Proposition 30 in California is a completely bizarre end-run on a broken political system. The state is broke and the Governor Jerry Brown does not want to keep cutting everything. He has asked the people then to approve a sales tax increase that will contribute about half the necessary money to balance the budget. The other half will come from cuts. The reason he has to do this is that even with a Democratic majority in the State legislature, Brown can’t get 4 Republicans to vote for higher taxes. Hence the proposition. Bypass the representative government, budget by election. So if the elected reps can’t get their act together and act, and if we’re going to vote on budget issues going forward instead of entrusting that to our representatives, then what do we need representatives for anyway?
Local tax increases are also on the ballot. School taxes, sales taxes, taxes-taxes-taxes. The government is broke because the people are broke and we are not spending money. So the government wants to raise the proportion of taxation to the level of spending so that sales taxes enable them to avoid cutting salaries.
The Sacramento News and Review last week included an article that described the urgent need to pass the Sacramento school reconstruction tax. The article included a description of how a large school theater building had seats that were in terrible condition, in part because the students had carved graffiti into the wooden backs. Not a big selling point for me on giving the little bastards new seats and therefor a fresh piece of wood to carve on.
The same SN&R article described the filthy steps where students sit. A teacher was quoted lamenting that the children are “sitting in filth.” These were high school students mind you. I would think two things about this, A) why don’t the students stand up instead of sitting in filth (but then why don’t they pull up their pants?); and B) why doesn’t someone hand the lazy little bastards a mop and allow them to clean up and take pride in their own school?
If we can’t afford school custodians, do we just close the schools? Do we just allow the dust to pile up in the corners and spill out into the hallway like a long-deserted Roman temple? Perhaps at the fall of the Roman Empire that is exactly what happened.