Dear fellow Californians,
I am hoping all Californians who read this will pass on this post to Californians they know: left, right or center. We can all agree that Californians are all in deep deep shit given the general and severe dysfunction of our state, its $20B budget deficit. I see the upcoming Governor's race as a promise we are making to ourselves to continue to heap mountains more shit on ourselves daily for at least four years to come.
As I see it, a good start on these issues is this Huff Post article about California's ungovernability by San Diego Civic Leader Greg Mitrovich. It argues that California is ungovernable mainly because of the "direct democracy" system established in the reform era of the early 20th Century. This system worked at the time to undermine certain business interests that had a monopoly on state power, but it also eventually led to Prop 13 and and the two-thirds rule for raising taxes which Mitrovich and I see at the heart of our great state's dysfunction.
Prop 13 has become California's political "third rail" not just because it protects certain tax payers, especially those who voted for it back in 1978 and still live in the same houses. It also has considerable "vast corporate tax loopholes" most voters don't know about.
How is it in a country founded on "don't tread on me" and tea party tax revolts against unfair taxation, Tea Party types support Prop 13 even though it is obviously an unfair and arbitrary tax? Prop 13 mandates unequal taxes on properties of equal value. Need we say more?
Even Warren Buffet understands that Prop 13 mandates "wildly capricious" taxation. For example, I currently pay roughly many many times more what Warren payed in 2004 on taxes for his home he bought in 1970. Warren valued his home at $4M in 2004, and it is now listed at $10.3M (Warren's 2004 assessment of his home was a bit low, it seems).
My house is worth a small fraction of that, yet I pay many times the property tax!! Who would argue that is fair? As Buffet said, it is wildly capricious.
Why is Prop 13 deemed constitutional? What about that Equal Protection clause? Mitrovich argues that--as with Dred Scott and Gore v. Bush--the SCOTUS was simply DEAD WRONG in this case. The only thing supreme about the SCOTUS majority is their stupidity and myopia.
Here's another must-read article from the right-of-center Economist magazine arguing for radical change in "ungovernable" California. Business leaders in the Bay Area are working toward a constitutional convention, but Prop 13 is not part of their plan. Perhaps the only way they can get a constitutional convention or "con-con" is to pander to those who want Prop 13 to continue as CA's political "third rail." If it remains our third rail, we will find that we have been sitting on this rail all along.
Since the Gubinator took over, our state has gone from dysfunctional to idiotic. If Meg is seen from this liberal's perspective as a well-funded nightmare for California, Jerry Brown is certainly not some liberal wet dream. This article on Brown shows why the race for Governor is so bad it almost makes me support four more years of the idiotic and incompetent Gubinator. In all his phoniness and opportunism, Brown supports Prop 13, the law he signed back in 1978.
Brown, like Obama, is assumed to be liberal, even though much of his lasting impact has been the worst kind of right-wing, Jarvis-like crap California is uniquely known for. He even had a show in the 90s on KPFA (it sucked, by the way). Like W, Brown's career was made by his father, and his work in office shows that he is lazy, an opportunist in the extreme, dishonest, self-serving, incompetent and lacks insight. He's the Dems W. Bottom line, Brown is a HUGE mistake for Democratic California. I wish he had meditated on how self-serving his run for Governor is, and how much the true liberals of California needed him to NOT run. What an jerk.
And I will vote for him because Meg, to me, is obviously much worse. Both have ties to Goldman Sachs, by the way, but Meg's are much deeper, and she has much more of that "masters of the universe" mindset than Jerry. She's more like a Ross Perot buying her way into office. Let's hope she is as successful as Ross was.
So, as you can guess, I'm pretty upset about California's prospects. The "Golden" State is not looking so golden right now, and I see no way out of its extreme lack of gold ($20B deficit). Without a "con-con" that includes radical tax reform ... that gets rid of the "supermajority" required to raise taxes ... without more taxes collected, and more fair taxation of people and corporations (which the SCOTUS, with its aforementioned supreme wisdom, recently deemed were people too) ... we Californians will continue to be royally fucked, buried in our own feces, especially those of us who recently bought houses.
So let me send out a big fuck you to those Californians who have been in their houses for a long time and support Prop 13 because it is a good deal for them. You deserve the shit that gets piled on you because our state and local governments are broke. I wonder if Howard Jarvis still lives in the home where Jerry Brown use to have breakfast with him and discuss how best to implement Prop 13. I bet Howard's taxes are low. Fuck you Howard Jarvis, and Jerry Brown for dining with him. Meg, a New Yorker, has only lived in her posh Atherton home since 1998. I'm sure she can afford the taxes she pays, which are disproportionately higher than Warren's ... and disproportionately lower than mine. Fuck you Meg, and I hope you aren't able to buy your way into the Governor's mansion.
Oh, that's right, California doesn't have a Governor's mansion because its Governors, since Reagan, have been wealthy enough to afford better living conditions. Arnold has a private jet fly him up from Brentwood. Meg will probably stay in her Atherton mansion, while Jerry Brown may stay in his expensive Oakland Hills home he forgets to talk about when he lies about how he is not the son of extreme privilege.