-By Warner Todd Huston
If the members of the California State Legislature had to get real jobs, most of them would have been fired by now. Incapable of solving any of the problems that have crippled California, they instead fritter away their time giving perks to special interests and passing endless new regulations that have decimated California’s business community. Then, when voters passed a measure that would withhold their pay if they don’t pass a budget on time, two legislative chieftains turned around and sued the state’s Controller who handles their paychecks.
Imagine the gall of suing the taxpayers for refusing to pay legislators unless they actually perform their jobs and get work done! It’s just further proof that Sacramento is broken and politicians there have only the special interests in mind. Take, for example, the latest special-interest giveaway by the one career politician, former state Sen. Don Perata.
Proposition 29 raises taxes by nearly $1 billion and hands the money to a board including six political appointees who’ll have to power to dole out that cash however they may chose with no accountability. That money is protected under the terms of Proposition 29 for 15 years, meaning that not even the Governor can step in and change things even in cases of waste or abuse. Proposition 29 is literally a case of the fox guarding the hen house.
Even the plans of how this new cancer research effort will work seem destined for abject failure and financial ruin. It is said that the CCRA will somehow create 1,600 new jobs — and the state pensions that will come with those jobs for decade to come. Unfortunately, there is a problem with some of the assumptions that the budgeting is based on as the money is supposed to come from cigarette taxes. But as sales fall due to higher taxes revenue will fall. Of course, the CCRA won’t be spending any less, mind you. It will just expect the state legislature to find the cash elsewhere, taking away more money that could be going for schools, police, and the like.
New York found this out recently when it passed a law banning the sale of certain types of cigarettes to New York Indian reservations. The state suddenly found a $130 million shortfall in tax receipts and wondered why.
There is also an example of the failure of such boondoggle ballot measures closer to home for Californians. Eight years ago the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was launched promising all sorts of wonderful cures for what ails us using stem cell research funded by the taxpayer. Thus far $3 billion tax dollars have been spent without any cures or even any promising results from all the expenditure.
Worse, it should be remembered that the stem cell research institute spent its $3 billion over a seven year period. The Cancer Research Act intends to spend $1 billion every year. Again, these are billions of dollars that could have gone to education, first responders, even roads and bridge repair.
Until politicians in Sacramento can finally get their act together, it’s lunacy to send them any more money. Stop the dysfunction in Sacramento and vote no on Proposition 29.