Spring 2004 Newsletter
In This Issue:
By Dan Blatt, 2nd Vice President
Propositions decided this March by California voters could have opened the floodgates for tax increases by the spendthrift Democrats who control the California Legislature – and could have terminated the effectiveness of Gov. Schwarzenegger. Those were the warnings delivered to Republican Congress of Placer County members at their Quarterly Meeting on February 25 by Carl Burton, President of the Sacramento County Taxpayers League, and Ray Turner, Vice President and General Counsel of the California Taxpayers Association.
Burton and Evans explained the tactics and strategy that led this March to the stunning victories for Gov. Schwarzenegger and California’s hard pressed taxpayers. They accused the Prop. 56 advocates of gross deceptions in the design, title and summary of the proposition – deceptively entitled “The Budget Accountability Act” - and in the advertising campaign on its behalf. It was supported massively by the spending lobbies in Sacramento, who - with at least $15 million - outspent opponents seven-to-one.
It was disguised and advertised as a legislative reform proposal to hide its true intent of wiping out the taxpayer protection provisions of Prop. 13. There were over $60 billion in new tax proposals in the Democratic Legislature last year. Without the Prop. 13 limitations, it would be impossible to block the Democrat’s urge to tax.
Polls indicated the effectiveness of this deception. At last count, the electorate was evenly split. However, there was massive opposition by 75% of the electorate whenever they were told of the threat to Prop. 13. The speakers explained how their organizations and similar groups were working to dispel the deception in the final days before the election – an effort that sowed the seeds of victory on election day.
The speakers supported the $15 billion bond propositions as absolutely necessary evils. The bonds refinance debts already incurred during the Davis Administration, and prevent drastic budget cuts and inevitable tax increases. The bonds are essentially a “workout” of the essentially bankrupt situation created by the Democrats.
Perhaps most important, failure would have destroyed the Governor’s effectiveness and prevented him from pushing through the rest of his promised reforms that are so important to California. “It will demonstrate that the Democratic Legislature can ignore Arnold” on such vital issues as Workmen’s Compensation and liability law reform if Propositions 57 and 58 fail, they warned.
Initially, all polls showed the two bond propositions going down to defeat, but after the Governor’s advertising blitz, the polls showed more than 50% in favor. However, Arnold needed as big a win as possible to sustain his influence with the Democratic Legislature – and that is what he got.
The speakers emphasized that California’s problems were not inadequate revenues, but profligate spending. Revenues had in fact increased by 24% during the last five years despite the recession, but the Democrats had increased spending by 44%. The state bleeds massive funds from waste, fraud and abuse in major welfare programs and elsewhere that are apparently impossible for the state to properly monitor.
The situation is so bad that there is already a $12-15 billion deficit in the coming budget that must be dealt with. The Governor’s budget makes about $7-to- $8 billion in cuts, but without the bonds, massive tax increases would have become inevitable, providing a big win for the Democratic spending lobbies. Even with the bonds, the budget cuts will deliver much pain.
The Proposition 56 attack on Proposition 13 taxpayer protections could have been challenged in court under the “single issue” requirement that it clearly appears to violate. However, a member in the audience – a sitting judge – warned not to rely on that. The courts are not anxious to overturn the results of the direct democracy actions of the electorate. Fortunately, the voters emphatically decided the issue.
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CA 95658-0840 | (916) 786-6690
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