Monday, April 27, 2009

California Special Election May 19 

The geniuses in Sacramento have mandated a special election for May 19, 2009 to vote on a package of propositions that supposedly will help the state government balance its budget in the near term and place restrictions on spending and create a "rainy day fund" in the out years, as well as juggle money between accounts for education, children's services and mental health services. The final proposition, 1F, prevents pay raises for legislators and statewide government officers in years when the state is running a deficit.

After careful consideration, I'm going to vote NO on everything except 1F.

This may create more havoc in Sacramento, or it may not, (IMHO things can't get much worse). I don't care. I don't trust the state government, especially the legislature, where something like 80 percent of the seats are "safe" due to gerrymandering. Every time in the past the voters have approved a trade off of higher taxes for supposed caps or restrictions on spending, the true genius of the politicians has surfaced and the taxes go up, but strangely enough the caps and restrictions turn out to be ineffectual for one reason or another. Moreover, when the increased taxes are sold as temporary, they turn out to be permanent. The one effort to rein in the tax-and-spenders that was successful was Prop. 13 back in 1978. I am not going to vote for any measure that raises taxes in any form unless and until the state government first bites the bullet and both cuts spending in a meaningful way and removes many mandates on local governments and school districts as to how money must be spent.

By "cut spending" I don't mean the typical politician's definition of a "cut" being not raising spending as much as originally proposed; I mean "cut" defined as "spending less in absolute dollars than you're spending now."

We will not see any progress in Sacramento unless and until the gerrymandering of legislative districts is done away with and most, if not all, of the districts become competitive between the parties.

If it takes a state constitutional convention to achieve this, so be it. But I'm not holding my breath.

It seems that our society is speeding like a freight train toward something that looks like the society described in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", which was written in 1957 and seems to be enjoying a revival (#38 on Amazon's Best Seller list at this writing). If that's where we're headed, God help us, because I don't see any brave industrialists who are "going John Galt." What I do see is Tim Geithner as the real-life Wesley Mouch.

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