Friday, April 24, 2009

Raising Taxes in California

Some people lament that the 2/3 requirement to raise taxes in California is what gets us into such fiscal difficulties--it's exceedingly difficult to pass a budget when a 1/3 minority can tie up the whole works.

You know what? Good!

We here in California are already among the highest-taxed people in the country, and the majority party, the same party that's run both houses of the legislature for as long as I can remember, complains that it's too hard to raise our taxes further? Good Lord, they must be smoking some of that medical marijuana grown up in Mendocino. And in their haze, you know what idea they come up with? Hold a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the California Constitution from scratch.

I can hear their theme song now:

We will
We will
TAX YOU! (thump)
(boom boom thump)

Yes, let's let all the idiots downtown who can't run the state as it is, who are so beholden to special interests like the teachers union and prison guards union and state employees unions, who consistently spend far more than the state brings in each year, who want to add even more to the social programs already in existence, who make California such an inhospitable environment in which to run a business--yes, let's let them draft an entirely new constitution, one with a 55% majority needed to raise taxes instead of the current 2/3.

Because that's all the power elite in the state really want out of this, the ability to raise taxes more easily. From the first link above:

The prize in this fight is reducing the tax threshold from 66.7 percent to 55 percent. It is an article of faith among the state's political class that the two biggest impediments to governability are Proposition 13 (which caps property-tax hikes) and the supermajority rule. To even point out the state's hysterical government and spending growth, which has not come with any noticeable improvement in services, is to initiate a conversation that many people (journalists, especially) have never held.

Of course not. No one sees out of control spending as a problem. Their problem is the difficulty in raising taxes to support this out of control spending.

While California's constitution is a horrible mess along the lines of the European Union's, in this case I'd rather stick with the "devil I know". Constitutional conventions can take on a life of their own, and it's impossible to predict where they might go once started.

Remember, the US' constitutional convention was originally called just to modify and improve upon the Articles of Confederation.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

And these same folks with these same notions are now running the nation. I have to honestly ask now if all the folks who blindly voted for President Obama got what they voted for.