Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh, Yes - the Election

I did vote, even though I hadn't had a decent night's sleep in nearly a week (see the last post). And I've accumulated the following comments on the California election:

I was disappointed that Obama didn't do better, but he didn't do badly, and as I've said before, I will happily back either him or Hillary in the general. The whole process has caused a lot of people to consider the existing electoral process in much more detail than usual, and if we're lucky, this will lead to some changes. Given the comparative turnout on Tuesday between Democrats and Republicans, and given the fact that McCain has so pissed off the "conservative base" that some of the mouthier ones are suggesting they will stay home in November and wait for a "real" conservative to run (you do that, boys; just do it), I think that if the Democrats can avoid any obvious stupidity and neither of the candidates breaks any laws on national TV, we may just have a Democrat in the White House this time next year. And he/she may even visit California from time to time.

Oh, Lord, the proposals. I've gotten so tired of the side effects of trying to run the state budget through the initiative process, that I automatically vote "no" on any proposition that locks up funding for anything on a statewide ballot. You guys in the community colleges, in case you wondered why you lost? That's why. Budgeting should be done in the legislature. (Yes, I know they're incompetent and don't do it; but that isn't the point.)

And I voted against the term limits revision. That's something that does have to be done by initiative, since the original term limits were done that way. Now, I am opposed to term limits. I voted against the original proposition. If we don't like the guy, we get a chance to vote for someone else every 2 or 4 years; and I think it may be useful to elect an occasional Green or Libertarian and let them see how it works firsthand. But term limits (AKA the "get rid of Willie Brown" act) passed, and we're stuck with it - and now the legislators have realized what I could have told them back then: running a state this size is a big job that takes a while to learn. You need more than 4 or 6 years. So why my "no" this time? Because I object to Don Perata and Fabian Nunez writing themselves, and a whole load of their buddies, a "get out of jail free" card in one of the later paragraphs. If they'd just changed the term limits, without trying to keep themselves in power, I would have gone for it. And I'll bet I'm not the only person who reacted that way.

I also voted against all 4 Indian gaming propositions. I voted in favor of the original Indian gaming proposal, and have regretted it ever since. Yes, I realize that Arnold has negotiated an actual slice of the take this time (although I don't think many people realize that it seems to be only of the take from the extra slot machines), as opposed to the pittance that Gray Davis agreed to back when. But this is gambling. Gambling is a tax on the poor; it's even more regressive than a sales tax. Gambling is also an addiction. And I don't think we should be taking our state operating funds out of the hides of the poor and the addicted. If we need more money to run the state, RAISE THE GODDAMN INCOME TAX. Which is a progressive tax, where the less you take in, the less tax you pay, and the converse. We haven't had a serious income tax increase in a dunnamany years, and the state is growing like Jack's beanstalk and running on baling wire and prayer. The trouble is, the unspeakable Republicans will block any tax increase, simply because they can, and because they have no useful ideas of their own except to cut funding for the poor and disabled (who wouldn't ever vote for them anyway).

We are running the state of California on credit, exactly as we're running the U.S.A. on credit, and as we're all running our households on credit (well, with a few exceptions) - and as I've said elsewhere, sooner or later, the bills come due, and if the money isn't there to pay them, what then??


  1. Anonymous7:10 AM

    Then you get an emergency bail out from China or Saudi Arabia. That way they can tell you to stuff your human rights concerns and you can't do anything about it.


    Sorry, but I am getting so tired of the "people" complaining about high taxes and not having enough "assistance" in the same breath that it is really starting to irritate me.

  2. I agree with you - it never ceases to amaze me that people don't make the elementary connection: you get what you pay for!

    I think the biggest problem is that the people who complain about high taxes and the people who complain about not enough "assistance" are two different groups. Unfortunately, the people who complain about the high taxes have forgotten the basic precept, "There but for the grace of God go I"...