Prop 13: Californians' Choice
As the state of California's political economy continues to worsen, many are once again pointing to Prop 13 (1978) as the root of the problem. Time Magazine with their article "Schwarzenegger's Failure in California" among a wide variety of other news sources are placing the burden of blame on Governor Schwarzenegger for refusing to confront the necessary changes in California policy involving property tax earlier in his term. However, in reading through the various accusatory examinations of California‘s economic disaster, I wonder if there shouldn't be more self-reflection for California voters as we were the ones who overwhelmingly passed the severe tax limitations of Prop 13 three decades ago. It was the voice of "the people" of California who wrote into law that in order to raise state taxes, legislative and electorate bodies needed to achieve a two-thirds majority, making it even more difficult for politicians to balance the state‘s economic affairs. It was good-old Californians who effective reduced property taxes by an average of 57% through Prop 13, severely cutting funding to local government to the point where counties across the state became more and more reliant on the purse in Sacramento.It's worth contemplating, beyond anything that Schwarzenegger and other California lawmakers could have done to avoid our state's current economic crisis, are we the residents, tax payers, and voters of California willing to get behind the necessary tax hikes or do we continue to condemn politicians who suggest such action. Because the beauty of a democratic state is that we decide how bad things need to get before enacting necessary changes.