The California Budget Disaster

Good article here.

The article tells you pretty much all you need to know about what is going on.

The insane 2/3 supermajority to raise taxes by put in by the disastrous Proposition 13 passed by Californians in 1978. I lived in California both before and after Prop 13, and the contrast is stark. The entire public sector of the state, especially the schools, has been nuked by Prop 13. The Whites voted for it and then their own communities got fucked, but hey, anything for lower taxes, right? Idiots.

This was really the start of the racialization of the state’s politics, with Whites constantly holding out against taxation that they see as disproportionately going to lazy and criminal Blacks and Hispanics. No one ever comes right out and says it, but that’s the reality of California politics in a nutshell for the past 30 years.

If you move to just about any majority-White community in California, you will find that it is majority Republican, with hard right Assemblymen, state senators and Congressional Representatives. It’s as true in wealthy Orange County as it is in the poor desert, Central Valley, Sierras or North Coast. So in this most progressive of US states, a frankly White racist politics holds sway and dominates state politics.

There is a good portrayal, historical and present, of the Central Valley in the article. That’s the part of California that I live in – the San Joaquin Valley. Jeff Denham is the asshole state senator from my district. The area right around here is 67% Hispanic, but a lot of them are illegals, a lot of rest are legal immigrants, and a lot of the rest are not registered to vote, or, if they register, then they don’t bother to vote. So while Whites are 43% of the state, they are 70% of the voters, and the government increasingly does not represent the state itself.

Slashing government services and spending in a recession or depression is about the stupidest thing you can do, but that’s what we are doing here in California. The article details some of the cuts, lately to university and even K-12 education. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who poses as some progressive Republican, is actually hard Right on the all-important fiscal questions.

The California Republican Party, instead of getting more progressive to evolve and attract new members, is now dominated by its most reactionary members. It’s now a permanent minority party, but it’s the party of White California. No one ever has the balls to say that, so I will right now.

This article astutely notes that it is the rightwing Whites in my region who are creating this monumental clusterfuck in the state.

There is an increasing movement afoot to amend Proposition 13 or at least get rid of the lunatic 2/3 majority, via a ballot proposition. It will no doubt be an uphill climb.

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11 thoughts on “The California Budget Disaster”

  1. California might be a good place for my pet anti-illegal activism campaign: boycott businesses that employ them. With 10% unemployment in the country, blacks who would otherwise think such a thing is racism might support their own economic empowerment. Ask businesses what steps they take to make sure their employees are legal, and direct our patronage only to the good ones. (Unfortunately, I don’t live in CA. Most Hispanics in my area are Puerto Rican and hence legal.)

  2. Funny thing is that the whites will swear up and down that the republican party here is not racist. I used to listen to talk radio daily and they got so angry when someone accused conservative whites of being racist.

    I’ll come out and say it though, I have always liked Tom McClintock. Whether one agrees with his politics or not, he’s always come across as very knowledgeable and principled. If he ran for governor, he’d get my vote, even though he’s quite a bit to the right of me.

  3. Robert, would you agree with proposition that California would be a better place if large scale Mexican and South American immigration (ie Eisenhower’s ‘Operation Wetback’), was never permitted in the first place?

  4. Crissakes.

    Stalin said “socialism in one country.”
    The man of steel wouldn’t even recognise California as one state.

  5. Dear Robert
    My understanding is that part of California’s fiscal problems stems from very high wages paid to public sector wokers such as fire fighters, teachers, jail guards and so on. The large Hispanic community in California doesn’t help either, of course, because they pay little taxes on average while also being disproportionately on the receiving end of taxes.
    Regards. James

  6. To play the devil’s advocate, aren’t there plenty of other states that have diverse populations that DON’T have anything like a prop 13? Could prop 13 be in response to California’s rapidly escalating real estate values and the accompanying higher property tax? Think about it. If you have a fixed income and the value of your house keeps getting rapidly assessed upwards, wouldn’t you vote for prop 13? Maybe race doesn’t play as much a role in this as you think.

    1. Most people want to keep the part that says if you are on a fixed income, you won’t lose your house. That’s what they sold it to everyone on, and that’s why a lot of people voted for it. But 2/3 of the benefits went to commercial properties and they don’t need it. And then they snuck the 2/3 majority requirement in there too. It was pushed by the most reactionary forces in the state.

      Also owners of rental property cleaned up. Howard Jarvis was President of the Apartment Owners Association. They told all of the tenants that if they voted for Prop. 13, the landlords were going to lower their rents. Not one person got their rent lowered, not one.

      The whole politics of this state is all about race. That’s why Whites are now all rightwing Republicans (especially on spending) whereas in the 1970’s, they were liberals and we had a great liberal state with good public services.

  7. Dear Robert and Tulio
    Higher property values don’t necessarily lead to higher property taxes because rates can be lowered. That’s how it is usually done in Canada. Suppose that in a village there are 1000 houses with a market value of 200,000. The rate is 1.5%, so that each house owner pays 3000 in property taxes. Ten years later, each house is worth 300,000, but then the rate may be 1%, so that each house owner still pays 3000 in property taxes.
    In Toronto, house prices are on average higher than in the rest of Ontario, but the property tax rates are lower. As a result, Torontonians don’t pay more in property taxes than people in most other municipalities. Property tax rates are adjustable.
    Regards. James

    1. I’m not sure what was happening but property taxes kept going up in California in the 1970’s with rising property values. Everyone was screaming for someone to do something about it but no one could figure out what to do about it. Jerry Brown was governor and all he did was diddle his fingers and not do anything. So then we got Prop 13. It’s really the 2/3 supermajority to raise taxes that is fucking the state. Plus the property taxes paid by the business sector have crashed, defunding the state. School and library bonds used to always pass here in California before Prop 13, even the all White places where I lived. Now they often do not pass. Schools have been ruined since Prop 13. Back then we had art, music, PE, all the extracurriculars. That’s all gone now.

      High salaries to public employees can’t be a problem here. No one here thinks those people make too much money, although the prison guards do make way too much money.

      Per capita income here in California should be around $69,000/yr. If California were a nation, it would be the 4th richest country on Earth.

      It’s amazing how people insist that there is no money in this state to pay for all this stuff. If you lived here, you wouldn’t say that. You have no idea how many upper middle class, rich, super rich and ultra rich people live in this state. I worked for the IRS for a while doing tax returns in California. I was stunned at how many returns were coming in not just over $100K, but routinely over $200K and up.

      There is plenty of money in this state, even with the Mexicans, the highly paid state employees (Where do people get this idea?), and even the illegals.

      The illegals aren’t going anywhere and there’s no plan to ship them out soon, so saying ship out the illegals is no solution to the problem.

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