After telling 200,000 state workers that the budget impasse means they have to start working at minimum wage
, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger finally realized that the state must raise revenue. Trouble is, he wants a temporary 1% hike on the sales tax. Because the poor spend a far greater portion of their income on everyday expenses, this is one of the most regressive ways to raise revenue. The burden is already high – because many counties (in order to save needed services after decades of neglect at the federal and state levels) have their own sales tax above what the state charges. In its coverage
of this latest outrage, the San Francisco Chronicle described the budget impasse as being between Arnold and “the Democrat-controlled Legislature” – although the Republican minority is to blame for blocking the budget (which requires a two-thirds vote) because they refuse to support any tax increase whatsoever.