California's gas, sales and income taxes are already among the highest in the nation. Just 1 percent of California taxpayers are already providing 45 percent of the state's income tax revenue. And such income taxes now fund half the budget. But unfortunately, in recent years the number of upper-income earners in California has radically shrunk -- by a third between 2007 and 2009 alone. Apparently, wealthy Californians are either fleeing to nearby no-income-tax states or have become less well-off after years of economic downturn, higher taxes, and overregulation of business.
The once-utopian visions of 1970s California -- unionized public employees, more state lands off limits, more regulations, higher taxes on the wealthy, vastly expanded social services, de facto open borders -- have at last mostly come true, but apparently not in the fashion anticipated by most Californians of those long-ago times.