The PJ Tatler

New York Times: CA Tax Assault On Wealthy Ain't No Big Thing

It’s cool, David Geffen is OK with it.

With the new year, big earners are confronting a 51.9 percent federal-state income tax hit on earnings over $1 million, the result of a confluence of new tax-the-rich levies imposed by California and Congress in the closing days of 2012. That is officially the highest in the nation. And at 13.3 percent, the top-tier California income tax is, in addition to being higher than any other state, the steepest it has been since World War II.

Though no one expects traffic jams at 30,000 feet as panicked millionaires make for the state line, the wealthy are once again grumbling about abandoning California for less punishing tax climates. Phil Mickelson, the golfer who collects purses in excess of $1 million, suggested that he might become the latest in a line of athletes and entertainment figures, among them Tiger Woods, who left California for states like Florida, which has no personal income tax.

It may very well be that the very wealthy here may not flee in droves, and the article’s general tone is that everything is going to be OK. It’s a gloss-over for the real problem: middle class business people are being squeezed out of existence because their tax and regulatory burdens are oppressive (I set up an LLC here 2 years ago, believe me, I know whence I speak.). And taxing all of the uber-wealthy here to death isn’t going to change that.