More than 80 percent of Americans want to tax the rich


Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is calling for an emergency surtax on millionaires as a way to combat the deficit. Which, of course, is a great idea. His colleague Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is on the same page. And the polls show that most of the country agrees with the concept; in fact, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll says that a staggering 81 percent of Americans think it's basically a good idea to increase taxes on incomes of more than $1 million a year.

I imagine that the population of San Francisco is somewhat more liberal on the issue of taxes than the nation as a whole, which leads me to believe that a very substantial percentage of the city's residents (including some of the very rich ones) was support increased local taxes that would require the wealthy to pay more to preserve city services.

There are, I'm sure, plenty of creative ways to do that. But it doesn't seem to be at the top of the budget discussion at City Hall.

I realize that it would require a two-thirds vote in November for any tax hikes -- unless the supervisors declared a financial emergency. And it certainly seems as if we're in a state of emergency -- and if the governor can't find a couple of Republicans to vote for his budget package, it's going to get much worse, very quickly.

If we can't do that, and we have to wait a year and do it next fall, we still ought to be starting now -- and the supervisors ought to be telling every community that's facing cuts that there won't be any more reductions without at least a plan for new revenue.

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