Like Oakland, California continues to stumble toward some kind of reckoning with profligate governmental policies.
By voting no today, or simply failing to vote at all, voters can help bring a dose of reality to our "leaders."
Those who do plan to vote today should take a look at a couple articles published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. Here is a link to the first article. It does a good job of explaining the basic facts underlying the current situation.
Even more importantly, voters should read this article, appropriately entitled "Soak The Rich, Lose The Rich."
Of interest are quotes like this one: "California in 2007 had the highest-paid classroom teachers in the nation, and yet the Golden State had the second-lowest test scores."
No one likes to talk about it, but the truth is that extra spending on education has virtually no impact on student achievement. The factors that actually matter include things like parental involvement and whether the parents went to college or not.
Liberals like to say that they support higher government spending and taxation because they want to give the poor and downtrodden an equal shot at success. In and of itself, this is not too problematic of a goal.
The problem is that, in California, government policies have not pursued these ends. Rather, the Democrats run the government exclusively for the benefit of the public-employee unions. That's why, from firefighters and police to teachers, our public employees receive far more in pay and benefits than the average nationwide.
Even worse, the state's constant pursuit of high-income taxpayers has finally begun to push us irredeemably into the red. Consider this: Rush Limbaugh famously announced that he would no longer work in New York state because of the state's planned income tax increase. And, just yesterday the owner of the Buffalo Sabres made a similar announcement.
In the latter case, the lost revenue to New York will total $13,000 a day, or nearly $5 million a year. How many high-income exits like this does it take for a state to see a significant deterioration of revenue?
And, more importantly, consider the fact that New York is only planning to raise its income tax rate to about 9 percent. California's tax currently stands at nearly 10.5 percent! And, public employee unions continue to agitate that taxes aren't high enough.
Put another way, how many people making $100 million a year, and thus paying $10 million in state taxes, need to move to Nevada or Washington state, where the tax rate is zero, before it puts a big hurt in California's ability to pay the bills.
The truth is this is already happening, big time. And no amount of Leftism is going to change that. That is why the legislative compromise earlier this year focused mostly on sales taxes. They know that income taxes are pushing people to leave. So, they're doing what they always do -- soak the poor and middle class once there are no more rich to hit up.
California needs to lower its spending and lower its taxes. And until it starts down that path, I see no reason for voters to go along with any proposals. If it requires a bankruptcy to get out from under whatever ridiculous pension agreements we've made with the public employees, then I'm fine with that.
The reckoning is coming, and voting no on these propositions brings it still closer. And that is good for all of us who don't want to see sales taxes at 15 percent.