Is Proposition 30 a Good Idea for California?

Mark Meuser discusses the pros and cons of Proposition 30.

This November, the citizens of California will have a difficult decision to make when they vote on Proposition 30. Californians do not like cuts to their education but they also do not like increasing their taxes.  This November, the citizens of California must vote on whether they are going to increase taxes upon themselves or cut education.  

The supporters of Proposition 30 argue that by voting yes on Proposition 30:

  • We will stop the 6 billion dollars of cuts from education
  • We will help balance the budget
  • We are only implementing a temporary tax
  • We are only taxing the rich
  • We are sending money directly to the classroom

The opponents of Proposition 30 argue that by voting yes on Proposition 30:

  • We do not reform waste in education
  • We do not stop waste in public pensions
  • This money will likely be used to backfill the underfunded public teachers’ pension funds
  •  We will be falling prey to the games that the legislators played, giving taxpayers an ultimatum to “vote for a tax increase or we will take it out on the children.”

Two questions every Californian should ask themselves before they vote this year: (1) If California can afford a 68+ billion dollar Boondoggle Train, why did the Democrats in the California legislature vote to cut school funding approximately 6 billion dollars?  (2) If California has to cut approximately 6 billion dollars in the budget from schools, why did the Democrats in the California legislature vote to build a train to nowhere?

Before we the taxpayers vote for a tax increase of any kind, let us take a look at the financial track record of the state.  Has the state been a wise steward with the tax revenue that we have already given to them?  In a word, NO!   Think of it this way.  Would you recommend giving another credit card to someone who has already “maxed out” four credit cards and can barely make the minimum payments on the four?  Any person (or state) who has shown such financial irresponsibility will not suddenly become prudent with another credit card (tax increase).

It seems we are asked to believe that presently there is an inadequate method to fund schools.  I do not agree. Over one half of California’s budget is dedicated to public education. How many of you remember the promises made in 1984 when you were encouraged to vote for Proposition 37? Do you remember the promises that if we voted for the California State Lottery that we would never again have to worry about the funding of public education? What happened to that money?

Furthermore, why do we need a constitutional amendment for a temporary tax increase?   Proposition 30 is an amendment to the constitution of California.  It will be added under section to our constitution.  Yet very little is mentioned concerning this.  If all of this is a temporary tax, why does it have to be an amendment?  Molly Munger’s Proposition 38 did not require an amendment to the constitution and it is also a tax for education. California already has one of the longest Constitutions in the entire world (only Alabama and India have longer Constitutions).

It is important to note that the legislature did not have to make cuts in education in order to balance the budget. There were other options where cuts were made to other government agencies and education was left at the current levels. However, the legislature had already decided that they wanted the voters to increase taxes upon themselves so the legislature voted to cut education to give the taxpayers an ultimatum.

I personally will vote against both Propositions 30 and 38.  By simply voting for more tax increases, we literally enable an out-of-control spending machine another credit card.  If spending and tax increases are not stopped now, when will they be?  There have been reports recently that California’s public debt is now larger than the country of Greece. The time has come for the citizens of California to vote for leaders who will be willing to reduce the size of government rather than continue to come to the people and ask for more of their money because of their inability to say no to special interests.

Mark Meuser is a candidate for State Senate District 7. You can follow him on Facebook.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tom September 10, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Untill pension reform is delt with we should give no more money. The public sector unions will go scorched earth and we the people need to NOT bow to this tactic.
Chris Nicholson September 10, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Decades of cuts? Please provide data to support this assertion. Spending soared for a decade ending in 2008. Even the most severe cut backs will put us well ahead of per-pupil spending 15-20 years ago. What has changed? The all-in cost (including pensions) of teachers has risen dramatically faster than inflation, which squeezes local budgets despite growing revenue per pupil. Also the cost of educating children of illegal immigrants has made it harder for CA to keep up with per-pupil increases in states where this burden is less pronounced. This is a spending issue, not a revenue issue. Starve the beast.
DC / Lafayette September 10, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Agreed...No brainer here. My vote is No. Get your act togeter Sacramento....maybe take a peek and see if there is an additional $54,000,000 in another account somewhere that you have failed to disclose.
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) September 10, 2012 at 07:44 PM
i'll vote for Prop 30. But, I don't think it's going to pass.
c5 September 10, 2012 at 09:17 PM
at a high level what is going on at all levels of govt is that legacy promises made to employees are crowding out more and more current services. the situation is particularly acute in some states like california who have had a very strong public sector union presence over the years and weak governance against them. but to think that the state has cut spending is really not true, they have just substituted paying more and more and more for pensions and other entitlements in exchange for fewer other services that the taxpayers want. in reality however, california has been much worse than most states since the core of state government hasn't been touched at all. total state personnel years (published by the state dept of finance) in the 2011-12 budget year were 343,000. at the peak in 2007-08 guess what, they were also 343,000. personally i think there is room to cut 10-15% off these totals without impacting the really fantastic productivity we see from our state workers. take out 50k workers and then talk to us about whether you have cut state government....
David September 10, 2012 at 09:43 PM
No - No - No
Californicated1 September 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I vote "NO" on all propositions, money bills and ballot initiatives to begin with.
Alan September 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Why is it that in every election we have politicians and special interest groups holding a gun to the heads of our children demanding that we had better pay the ransom by coughing up more tax money or they will "pull the trigger"?
Beau Hunk September 11, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Moonbeam created public employee unions and he can jolly well take them out. Vote NO on every tax proposal across the board. All of 'em! Do this until the public unions are dissolved.
Scott September 11, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I'll vote no, only because "HELL NO" isn't an option!
c5 September 11, 2012 at 07:49 PM
no reason they should be dissolved, but in my dreams i sure would like to see california become a right to work state....i don't understand how you can view that as a negative thing regardless of party affiliation. workers should have the right to choose, and governments should not be the enforcers of, or the victims of, a monopoly working against them. imo
WC-Independent September 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM
and after public employees have a 401K/403B type vehicle like those in private enterprise / non-profits have. Unions and politicians running a pension fund, this needs to stop.
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) September 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Because the voters buy it every time. You'd be a fool not to use it if it benefits your position.
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) September 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Sorry I was dragging the cursor across the page & accidentally flagged this post. I really don't like how you can hit a button like "flag" & not have a chance to cancel it before it's submitted. There really should be a confirm process.
John Harrington September 12, 2012 at 03:58 AM
I will vote NO. I am weary of paying for a public education system that is a failure. I am weary of paying for a college/university system that produces anarchists and students with worthless degrees (degrees that translate to squat in the job market). Too much money for pols to play around with and reward their friends.
DC / Lafayette September 12, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I don't know that Gov Brown even feels Prop 30 is good for California. You decide. http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_21518772/california-gov-jerry-brown-pleads-voters-pass-tax
Brash Brazen September 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM
It's really simple actually,anything that Republicans (conservatives,religious extremists,tea party morons or anti-government,anti-tax zealots support) the majority of voters in California State Senate District 7 will oppose !!! No matter how many specious Op-Eds touting repugnant & repudiated right-wing propaganda Mark Meuser writes,he'll just be another failed Bay Area Republican who's humiliated by the voters on November 6th !!! Remember that Jerry Brown received more votes in 2010 than legalizing marijuana,which proved to be more popular than Meg Whitman's $160 million debacle !!! It's weak,unprepared & out of step candidates like Mark Meuser which will lead to a Democratic super-majority in the Legislature next year & further marginalize the waning California Republican Party !!!
Voter with an ID September 14, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Aside from your childish name calling, do you really think things will improve in this state after 40 years of democrat rule? Could you elaborate as to how we're better off than 40 years ago? "Remember that Jerry Brown received more votes in 2010 than legalizing marijuana"?! That's your argument for dems being voted in by liberal self-serving ignorant lemmings? You'll get what you deserve......
CJ September 14, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Looks like we've been invaded by some lib trolls from other Patch sites. Probably best to just let them lie there with their triple exclamation points that cary so much vitriolic power.
Californicated1 September 14, 2012 at 09:19 PM
"Liberal Trolls" are one thing. "Conservative Trolls" another. All it does is remind me of an old episode from "Babylon 5" about the Drazi, who went to war with each other over the color of a sash they picked out of a barrel and that when you get right down to it, such disputes are really nothing more than downright childish. Sooner or later, we will have an election and some people will be happy, others will be disappointed. And for the rest of us, life goes on.
Joe Blow September 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
It was the Replican Govs. that got us into this mess to begin with.
Frank Mockery September 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
This is why the majority of your neighbors are tired of Republican lies & the GOP can't field electable candidates in California anymore ! You can take your dismissed propaganda,smug & condescending demeanor & extreme social agenda & stick it where the sun don't shine ! You know like in the small,dark closet where Mark Meuser holds his campaign events ! Democrats all agree that Republicans are most disagreeable,so vote a straight Democratic ticket for a better & stronger America !!!
Californicated1 September 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I'm sorry, but that really is no reason to vote for a straight party ticket. Spite does not make for good government. It didn't in the bi-elections of 1998. It didn't in the bi-elections of 2006 or even in 2010. In California, I used to vote a straight Democratic party ticket just because I couldn't stand what the Republicans were doing. But then I saw that the Democrats, when they are unrestrained, are just as bad for me as the Republicans are. It seems that for me, somebody who used to be from a middle-class family that is probably more "middling" than middle these days, neither party is good for me or catering to my needs. The GOP doesn't seem to care whether or not I exist unless it's election time, just obey the rules, stay out of trouble, pay your bills and your taxes and you'll be just fine under their government. And the Democrats don't seem to care whether or not I exist unless it's election time, just obey the rules, stay out of trouble, pay your bills and your taxes and you'll just be fine under their government, too. Sorry, but I am sick and tired of trying to be sold the same defective bill of goods every two years and about the only thing that changes is the person trying to sell me those goods. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have to work real hard to regain my trust in this system and their way of government. Never again will I vote for candidates from either party. Been fooled too many times and it's gotten me here.
David Holden September 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Troll alert: "_____________"
Californicated1 September 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM
There should be some klaxon going off somewhere when "Troll Alert" is sounded. Probably followed with the words "All Hands! Troll Stations!". Make it sound like it came from "Star Trek".
Californicated1 September 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Why do the words of "Omar Little" from "The Wire" ring in my ears when I read the original post? "Money ain't gots no owners, only spenders."
David Holden September 15, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Californicated1, The Mighty Troll speaks.
Californicated1 September 15, 2012 at 04:00 AM
...And what does "The Mighty Troll Say", Mr. Holden?
David Holden September 15, 2012 at 04:25 AM
You are "The Queen of Trolls" so you tell us.
Milan Moravec October 20, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Create California’s future. Vote No on Prop 30, 38, 32. Keep the California dream alive and well. Decisions you make on Nov 6 determine California’s course for years. We are kidding ourselves by believing that education funding shortfalls disappear with Prop 30, Prop 38. Prop 30, Prop 38 levy significant taxes on each one of us. The wounds that Prop 30, 38 are to heal have been self inflicted largely by our elected Sacramento politicians who simply do not say no to any influential interest group be they, University of California (29% increase in salaries last 6 years), public employees, business, teachers, or other unions or lobbyists. And now Prop 30, 38 are used by Sacramento politicians and lobbyists to blackmail us


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