The old expression that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good is often repeated in political debates when compromise is at hand. An application of that old saw should be applied to Propositions 1 & 2 on next week’s ballot and both measures should be passed by voters.
This page has carried a number articles on both sides of the Proposition 1 and 2 debates, mine included. Today, I’ll rehash and reference some of the reasons I wrote previously in support of these measures.
However, I will start with a dig at the powers-that-be. The governor and legislature manipulated the system – not for the first time — to give themselves every edge by changing the numbers on these two propositions presenting an odd set-up to voters with proposition numbers 1 and 2 then jumping to 45. As I’ve written previously, biasing rules to favor one side or the other on political questions is another reason the general public is losing faith in the political process. Stop gaming the system.
As to Proposition 1, the water bond, is certainly a better version than the water bond originally scheduled to appear on the ballot. You could argue with that previous bond, legislators were trying to sell a pig in a poke – lots of pork without the public being aware. Prop 1 contains less pork and more water.
Importantly, as I noted here, the storage piece of the bond harkens back to bonds that helped build the California of today. The storage aspect of Proposition1 is essential for building up the water supply as the drought deepens. President John F. Kennedy dedicated a dam and reservoir fifty years ago acknowledging “the wise decisions that were made by those who came before, and the wise decisions that you are making now.” Time to continue making wise decisions on water conservation.
Proposition 2, the Rainy Day Fund measure, proposes to keep revenues in reserve during good economic times to offset budget shortfalls in down years.
While a more permanent fix of the tax system is needed to prevent California’s economic rollercoaster ride, Proposition 2 will act as an insurance policy against tough economic times.
As I have written, Proposition 2 mirrors a plan attempted at the end of the Schwarzenegger administration that tied a rainy day fund to temporary tax increases. In the 2009 special election, I was on the “yes” side of Proposition 1A,which would have created a rainy day fund while imposing a two-year temporary tax. It was defeated. In 2012, I opposed Proposition 30 precisely because no spending reforms were tied to the measure.
With Proposition 30, we got an even longer-term temporary tax increase than Proposition1A would have authorized. It’s now time to put the reserve fund in place to balance the tax increase with a measure of reform.
Proposition 2 is that reform. It may not be perfect, but it is good.