In 1978, anti-taxation extremists managed to get a California ballot measure, Proposition 13, passed, and with it, they managed to effectively end the ability of cities to provide services to their residents, by capping property tax at 1% of their cash values, and limiting property tax increases to the lower of the annual inflation or 2%.
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As Russell Brandom writes, "before 1976, corporate tax returns were broadly considered part of the public record" and there's been bipartisan support since for mandating that big companies show us how they're structuring their earnings (this was especially urgent after the Enron scandal).
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In this widely circulated video from the campaign trail, Massachusetts Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, explains the taxation bargain that the state strikes with its citizens: in order to allow entrepreneurs to thrive, the state pays for police (to create stable property relationships), education (to create skilled workforces) and infrastructure (to create the means for commerce to flow). In exchange, those who thrive on the fruit of the state's investments are taxed a fraction of their earnings to pay for more of this sort of thing so the next generation of businesspeople can benefit from them too.
Most economists acknowledge that property relationships are a creation of the state (though some disagree), and therefore the rich only exist because the state has provided them with a subsidy, so it's only fair for them to repay some of that subside to pave the way for future growth.
Elizabeth Warren on Debt Crisis, Fair Taxation
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