Proposition 1A is a Trojan horse. It promises allocations of funds for education and infrastructure upkeep in a coordinated effort to decrease the state deficit. This is unfortunately not going to happen with business continuing as usual in Sacramento. California has a deficit of about $42 billion and the nation’s worst credit rating. In their laughable effort to fix things, our legislature will attempt to amend our state constitution to give them more money through tax revenue. Prop 1A promises increased taxes and spending for the next three years, which, without passage of the proposition’s inherent bylaws, is constitutionally illegal.
This may sound like a necessary sacrifice we’ll have to make to decrease our deficit. It isn’t. The budget deficit is a result of rampant spending and disregard for saving. The handling of our state’s budget has been poor at best. How are we expected to trust more money to those who have already mishandled the billions we’ve given? It’s like offering your wounded hand through a cage to Hannibal Lecter in the hopes that he’ll just slap a band-aid on it.
To allocate funding for schools, the proposition plans to create a Supplemental Education Payment Account as part of the larger Budget Stabilization Fund, which will receive 12.5 percent of revenues over the next three years. Creating this new supplementary account sounds great, but it’s too good to be true. Sure enough, there are loopholes to the finances. Rather than require that all money received in the SEPA be spent on schools, the text immediately following the provisions allows that the funds may be spent on various projects as permitted by the governor. It’s the same political agenda we’ve seen fail for the past 10 years, except now it’s with more of our money.
The proposition promises to curb state spending and to lower the deficit. This promise is framed by something called “unanticipated revenues.” The proposition requires that all unanticipated revenues be sent to the BSF in order to lower the deficit. These are revenues the state collects from taxes that it did not expect — or so they say. The director of finance determines these so-called “unanticipated” revenues based upon the difference between expected revenue and actual revenue. But according to the text, expected revenue is determined “by extrapolating from the trend line derived by a linear regression” of the prior 10 years’ General Fund revenues. It can get a little messy, but it basically says that the expected revenue is whatever the state wants it to be. In that sense, if they don’t get much unanticipated revenue, they can spend whatever they want wherever they want. But don’t worry: The self-regulating government has turned a new leaf and has only our interests at heart.
To further simplify things, let’s talk metaphorically in the form of children’s stories. Our state’s legislature is not unlike “Sesame Street’s” Cookie Monster. On the outside, this character portrays a loving creature, while his true, dark morality has him hell-bent on finding a fresh batch of Nestle’s chocolate chip break-and-bake cookies. He lives for cookies. Given the choice between a friendship and a sleeve of Chips Ahoy … You get it.
Our statewide situation brings this childhood metaphor that much closer to real life with its similarity to the story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you give that cute little mouse a cookie, he’ll probably want a glass of milk. If you give him a glass of milk, by then he’s drained your 401k and Social Security.
So there you have it. Our government only wants more cookies. They’re fun, lovable creatures on the outside but dark, sinister cookie monsters on the inside. They’ve mishandled the billions of Oreos we already provide and they have the nerve to ask for more. And what happens when we give them those cookies? They want milk… The stories are parallel. You get it. Vote no on Proposition 1A.