Tom McClintock on the June 2018 ballot propositions.
Tom McClintock on the California ballot propositions for 2016.
Representative Tom McClintock’s recommendations for the November 2014 California ballot propositions:
Prop 1 – Water Bond: YES. This is a long way from a perfect measure, but it’s as good as it gets in California these days: a $7.5 billion water bond that spends $2.7 billion for new water storage. If that sounds breathtakingly underwhelming, remember that’s $2.7 billion more than the multi-billions of dollars of water bonds that we’ve spent in recent years. Sadly, it doesn’t overhaul the environmental laws that vastly inflate costs and it squanders a great deal more that won’t be used for storage, but it is a step away from the lunacy of the green left (that adamantly opposes it) and this alone merits support.
Prop 2 – Stop Us Before We Screw Up Again: YES. This repeals Prop 58, a vat of Schwarzenegger snake-oil sold to voters as the panacea to the state’s budget woes. It wasn’t. (My I-told-you-so moment). Prop 58 promised an iron-clad reserve, but in reality, the governor could suspend it any time he wanted. He did. (Oops, I did it again). What I like most about Prop 2 is that to raid the required budget reserve, both the governor AND the legislature must agree and then, only for a specifically declared emergency. In a nutshell, it requires the legislature and governor to do what they did voluntarily during the Deukmejian era. Still plenty of loopholes, but better than what we have today.
Prop 45 – If You Thought Obamacare Was Bad: NO. This is a trial lawyers measure that give the state insurance commissioner the power to set health care rates. Sound good? Doctors and other health care providers are already opting out of Obamacare because of artificially low rates; this compounds the problem for California. The good news it you’ll have cheap health insurance. The bad news is you won’t have a lot of providers accepting it.
Prop 46 – If You Thought Prop 45 Was Bad: NO. Another trial lawyers measure that quadruples the amount they can get for pain and suffering awards. Prop. 45 means lower provider reimbursements and Prop. 46 means higher provider costs. It also requires drug testing for doctors, which is a stupid idea but I appreciate the poetic justice in making THEM pee into little cups for a change. Anyway, it won’t matter because your doctor will be out of state.
Prop 47 – Rose Bird’s Revenge: NO. We’ve gone overboard on some drug-related offenses, but this Proposition can only be described as a drug-induced hallucination. It reduces many grand-theft crimes to misdemeanors and would release an estimated 10,000 incarcerated criminals back on the streets. Basically, it is a burglar’s get-out-of-jail free card. Good news for alarm companies and the handful of 60’s radicals nostalgic for Rose Bird – bad news for the rest of us. Hide the silver.
Prop 48 – Freedom Works: YES. This ratifies Indian Gaming compacts for two tribes in economically depressed regions of the state that will be an economic boon to the struggling local communities there. It also cuts through environmental red tape that would otherwise delay these projects for years.
Representative Tom McClintock’s invaluable recommendations on the often convoluted California ballot propositions:
Prop 30: Your Wallet or Your Kids – NO
Either approve $36 billion in higher sales and income taxes or else Gov. Brown threatens to shoot the schools. Don’t worry, the income taxes are only on the “very wealthy,” but it turns out the “very wealthy” include many small businesses filing under sub-chapter S, meaning lower wages, higher prices and fewer jobs. California already has one of the highest overall tax burdens in the country and yet has just approved a budget to spend $8 billion dollars more than it’s taking in. Moral of the story: it’s the spending stupid.
Prop 31: Rotting Mackerel by Moonlight – NO
This one shines and stinks. On the shiny side, it moves us toward performance-based budgeting, restores certain powers to the governor to make mid-year spending reductions and requires new spending to be paid for. On the stinky side, it provides a two-year budget cycle that makes fiscal gimmickry all the easier and locks into the Constitution an incredibly anal process for local communities to adopt “Strategic Action Plans” serving such open-ended new age objectives as “community equity” and nudges them into establishing regional governments to push this agenda. The purpose of local governments is to provide basic services, not to pursue utopian four-year plans.
Prop 32: Cutting The Piggies Off From The Trough – YES
In the “It’s About Time” category, this measure would finally prohibit unions, corporations, government contractors, and state and local governments from deducting money from employees’ paychecks for political purposes without their express written consent. As Jefferson wrote, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” This puts an end to this despotic practice.
Prop 33: Rewarding Responsible Drivers – YES
Here’s a no-brainer: should car insurance companies be allowed to offer a discount to drivers who maintain continuous coverage? No, it’s not a trick question. Under California’s convoluted law, if you switch auto insurers you can’t qualify for the continuous coverage discount. This measure says you can.
Prop 34: Lifetime Room and Board (and Sex-Change Operations, too) for Murderers – NO
This abolishes the death penalty for first-degree murder. Enough said.
Prop 35: Red Light on Human Trafficking – YES
Prop 35 greatly expands the definition of “Human Trafficking” (already illegal), and greatly increases existing penalties. The problem is real and growing and needs stronger sanctions, although there are some provisions in Prop 35 that make it ripe for prosecutorial abuse, including limiting the ability of defendants to cross-examine witnesses and broadening the definition of trafficking to include those who never had contact with the victim. On balance, though, the good outweighs the bad.
Prop 36: Gutting Three Strikes – NO
After many years of rising crime rates, Californians finally struck back with the three-strikes law. It is actually a two-strikes law: after two serious or violent felonies – in which one has murdered, assaulted, raped, robbed or pillaged his fellow citizens – he is on notice that any further misconduct will remove him from polite society. Prop 36 would require that the third strike also be a serious or violent crime, giving dangerous criminals yet one more opportunity at atrocity. The Left predicted that “Three Strikes” would have no effect on crime – in fact, crime rates have plummeted. When it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it.
Prop 37: Spit it Out – NO
This is the latest effort of the Nanny Left to tell us what to eat. It requires foods that contain any ingredients resulting from biotechnology advances to carry the scary warning: “GENETICALLY ENGINEERED.” There is not a shred of evidence that biotechnology is the least bit dangerous – it often reduces the need for pesticides. To avoid branding their products with the Scarlet Warning, food processors would have to prove that every scrap and crumb in their fare is devoid of biotechnology or face crushing lawsuits. Grocery prices high enough yet?
Prop 38: Pay More, Get Less – NO
Not to be outdone by Prop. 30, this measure heaps $120 BILLION of new income taxes on those earning more than $7,316 (the new millionaires and billionaires of California’s impoverished economy). It’s for the schools, of course. No doubt these dollars (which families would just waste on necessities) will be as well spent as the staggering fortune that we’re already shoveling into the sclerotic school system.
Prop 39: Tax Us Before We Hire Again – NO
This is a $1 billion per year tax increase on California businesses to subsidize a whole new generation of Solyndra scams. But remember, businesses don’t pay business taxes; they only collect them from employees through lower wages, from consumers through higher prices, or from investors through lower earnings. Prop 39 might be bad news for California’s employees, consumers and investors, but it’s great news for the Nevada Chamber of Commerce.
Prop 40: Your GOP Donations At Work – YES
This is a monument to the stupidity of some Republican Party leaders, who spent nearly $2 million of party funds to qualify – and then drop – this referendum to overturn the Senate reapportionment because several state senators didn’t like their new districts. They had hoped to run in their old seats, but after qualifying the initiative found out they couldn’t anyway. A “Yes” vote affirms that the new non-partisan Citizens Redistricting Commission works.
From Representative Tom McClintock:
House Chamber, Washington, D.C. January 6, 2011
I rise to express the hope that historians will look back on the 112th Congress as the session that restored American prosperity – and to express my strong agreement with the new leaders of this House who have declared that every action of this body must be measured against this goal.
We speak of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” but jobs are a product of prosperity. And prosperity is the product of freedom.
Government does not create jobs or wealth – it merely redistributes them. Jobs and wealth can only be created through the free exchange of goods and services in a free market. Government’s role is to create and protect the conditions which promote prosperity.