Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Calornia Propositions A-F election today

Well, today is our election in California. The date got here fast and I haven't done my research into these propositions. The usual newsprint pamphlet containing the legislative analyses is missing from our house. Either we've misplaced it or we never got it.

I noticed a huge lack of URLs for information about the propositions. The single paragraph blurbs on the ballot don't mean anything. The basically explain nothing about the proposition, except the subject from the 60,000-foot level. And especially in this election, I don't believe what I've heard and seen in the political print ads and on TV. The ads are so slanted that they don't really make sense to me. The marketing program for these propositions basically "stink to high heaven"!

If you want to research these, here are some links.
Gotta love the one for 1D. I don't know how much stock I should put in an analysis when they can't spell the word.
For other info and .htm presentations of the information, go to http://california.gov/ and search with "proposition 1x legislative analysis", where x is the prop of your choice.

Over the course of the last month, I've noticed that any economic analyst I've considered intelligent has recommended "no" votes on all of these propositions. I'll probably vote "no" myself.

Having said that, are California's political process and budget processes broken? Certainly. They are also wildly pro-cyclical, where spending goes up during good economic times, followed by budget crunches during bad times. This was true since before the defense-related recession in California in the late 80's, the Silicon Valley / dot-com boom-and-bust of the 90's and early 2000's, and so on. So the processes certainly need to be changed. As an aside, the "rainy-day fund", known in the analyses as the "BSF" seems designed to smooth the cyclicality to the upside, with more taxes, instead of forbearance of possible spending during good times!

One glaring, flashing omission from these proposals is discussion spending cuts. There's a lot of rearranging of deck chairs and debt, shall we say, and some sizable tax increases. There is discussion around protecting certain "sacred cow" spending areas. But the whole thing seems built around the idea of "Don't look at the spending behind the curtain!"

Talk with you soon. I'm off to study and Vote!

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