Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 29, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

PROPOSITION 57....The LA Times supports Proposition 57, Arnold's $15 billion bond measure. I don't. That's fine. But this paragraph in their editorial today is little short of childish:

The most prominent critic is Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides. He says it's bad fiscal policy to burden future Californians with debt payoff. But because Angelides is likely to run for governor in 2006, and because fellow Democrat Westly is in the opposite camp, his criticisms come at a discount.

Why the airy dismissal of Angelides alone? Surely the Times isn't under the impression that Arnold and all the other politicians who favor 57 are doing it for purely altruistic reasons?

On a more substantive note, the Times' position is baffling. They claim that the answer to California's deficit problem was "obvious" a year ago:

A combination of budget cuts, about $10 billion in borrowing and some temporary tax increases. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers rejected any tax increase and Democrats balked at deeper cuts.

But what makes them think this is going to change? Prop 57 simply provides ex post facto approval funded by bonds! of Arnold's tax decrease immediately upon taking office; it provides enough cushion that Democrats can once again put off thinking seriously about budget cuts for another year; and it allows Republicans to continue their insane opposition to even moderate and temporary tax increases.

When will we learn? What ought to be obvious to the Times is that the only thing that will get Sacramento's attention is a gun to their head. Prop 57 lets everyone off the hook yet again and promises little more than another year of political posturing. It's time to just say no.

Kevin Drum 10:07 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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