Dear Members of the California Assembly and Senate:
With a looming $24 billion budget deficit you either have to raise revenue or cut spending, correct? And NONE of the recent ballot measures raised revenue or cut spending -- they were all just accounting tricks to move the problem down the road. No wonder they all got voted down (except for the pay freeze for legislators during a budget crunch -- which everyone knew was going to pass overwhelmingly).
The proposed cuts in health care and education outlined thus far are untenable and immoral.
I think you've got 2 (actually pretty good) choices -- raise revenue as outlined below or call a constitutional convention to re-write the tax code to get rid of Prop 13 (which is the real elephant in the living room).
I actually think there are still significant opportunities to raise taxes and not get voted out of office. Here are the things you can tax heavily and still get re-elected:
1. Tobacco. Nobody likes to smoke -- they'll thank you for taxing the hell out of cigarettes. You could tax it as high as $7 a pack and still justify it based on the actual health costs to the state of smoking.
2. Alcohol. Same reasoning as above.
3. Sugar. Same reasoning as above.
4. Transfats. Same reasoning as above.
5. Natural resources. You could significantly increase the cost of drilling for oil and mining in the State of California. Either we get more revenue or fewer oil wells -- either way the public wins.
6. Toxics, pesticides, pollution. Like tobacco, everybody hates these things and they'd love the excuse not to buy them.
Good luck ya'll. Seriously, cutting health care programs for poor people is bullshit so please come up with a better plan. Thanks.
RFK Action Front