Town Square

Post a New Topic

WSJ: California Reckoning

Original post made by Pleasanton Dad, Amador Estates, on May 19, 2009

I think this Wall Street Journal article sums up California's situation quite well. Until our elected officials demonstrate true leadership by addressing the core issues, all of today's ballot propositions are short-term band-aids. We have to amend our constitution to free ourselves of broken and ineffective processes. Nothing on today's ballot solves the budget problem - it merely masks it, which is why I'm voting NO on everything except 1F.

Here's the article: Web Link

Comments (5)

Like this comment
Posted by Allen
a resident of Birdland
on May 19, 2009 at 9:58 am

The Wall Street Journal editorial is correct. PW, please take notice of exceptional critical thinking.

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

Stacey is a registered user.

From the editorial: "Drilling for oil offshore would also bring in billions of dollars of revenues."

Isn't there more to this statement though? Like what extra revenues would that bring into California other than just corporate taxes? What about revenue from the lease of the oil deposits (or rather some fee on the removal of California's natural resources/assets)?

Like this comment
Posted by Get out of the wagon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Just because they lease doesn't mean they have to drill. Let's get someone out there who will actually set out to DRILL for oil so we can finally reap the benefits. Those on the Left want to keep their stranglehold over the environment and the rest of us. There has to be a better balance between their "sacred" environment and the PEOPLE who reside in it / need utilize it. I'm sorry to offend the Left, but my children and their future are more important than any animal/sea creature or tree. If they need a house, I will chop down a tree for it. All you have to do is look at how far the logging industry stripped the land and how far the environmentalist swung back. Neither was right and now forests full of trees are burning and we are not reaping any benefits of some of those trees, in fact the environment suffers from the forest fires. I want balance - on BOTH sides. The Left's environmental agenda is a religion without merit. DRILL, Stupid, DRILL!

Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm

What you linked to, Pleasanton Dad, is not an article. It's an editorial.

What that means, Allen, is that it's a set of opinions, which cannot be correct or incorrect. Factual assertions can be correct or incorrect. Opinions can be consistent with your own or in conflict with your own. But to say that the editorial is correct just blurs the distinction between fact and opinion.

The editorial states a number of different opinions, and I agree with some, but not with others. Trina asked me on another thread what my opinions was of the editorial, so I came over to share my opinion.

Which opinions do you agree with?
- You have sympathy for Governor Schwarzenegger?
- He's decided to settle for the lowest common denominator reform, which isn't nearly enough?
- The rainy day fund is a sensible reform?
- Public unions neutered the Gann Amendment in the early 1990s?
- Prop 1B is worse than 1A?
- Props 1C, 1D, and 1E are gimmicks?
- Sacramento needs to rethink its highly progressive antigrowth tax code?
- Stronger reform is needed -- a better spending cap, and a flat-rate income and sales tax?
- Let companies drill for oil offshore and tax revenues will grow?

I actually think the article about Schwarzenegger in the WSJ is much more valuable. (This one: Web Link )

The article provides useful and detailed reporting, particularly about the reasons WHY revenue has been so unstable in California compared with other states.

The key quote, as I see it:

California is "highly dependent on one volatile stream of revenue -- personal income taxes, which account for about 53% of the general fund."

In the end, I think Californians are going to need to recognize that we need a stable source of funding for the services that the state provides. It's not about getting people to pay more or less in taxes -- it's about balancing the revenue from income, property, and sales taxes in a way that smooths out the bumps that economic booms and busts create, rather than turning them into a world-class rollercoaster.

For the record, I agree with 1, 3, and 6 above -- oh, and with half of 7, of course. I do believe the tax code needs to be redesigned, as I have explained above. But the reform that is needed is not about making the tax code more or less progresssive, or pro- or anti-growth -- it's about making tax revenue more predictable.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm

This much I know for a fact. If California has any future at all they need to significantly reduce taxes otherwise we are finished. I like the idea of a flat tax because everybody is in and everyone pays there fair share.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

New state housing requirements could affect Pleasanton
By Jeb Bing | 6 comments | 635 views

Salami, Salami … Baloney
By Tom Cushing | 23 comments | 461 views

Time for new collaboration between city and school district
By Tim Hunt | 2 comments | 429 views