July 25, 2005

WE'VE GOT AN AWFUL LOT OF MEANS THOUGH:

Spending Cap Called Key to National Plan: Conservatives say an initiative on California's November ballot could, like Prop. 13, propel similar measures now brewing across the U.S. (Evan Halper, July 25, 2005, LA Times)

The cap on state spending that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants voters to pass in November is emerging as a centerpiece of a nationwide strategy by influential conservatives to slash government spending in state capitals across the country.

Although the authors of the California proposal say they were not influenced by out-of-state groups, a loose affiliation of ideologically conservative organizations are hoping that the proposed California "Live Within Our Means Act" will help fuel a national taxpayer revolt they are working to coordinate in more than two dozen other states.

"This is the next big thing at the state level," said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, one of the country's leading anti-tax activists. "A lot of groups have become involved…. Soon you will see it on the ballot in every initiative state."

The California "Live Within Our Means Act" would prevent the budget from growing faster than the average increases in state revenues over the previous three years. Other states have taken somewhat different approaches, prohibiting budget growth that is faster than the rate of population and inflation or personal income.


Seems like one of those measures that sounds sensible and popular until the big money interests on the Left in CA spend enough tv money to define it in such a way that it loses. It's up to Arnold to make sure that definitional war isn't lost.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 25, 2005 8:32 AM
Comments

Although the authors of the California proposal say they were not influenced by out-of-state groups, a loose affiliation of ideologically conservative organizations are hoping that the proposed California "Live Within Our Means Act" will help fuel a national taxpayer revolt they are working to coordinate in more than two dozen other states.

They make it sound like some weird, foreign voodoo cult. And what if they were influenced by "out of state" groups? A good idea in one place will normally be a good idea elsewhere.

This is a strange charge, that they were influenced by outsiders. Had the idea come from Europe the LA Times would be complaining to the governor that he isn't implementing it fast enough.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 25, 2005 9:17 AM

Another problem with these things is that WE (the right) never make the case FOR spending cuts, but rather rely on tax cuts for popularity.

The spending lobbies inevitably gin up all the "unmet needs".

WE never make the connection between lower spending & more freedom. This entire conumdrum would solve itself if the right would just go after the driver of most state budgets - the corrupt & inneffective public education sector.

Posted by: Bruno at July 25, 2005 9:28 AM

Bruno:

Agree, there is a case to be made for the measure and making it helps elevate the political life of California. However, California is after all California. Advancing the casuse of starving the tax eaters may be best proposed by not by careful argument but by presenting the measure as a fad diet.

Posted by: Luciferous at July 25, 2005 11:34 AM
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