Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Truth and Fiction: Prop 76

Commendations should go out to CTA and CSEA for doing a very good job of hoodwinking even some of the most conservative school board members around the state.

Many school board members are staying neutral out of fear or coming right out and opposing the Live Within Our Means Act. They have the mistaken perception that Prop 76 will hurt education by weakening Prop 98 protections, lead to mid-year education cuts, and give too much authority to the Governor.

In actuality, Prop 76 will stabilize education funding that under the current system that has no "rainy day" fund and thus is overly susceptible to years when tax income decreases.

As to mid year cuts, this is another distortion. If the state is in a major financial deficit, the Legislature gets called back into session to figure a way out of it. If after a month and half, they haven't done anything, the Governor can select where to make the cuts. Those cuts can be selective or across the board. The idea that education would be cut is thrown out there by the unions because they know it would be unpopular, but is not in the initiative.

If anything, this initiative gives greater sway to the Legislature since they get first swing when these special sessions are called. Only if they fail to act does the Governor have the authority to make cut.

Bottom Line - Liberal interests are fighting tooth and nail against Prop 76 because it will drastically reduce the budget crises that occur during economic slowdowns. The biggest argument for a tax increase is a budget deficit. Liberals have to convince the public that drastic cuts will ocurr without a tax increase in order to get public approval. No deficit, no tax increase argument. That's why Democrats and the unions can't afford to see Prop 76 pass, not the false accusations they're throwing around now.