California's financial situation is precarious, but back-door tax hikes aren't the way to fix it.

California's Democratic leaders were planning a vote today on a brazen proposal to raise gas, sales and income taxes through a series of legal maneuvers that would bypass the Legislature's minority Republicans.

The Democratic gambit, announced Wednesday, would raise $9.3 billion to ease the state's fiscal crisis by increasing sales taxes by three-fourths of a cent and gas taxes by 13 cents a gallon, starting in February. The plan would add a surcharge of 2.5% to everyone's 2009 state income tax bill.

The rumble you hear is the stampede of productive people fleeing the state.

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