While taxes are not and never will be popular, the idea of taxing the rich does have some obvious appeal to everyone who is not rich. Oregon voters recently approved a tax hike for the wealthiest citizens, although a similar measure failed in Washington, where voters apparently saw a tax-the-rich ballot proposal as the nose of the income tax camel.
Meanwhile, states that have long relied on taxing the wealthy have been among the hardest-hit during the economic slump. Why? Because the incomes of the wealthy are the most volatile, dropping rapidly during stock market and real estate busts and thereby punching big holes in state budgets.
The Wall Street Journal offers this report centered on California.