May 18, 2009

Voter Guide 09

Or Craig contemplates a shit sandwich.

In California we throw special elections and pass around ballot measures with the smallest excuse, and the current budget is certainly good enough. All the ballot measures are budget related, and none of them are good. They are all “bad” or “worse” kind of choices. There’s no “the lady or the tiger” choices. More like “the jackal or the tiger”

Here we go:

Prop 1A- Here’s the heart of the matter. Budget spending caps and a bigger rainy day fund in exchange for revenue, i.e. taxes. Look, California is in the hole, budget-wise. You can fight a lot of things, but you can’t fight math. And don’t give me that crap about how we can just target waste. Cutting the budget means cutting cops, prisons, schools, and firefighters. It means fewer teachers, longer response times and more criminals on the streets. Or you can raise taxes. Remember what I said about no lady being available. That’s what we have to pick from. The budget is going to get cut. Sure as sunrise. But with this measure, your taxes go up and we don’t have to cut as much. Suck it up. The Chant recommends Yes.

Prop 1B – More ballot bugeting of the same flavor that helped get us into this mess. More money to teachers. Not a bad thing, but not what we need right now. The Chant recommends No.

Prop 1C – Sale of Future Lottery revenue. No, No, No. This is basically a deal to borrow against future earnings from the California Lottery. More trouble down the road. We could use the money, but its like eating your seed corn. The Chant recommends No.

Props 1D and 1E – Stealing candy from babies. Or rather, taking money locked up for children’s health care and mental health services by previous ballot measures and giving it to the general fund. A small way out of the handcuffs the ballot measure process has put us in. Ugly, but needed. The Chant recommends Yes.

Prop 1F- Limits on legislator’s pay if a budget isn’t passed. Because the original idea, that we take one legislator at random each day the budget is late and beat them in the public square wouldn’t pass Constitutional muster. Look, if the California Assembly and Senate were filled with 120 angels straight from heaven, pure of heart and noble of intention, we would still have late budgets and a mess. This is a bad system. The 2/3rd vote requirement, all the restrictions the props put on the process – it’s a bad system. The legislators are only human. The Chant recommends No.

1 comment:

Laura said...

NO, NO, NO on 1D and 1E. Not yes, no!! There is little enough funding sent here as it is. The tiny bit that can be trimmed isn't going to give us huge gains to help the budget mess. Californians, Americans in general really, need to suck it up and pay for these services. Because not paying for mental health care means the mentally ill somehow get even less access to the already limited help available. People who can't get meds end up committing crime and overburdening the already burdened judicial system. Better a bit of prevention in the form of lithium or trazadone prescriptions than paying for a lifetime of care in a state mental hospital. The same goes with health care. What you're talking about cutting is well child visits for poor uninsured children. So fewer children get the preventive care they need and end up with larger health issues that cost the state even more.

NO, NO, NO on Prop 1D and 1E!!