Homelessness has become an epidemic in San Francisco, but the Bay City liberals have a solution: Increase taxes on any business headquartered in the city that makes more than $50 million a year. As voters gear up to vote on the measure, named Proposition C, in November, Twitter emerges once again as the platform of billionaire buffoonery.
Local businessman and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff is one of the primary supporters of Prop C, and has spent more than a million dollars of his own money in lobbying and advertisements to advance the cause. When Twitter’s Jack Dorsey – another leftist billionaire with a business headquartered in San Fran – tweeted that he didn’t think Prop C was the answer, Benioff made it personal.
Hi Jack. Thanks for the feedback. Which homeless programs in our city are you supporting? Can you tell me what Twitter and Square & you are in for & at what financial levels? How much have you given to heading home our $37M initiative to get every homeless child off the streets?
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) October 12, 2018
Dorsey claims his concern is that, if the millions already being spent aren’t solving the issue, leeching yet more millions from the businesses headquartered in the city probably won’t help either. Instead, he proposes that Bay City folk should trust in the mayor, who was only recently elected, but promised to address the homelessness problem as well as to investigate where the money currently slated for helping the homeless is actually going.
Benioff and his supporters claim Dorsey is just trying to avoid the 0.5% increase in taxes that Twitter would be forced to pay. Who knows? That might just be the real reason behind Jack’s apparent spontaneous development fiscally conservative values. But Benioff has been fairly successful in changing the topic of the argument from whether increasing taxes is the best way to help the homeless to whether the homeless matter and should be helped at all – a classic straw man.
What’s Better than Taxes?
Regardless of Jack Dorsey’s true motives – or whether SF Mayor London Breed will prove worthy of Jack’s trust – the man does make a good point. Raising taxes doesn’t tend to help the poor.
Raising taxes doesn’t tend to help the poor.
Sure, it might result in an increase in housing or SNAP funds, but once businesses start laying folks off to protect the bottom line and those at or near the poverty level who don’t lose their jobs are taxed to the point they can’t afford to live without social welfare programs, we end up with many more recipients than there were before. Is anyone’s life actually improved by this?
Benioff spent over $1 million to try to push for this progressive tax – which, to be fair, would hit his business too. But how much good could his million have done had he applied it directly to helping the homeless? How many meals or new outfits could he provide – how many homeless could he house? With the cost of living in San Francisco, his million doesn’t go as far as it would in most parts of the country, but then, he has another commodity he can offer to the homeless – as does Dorsey.
Benioff boasts of being San Francisco’s largest employer – and claims that homelessness is “all of our responsibility.” He claims to be part of the solution, but paying 0.5% more in taxes isn’t the solution that will deliver lasting change to the homeless in San Francisco; employment is. How many could the likes of Marc Benioff and Jack Dorsey help off the streets through hiring the homeless, then feeding, clothing, and housing the new workers long enough to get their feet under them? Probably quite a few – but virtue signaling by volunteering to pay half a percent more in taxes is much easier.