No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118
essentialsaltes

Ballot

Spurred by the non-voting but opinion-holding britgeekgrrl's tiptoe through the ballot, I'll slowly put together my own, providing me with an unwanted reason for participating in the inevitable Scott-instigated kerfuffle on enigmachat.



Prop 1A: reluctant NO. I like the idea of the gas tax applying strictly to roads and transportation. However, I think the restrictions of the previously passed prop 42 are strong enough. Prop 1A seems to be a reaction to the raiding of these funds for other purposes that happened in 2003-2005. In fact, CA's state economy was in shambles at the time, and this provided some much-needed flexibility.

Prop 1B: reluctant NO. I love infrastructure and ours is falling apart, but $20billion is too much too soon. Take a look at the graph on p.97 and see the mountain that ensues if all the bond issues pass. Prop 1B is responsible for almost half of that mountain.

Prop 1C: reluctant YES. It's $3B in debt, and I doubt it will make a significant difference in any of the things it's attempting (adding low-income housing, unblighting our urbs), but one chunk of the argument against is so retarded, my brain wants to punish the anti-side. I'm so sure the invisible hand of economics will push developers to create low-income housing -- after all, there's such demand for it. I'm sure Kaufman and Broad are working on their new line of crackhead and old folks homes.

Prop 1D: NO. Fuck education. I got mine; that's all that matters. No, it's just too much ($10B) and all over the map. Also, there are still $3B in previous bond funds available for K-12 projects - ask me again next year after you've spent all that. As for higher ed... not everyone has to go to college. When half the students coming into the CalState system fail either the math and english placement exams, maybe we don't need to "construct new buildings and related infrastructure."

Prop 1E: reluctant NO. Katrina Katrina Katrina, omigod floods! Again, I hate to vote down infrastructure, but if we're going to play games with risk assessment, let's run the numbers.
Northridge quake - $25B
Loma Prieta - $5.9B
New Year's Eve Flood of 1997 (what?) - $1.8B
So is it worth $4B? I say no. This is not wilfully ignoring the problem -- a law passed earlier this year provides $500 million for levee repairs. (Though that's far short of the $7-12B estimate of the total repairs and upgrades needed.)

Prop 83: NO. I love child-molesters about as much as the next guy, but this doesn't help. If you want them locked up forever, then increase the jailtime. Make it life. See if I care. But if they serve their time, they're out. There are already plenty of onerous laws they have to follow. Do we really need to increase the safe school zone from 1320 feet to 2000 feet? Is it fair to GPS monitor these people when they've done their time... and make them pay for it?

Prop 84: reluctant YES. More bond spending. And even more randomly cobbled together than 1D, but drinking water is good infrastructure and nature conservancy protects fluffy bunnies. And, whaddyaknow, there's even another $800M for flood control. Makes me feel better about shitcanning 1E.

Prop 85: Reluctant(!) NO. As much as I think parents ought to know about and have a say in their kids' lives and medical procedures, we need to protect kids from wacko parents. It's not the average kid and average parents we need to worry about, it's the kids in trouble and the parents who ARE trouble. Abortions for everyone!

Prop 86: reluctant NO. I'd like to say, "Smokers? Fuck 'em." But I can't. If all the money went to anti-smoking efforts (broadly construed) then I could get behind it, but the major beneficiary of this is emergency rooms and trauma centers. Very worthy causes, I agree, but not the way to fund them. I don't mind paying to educate other people's brats, but wouldn't it be weird if school funds came only from taxes on left-handers? Or beer? Sweet, sweet beer. They came for the smokers, and I said nothing because I don't smoke.

Prop 87: reluctant YES. Unforeseen consequences loom large, but I'll give it a whirl. Apparently, Texas takes a "4.5% cut from it's [sic] oil fields". On the other hand, Texas' taxes are 0%, while CA's corporate tax rate is 8.8%. On the gripping hand, do oil companies actually pay any state taxes? [non-Answer: "Oil companies won't say how much they pay and those tax records aren't public."]
The requirement that evil oil overlords cannot pass on the extra costs to us is laughable, and in the end, we may blow a lot of money on research that produces zilch.

Prop 88: YES. Being a relatively new homeowner (and having just paid the first of two bigger-than-my-mortgage-payment property tax installments) I'm not keen to add to property taxes. But wait... what's this? "The measure exempts any parcel owner who resides on the parcel." Woohoo, anyone feeling sorry for the landlord or people who own more than one home? Not me. I worry that some of the money goes preferentially to above-average performing schools, but overall I think this is a win. ETA: Scott may have convinced me against this one. It is kludgy and would require a new apparatus to collect this new state parcel tax.

Prop 89: YE... huh, waitasec. NO! I really like public financing of campaigns (as opposed to corporate financing). You agree to limit your intake from the capitalist pigs, you get a certain number of $5 contributions from citizens to prove you're not nobody, and we'll open the public coffers for you. Sounds great. However, "Under the measure, candidates from minor parties and independent candidates are eligible to receive smaller amounts of public funds." Fuck you very much! Particularly since candidates that don't participate are still affected by lowered contribution limits. Oh, and there's probably all sorts of 1st Amendment issues about how one can speak with one's money in an election. Not that I care that much.

Prop 90: NO. Unforeseen consequences are one thing, but foreseen ones are another. I foresee lawyers... lots of lawyers. The eminent domain stuff sounds great, but the Paying Property Owners for Economic Losses stuff sounds like a recipe for disaster. It applies to virtually all (new) laws and "to all types of private property ... and 'intangible' property (such as ownership of a business or patent)". Somehow, the Mouse would use this to sue the state for damage to its copyrights. I just know it.

All right, that's my thoughts so far. I'm open to conversion.
Tags: politics, vote
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