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Presidential Fundraising Makes Case for Taxes on the California Rich

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President Obama arrives in California this week for fundraising in the Bay Area and Beverly Hills -- on top of a week of fundraising here by his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

Both men are expected to be back again in California over the next few months, blocking traffic at inconvenient times.

You'll hear a lot about the politics and importance of fundraising. But let's look at it in a practical way.

Both of these men -- whatever you think of their politics -- are hurting California, by taking tens (maybe hundreds) of millions of dollars out of our cash-strapped state.

Both candidates, after all, are going to do their campaign spending in battleground states, not California.

If that's not an argument for higher taxes on the richest Californians, I don't know what is. The state is strapped for cash, so why not grab that money before Obama and Romney grab it and take it away?

Of course, you shouldn't look for Gov. Jerry Brown or civil rights lawyer Molly Munger or other backers of tax hike to make this argument.

Why not, you ask?

Because they need political donations from those very same political givers to fund their own initiatives and campaigns.

But that shouldn't stop the rest of us.

Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).

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