Taxes and Public Needs

By Sharon Magidson

Editor -- Louis Freedberg's Personal Perspective column, "The taboo on taxes" (March 7), is almost right on the money. Both major parties are shying away from any type of tax increases. Legislators from both parties fear they will lose at the next election if they suggest any type of new tax.

But what legislators and Freedberg fail to address is that it might not be taxation so much as taxation without representation that has created this situation.

If Californians were to adopt publicly financed elections, we might have legislators who respond to the real needs of the citizens of the state rather than legislators who are compelled to spend their time creating legislation to satisfy corporate and special interests so as to have the enormous amount of funding now required to run their campaigns.

It's even possible that new taxes would not be required if legislators were able to concentrate on legislation that is desired by those they are supposed to represent. Voters might actually vote for increased taxes if we had legislators who were working for the people who elect them rather than for the people who pay for their campaigns.

New taxes may be part of the solution to resolving California's budget crisis, but publicly financed elections (using money from some dedicated source rather than tapping the general fund) would assure that we don't have a never-ending budget crisis, and that we truly have a representative democracy.

See the article on San Francisco Chronicle website

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