Gov. Jerry Brown said in a television interview this morning that passage of his initiative to raise taxes has national implications, with California at the start of a broader movement to increase taxes on the rich.
"Revenue means taxes, and certainly those who have been blessed the most, who have disproportionately extracted, by whatever skill, more and more from the national wealth, they're going to have to share more of that," Brown said in a taped interview on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley. "And everyone is going to have to realize that building roads is important, investing in schools is important, paying for the national defense is important, biomedical research is important, the space program is an indicator of the world leader - all that takes money."
The Democratic governor's remarks follow passage last week of Proposition 30, his initiative to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California's highest earners. Brown was governor before when the state passed its landmark tax-limiting measure, Proposition 13, in 1978.
"California was the start of the tax-cut sweep," Crowley said "Do you think California's the start of a tax increase sweep?"
"Yeah, I do," Brown said. "I was here in 1978, when (Proposition 13 backer) Howard Jarvis beat the entire establishment, Republican and Democrat, because the property taxes had just gotten out of control. Now the cutting, the cutting and the deficits are out of control. Our financial health, our credibility ... as a nation that can govern itself, is on the chopping block."
Brown said he does not see a need for further tax increases in California. He said if the economic recovery is "decent" and he and the Legislature "exercise restraint," the state can balance its budget and fund its major responsibilities.
Of Brown's prediction that other states are poised to follow California's vote on taxes, the evidence is not yet clear. Forbes has this rundown on the mixed results of tax measures on ballots throughout the nation last week.