The progressive movement suffered a major defeat this Tuesday when California voters rejected all five tax raising measures on the ballot, four out of five of them by nearly 2-to-1 margins. The vote clearly shows that even in one of the most liberal states in the nation, there is an upper limit to how high Americans are willing to be taxed.

The response from the new online left has been largely mute, but Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum did try and spin the defeat this way:

Historically, California has been a high tax/high service state. That’s fine. Some states prefer a low tax/low service model. That’s fine too. (It’s a lousy idea, I think, but fiscally it’s fine.) But over the past few decades we Californians have somehow concluded that we can be a medium tax/high service state. It’s a fantasy.

The only fantasy here is that California is a “medium tax” state. While it is true that Proposition 13 has limited property tax collections, Californians still paid a combined $1,030.60 in per capita state and local property taxes. According to the Tax Foundation, this places them 28th highest nationally. But property taxes are just one source of state revenue. In other taxing categories, California either leads the league or is in the top 10 nationally, including:

So if low taxes are not to blame for California’s huge deficits, what is? Spending. The Reason Foundation’s Adam Summers details California’s government spending explosion:

When Gov. Pete Wilson took office in 1991, the state budget was $51.4 billion. When he left eight years later, it was $75.3 billion. After five years of Gov. Davis’s administration, the budget had jumped to $104.2, and after another five years under the stewardship of Gov. Schwarzenegger, it has continued to increase significantly to its present level of $144.5 billion. In just the last 10 years state spending has nearly doubled, increasing approximately 92 percent.

Already California’s leaders are pressing the Obama administration for a federal bailout to cover their massive deficits. Don’t expect spending cuts to be part of any Obama plan to fix the Golden State.

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