Government Bytes


Cry Me A River

by Reilly Willson / /

One thing politicians love to whine about is an increasingly common rule that requires a 2/3 majority vote in favor of any tax increase. "It's minority rule!," they shout. "We have no money for schools!," they gripe. "We must raise revenue in this time of economic despair!," they preach. They also conveniently overlook their responsibilities to the taxpayers who repeatedly show their abhorrence for higher taxes and the laws that allow them to pump up the state's coffers through a simple majority vote. Some California politicians and their allies in public employee unions are now trying to change the rules of the game by pushing Proposition 25, a scheme to make it easier for those crybabies in Sacramento to take your money.

Supporters of Proposition 25 will tell you that the legislation only allows for "bills providing for appropriations related to the budget bill" to be passed with a simply majority vote. What they won't tell you is that there is nothing in Proposition 25 (or California's Constitution for that matter) that prohibits tax increases from being included in the same legislation as budget appropriations. Given the latest trend in American politics of passing legislation that rivals War and Peace in length, it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that the first "appropriations" bill to be passed under Proposition 25 would be little more than a Trojan horse delivering malicious tax hikes to unsuspecting Californians.

It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures, and this attempt to circumvent the 2/3’s majority vote requirement to increase taxes is nothing more than a desperate scramble for money by the California legislature trying to fill a $19 billion budget gap without addressing the spending that dug the hole in the first place. We have said it a thousand times on this blog and we will say it a thousand more if we have to: the only way to resolve deficits without smothering the economy under a heavy tax burden is to decrease spending. The fact that a state is running a deficit in the first place is sign that they are spending too much, not that they aren’t bringing enough money in. It’s time for politicians to wake up and the longer you hang on to the idea of spending your way to prosperity, the longer your state will remained mired in the pitch and tar of economic ruin. And if that happens, we will all have something to cry about.