Regarding Governor’s Brown proposal for a ballot measure to bring in more revenue by increasing taxes, Steve Greenhut’s take is worth reading.
Arguments about whether this is truly needed aside, I don’t see any safeguards in the measure that would control spending. First, as we know, salaries are the biggest drain on the budget. How will this measure control the amount of benefits and raises offered to employees? (Yes, I am a government worker, and I do prefer raises, but I tend to look at the bigger picture.) My biggest complaint is the lack of restrictions on the pay of bureaucrats. For example, look at the salaries given to the leadership of our public universities. That keeps going higher and higher when fees are raised for students. Shouldn’t we control public employee compensation with safeguards first?
The only thing that would cause me to even consider supporting such a measure is if it included something like the Gann Initiative, but this time make sure it cannot be watered down except by a vote of the people. (While this article is old, it explains the initiative well.)
The problem is obvious. So. you’re an adult and you like to spend, but you aren’t saving or investing anything. You get into debt. You think, “If I just get a pay raise, I’ll pay off my bills and start to put money away for the future.” You do get a raise, but instead of putting money away, you keep on spending and spending and getting more in debt. When will you learn? Unless we place limitations on this and other proposed tax revenue, Sacramento will just find ways to spend it, putting us back at square one.
So ask yourself: Are you willing to allow government to raise your taxes without any means to control spending? I’m not ready for that. Are you?