Once Calif. Gov, Whitman Will Give Herself Tax Cut


One thing you’ve got to say about Meg Whitman, California’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, she sure knows how to make money. She amassed more than a billion dollars despite a not-so-shining track record as CEO of eBay, board member of Goldman Sachs and other corporate stops.

Now, she stands to add to that fortune and maybe replenish her personal coffers after dumping some $141.6 million of her own money into her campaign to buy the election.

One of  her cornerstone economic proposals is elimination of California’s capital gains tax. If elected and able to abolish the tax that mainly benefits the mega-wealthy, Whitman could net some $40 million during a four-year term as governor, according a new report. Now that’s making money the old fashioned Republican way—tax breaks for the super rich.

Whitman has refused to answer questions about how much she might profit from the tax cut, but the report from the California Tax Reform Association (click here) answers the question. Based on public information and required disclosure forms, the report estimates she could earn more than $10 million a year.

The analysis shows Whitman would have a state tax savings of between $2,060,000 and $10,300,000 each year following normal gains on a portfolio of her size. Over a four-year term, her tax savings could reach more than $40 million. Says Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation:

Meg Whitman’s proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax will benefit Meg Whitman and a handful of the other richest Californians, and will eliminate $4.5 billion from the state budget every year. The painful mathematics of the budget is that every dollar cut is a decrease in the quality of life for Californians.

To pay for her tax breaks for the rich, Whitman is proposing massive cuts that impact schools, public safety and programs for the state’s most vulnerable. Says Pulaski:

We know that the future of our schools, of our jobs and our whole state are on the line this November.

State Senator Leland Yee says the loss of capital gains revenue from the wealthiest Californians would blow a hole in the already underwater state budget.

What I see from Whitman is a one-sided solution to our budget problems:  to enrich the rich and further cut from our children’s education, from the poor and from people who need our help the most. We cannot have another eight years of dramatic cuts off of the backs of our children, so we have to clearly understand what we face in the upcoming election.

Click here for more on the report from Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the California Tax Reform Association on the California Labor Federation’s Labor’s Edge blog.


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