Yachts versus California education

The governor of California is getting heat after he declared he wanted to cut millions from the state education budget.

He has recommended a $4.8 billion cut for K-14 education, on top of a $400 million reduction for education in the current year. The net effect is about $750 less per student than K-12 education would normally receive or about $18,750 per classroom.

He is laying off teachers (while other states hire them away), increasing their workloads and closing libraries. In the meantime, he has not acted to close tax loopholes that allow for exotic luxury goods. Good governance? Here’s an ad that tries to put the situation in perspective:

Just one bottle of champagne to celebrate? That seems unusually stingy to me. An accountant at a boat show explained the loopholes and why they matter:

“I would imagine that most of the people with boats over 50 or 60 feet are probably working some kind of tax dodge,” agreed Jimmy James, a semiretired certified public accountant from Kingston who has advised many boat owners. “People with enough money to buy those boats got there by having tax dodges.” […] IRS officials said they don’t keep track of how much money the government could collect if these deductions were eliminated. Conservatively, the annual total could approach $1 billion.

That is a lot of education.

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