Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The November Propositions

Here are my thoughts on the Propositions on the November California ballot - 

Proposition 19 - Legalization of Marijuana. - This is a tough issue for me  Right now Dope is a misdemeanor so the change is small.  I see little difference between alcohol and marijuana.  But I might well vote against this - not because I think it will degrade society (as the opponents claim) but because my general approach to all propositions is to start as a no vote.   But I do not feel strongly about this.  TOSS UP

First PAIR - Proposition 20 and 27 - Proposition 20 would extend the Commission that we created under Proposition 11 to congressional districts (right now it is limited to Assembly and Senate Districts).  Proposition 27 would abolish the Commission we created and thus put redistricting into the hands of the legislature.  If you supported Prop 11 (and I did) then the right vote is YES ON 20 and NO ON 27.

Proposition 21 - Increases the Vehicle License Fee by $18 to fund state parks.  I do not like dedicated taxes.  Parks have received cuts in the budget but I see no relationship between the VLF and Parks. While I do not feel strongly about this I will VOTE NO.

Proposition 22 - Would prohibit the state from taking funds from certain local sources of revenues when budgets are in trouble.  The basic problem here comes back to the way that Jerry Brown and the legislature of the time chose to implement Proposition 13 in 1978.  They decreased local authority in exchange for bailout funds.  Since then when the state budget has been in trouble they have raided sources of local funding.   My general approach is to vote no on things I do not care about - so I will VOTE NO

Proposition 23 - I will admit to significant skepticism on global warming.  Even if that were not true I have no rationale why the state should take the lead on what is a global issue.    The existing AB 32 allows the state to take a one year delay on the plan for this - which is what should be done.  I think this will help put California further behind the eight ball in terms of employment.  The bill would suspend AB 32 until employment is at 5% for a period of time. (IN reality that means the provisions of AB 32 would have to be rethought).  I would prefer that the state take the one year delay - but since that will not happen, I think the voters should take the option to delay AB 32 until it is better thought out.  I will VOTE YES

Proposition 24 - IN the 2008 budget three new tax breaks were established even though we had a significant deficit.  The three would, in theory , generate about $1.3 billion in tax revenue.  They relate to how complex entities are taxed, how losses are carried forward and how subsidiaries can share excess benefits.   I am not sure why these particular provisions were justified in 2008 but my general approach on these things is to vote no.  In this case a no vote (in essence rejecting the legislature's gamemanship to the companies) would be to VOTE YES

SECOND PAIR - Proposition 25 and 26 - Proposition 25 would reduce the requirement for passing a budget from 2/3 to simple majority.  California is one of three states that has a 2/3 requirement.   It also has some other nonsense in it.   I like the 2/3 and do not believe that the requirement is the source of delay in the budget process.  If the morons in Sacramento took their responsibilities seriously they could get 2/3 of their colleagues to pass a budget.  Lowering the decision threshold would allow the majority to do a lot of things they have a hard time doing now.  I want to make it hard to pass budgets.   Thus, I will VOTE NO.   Proposition 26 is a business sponsored measure which would establish the 2/3 requirement for most things that are called fees.    In recent years the majority (democrats) have increased revenues by calling things that most people would call taxes "fees."   I do not think this has been a big problem but my basic assumption is that revenues should be hard to raise.  I have mixed emotions about this because I think it is not much of a problem but I will VOTE YES.

If you want to see how all sorts of people have come down on the propositions you can check out the following site:  http://californiachoices.org/ballot-measures-2010-11/endorsements

1 comment:

lloydl said...

Thanks for doing this, JB.