Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Cheek of the Thing

If you weren't paying close attention, you probably think that the CA budget impasse was "resolved" last week after the Governator and the Dems in the legislature found the mythical "third republican vote." Not true. In order for the funding to work, we have to vote on no less than FIVE propositions that will revise previous propositions and parts of the state constitution. Some of these would require the raising of taxes, if they pass. So, in order to make sure things go off without a hitch, the proposition's drafters are simply leaving out any references to the tax hikes in the ballot summaries, which are the only parts of the proposition that the average voters reads: 

the tax hikes that are a big part of the package somehow failed to make their way into print in the ballot summary that voters will see when they go to the polls in a special election May 19.

In all, voters are being asked by the governor and Legislature to approve six measures to fix the state's $41 billion budget problem.

One of the big ones is Proposition 1A, which - in addition to setting a state spending cap - calls for extending a temporary 1-cent-per-dollar increase in the state sales tax, a near-doubling of the vehicle license fee and a hike in the state personal income tax.

But you wouldn't know that by reading the measure's summary. It says of Prop. 1A: "Stabilizes state budget. Reforms California budget process. Limits state spending. Increases 'rainy day' budget stabilization fund."

The only mention of the dreaded "T" word comes in a reference to the measure providing "higher state revenues of roughly $16 billion" from 2010 to 2013.

Keep in mind, this is the state government that is doing this. To be more specific, it is the state attorney general and the majority party in the Legislature - Democrats all - along with a tiny handful of turncoats in the GOP. If this were a contract, it would be unenforceable for being based on a fraudulent misrepresentation of the facts. And yet, we never hear about Democrat lies in the media. 

I've asked this before: what happens if even one of these propositions fails to pass? Each one needs to pass in order for the numbers to work (hey, don't blame me. I have never gone along with the CA habit of budgeting by proposition). If they don't then it's crisis time again. 

I, for one, will vote "NO" on all of them. At least three would result in the diversion of $$ away from K-12 education. Do the proponents of these propositions think these will pass easily? 

We have tried to negotiate our way out of this by chasing the "last Republican vote" up and down the State Capitol. Now the gov't is trying to hustle the voters at the ballot box. If that fails, I maybe we'll finally take a long hard look at the Armageddon option. 

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