Rob Reiner's Hand in the Cookie Jar

Have you ever thought how nice it would be to have a little cash fund you could simply dip into whenever you were running a little short? Sure you have. The truth is most of us have.

Little Johnny’s been down sick with the flu, so you missed a couple days of work causing this weeks check to be short. No worries, Just take a little cash out of the fund. Lost your job to some third world country, not a problem. Unemployment run out? Piece of cake.

Money would never be an issue because there is always plenty in the cash fund. So hey, hakuna matata. No worries.

This is exactly what California voters will attempt to do this fall, the only difference is they will be dipping into someone else’s hard earned cash fund. Rob Reiner will propose a ballot measure, which would impose an additional 1.7 percent income tax on couples earning more than $800,000 and individuals earning more than $400,000. The projected $2.3 billion in revenues would go only toward funding his "preschool for all" program.

Reiner’s measure would tax California’s wealthiest families to offer every 4-year-old a year of free instruction in preschools that meet certain standards, including having curriculum based on statewide learning standards. This new tax would affect approximately 5% of California’s taxpayers.

Just last year Proposition 63 was passed by California voters to expand mental health services in California with taxpayers who make over $1 million a year footing the bill Proposition 63 targeted a narrow segment of the population with a special 1% tax. Despite taxpayer groups strongly opposing the proposition, mental illness advocates enthusiastically endorsed the measure, which passed by a margin of 53.6% for and 46.2% against.

If Reiners bill passes (and why wouldn’t it? It’s like voting yourself a raise or having an unlimited cash fund at your disposal) we could see more Robin Hood bills, such as these in the near future as states scramble to pay for their burgeoning budgets.

The problem is two-fold.

-Those in the upper-tax brackets are sorely outnumbered by us poor working stiffs, so they really don’t have a prayer of hanging onto to their own wallets.

-While we have our hands in their pockets, the rest of us had better keep a hand on our own because those taxbrackets have a way of creeping downward really quickly.