Sunday, February 8, 2009

No, we are not all to blame

In the Sunday (2/8/2009) issue of the San Jose Mercury News (interestingly, the paper headline read "Budget Mess: We're all to blame") columnists Rogers and Poitinger claim we're all to blame for the budget mess. Missing from their analysis is the many multi-billion dollar bonds, passed by proposition, floated by voters to fund many feel-good measures. Naturally, most of these bonds would be paid from the general fund or homeowner property assessments.

One glaring example that comes to mind (on the ballot 8 years ago) was a "Open Space preservation" measure what would be funded exclusively by private property assessments. It passed. The subsequent analysis was astounding. Of the "yes" voters, 75% owned no property. Yup, business as usual ... those who "can" pay for those who "need". (Where have I heard that before?)

And so it is typically for bond measures. Obligations are paid out of the general fund, the income from which comes, primarily, from income taxes; 80% of which are paid by 20% of tax payers.

So, no Misters Rogers and Poitinger, we are NOT ALL TO BLAME. Some of us didn't vote for this crap, and do understand economics. Stupid voters, who don't have a stake in the financial obligations for the measures they vote for and pass, are to blame.

As for how to fix the budget problem, since the state can't just erase the obligations with the stroke of a pen? I'm OK with a general tax increase, paid for by EVERYONE. A general consumption tax? Sure .... raise the sales tax to 15% and reduce income and property taxes, thus proportionately spreading the pain for economic stupidity. That I could get behind.

2 comments:

Weetabix said...

Or get all the property owners to include in their rent the taxes listed separately the way the phone company does it:

Rent: $500
Additional taxes that you thought you'd make ME pay by passing your idiot referendum: $250

Windy Wilson said...

Good one, Weet!
The economic ignorance of the supposedly educated voters never ceases to amaze me.
Make that the ignorance of the supposedly educated voters. . .