Time magazine has an amazing article up about the causes of California’s fiscal problems. Amazing for the fact that it’s so stupid that only Time could have written it.
The article lays the blame for California’s problems at the feet of Proposition 13, the 1978 state ballot initiative that forced a limit on property taxes and required a two-thirds majority for any new taxes. Time seems to think that if Prop 13 wasn’t in effect, the state would be able to raise enough cash through new taxes to fix it’s current mess. The title of the article neatly sums up their position: “California’s Fiscal Crisis: The Legacy of Proposition 13”.
In actuality, it’s the legacy of a state legislature that can’t stop spending money with both hands. If Prop 13, which was passed in 1978, is to blame for this mess, then why did we have a budget surplus at the beginning of this decade? Wouldn’t we see a steady decline? The fact of the matter is that our problem lies with the fact that we keep electing spend-happy fools to the legislature. Time, true to form, thinks the citizens who want to keep a little of their hard earned money are the ones spoiling all the fun.