That’s the message California voters sent state legislators during last week’s special election, overwhelmingly rejecting five budget propositions that would’ve raised taxes.
I don’t know anyone who would willingly vote to pay more taxes, but you can’t fault the state for trying. Nice try, California!
That’s also despite several newspapers, including the LA Times, The Press-Enterprise, LA Daily News and San Jose Mercury News, urging people to vote “Yes” on propositions 1A through 1F. (They also urge people to buy more newspapers, but that doesn’t appear to be working either.)
As is stands now, the state owes about $21 billion. That’s billion with a “b” as in you could buy every team in the NFL and still have change left over for a corn dog and plenty of giant foam fingers.
And speaking of giant fingers . . .
Some political types aren’t taking this latest outcome so well. Said State Treasurer Bill Lockyer to the Associated Press, “One thing we do know is the voters’ wish list is a lot longer than the ‘I’m willing to pay for it’ list.’”
And here’s this gem from consultant and “Vote Yes” proponent Rick Claussen to the LA Times: “Voters don’t accept any responsibility for having a role in this fiasco. And they clearly do. They don’t understand that they’ve made it difficult for the politicians to do their jobs.”
Do their jobs? Do their jobs? Are you high?
Tell me, Rick, what exactly are “their jobs?” Are their jobs to bankrupt us while asking even more from taxpayers during the worst recession in 80 years, all the while making California a laughingstock to the rest of the country? Because if that is their jobs, Rick, feel free to waste a little more tax money and get yourself a “Mission Accomplished” banner.
What’s funny is that nobody is taking this as a commentary on how horribly Sacramento has been doing. Republican AND Democratic voters alike sent a clear and definite message and that message was delivered with our pants around our ankles and a lot of pelvic thrusting.
And it’s the first time in a long time that the thrust has been on the other pelvis. For too long these talking suits and glad-handers have been telling us what our responsibilities are without any apparent accountability on their side.
So did it finally feel good to defeat those propositions and tell the money grubbers to stick it where the sun don’t shine? You bet! It’s a broken system and passing those propositions would have only prolonged the agony. And I’ve watched enough Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1 to know that you don’t give a junkie more crank. Also learned on Celebrity Rehab: Brigitte Nielsen is female and apparently there’s a Baldwin brother named Daniel.
Look, I’m no politician (because I have a job with a boss who expects me to work hard, help people and produce results).
And I don’t know how to fix the budget mess in California. (Though moving to Oregon comes to mind. Or how about renaming ourselves South Oregon and hoping no one notices?)
People like me don’t know all the intricate machinations of the political process, the ins and outs of a four-day work week or where the executive helipad is, but I do know this:
A. We’re one of the highest taxed states in the country.
B. Most of the other states seem to make it work, so why can’t California?
C. I have personally voted for at least three propositions to fix our freeways but somehow the money keeps getting “appropriated” for other projects, and at this point the only way I’m commuting to work on time is if I buy my own hot air balloon or shoot myself out of a circus cannon.
D. I can’t afford a hot air balloon or a circus cannon.
All kidding aside, the only thing California voters should take responsibility for is that we’re the ones who elected these crooks and nitwits. And I don’t care if a politician has a “D” or an “R” next to his name, it’s time to get rid of them all and elect a whole new batch.
And if that doesn’t work, we’ll just keep shaking the crazy tree until a few fall out we like. I can’t wait for the next election.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org