Monday, May 26, 2008


The first thing my parents taught me about politics was, Never cross a union picket line.

The second thing they taught me was, Republicans support regressive taxes and Democrats favor progressive taxes.

Yet, it seems that almost all SF opiners who call themselves “progressive” support Proposition A, a “special” parcel tax that supports general non-capital operating expenses for San Francisco’s public schools.

These “progressives” seem not to notice that some of their usual villains also support Proposition A, which would add $198.00 to every property tax bill in the city.

The owner of the largest office building downtown would pay an extra $198.00 per year, to rise with inflation. The owner of the biggest mansion in Pacific Heights would also pay the extra $198.00.

Likewise the young couple who are already struggling to meet the mortgage on their tiny fixer-upper in the Bayview will also pay the additional $198.00.

The public school teacher (more likely two of them married) trying to own a home in San Francisco will also pay the same additional $198.00.

Why the heck would Warren Hellman and Donald Fisher bankroll the campaign to pass this textbook example of regressive taxation? Because they support public education?

More likely it’s because they support the principle of regressive taxation, per se, and want to see as much of it as possible.

Later on my parents taught me, All taxes are fungible.

I understand this to mean that once a governments gets their hands on tax revenue they do whatever the hell they want with it.

So, when they want to raise taxes the government pushes forward a simpatico government program, such as teachers, or baby hospitals.

Then they tell us they really really really need $1,100,000.00 for a ten foot wheelchair ramp (indoor).

Or that Gavin really really really needs four six-figure (campaign) consultants and the money should come out of Muni, because, I guess, it’s all about transportation anyway, transporting Gavin’s ass to Sacramento.

Board of Education President Eric Mar, (who tried to scuttle JROTC and put the kids who found safety there back in general population) is running for Supervisor sometime soon.

Chief pro-Prop A contributor, Don Fisher is trying to ripoff a prominent part of the Presidio to house his completely unspectacular (I’m told) modern art collection.

Assuming Prop A goes through, we’ll want to track Eric Mar’s position on Fisher’s land grab.

So I guess our brave new century has spawned a new kind of progressive, a “parcel-tax progressive.” Not exactly like a Margaret Thatcher liberal, but sort of.

BTW: The ballot statement in favor of the Proposition-A parcel tax, which is signed by Gavin Newsom, the school board, the C of C, the teachers’ union and some parents group, contains this astounding claim:

Voting YES will ensure that we have a quality teacher with the proper qualifications, training, and support in every San Francisco classroom.

I guess the people who believe this statement could also be persuaded that a parcel tax is a fair way to finance government.

Warren Hellman believes in regressive taxation, as does Don Fisher. At least they don’t call themselves “progressives.”

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Jerry Jarvis said...

I vote by mail and i assure you that I voted no for this tax. You have given me the assurance that I need to know that I voted proper. My main reason I didn't vote for this is because of the way the school boars handled jrotc. Being a former student of the jrotc I learn many life skills that came in handy later in life. As an un-ruley child I gained discipline, and respect for others.

sfwillie said...

Thanks for your comment, Jerry.

Your story is touching.

I'm glad to know I'm in good company, such as yourself.

Jerry Jarvis said...

I'm not anti-military just anti-miss use of the military. Which is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. My belief in the proper uses of the military would follow the lines of protecting our shore and only to be deployed to help other countries in aiding in the times of natural disaster. Switzerland never deploys. What has happened is that our country has become to accustom to dependency of oil as an economic cursor. If this country had been exploring energy alt's at the same time we were using are current energy source we wouldn't be where we are today trying to make catch up.

Anonymous said...

I second Jerry. I've argued for years that the U.S. is too eager to dispatch young lives to small, defenseless nations like Grenada. Iraq was never a threat. r.s.