Google


Dangers of the Ballot Initiative

May 11, 2012 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, California, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Ethics, Government, Law, Liberals, Los Angeles, Regulation, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

At first blush, the idea of having ballot initiatives on election day seems like such a great, democratic idea. Unfortunately, all too often, all they are is a way to enlarge government, chip away at freedom, and cost the taxpayers money without returning the benefits promised. California is the perfect example of these troubles.

The problem, of course, is not that it’s too much democracy, but that few of these ballot measures are true grassroots uprisings meant to make the lives of Californians better. Instead they are moneyed special interests using their deep pockets to buy the petition process in order to get their own narrow needs favored in Sacramento.

Even as far back as 2004, the L.A. Times had soured on ballot measures. In an editorial scoffing at the whole system, the Times ended saying, “Ballot-box legislating — often swayed by false or misleading advertising — is no way to run a state of 36 million people and such diverse needs.”

That same year in San Jose, for instance, a ballot measure appear that was supposed to go to funding of libraries. The measure was supposed to raise the budget for libraries to $48 million per year but despite that good natured taxpayers approved the budget measure the city ended up cutting the library expenditures down to $32 million annually. This is a typical case where tax hikes approved by voters never ended up going where voters thought they were going to go. This year, new ballot measures meant to correct the library budget deficiency are being proposed but these measures are likely to make matters worse.

In another case, Richmond, California is sponsoring tax measures on the ballot that according to Tim Bittle, an attorney with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, may even be illegal.

All too often these ballot measures foisted on voters are boondoggles. From property tax hikes, surcharges on one thing or another, high-speed rail or stem-cell research, the tax-and-spend lobby is often unscrupulous in what they put in front of the California voter. One such boondoggle that will appear on the ballots is Proposition 29, the California Cancer Research Act, a measure that continues this sorry tradition of fleecing taxpayers for even more wasteful spending.

A new study by former California Director of Finance Michael Genest found that Proposition 29 continues the destructive practice of California government creating a slew of unaccountable bureaucracies that usurp taxpayer dollars while growing more unaccountable to voters. Genest evaluated Proposition 29 in light of past California bureaucracies created at the ballot box–such as high-speed rail, the stem-cell research institute and First 5 — and found striking similarities in the lack of oversight, accountability and conflict of interest rules.

An additional paper by Peter Schaasfma, the former Assistant State Treasurer of California, notes that the lack of oversight of the new agency “is likely to generate significant controversy over expenditures of taxpayer monies.”

Like the boondoggles of years past, Proposition 29 is a bad choice for California taxpayers struggling in the current recession. Voters need to send a clear message this June and defeat this ill-advised spending measure.
____________
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Comments

comments


Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

We use Facebook comments, but they can sometimes take quite a while to load. So, be patient. Thanks.

Social Networking


Help the Soldiers!



American Genius

Our Founding Ideas

"Governments are instituted among men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776





Enter your Email


Preview
Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a reader




Recently Written

  • Showtime’s ‘Billions’ is Hard to Believe
  • Time to END This ‘President’s Day’ Foolishness
  • Liberal Media Pushes Fake News That Florida Killer Was a Member of a ‘White Supremacist Group’
  • Discussing Guns … With a Child
  • Dead Not Counted Before Liberals Start Lying About Florida School Shooting
  • Memo ‘Reporting’ Proves the American Media are Part of the Democrat Party
  • Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is the PERFECT Example for Repeal of the 17th Amendment
  • You Can’t Be Both a Liberal AND an American at the Same Time
  • CW’s New ‘Black Lightning’ Super Hero Series Reveals the Hypocrisy of Social Justice Warriors
  • Illinois Senator Dick Durbin Has a Long History of Lies and Calumny


  • What THEY Say:
    Foreign News In English




    Click HERE for information
    on my fedora collection.
    Antique Stetsons, hat history...



























    Contact Us

    Email Publius' Forum

    Archives

  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • October 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005



  • Add to Technorati Favorites


    Clicky Web Analytics