With the June Primary less than a month away, you would expect that the political mud would to be slinging to and fro on the airwaves of every television and radio station in the State. However, with the exception of the gubernatorial race in the Democrat Primary there is silence. It is almost as if this is either a stealth election where the advantage is to the most grassroots organization that a candidate can muster or we are in such a state of secure incumbent districts that there are just no competitive electoral races in our area. Maybe it is a strange combination of both.
Since Democrats have more reason to get to the polls and make a choice for governor, it would seem that the two measures on the ballot both stand a good chance of passage. Both advocate the Democrat axioms of more indebtedness and taxation.
The first initiative is Proposition 81. This bond measure is for library construction and renovation. It offers the promise of increased literacy in exchange for 1.2 billion dollars in taxpayer money. This measure assumes that brick and mortar libraries like those thirty years ago will be the same for the next thirty years. Do you really believe that the library of 1976 will be unchanged by the year 2036? Dream on!
The next measure (Proposition 82) is the universal pre-school initiative that will be paid for by the wealthiest Californians. This scheme is being projected to generate 2.1 billion dollars annually in an economic vacuum. It is called a voluntary program for all four year olds. Yeah, sure! Compulsory for taxpayers now, compulsory for children later.
There are two fallacies with this initiative. First, those paying the tax get no benefit from this confiscatory initiative. Those who are taxed would likely never turn their four year olds over to the State. Secondly, there is no proof that there is any lasting benefit to children by taking pre-school. In fact, a recent study done at UC Davis proved that any benefit that could be had from pre-school was gone by third grade. I’m not going to say that no children would benefit from pre-school but the expectations attached to this program are exaggerated.
One fault with this type of hype is that advocates of a measure can claim anything they want without repercussions because ballot arguments are not legally binding. They can be well intentioned or bald-faced liars and they are safe from any recriminations for their claims. In the final analysis, those supporting or opposing a measure are both unelected and unaccountable to the voters. Let the voters beware!