”.

      2. They aren’t taking your property. They just want money equal to a part of its value.

        I recall some lovely sophistry from my own state where the tax auditors were taught “This is not an income tax. It is a tax proportional to income.”

    3. In the arguments before the Supreme Court in the 1930s, with SS was challenged, FDR’s henchmen promised that the programs would be only for the poorest of the poor and the payroll tax deduction would never exceed 2%.

      NEVER believe a government thug who is after your money.

  3. Can someone explain to me how a tax designed to destroy wealth can be counted on to provide funding for government programs?

    It would seem that if it actually works you’d destroy all the wealth in pretty short order and then have nothing to tax. The more likely alternative is that wealthy people figure out how to not pay the tax, which also results in a lack of the expected tax revenue.

    1. Yeah, wealth taxes are an extremely stupid idea. Eating the seed corn.

      1. What’s worse is that wealth can only be valued once it is sold. Worth $1B today? Betcha that drops significantly once every buyer knows you have to sell. Even worse, the people who could buy are also trying to sell. Buyer’s market — without buyers!

        Fucking geniuses.

        1. Yeah, that’s a big one that people don’t get. Billionaires don’t have a billion dollars lying around. A confiscatory wealth tax would be hugely disruptive to markets and simply destroy wealth.

          1. Who said I had a billion dollars? Bitcoin? What’s that?

          2. Well then, if your wealth is tied up in “the means of production ” , we’ll just have to take them…

            1. you have hit the nail squarely on the head. That is exactly what the democrat/socialist/marxists want to happen. Of all the comments on this site yours’ is by far the most freightening. The only benefit I can see is that Pelosis’ husbands salmon farms and Feinstiens husbands’ millions from govt contracts will dry up quickly and hopefully remove these two criminals from public office.

        2. Wealth can only be valued once it is sold? How does that explain the nearly 13,000 estates that had to be valued for IRS estate tax reporting in 2017? It might not be perfect, but it’s doable.

          1. Valuations for estate tax purposes is a “once in a lifetime” event (literally) – not an annual event.

            About 12 European countries had wealth taxes over the last 30 years or so. Only three have them now – and in some cases the rate is zero depending on where the taxpayer lives in the country. One significant reason was the difficulty/cost of valuing assets that didn’t have an obvious market value (such as artwork, businesses, unique real estate, etc) and the administrative costs of reaching a valuation.

            Situation/Questions:
            You are a co-founder of toothbrush sharing company – let’s call it TBuber. You have managed to retain 50% of the stock through tight fisted fiscal management. The last round in December 2019 valued the company at $5B and the previous round valued it at $500M in July 2018. You have lockups on your stock because the VC’s required that (to keep you in the game and to avoid reducing the market for the stock at future IPO). In March it became obvious that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was having a huge negative impact on the toothbrush sharing market (Doh!) and revenues have plummeted but the company still survives on the cash raised in the last round. Come April 2021 you are doing your taxes.

            Question 1: What was your 50% of the company worth on the “day of valuation (perhaps the FTB picked December 31, 2020 as the valuation date for assets)? $2.5B (the value at the last round which established a market price)? Some “estimate” by VCs? (Who are almost always wrong and are fine with that and will freely admit that — they swing for the fences)? $0 as there’s little revenue and no profits?

            Question 2: So, suppose the FTB guidelines value your stake as $1B so your wealth tax is ~$4M. You, however are still couch surfing in friend’s houses, own a 1987 Toyota, have not drawn a salary beyond what you need to eat and buy clothes every two years and wash them once every couple months. Basically, you have NO liquid assets. Where will you come up with the $4M (which you think is the result of a gross overvaluation of TBuber)? Remember, you can’t sell your shares because you are contractually forbidden to do so. Will the FTB take a promissory note to deliver 0.4% of your TBuber shares sometime in the future when you can get your hands on them?

            1. I would totally invest in a toothbrush sharing company.

            2. Im offended you called it TBuber instead of Tuber. I mean it’s so obvious.

        3. My thought is that foreign investors start to buy everything up. I have a socialist friend who wanted the estate tax to to be 100% on estates over100 million. When I counter with: then the only people who could afford to buy the companies like Koch Industries would be foreign and eventually the US is foreign owned.

          1. The last 6 or 7 Presidents have sold an unbelievable amount of the US to China including manufacturing and intellectual properties. California politicians have made the rest of the US look like jingoists in this regard.

    2. There’s a slight probability it might generate some revenue in the short term.

      In the long term, the deliberate destruction of the tax base is going to lead to a net loss of tax revenue. It’s kind of astonishing that there’s anyone (even among the pols in Sacramento) that hasn’t figured that out after the last 5 months.

  4. They’d get it once or never. I mean why wouldn’t some enterprising competing state say we will shield your money as long as you park here permanently and tell the California revenuers to go fuck themselves?

    1. no state is going to collect taxes for California, so good luck with voluntary compliance

    2. The thing is, the very wealthy are used to changing living conditions to avoid taxes (in the 90s, many celebrities who wanted to live in England did so for 180 days a year to ensure that they didn’t live there for tax purposes). This tax can’t be retroactive before its passage, so anyone who wishes to avoid it can move now.

      1. And thank [$deity] it can’t be retroactive since I got out at the end of 2019!

        Funny, I recall the episode of “Murphy Brown” where she opined about making her vote “retroactive” in response to Clinton’s retroactive tax increase. Search now kids, I’m confident it will be disappeared shortly if it hasn’t happened retroactively.

    3. They just put it in foreign trusts.

  5. “”The California Wealth Tax would add critically needed revenue for California by creating a more equitable tax structure,” Bonta said ”

    I don’t think that word “equitable” means what Bonita thinks it does.

    1. I don’t think that word “equitable” means what Bonita thinks it does.

      Neither does “critically needed”. The education system failed to teach him any critical thinking skills. His parents failed to teach him theft is wrong.

      1. It’s only theft if it’s in competition with the government.

  6. I love it when lefty orgs become a self-parody.

    1. Let us hope it remains only a parody….

      1. That ship sailed years ago.

  7. Asking these well-resourced Californians to give a little more to keep our people working and support our most vulnerable is the right thing to do.

    “Asking?” “Give a little more?” As if people have a choice in the matter.

    Fuck you, cut spending, you fascist cunts.

    1. California is actually governed by the Democratic Party (a wholly owned subsidiary of the SEIU). Public sector units make the calls. The union gimme culture won’t change until the state is totally bankrupt, at which point the unions will blame Trump and scream for a Federal bailout.

  8. There are many points of comparison between California Progressives and the Nazis – who were also socialists. There is precedent for taxing people who want to leave in the Nazi Reichtsfluchtsteuer, a tax levied on Jews who tried to flee persecution before the Second World War. Great ideas keep repeating.

    1. This is kinda what Hollywood and Silicon Valley deserve, tbh.
      They plumped for these monsters, now let them deal with the consequences.

      1. I’m sure there will be some exemptions down the road.

      2. One man’s plumping is another’s fluffing.

      3. They only live there for 180 days. Oprah does it to escape the taxes.

    2. You know who else has a expatriation tax?

      Yup, the good ole’ US of A.

      This country is so messed up!

    3. I said nearly the same thing on aols’ huuffpost and they said the statement did not meet their community standards. But at least aol will still let one comment, unlike yahoo,a wholly owned property of huffpost, who doesn’t let any comments be posted.

  9. “Families are hurting right now. COVID-19 has only made matters worse. In times of crisis, all Californians must step up and contribute their fair share. Asking these well-resourced Californians to give a little more to keep our people working and support our most vulnerable is the right thing to do.”

    Couple of thoughts…

    COVID-19 has only made matters worse? No, your (the government’s) response has made matters worse.

    All Californians must step up and contribute their fair share? Define “contribute” and “fair” without using the words “taking” and “more”.

    Asking these well-resourced Californians to give? Do you not understand the words you’re using? You’re not asking, and they won’t be giving.

    God, I’m glad I left that shithole 30 years ago.

    1. “…30 years ago”

      Let’s hope that is enough to keep you out of their parameter.

      1. 30 years ago, I was in debt and unemployed. If that’s the kind of person they’re after, I’m sure there are much more convenient targets available to them.

    2. and California and Gov. Tiresome were lauded early and often by the media, for acting quickly and bravely and wisely, with early shutdowns and mask mandates. And now California lead the USA in COVID-19 cases.

      1. Just remember that one of the democrat/socialist/marxist partys nominee for President advocated for a 90 percent income tax. FEEL THE BERN.

    3. Let’s give him the “Covid made it worse.” OK… if it is “worse” now, it must have been bad already… while not a logical necessity, it is what the saying implies. So… if it was bad ready, before Covid, who was in charge and should be held accountable for the pre-Covid conditions? Had they not failed CA then the pain the citizens are suffering from Covid wouldn’t be so bad. Wonder who he would pin it on? Remember… I asked “who was in charge and should be held responsible?” and not just “who do you want to blame?”. I foresee a sidestep of the ages if he were asked that.

  10. How can they tax the out of state wealth of people who have left?

    1. They can’t. Even our big-government loving Supreme Court will strike that one down.

      1. it’s already been struck down, for people leaving Taxifornia and taking their tax-deferred 401k’s with them.

    2. I’m imagining some California revenuer showing up at a ranch in Texas and getting a very rude reply to his request.

      1. Over a barrel.

        1. Or at ~3250fps. There are just so many options.

          1. “My dobermans can get to the fence in 3.5 seconds. Can you?

            1. “sick balls”

          2. Come on, my friend. I can’t throw a Bowie knife that fast.

      2. “You know, I sold my $2 million dollar condo in Los Angeles and used that money to buy this place in Southern Arizona. Its 1,400 acres. There isn’t another person other than the two of us for at least 2 miles in any direction. This here is a backhoe I’m using to extend the irrigation ditch. Is that vest level III?”

    3. It’s pretty much a certainty that former Californians subjected to this wealth tax would challenge the legality of this plan.

      “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

      ― Henry Kissinger

      1. you don’t have to challenge the legality. just decline to pay.

      2. ““The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”― Henry Kissinger
        “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” the California democrat party.
        there I fixed it for you!

    4. They seem to have forgotten the people they are trying this tactic on can actually afford a fleet of layers for way less than paying them the tax would cost.

      I would though question how the hell they can tax property and investments outside of California. That seems to be outside of Cali’s jurisdiction.

      1. Ask any district court about nation wide injunctions.

      2. They tried it on corporate earnings and that didn’t work. They called it taxes on universal income. It is why Sparks had a boom in warehouses. The big corporations that could erased their California footprint.

    5. see: Gilbert Hyatt vs FTB

      Notable quotes from the CA tax authority in that case: “get that Jew bastard.”

    6. “How can they tax the out of state wealth of people who have left?”

      What’d you expect them to do–cut spending?

      The “solution” in the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion stimulus bill was worse. Instead of just going after wealthy people who used to live in California, they want to make federal taxpayers bail them out of their budget woes. If taxing people who used to live in California is bad, how much worse is it to tax people who’ have never lived there?

      1. I might be willing to help them out if they agree to keep all the Californians in California for my lifetime. Sort of a Danegeld situation.

        1. I’m not that bad to have around, Fat Mike. Women find me irresistible.

      2. I am confused, I keep hearing that California is the 5th largest economy in the world. Why would they need to tax people and wealth in other states? Why don’t they just ask Facebook, Apple & Google to donate a hundred billion to help out the state? Come on its just their fair share right? I wonder how fast they can move headquarters to another state?

  11. I think such a law would be struck down as interfering with the constitutional right to travel, just as was a statute requiring people to live in a state for a year before being eligible for welfare in that state. Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969).

    1. You mean just like how various states are now prohibiting entry or applying onerous conditional entry to citizens of other states right now? There’s an executive order for that!

  12. OK, this is a terrible idea. But it’s important not to read too much into it.

    Keep in mind that Democrats at the national level clearly do not share the anti-billionaire attitudes of California Dems. After all, Joe Biden told wealthy donors that nothing would fundamentally change during his Presidency. And he actually has more billionaire donors than Drumpf.

    #VoteBidenToHelpBillionaires

  13. I think the real story behind the story is how broke California Democrats are expecting California to be in the near future. As clearly retarded as this new seed-corn tax is, it also raises the question of what happens when a state goes literally bankrupt. Do we just bail them out no strings attached? Do we just cut them loose, build a wall, and say it’s no longer our problem? Do we revert them back to a territory and reconstruct them for a few decades until they can get their stuff back together like we were doing in the South until Democrats cancelled those plans? I really don’t know.

    1. if a state goes bankrupt it is pretty straightforward. They have to slash most of their ‘services’ and employees and borrow money at exorbitant rates until they get their shit together.

      Same any other entity that goes into bankruptcy.

      1. Great, now do the federal government.

        1. Modern Monetary Theory?

        2. very different. The feds can print money, the states cannot. It is a genuinely different situation.

          1. Yeah, the Feds can steal from you without ever asking for a dime. They just fire up the printing presses, increase the size of the pie, shrinking your share and increasing the banker’s share or in this case, the California State Employee’s Union. Easy peasy.

            1. Exactly. They steal from us every day, indirectly. And they can print their way out of any budget issue.

              Not so for states. The states have no reserve banks with the power to create fiat money.

      2. All well and good until their 50+ Congressional delegation puts the Democrats back in control of the House and they bail California out. The main reason I ask in the first place is I’m hoping there’s something the rest of the American people can legally do to keep from paying the bill for Californians’ stupidity, but I don’t know what that is.

      3. States can’t go bankrupt. They’re sovereigns. Goes against Title 11 black letter bankruptcy law and would violate the Art 1, Section 10 Contracts Clause. This little blurb explains it in more detail. https://www.csg.org/pubs/capitolideas/enews/issue65_3.aspx

        Municipalities can and have. Rewriting bankruptcy law to allow state bankruptcies would be worse than eating only one potato chip.

        1. So what can states do when they are basically bankrupt but not legally bankrupt.

    2. With the exception of a bail out, I like all of your proposed options; but the wall is my favorite.

      1. Just make sure to fill it to the brim with water.

      2. Yeah, but then the presidents daughter gets kidnapped and we have to send Kurt Russel in to rescue her and it’s not nearly as good as the original.

    3. I’m in favor of stuffing the fault lines full of semtex and setting them adrift in the Pacific.

      1. The San Andreas Fault runs west of San Francisco and the Bay Area.

        1. The Maacama should work fine then, gonna need a lot of fertilizer though.

          1. Talk to the Central Valley farmers. There is no love lost.

          2. Think Beirut has any left?

        2. +1 Max Zorin

      2. We’ve got something like 20,000 nukes in the USA, time to do something constructive with them.

        1. “It’s the only way to be sure”

      3. “And if California slides into the ocean
        Like the mystics and statistics say it will
        I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill.”

        Substitute ’employee pensions’ for ‘motel’, and ‘they’ for ‘I’.

        I guess they could surrender their sovereignty, become a Federal Territory, and declare all preceding obligations null and void. A Debt Jubilee.

    4. Its going to be fun when the people of Arizona are telling Californians what to do because ‘well, we’re net taxpayers now – and you’re a net tax-leech’.

      Shoe on the other foot and all that.

      1. The irony is how can a place be so affluent to be a net-tax payer AND somehow be in debt in a system that uses taxes to pay its balances. (Yes… state v fed taxes… but still, a bad image).

        1. Sparkstable: Because they can spend it far faster than they can collect it. Their pension obligations are going to sink them eventually.

  14. We could blithely say this legislator is just some random wing nut pandering to his like audience, but that also includes “the bill’s co-sponsors…the California Federation of Teachers, the California Teachers Association, and the Service Employees International Union.”

    He ain’t alone in this grand scheme. And I’ve always heard that CA is a bellwether state.

    1. As long as ‘bellwether’ means full of ding dongs – – – – – –

      1. It does, but it hasn’t done much to stop it from spreading so far. Not that it will succeed [even in CA] but the drift is pretty clear. A substantial element of our populace, politicians and their catamite press seem to like these ideas. It is an essential element for their fantasy world.

    2. Surprised the prison employees and other public employees haven’t jumped on this pony.

    3. the California Federation of Teachers, the California Teachers Association, and the Service Employees International Union.”
      all three are anti american organizations . the teacher unions are mostly socialist/ communits and the SEIU is 3/4 ILLEGAL ALIENS. ALL3 should be disbanded.

  15. Utah, Wyoming, Montana, looking better and better. Nevada and Colorado and Oregon have already been infected. It’s too late for them. All we can do now is keep the patient comfortable.

    1. Plenty of wealthy Californians have second or third homes in Montana. Better stick to Wyoming and Idaho.

      1. The floodgate is already open in Idaho. The west coasters are flooding in like their lives are depending on it right now. At least the immigrants I’m talking to are well aware that they’re fleeing because of the politics and don’t want to repeat it. It gives me some hope.

        1. That’s why I didn’t mention Idaho… it’s a wait and see situation right now.

          1. It’s not looking good for Boise. I was at a street fair there last summer and you could excuse someone who wasn’t paying close attention if he thought he was in fucking Eugene.

            1. The current mayor of Boise is a green new dealer. I believe that she wants to turn Boise into Seattle. If you get outside of Ada County, it is not as insane. I am the next county over. At least my property value has doubled in the last 5 years.

        2. My wife and I retired to a small town in Idaho a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. Los Angeles was starting to resemble a third world country.

        3. Compelled just look at Boise, Pocatello and Idaho Falls for the damage being done. The mayor of Boise asked Cali refuges not to buy homes in his area since they had driven home prices beyond what Idaho natives can afford. Same in Idaho Falls. I have been following home prices it that general area for 5-6 years. Home prices are nearing $400,000 there now. 5 years ago nearer to $200,000. Zillow it.

      2. Montana is a big state (#4 after CA). Most of the state is still fairly CA free. And NY, NJ, etc. Just stay away from Missoula and Bozeman. Esp Missoula.

    2. We’re going to have to set up pickets at state borders soon

    3. Tax blue state escapees at 100% wealth tax coming into your state, problem fixed.

      1. Elect Bernie. He’ll take care of that. 90 %. Feel the Bern.

  16. Over at the Los Angeles Times, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jon Healey notes that this proposed wealth tax could have effects on capital gains taxes, especially if it encourages people to sell their assets at a loss to lower their tax burdens

    For for that matter, sell their assets at a loss to pay the tax burden. This wealth tax covers assets that aren’t liquid.

    Suppose someone with $30M in real estate holdings, but less than $120K in cash. How are they supposed to pay the tax?

    1. I’m sure the state will allow you to forfeit that $30M in real estate to satisfy your tax burden.

    2. This is exactly how Howard Jarvis got proposition 13 passed.
      They were taxing grandma out of her home, and people finally said :I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore”.

  17. As someone pointed out, it’s amazing that a state that’s home to so many high-tech businesses can’t even keep the fucking lights on. But sure, we’ll give you even more money because we’re sure you’re a better steward of our money than we are. No place has the kind of wealth and the kind of problems California has, they’ve pissed every bit of that wealth away and then some. Goddamn, if you can’t see what horrifyingly inept shitheads these people are, you deserve what you get.

    1. “…they’ve pissed every bit of that wealth away and then some.”

      Sounds very much like a bankrupt nation in South America, that at least one teachers union really admires:

      https://wirepoints.org/viva-maduro-the-chicago-teachers-unions-trip-to-venezuela-wirepoints-original/

    2. California was flush with cash just one year ago (if you ignore the giant pension anvil hanging overhead, and even that had a stronger thread with the Trump stock market run-up).

      Then Governor Karen Tiresome shut down the whole freaking state over a virus that mostly affects those too old or too sick to work, cutting state tax revenues by around 40 percent (fortunately for the commies, lots of highly paid tech workers can work from home). Meanwhile, all state workers were deemed essential (and asked to take a 10 percent paycut), and now somehow the state budget doesn’t balance.

  18. Even NJ knows better (so far) than to go this far. This wouldn’t even survive the 9th circuit, let alone the USSC.

    1. Never overestimate the Ninth.

      1. They got gun magazines right.

        1. Give ’em time, that was only 3 judges. I have faith the en banc panel will find a way to fuck it up.

          1. I hope that is soon. then it’s on to the scotus and as of now it would make the magazines legal in the whole country. Becarra will cut his nose off to spite his face.

        2. i’m still kind of in shock over that one. there must be some meta game there i’m not seeing.

          1. It’s Trump doing the work that Obama didn’t bother with in appointing judges to fill vacancies. From what I hear, the 9th circuit is almost majority Republican appointees now.

            1. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-02-22/trump-conservative-judges-9th-circuit
              Here, the LA Times says 16 Dem appointees to 13 Rep appointees among active judges.

              1. Assuming a few of them actually follow the Constitution, that works.

              2. Right, much of our “apolitical” federal judiciary [hey, Roberts says so] still leans an apolitical “blue” but the 9th is so very close to being flipped.

        3. probably needed the mostly peaceful protestors to be adequately armed for the next stage of the mostly peaceful glorious people’s revolution

    2. Unicorn, I actually want CA to pass this into law. Seriously, I do. It will hasten their fiscal destruction. I am all for that. It will be a ‘real life’ clinic on the fruits of socialist policy.

  19. The california total budget spend went from 174B in 2017, to 203B in 2018, to 208B in 2019.

    1. the revenues were 131B, 138B, 143B

      1. thus, we see that the revenues have gone up to record levels. Why exactly do they need more?

        it will never be enough for them. Never.

        1. revenues are down 40 percent his year, thanks to Newsom’s edicts.

      2. “The goal was to calculate California’s state and local government pension debt, the difference between assets and liabilities.

        The team’s conclusions: The unfunded liability was over $500 billion — seven times the number officially reported. That was in 2008.

        . . . .

        Public pension debt doubled to more than $1.052 trillion in 2017, the last year of complete data.

        Based on recently reported public pension assets and estimated liabilities, that figure is now more than $1.109 trillion, an increase of $56 billion. That translates into $81,300 of pension debt per California household.

        https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/06/opinion-california-pension-debt-climbs-despite-decade-of-soaring-stocks/

        That was in October of 2019.

        Since then, they shut down much of the economy for months, depriving themselves of payroll taxes and sales tax revenue.

        Looking at this from the perspective of a Californian, I don’t like paying high taxes, but the only way they’ll cut spending is once they become convinced that the voters won’t accept further tax increases and the federal government won’t bail them out.

        President Trust stripping them of the ability to deduct state taxes from their federal tax bill was another step in that direction. I don’t like paying higher taxes, but without that pain, where does the inertia for cutting spending come from?

        There’s this thing called “moral hazard”, and California’s finances are an excellent example of that in action. Sacramento won’t stop misbehaving until we start suffering the negative consequences of our misbehavior. Reelecting Trump to deny Sacramento a bailout may be the only hope for rational Californians.

        Dear voters of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin,

        Please save us from ourselves or we’re moving to your states en masse with some great ideas about how to change things.

        Sincerely,

        The People of California.

        1. What in the hell are they spending all of this money on, Ken?

        2. “… or we’re moving to your states en masse with some great ideas about how to change things.”

          Now that’s just a straight up threat; here in MI we already have Detroit and its environs and Governor Whitless Winemom, aka “The Gretch” who just shut down bars [again] and banned us from having any more than 10 people in our homes.

          “Great ideas” already abound,

        3. I also live in California. Unfortunately, many people who should know better get fooled by California politicians. When the initiative went to a vote to maintain the “temporary“ gasoline tax increase, I had conservative friends who voted for it. They asked me “Don’t you want better roads?” They were fooled into thinking that all of that money would go toward roads, even though gasoline taxes in the past have gone to such things as mass transit. More importantly, they glossed over the fact that the state government has plenty of money to maintain roads and other legitimate government services. We won’t begin to stop this foolishness until we can at least stop voluntarily giving them money.

          1. P. Henry this being a major election year the commifornia peoples republic is busily clogging the roads and hiways with repairs along with myriad signage stating “Another Gas Tax repair in action”. The bad thing about that is most of the voters will believe it. $3.49/gallon in commiefornia, $2.24/gallon in the free state of Arizona.

  20. The wealthy,like Buffet and Romney, have explained that they don’t pay huge taxes because most of their money is in “munis”. Their money is all around us.

    1. Munis aren’t deductible from state tax except in the state they were issued in.

  21. Taxation is actually robbery because of the threat of violence.

  22. Two quotes spring to mind. One is when Willie Sutton supposedly responded to a reporter’s question about why he robbed banks with the observation, “Because that’s where the money is”, and the other is Margaret Thatcher’s observation that the problem with socialists is that eventually they run out of other people’s money.

    California has a slew of millionaires because of Silicon valley, the entertainment industry in LA, and the biotech industry in San Diego. They’re robbing them blind because that’s where the money is.

    Thatcher’s comment springs to mind because so many of these entrepreneurs supported socialists because of issues like gay marriage and immigration. Getting screwed in the ass to pay for immigrants would seem like poetic justice . . .

    Except there isn’t anything just about arbitrarily confiscating people’s wealth, and the people who suffer the most from this won’t be those who voted for the socialists. It’ll be the working people whose jobs disappear or never materialize after the state declared open season on entrepreneurs.

    1. Unfortunately, those are the ones they don’t care about, the working middle class. The state government it there to support the rich philanthropists, themselves and the poor who live off government finance, after they take a generous portion off for themselves. The rich don’t care as they have enough to hire tax attorneys and accountants to protect their assets, they will vote for the Dems because it keeps them in good standing with the elites. The ones on government support are going to keep voting for those who send those monthly checks. The rest are too few to make much of a dent, they have a few districts but are scattered around the state in California’s own fly over country.

  23. I am pretty sure I read something somewhere about taxation without representation . . .

    It did not end well (for those doing the taxing) as I recall.

  24. Elon Musk is already packing up, he’s no dummy.

    The 10-year clawback for taxpayers fleeing California matches the 10-year clawback from the IRS if you leave the USA.

    But unlike the Feds, California doesn’t have a passport to block if you try to reenter without paying up, and no enforcement power if you move to Nevada. So why would any wealthy person ever pay it? Sell all your California mansions (tank that market), leave the state (tanking Sacramento’s income tax revenue and zeroing out the expected wealth tax windfall), and come back whenever you want and stay in high end hotels.

    1. One good thing about that 10 year clawback. The precedent for enforcement is going to be set right now, by people who can afford to fight the state. Instead of in ten years from now when they start moving this tax down the ladder to poorer folks.

      1. Eventually, California’s middle class will start to rebel. This is how we got Prop 13. College at a University of California school used to be tuition free! People got fed up.

        California’s suburban women are as in favor of gay marriage, immigration, fighting climate change, and equality of outcome as they’ve ever been–right up until the moment it becomes clear that the taxes are impacting their lifestyle.

        Like a husband who isn’t earning enough to justify the hassle, they’ll dump the Democratic Party if the divorce leaves them with more money to spend the way they want than they had before.

        The Democrats are overplaying their hand.

        1. even the most Progressive Dems are starting to notice that most of their future budgets will go to retired government workers in their mid-fifties, while the poor saps in private industry have to pay more and more in taxes just to keep the DMV open. no money for climate change, no money for bullet trains, no money for the envirornment, just money for retired public employee union members.

          1. I retired from the Federal government at age 49. I got mine … Thanks, ya’ll !!

            1. I expect you are what a pirate looks at 40

              1. We’re the only bait in town…

    2. Joe Rogan keeps talking about things like homelessness as being the reason he’s leaving California for Texas, but making $30 million a year, I don’t believe that taxes aren’t at least part of that calculation.

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/joe-rogan-is-bailing-on-california-after-scoring-100-million-deal-2020-07-26

      $30 million a year can still get you in gated neighborhood in California without many homeless people if that was his problem.

      1. I haven’t heard him talk about it much, but he was also very turned off by Newsome’s response to COVID, and the government in general. He talks about hysteria of people in general, and homelessness, but I think it’s more about feeling secure that the area is improving.
        I don’t doubt that taxes are a factor.

    3. “…no enforcement power if you move to Nevada.”

      Tax evasion, in this situation, will likely be a criminal offense. California may not give a shit about putting car thieves in the pen, but they’ll damned well try to grab Musk in that situation. Though I don’t know if other states will honor those extradition requests or not.

      “And when you’re gone, you stay gone, or you be gone. You lost all your [California] privileges…”

      1. Actually no, I don’t think it will be a criminal prosecution but a civil case and they will file it in California court so you will be obliged to return to defend yourself or face default judgment. Also the amount will be small enough that most lawyers will tell their clients they are better off settling as the court costs will be more than the amount payed. And since the state will probably outsource the cases for contingency it will not even cost them anything to pursue them and both sides lawyers get paid no matter who wins. That is one of the biggest sources of rot in this country, tort lawyers. If what they really wanted to do is just raise money for the state they could just put a tax on lawyer fees, I remember reading back in the 90s that lawyers account for one fifth of the GDP of the US.
        Also the cunning plan to just move out of the state to one that won’t extradite, that assumes the state government never changes hands, you might end up having to move every few years.

  25. I am pretty sure I read something somewhere about taxation without representation . . .

    It did not end well (for those doing the taxing) as I recall.

    1. Also, something something ex post facto.

      If I were a gazillionaire who had lived in California from 2011-2019, you can damned sure bet I would tell any Cal DOR agent to suck my balls when he shows up at my new home in Texas in 2020.

  26. So now the left wants to subsidize spending by the rich! Will the perks never end?!

  27. Or those evil gazillionaires can get together and do to CA like the settlers used to do to the banks foreclosing on the family farm. Say the tax is half a million dollars this year. Gazillionaire one says “OK, here is my painting valued at $600,000”. But when the state goes to sell the painting to get the money, no other gazillionaire will buy it. The settlers used to block the road to the farm when the bank went to auction off the property, and someone was designated to bid one dollar, and no other bids. Then they would give the farm back.

    1. Wouldn’t work just because the California government is exactly corrupt enough to start handing the stuff they get out of these taxes out as goodies to people who contribute to their campaigns.

      1. They have been doing that since the 60s. Teachers unions and the seiu. note that teachers and the janitors in the seiu are still getting paid full salary less 10% and getting their free medical insurance. One great thing about the covid home schooling reqs is that parents are suddenly realizing that they don’t need classroom teachers to educate their children.

    2. The settlers used to block the road to the farm when the bank went to auction off the property, and someone was designated to bid one dollar, and no other bids. Then they would give the farm back.

      No they didn’t.

      These things have reserve prices – minimum prices the seller is willing to accept. It won’t be one dollar.

    3. “. . .block the road to the farm . . ”

      You’ve never actually SEEN a farm, have you? “THE” road? A small, 80-acre farm has a mile and a half of roads around it, and half a dozen gates (or more).

      But, please, tell us what good it would do to give back a farm to someone who already went broke trying to make it work? The whole point of a farm auction is to get the debt off of the farmer’s back and give the family something to eat on as they leave.

      It’s a heartwarming idea, but let’s leave the fables to the “Progressives,” shall we?

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  29. The state currently faces a $54 billion budget deficit due in part to economic downturns from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Not exactly. They face a budget deficit because they refuse to cut spending in the face of reduced income.

    You’re writing this as if the budget is immutable and there’s nothing that can be done about it and its just bad luck that they don’t have enough money to pay for ‘the things that need to be done’.

    In reality the deficit is solely the creation of the government. They could have a massive, soaring, increase in tax revenues and still run a deficit – because they insisted on buying more stuff than they could afford.

    1. the coronavirus barely affected revenue, just tax on travel and hospitality. Gov. Tiresome and a half dozen county health nazis are what cut revenues.

  30. It’s pretty much a certainty that former Californians subjected to this wealth tax would challenge the legality of this plan.

    And some of them might even “challenge the legality” of the planners.

  31. Not gonna cry too much for people worth 30 million dollars who choose to live on the left coast. They can always move to Mississippi & buy half the State. Most people don’t have a lot of choice where they live and are limited in their ability to change jobs or leave their job to start a small business because … health insurance.

  32. Here’s a revenue enhancer …. get rid of the tax deduction for donations to churches. Why are we subsidizing church donations? I mean , I don’t care who you wanna give your money to, but do it after-tax, please. I don’t get a deduction for the money I donate to my weed dealer.

    1. Do you know what a non-profit is?

      1. I do … no deductions for donations for whatever non-profit YOU CHOOSE to give your money to either. Donate after-tax.

      2. Do you know what a non sequitur is?

    2. Not to mention that the money WAS taxed as income before it was donated.

      1. Wrong – ‘onesimplelesson’ … you get a deduction. Which means you are NOT taxed on it.

        So, Mitt Romney chooses to donate x thousands or millions of dollars he earns from his investments each year to the Mormon church & various Mormon charities. He deducts it on his taxes, so the money is not taxed. Now the Fed & State govt is that much short of revenue & has to tax everyone else just a bit more to make it up in order to pay the cost of govt (or borrow more). So …. in effect the taxpayers are subsidizing Mitt Romney’s choice to give money to his church.

        1. Two things. First, the charitable deduction is not a dollar for dollar exchange, taxwise (you don’t get a tax credit for 100% of your donation). Second, you may not discriminate against religious organizations.

  33. Now you know why they want to keep guns out of the hands of “people of color” and teach “Common Core” math.

  34. California use to have what was called a “source tax” on retirement income. If you spent your working life in California then California taxed your retirement income no matter where you lived. People would retire and move (flee) to other states and California sent them a state income tax invoice every year. They eventually rescinded that law, but I am sure many people mailed back a big f### you instead of a payment, I know I would have.

    So, this is a recycled idea with a tweek.

  35. “The bill contains a special formula to apply to anybody who has lived in the state within the last 10 years”

    How is a crawl back that far even legal?

    You shouldn’t be able to do a reach back at all but since legislation is slow, maybe have a one year cap.

    I almost hope that they put that bill into place so it can then be shredded by a US Federal Court.

    1. Where are all the blow hards from Cali to tell us about how they have a huge surplus, 8th biggest economy in the world and all that other bullshit? Nation state according to Newsom. They’re fine the homeless and illegals can pick up the tab. And the weather’s nice. Good for being homeless.

      1. The surplus turned into a shortage when they shut down the economy in April, much to the surprise of the state’s visionary leadership.

        Who could have forseen the loss of revenue when income tax witholding and sales tax collections across the state were intentionally reduced to a fraction of the normal volume? They’re making a bit of it back on an increase in the fee for firearms background checks with the huge surge in gun sales (and maybe even a little on the charge for ammo background checks since L.A. county seems to be sold out of 9mm and 45ACP for the last several weeks).

    2. the peoples republic of California did just that a couple of years ago with semi auto rifles and “large capacity” magazines. They required you to sell them, make them in operative or turn them into the “authorities”. Why would anyone think these commies wouldn’t do it with money??

  36. I’d love to see the math on how increasing the already disproportionate share of total tax revenues are collected from a tiny portion of the population is actually a plan to create a system in which “all Californians …. step up and contribute their fair share”.

    I might need to get more “Make Orwell Fiction Again” gear, so I can wear it more frequently.

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  38. If California taxes people who don’t live in California any more, then former residents should be allowed demand and receive services from California for the same amount of time. Additionally these same former residents should also be allowed to vote in state elections otherwise it would be taxation without representation (one of the ideas the founding of the country was based on) for the duration of time they are taxed as a non-resident.

    The entire notion of taxing non-residents is so ridiculous that it should be laughed out of existence, but unfortunately these insane bills keep getting passed. While California is a nice piece of geography with a nice climate, it’s difficult to understand living in California when weighing the pros and cons.

    Personally I prefer Purple states over the Blue or Red states. Too much one party rule and we end up with a Statist government. With Statist governments we lose our freedoms (although different freedoms for Red and Blue states). Purple states seem to be less inclined to assault our freedoms.

    California politics have so distorted and destroyed their economy that they need to tax the residents of other states. If California does pass this insane bill then how about all of the 49 other states taxing California residents to illustrate the absurdity.

  39. This would be the death of the startup culture in California. What founder of a company who hopes (usually wrongly) that they will become multi billionaires wouldn’t move out of the state long before the second round of financing?

    Then, where do you suppose corporate HQ will end up being and where the preference for hiring the core developers would be?

    Austin and many other places are salivating at California passing this!

    (Of course now we are learning how remote working really does work in development. If the conclusion is that it does work pretty well at scale, even key developers will move to other states and work remotely — probably never to return to California when the IPO makes them rich).

  40. > Asking these well-resourced Californians to give a little more

    Lol, asking.

  41. I think that they are going to have more problems than they think. Gilbert Hyatt moved to Las Vegas right before he got a big payoff for patent licensing with the Japanese. They have been fighting for the last couple decades. CA tried the courts, but the CA courts didn’t have jurisdiction and the NV courts wouldn’t collect taxes on one of their residents assessed by a neighboring state. CA sent revenue agents after Hyatt to prove he was a CA resident when he hit the jackpot. Hyatt sued and won. CA asserted sovereign immunity under CA law. But CA law didn’t apply in NV, where they didn’t have sovereign immunity for intentional torts. Hyatt has a judgement in NV courts against CA for a couple hundred million dollars. But recently lost in the Supreme Court, where the parties have been, I think, three times over the last two decades.

    this brings up some reasons why CA is going to have problems here. Hyatt fought the (income) taxes that CA was trying to assess because fighting them was cheaper than paying them. And CA is going to have a hard time collecting the taxes. Other states will often be reluctant, if not actively hostile, to enforcing their court orders. That means that CA will have a hard time with discovery, as well as levying to pay the taxes or foreclosing their tax liens through the courts in other states.

    1. And therein lies the rub, he fought the case because he had a huge amount on the line, when they come for this tax it will be for a small enough amount that most of them will just roll over and pay rather than the expense of paying for the defense. You said he lost at the State Supreme court level, did he at least get legal fees? If he didn’t then can you imagine how much this has cost him…he has enough that it is worth it but to someone only worth say 10 to 25 mill it probably would not.

  42. Reminds me of the song.

    Welcome to the Hotel California
    Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
    Such a lovely face
    Plenty of room at the Hotel California
    Any time of year (any time of year) you can find it here

    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
    ‘Relax’ said the night man
    ‘We are programmed to receive
    You can check out any time you like
    But you can never leave!

  43. And yet, knowing that this could occur nationally, rich people still support the Democrats. Apparently they figure the other perks they get for their campaign contributions will offset the wealth tax. I wonder how the rich Democratic supporters in Cali feel about that now.

  44. He invokes the pandemic as a reason for this new tax, but who really believes it will end when the virus does?

  45. I think I would get out now if I could

  46. In the bizzaro world, this makes sense: “The California Wealth Tax would add critically needed revenue for California by creating a more equitable tax structure,”

    “Fair share” means ‘We’re going to take more money from somebody else.”

    This is like going to the grocery store and being charged for the amount money in your wallet. This happens every four years, some 2nd rate, ganja smoking D.A. appears on the National stage and wants to take one person’s money to buy somebody else’s vote.

    Usually politicians use a non threatening method called ‘infrastructure’ – or pork, but Democrat this year have dropped that pretext and have declared they want to pay everybody of African descent money for electing them to office.

    Reparations after the first World War didn’t work very well, but this time they’ll disarm you, first.

    1. In all fairness to the pinheads, they’ll most likely only pay those Americans there ancestors were enslaved, not all Africans.

      If you want to strengthen an inferiority complex, I can’t think of a better way.

      Black Lives Matter, too.

  47. How would they even implement this kind of a tax without causing MASSIVE market dislocations every year at tax time?

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  49. Putting aside whether this is even a good idea or not; it likely isn’t constitutional.

    At the very least, this violates the clause against Expo Facto Laws. Say the law goes back retroactively 10 years, but you left the state prior to this law going into effect. You did not know at the time of your residence in CA that this would put your wealth in jeopardy for a law that would get passed in the future.

    At best, CA can only go after people who leave the state after this law goes into effect; notwithstanding other arguments people will make against this.

    1. they did it with firearms and magazines. what makes anyone think they won’t do it for money?

  50. I had a California medical license for many years.
    I used to go out there and work in the summertime when the windsurfing was good
    California would tax me for any income I earned while in California.
    Eventually I just gave up my California medical license

  51. “Asking these well-resourced Californians to give a little more to keep our people working and support our most vulnerable is the right thing to do.”

    This isn’t asking, this is demanding at the point of a gun. Government ain’t no charity.

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