Thursday, May 21, 2009

California Election - What Happened?

California had its election Tuesday May 19th and we've all had a couple of days to digest the results. 1A through 1E failed by hefty margins and 1F passed. 1F is the pay cap for pols in deficit years. My interpretation is that the electorate is angry and just said "No!" to everything in sight but the pay caps. That's a good start. We, the California electorate, should have gotten angry and stayed angrier a long time ago.

Remember Arnold Schwarzennegger's mandate when he won the recall election? It was intended to be a turn toward fiscal responsibility and to cure the ills amplified by the previous governor, Grey Davis. It didn't quite work out that way.

The tax-and-spend liberal machine that owns Sacramento has fought Arnold to a draw and stalemate, at least. Or possibly the machine has won and is rumbling its way over the financial cliff. It's possible that history will show that California was "GM'ed" by the public worker's unions starting a long time ago. I read somewhere that there was a union voting disaster facilitated by Jerry Brown while he was governor. That's going back a long way indeed. But its effects are ongoing. And we should remember that Jerry Brown still lurks in Sacramento as Attorney General, possibly positioning himself for larger office and opportunity.

Lastly I want to call attention to Proposition 1A. It seemed to be an effort to reduce the "pro-cyclicality" of California's spending. That sounded good, until I got to the massive tax hike part. If we in California thought on a more Chinese-style long-term timeframe, 1A might have been written differently.

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