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Rob Reiner Watch: Tax the Rich for Pre-School

The Meathead, Rob Reiner, wants to tax the rich for pre-school. The Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton has Pols Pass Up a Pot of Gold as Rob Reiner Takes the Initiative.

There’s a gleaming pot of gold within easy grasp of the governor and Legislature that would help them balance the state’s deficit-ridden books. But it’s looking like the governor’s friend, filmmaker Rob Reiner, will beat the pols to the pot.

This is about using it or losing it.

t is an income tax increase on the wealthiest Californians — individuals earning more than $400,000; couples making above $800,000. That’s the top 1%. Their tax rate would be hiked from the current 9.3% to 11%, where Govs. Pete Wilson and Ronald Reagan also raised it for a while to erase deficits. It would generate $2.3 billion annually.

Reiner doesn’t want to use the new money to staunch budget-bleeding. He is targeting it for another worthy cause: voluntary preschool for all 4-year-olds.

The California state budget continues unbalanced and was only balanced last year by taxpayers voting bonded indebtedness (Proposition 57, March 2004) to help Governor Schwarzenegger balance the books.

Now, leftie Rob Reiner comes along with another tax increase and redistribution of income scheme.

Tax the rich and make them pay for an eductional worthy cause. This sounds great and his initiative may pass but who ultimatley pays the bill…….. yep, all Californians not just the rich in the new 11% bracket.

Under Reiner’s initiative, beginning in 2010, every 4-year-old would be eligible for free half-day preschool, in a public or private institution that met quality standards. Starting in fall 2006, kids in the lowest-performing school districts would be eligible.

But if everybody’s going to benefit, why tax just the rich?

“It’s a revenue stream that hasn’t been tapped,” Reiner says. “It’s accessible….

“This is such a minor tax for people in my bracket that it’s not even something you’d notice.”

Redistribution envy.

And who will pay for the California deficit when the Governor and Legislature do not have this accessible stream of taxes?

All of us – Meathead!

Schwarzenegger is promising to protect people against tax increases. “The choice is simple: Pass Prop. 76 or face higher taxes,” the governor writes in a ballot pamphlet argument for his spending cap initiative that would reduce school funding guarantees.

But the people favor raising income taxes — at least on rich people — for schools.

The problem is, ballot-box budgeting is not good government. It reduces the flexibility of elected representatives to deal with state problems, to choose priorities.

If voters fail to approve Proposition 76 this November income and other state taxes will increase. There will be few alternatives to balance the state budget.

Flap supposes Reiner’s initiative will be another such tax.

Ho Hum.

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