Wednesday, May 20, 2009

California Voting

Californians went to the ballot box yesterday and figuratively smashed it over the heads of the state legislators.  By margins of over 60%, five out of six initiatives were resoundingly crushed by the tax-weary "Golden State" voters.  

No matter how hard the "Governator" tried to scare us with commercials of sad-looking firefighters talking about how screwed we would be if the props failed, we weren't buying it.  Or funding it.

Proposition 1A wanted to extend our "temporary" tax increase to "require a reserve" for the state.  So, why don't we already have one?  Or, as the creative folk songwriter might ask:

"Where have all the billions gone, long time spending?"  Umm, no.

Proposition 1B wanted to throw more money at our dysfunctional public school system.  No, again.  

Prop 1C was a real scream.  It wanted to "immediately borrow" money from the state lottery proceeds for the general fund.  Voters were shocked, shocked--and said NO.

Props D and E were on the ballot because they were previously-approved voter initiatives. Now, that's brave.  D wanted to take tobacco taxes that are approved to go for children's services, again shifting to the general fund, and E proposed transferring money approved for mental health services to that bottomless general fund.  Again, voters said NO and H*LL NO.

Proposition F was interesting.  It passed easily, the only surviving ballot measure.  Prop F forces legislators, including the governor, to forego pay increases when the budget is running a deficit.

Personally, I voted against F, also.  I was on a roll as I voted, filling in those "NO" blanks in a nice, symmetrical column, but that's only part of the reason.  If you need voters to pass a proposition to prevent you from giving yourself a raise when the state is bankrupt, then you're too stupid to be in government.

That's a conclusion that explains a lot.  Washington, take heed.