Jerry Brown campaigns for Prop. 30, attacks critics of state

Getty Images File PhotoGov. Jerry Brown spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Thursday in support of Proposition 30.

Gov. Jerry Brown came out swinging for Proposition 30 – the tax measure he’s backing on Tuesday’s ballot – and against people who have negative views of California during an appearance at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on Thursday.

Prop. 30 would raise the income tax for seven years on people who make more than $250,000 annually. The measure also would increase for four years the state sales tax by a quarter percent. The money would go to education and other needs.

Competing with it is Proposition 38, which would provide money for education by increasing the income tax on nearly all Californians.

Brown has been stumping statewide for Prop. 30 for the past few weeks.

The governor spoke in San Francisco as the latest Field Poll, released Thursday, showed support for Prop. 30 falling below 50 percent. But Brown said he believes in Prop. 30 passing and went on to decry much of the opposition against it, saying California is still one of the best places to live in the world.

“This is a vibrant, extraordinary place. One of the extraordinary pieces of real estate and collection of human beings in the whole world,” Brown said.

And the governor did not mince words about those who have a negative view of what is going on in the state either.

“These declinists, these dystopians as I like to call them, who have this noir view of California, they’re all wet, they don’t know what the hell they are talking about,” he said.

People who say they pay too much in taxes are, however, those who most oppose Prop. 30, according to the latest Field Poll. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said they pay more taxes than they should. Sixty-one percent of those people oppose the tax measure.

About 48 percent polled in the new survey also said the state can provide the same level of services if it cut $6 billion from the state budget instead of raising that amount in taxes.

Brown said the tax is needed since the state cannot continue to cut money to fix the problem.

“Make no mistake about it, there were big cuts,” Brown said of the budget reductions that have already been made.

He later said his office has cut its budget 25 percent, but that he personally believes everyone can cut a little more. Of his office, he said jokingly that “the rug’s falling apart; I’m eating day-old tuna sandwiches.”

Brown said the Prop. 30 tax is needed to fill in the money that has been cut from education during the last several years.

“Here we are in a time of need,” Brown said. “Those who have done the best, can’t they help us in a time of need?”

mbillings@sfexaminer.com

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