California's tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation, is heavy. The Register reported that per-person state and local taxes, fees, licenses and "intergovernmental revenue" amount to $8,634, ranking California 13th-highest among the states. California businesses fare worse, the Tax Foundation said, ranking 48th in tax climate, based on corporate, income, sales, property and unemployment insurance taxes.
What's unsaid is the effect on individuals of extremely high corporate taxes. Companies not driven out of state or out of business are less likely to hire or expand, more likely to contract and struggle to provide for current employees.
But high taxes are needed to pay for leftist policies that interject government into private life, while heaping generous benefits on government workers who do the interjecting. Progressives, as they like to call themselves, seem oblivious to Big Government's damage.
We have a glimpse of where this leads. It's called Detroit.
Detroit is where "all the major economic planks of the statist or 'progressive' platform have been enacted," writes Jarrett Skorup of the Mackinac Center. "A 'living wage' ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors. A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average. A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members. Other government employee unions that do the same for their members. A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies."
Sound like California? What has all this done for Detroit, "dubbed the most liberal city in America"? Detroit in 1950 was America's wealthiest city on a per capita income basis. Today it's the second-poorest major city.
"[I]t is striking that the decline in per capita income is exactly what classical economists predict would occur when wage controls are imposed and taxes are increased," Skorup writes.
Despite progressivism's poisoned fruits on display, what does California do? Recent headlines trumpeted proposed tax increases of billions, additional "rights" for state government workers and clamoring for more tax subsidies for education and health care and, let us not forget, Gov. Jerry Brown's desire to squander billions on a high-speed train no serious analyst says can operate profitably, if it can even be built for its estimated $98.5 billion.