THE BLOG
07/20/2010 07:05 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dumb Blogger Apologizes to Future Governor Meg Whitman

I screwed up.

The other day I was writing about Meg Whitman -- who's running for governor because she refuses refuses refuses to let California fail -- and how her plans include a tax cut for the super rich that could cost the state between four and six billion dollars.

My first mistake right there: It could be ten billion dollars. Maybe more.

(She wants to get rid of the capital gains tax. A tax that raised $10.6 billion in 2000.)

The next mistake I made was about how much Meg Whitman would personally save. We can only guess, because she won't release her tax returns, but I figured it would be a lot, based on this chart:

Projected 2011 income tax on Californians making
over $43,000 from a "job":
9.3%

Projected 2011 income tax on Californians making
ten million dollars from a hot tip trading gold futures:
0.0%

In a metaphor that got, frankly, out of hand, I said that Meg Whitman, being a billionaire with a proven proclivity for stock fraud, might not have to pay any taxes at all. This was inaccurate and unfair.

The governor of California makes $175,000 a year. That's a salary. That's still taxable. If Meg Whitman gets elected, she'll be on the hook for $12,173 right there.

Also any money Meg Whitman has in municipal bonds or CDs or a savings account will still be taxed as income.

Meg Whitman owns a $20 million vacation home in Telluride called Skyline Ranch. Let's say she can't use it because she's too busy being governor, so she rents it to some college kids. That's rental income. That's not a capital gain. She'll have to pay taxes on that.

Meg Whitman was a director at Goldman Sachs for 15 months and got paid $450,000. If she took it all as a salary, and she was living in California, that wouldn't be a capital gain. She'd still pay taxes on it.

While she was at Goldman Sachs, she voted to give Henry Paulson a bonus of $11.5 million. That is a capital gain. He wouldn't be taxed.

In exchange, Goldman Sachs gave Whitman special access to 100 initial public offerings. Whitman bought them and resold them in 24 hours and made $1.78 million. That's also a capital gain. Under the old plan, she owed upwards of $165,000, before she gave the money back, so as to not go to prison. If she does that again, and doesn't get caught this time, and she's governor and passes her tax plan, her tax liability will be 0 dollars and 0 cents.

Just as well, really. We'd probably waste that money on firefighters.

--

Meg Whitman wants to fire 40,000 public servants to pay for her capital gains tax cut.

According to Citizens for Tax Justice, in 2007, 95 percent of Californians made 1 percent of their income from capital gains.

I don't have a joke for that. It's just something you should know.