Even though we're paying more than we did when I was a kid, it apparently isn't enough. Even in flush times, California plans to spend more than it takes in; when times get bad, like now, the state faces bankruptcy.
While our past several governors have flip-flopped between Democrat and Republican, both houses of our legislature have been run by Democrats for as long as I can remember. They truly are "tax and spend" liberals--as I pointed out, sales tax rates (as well as income taxes) have been raised significantly over the last few decades, and we're still spending more than we take in.
And the California Teachers Association wants to raise sales taxes even higher--to fund schools, of course:
As the ongoing state budget crisis forces billions of dollars in cuts to public education, the California Teachers Association today filed an initiative that would implement a one-cent sales tax to provide new, ongoing funding for public schools and colleges that cannot be cut, delayed or diverted by the governor or the Legislature.
Our state sales tax would go up to 8.25%, plus county taxes. This doesn't even take into account the sales tax and income tax increase that the governor and legislature are considering, as if, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, we could tax ourselves to prosperity. And this money is supposed to bring Shangri-La to our schools? I remember when lottery money was supposed to cause our schoolhouses to be lined with gold.
I wonder if California's voters would really approve this increase.