In a Sacramento Bee article, California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D Sacramento) notes that the possibility of sending competing tax increase measures before the voters is fraught with peril. Make no mistake, Senator Steinberg wants a tax increase to pass. Because California’s highest earners aren’t paying enough?
Steinberg said it “scares the heck out of me” that if the other tax measures remain on the ballot, Brown’s might fail. For Brown, he said, it’s a “tough time” to be governor.
“In some ways the system is designed, especially in the modern era, it invites a lot of chaos,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of direct democracy run wild.”
Spending initiatives passed by California Voters are part of the California Budget problem. But Senator Steinberg is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Spending (and taxing), is the responsibility of the Legislature. Senator Steinberg wants to abdicate his responsibility to “the will of the people”. He would prefer not to be holding the bag, voting for a tax increase in the Senate, especially if it barely passes. Passing a tax increase by a Democrat majority would mean that he would effectively own it. Much easier to bestow that ugly mantle of ownership onto the voters.
So it’s convenient to use the electorate to do what the Senator has not the will, (nor the support) to so himself, but competing measures are direct democracy run wild. Which is it Senator? You can’t have it both ways. Either the initiative process is democracy at it’s purest, or it’s chaos.
But indicative of the all the competing tax increase initiatives, is the concept of class warfare. “We need more money, so I ask you to vote to take it from someone else.” The idea that the government can choose who to make pay for reckless spending should be frightening to one and all. That they elect to couch it in terms of “making millionaires” pay higher taxes is just populist pablum. If the support for higher taxes is present in the electorate, then just pass a tax increase in the legislature, and have the Governor sign it into law. But instead of acting boldly, and because they know there isn’t any real support for tax increases, regardless of who would have to pay for it, they want to leave the smoking gun in the hand of the voter. They want to profit from robbing the citizen, but have the voter pull the trigger, and face the consequences. The California elected class are simply Street Gang Lords – they invite the crime, and the chaos, but choose to hide behind the voters, their gang, when it comes time to pay the cost of the crime. Cowards.