Thursday, July 14, 2011

Republicans raise taxes in California


   The  12 % tuition increases passed on Tuesday at the CSU added to the prior 10% increase, as well as the expected increase in tuition at the U.C. are tax increases imposed upon students and their families by the Republican strategy in the legislature of no new taxes- on corporations and the rich.  But, yes new taxes ( called tuition) on students.  Students are correctly offended by this tax increase.   So, Republicans are in favor of raising some taxes, just not taxes on the business community and their constituents.
    The  tax increases ( tuition increases) were decided upon by the Board of  Trustees, but forced upon the CSU by the economic collapse of 2008 when the banking industry took some 13 Trillion $ from the U.S. economy.  The economic collapse engineered by Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others, created the foreclosure crisis, the loss of jobs and homes, and  led directly to a drop in the state sales tax and property taxes which in turn produced a 150  million dollar budget cut to the universities. – Thus the tution increases.
  Lilian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association described the decision this way,
“The devastating cuts contained in this budget are a direct result of the unwillingness of legislative Republicans to allow the people of California to vote on tax extensions. While these Republicans proudly proclaim that they held the line on taxes, they also opened the door for a middle class tax increase that targets working families throughout the state in the form of higher student fees for the CSU.
“As we have seen year after year, it’s the students and the working families – in Republican and Democratic districts alike – who will pay the price for these cuts. According to CSU officials, this fall students could be paying fees that are 23% higher than they were this year; an additional 12% increase means that student fees will have increased 283% since 2002.”
The trustees blamed the tuition increase - the second in less than a year - on a $650 million reduction in their state funding for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
CSU receives about the same state funding as it did in 1998, yet educates about 72,000 more students  The trustees blamed the tuition increase - the second in less than a year - on a $650 million reduction in their state funding for the 2011-12 fiscal year., said Robert Turnage, assistant vice chancellor  for budget  in the CSU in the S.F. Chronicle.

    In addition to the tuition increases at the CSU and the UC campuses, the state  budget agreement produced a $10 per unit increase in community college fees plus a probable additional $10 per unit fee increase if the target budget revenues are not achieved.

  Republican anti tax policy, along with Democratic Party ineptness, have ended California’s   60 year old commitment to low cost public higher education.  See, the post “The Republicans won the budget battle”, below.  This low cost higher education was a major instrument in creating the California economic miracle that is now being destroyed.
Who are these students who will be forced to pay more.  The typical student at the CSU is some 26 years old and works for a living.  These are the people who will pay more taxes. 
   In an increasingly bad job market,  young workers are pushed into private, for profit “career colleges” with programs in nursing assistants, medical office transcription, computer repair, and similar “studies”  as an alternative to low cost public education.   Students in these programs increasingly pay up to $20,000 per year for training, leave the “college” with high debts of $30,000 - $60,000 per year with limited employment opportunities and few options to improve their salaries to a level sufficient to pay off these  loans.  It is a new form of exploitation of working people much as homeowners were taken in by temporarily “low” cost loans in the housing market.  It is another “bubble” economy exploiting and profiting from working people.

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