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Sunday, October 31, 2010

June 1978 Nation's Eyes On California - November 2010 Not So Much

Then and Now - The Same Yet Very Different

If you read the editorial from 1978 which I posted below, some of the problems we were having back then are again problems we are facing today. We have a state budget which has grown out of control - it increased by 80% in 4 years under Governor Brown, taxes are increasing and people are losing their homes.

Back in 1978, people were losing their homes because property taxes were linked to the assessed value of your home, and California real estate was booming, and real estate prices were rising. A house you could afford was quickly becoming a house you could no longer afford to pay taxes on, and when you don't pay your property taxes, the government forecloses and takes your home. This time around they are using middle men, called banks, because the government doesn't want to be the bad guy, and it is being done on a national scale.

But I seem to remember that the government is buying up all of those "troubled assets" from the banks, and is using the Fed to inject freshly printed paper money into those banks. When this all settles down, the government will own your house.

Back in 1978 this was not the case. Proposition 13 came to our rescue - and we were able to beat back the bureaucrats for a decade or so. Then we stopped paying attention again in the 1990s and whatd'ya know - the size of our government ballooned out of control and the pensions are back with a vengeance.

But there is no Proposition 13 on the ballot in 2010. In fact, there is a proposition designed to gut the laws put on the books to protect the taxpayers. Proposition 25 - dressed up in costume as a bid to punish politicians for not passing a state budget on time by withholding their pay. In the fine print it says they can raise taxes with 51% instead of 66.67% of the vote in the California legislature. Which do you think they will choose in a tough budget year? Their own incomes or yours?

But that isn't even the worst of it. Proposition 23 is the closest thing we have to a Proposition 13 - yet it won't even make things better, it will just keep them from getting worse, much worse, and it is failing in the polls. Proposition 23 puts a muzzle on AB-32, which will eventually be remembered as the Coup de Grace of California. It has to be the stupidest, worst timed piece of legislation that I have witnessed in my lifetime - even if it is wildly successful in its implementation - we will get nothing good out of it.

If you think I don't care about the environment, consider this. I used cloth diapers on both my children. I washed them in a washing machine (with a sanitary setting) - but hung them up to dry on a clothesline. I did this to reduce the amount of garbage being sent to landfills and conserve electricity. During this time, we did not own a car - we relied 100% on public transportation and bikes to get around. I did the grocery shopping by bus, at first with my daughter in a stroller and pregnant with my son, then then my son in the stroller and my 2-year-old daughter by my side. I hung the grocery bags from the stroller handles and put them in the little net.

My husband rode his bike to work, year round, through rain, snow, heat - you name it. We did this for two years. Then we bought a car, one car for the two of us - a VW. I still did most everything by bike, but had the option of using the car for larger shopping trips. We got along fine with our one car for the next two years.

Our governor by contrast commutes to work by jet. He is also one of the people responsible for AB-32. Not because he cares about the environment, but because he cares about everybody thinking he cares about the environment.

As a result of all this, I am voting for Chelene Nightingale for Governor of California. She is relatively unknown to Californians so you may think voting for her is too risky. To that I say, risky with at least the chance of a positive outcome is better than certain destruction.

I usually like to post the dead Kennedy's "California Ueber alles", on a post like this. But it is not appropriate. I must wait until they write their next ballad entitled "California RIP."


OK, Couldn't resist...this is kinda cute....

If that didn't put you in a rebellious mood, how about a little Sid?

Don't be a MOOOOOO cow, get mad, get up - get rid of the velvet and denim police. =) and don't forget to have a nice day.

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