An amazing thing happened yesterday in California. The people of the State of California just told the politicians "you people don't know what you're doing". In their election yesterday about increasing taxes, creating a rainy day fund, and stopping politicians from giving themselves raises the people told them no to taxes and no to legislative raises in hard times.
This is not what the advocates of the various proposals said that it meant. Their spin is that the people didn't understand the proposals. In other words, the politicians think the people are too stupid to understand. Did I mention that each of the proposals save one, were voted down with over 60% of the vote? The one that didn't get 60%? That was the one regarding the politicians pay raises. They were denied raises by over 70%. So apparently, the politicians believe that better than 2/3 of the people of California are stupid.
These states are looking out for their own coffers and not looking out for what's best for the people of their states. Look around the country. Tax revenues are down nearly everywhere. Taxes are going up and revenues are coming down. These so-called leaders of the states ignore history. Each time taxes are reduced, revenues to the states and feds increase. This creates a new problem. That problem is that the politicians then think they can spend more and more money on more and more "programs".
In Michigan, the economy was good in the nineties during John Englers Governorship. He took over and reduced taxes. Revenue's started increasing, unemployment dropped from 13% down to 3% by the time he left. Engler created the rainy day fund from the added revenues received to help during tougher times. When he left, Granholm took over. Unemployment has been on a steady climb since. Michigan has been in a one state recession for over five years and now has the highest unemployment in the nation and has maintained that distinction for three years.
What will the California officials do now that they have been soundly rejected? They will snap out of their massive losses and say "Ok, if you want cuts, we'll give you cuts." They will release prisoners from their prisons. They will cut back fire and police protection. They will reduce money to the schools. They will take money from the Federal Government further driving up the nations deficits and debt. The people of California will complain about their police and fire and schools taking the hits. In the meantime, the ones that refuse to take responsibility for their own lives will continue to receive their checks each month. They won't be cut. Money will still be wasted on unnecessary programs.
Finally, after squeezing the people of the necessities, they'll come back and rework the proposals that will increase taxes and increase pay for politicians. They'll throw it out to the people and say if you want police and fire protection back, you'll have to vote yes for these proposals that you voted no on in the past election.
I've seen this happen in Michigan, usually with school elections. They will ask for a millage renewal or a millage increase to buy computers, or build another school building as they close up three other schools. They get turned down in the May elections. The schools then set plans in motion to eliminate popular things such as sports or band or maybe remove some English classes or increase the size of classrooms or eliminate the library. But then they'll say, we'll put this on the ballot again in August and put it up for a vote and see if people will choose the higher taxes or the cuts that we're proposing.
The August turnout is very low, and those that do vote are usually involved in the schools somehow. The measures pass and I go to my daughters classroom for parent/teacher conferences in November and instead of seeing a blackboard or even a whiteboard, I instead see a big screen TV with all of the software imaginable and I wait to see if John King is going to step up and show a map of the country describing each county and whether it's a red county or a blue county.
There is a breaking point. Maybe California has reached that point and calls the states bluff on their cuts that they will propose, and say "go ahead and make your proposed cuts." California is currently the second worst state in the country when it comes to their budget and unemployment. Number 1? Michigan. I hope that we get the chance here in Michigan to do what the people of California did and I hope that the people of the State of Michigan do the same thing as the people in California. I also hope the same thing for New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon and all of the other states that into a free fall slide.
New Jersey's Governor is in trouble for his re-election. Harry Reid is in trouble in his state. Christopher Dodd is in trouble in his state.
We had the Tea Parties in April. California just showed us that the tea parties were only the beginning. We went from tea party protests, to ballot box protests in just over a month. Maybe there is hope for the country after all. The people are proving that they've had enough of the silliness of state capitols. This could turn out to an interesting 18 months coming up.
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