Wednesday, November 7, 2012

California Votes to Become France + Greece

If conservative Californians didn't think the sweep of statewide offices by progressive Democrats in 2010 wasn't bad enough, yesterday was worse.

For all practical purposes, the state of California voted to become France + Greece - a Euro-statist entity that has decided to accelerate down the path of fiscal irresponsibility in the name of 'social justice' and 'fairness'.

California has been heading down this path pretty much since Jerry Brown's first term as Governor in 1975.  The recall of Grey Davis in 2003 did little to halt the embracing of the progressive statist agenda - and California seems to be right back at the forefront the country in terms of the sense of entitlement, embracing 'social justice', and the fallacy of government enforced 'fairness'.

Despite running $16-$25 billion annual deficits, government spending running 30% more today than it did in 2003, and the size and scope of government also being nearly a third larger than it was a decade ago, a majority of Californians not only embraced Proposition 30 - advertised as a tax increase on the rich for the benefit of education - but appears to have provided a super-majority of progressive votes in the State Senate and Assembly which permits the Legislature to pass tax increases without requiring a single Republican vote.

The two-thirds majority requirement for tax increases has vexed the progressives for years.  They blamed the economic challenges of the state on inadequate revenues caused by not getting needed tax increases - while ignoring the effects of increased government spending and ever increasing 'paybacks' to the public sector unions in the guise of jobs, wages, benefits, and pensions.

The lock has been taken off the cookie jar - and a ladder has been conveniently placed nearby to facilitate access to that cookie jar.

Governor Brown, faced with $16B to $25B in annual budget deficits [and this is before the $100 billion boondoggle known as high speed rail], and seeking to increase revenues, embarked on the farce known as Proposition 30.  The goal of Prop 30 - to raise $8.5 billion in additional revenues for the state coffers to offset the current annual budget deficit.  In fact, not only would it offset a deficit double the size of the expected revenue increase - it would also restore $6 billion in funding to education - funding the state pulled back because it was more important to use those funds to reward public sector unions and their workers than to use for students.

How would these revenues be raised?  Why, mainly on the backs of the 'wealthy' - as well as a 0.5% increase in the nation's largest state sales tax [which is paid by everyone].

If Prop 30 wouldn't get passed - the Governor promised not to cut redundant government programs and agencies, not cut government staffing and overreach, not cut government salaries, pensions, and benefits - but cut further funds to the school districts in the state - and close all schools 3 weeks earlier.

Yes, we were extorted to pass Prop 30 or else the school-aged children in the state would get it.  Nearly 60% of the State decided to vote to pay the bill - because we were told it's only affecting the 'wealthy'.

But since Prop 30 isn't enough to really address the size and scope of the state's fiscal irresponsibility-  more 'revenues' will be needed.  Prop 39 - a new tax on multistate businesses operating in CA was also passed - this is 'promised' to raise another $1 billion in new revenues.   But we're still short - so we're likely to see this fiscal year an effort to end Prop 13 - and the cap it imposes on property taxes as well as more income tax increases and fee increases.

Who will stop Excremento?   The voter no longer has a recourse as the fiscal conservatives are well outnumbered in CA.  In fact, the only remaining course for many in the middle class and upper middle class who will be the next tax targets is to flee the state for one of the few remaining red states that are not embracing progressivism, entitlementism, or statism.

Over the last five years - California has lost several million of the middle class / upper middle class to other states - as well as thousands of businesses.  The tax base has shrunk because those coming into California are immigrants and generally low income people.  Tax revenues shrink - increasing the pressure for more revenues - which drives more people out - shrinking tax revenues.

California owes more than any other state in the union.  It's debt service costs are the highest of any state.  It has the most resources, but between environmentalism and excessive regulations / fees, they are far underdeveloped.  But it can still borrow money.  It can still cook the fiscal books.  It can now pass even more taxes, oops, I'm sorry, revenue enhancement plans.  And if all else fails - it can get a bail out from the US government - just like GM, Chrysler, AIG, and Goldman Sachs.

Where's the downside?

There is none - California has become Greece + France.

Isn't it ironic that it rushes down this path even as Greece + France are failing?  But then reality doesn't come into play when people want stuff and things - including entitlements from the government.  Traditional American values are becoming extinct within America - and California, once again, is leading the way.

Summary of California's Propositions -

Prop 30 - Tax increase on wealthy / state sales tax increase - Passed
Prop 31 - Reform of State Local Government Budgets - Rejected
Prop 32 - End Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction - Rejected
Prop 33 - Auto Insurance Rates based on Driver History - Rejected
Prop 34 - Repeal of Death Penalty - Rejected
Prop 35 - Increased Human Trafficking Penalties - Passed
Prop 36 - Weaken Three Strikes Law - Passed
Prop 37 - Food Labeling - Rejected
Prop 38 - Tax increase across the board - Rejected
Prop 39 - Multistate Business tax increase - Passed
Prop 40 - Accept gerrymandered boundaries - Passed

LA County Propositions

A - Advisory Vote - Keep County Assessor an Elected Position - Yes
B - Require condom use by porn actors - Yes
 J - MTA Sales Tax Extension - Rejected

Measure J requires a 2/3rd majority to pass - it only got 64.72% of the vote - so it missed by just over 1.25%.

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