Republicans Finally Get Some Sense

John Seiler:

Republicans finally are wising up to a strategy I suggested to them long ago: Use the initiative process much more often to protect taxpayers and businesses and jobs.

The GOP’s minority status means they have almost no influence in the Legislature. But they still can gather signatures.

So, I have suggested, they always should have ready at least one initiative for the next election. We have so many elections in this crazy state that you have to be prepared.

And don’t get discouraged if an initiative fails. Circumstances change rapidly and a similar initiative might win in the next election. Much as the Prop. 13 tax cut passed in 1978 after the Prop. 1 tax cut failed in 1973.

The L.A. Times reported today:

As Gov. Jerry Brown mulls his options on how to bring an election on taxes to the voters, Republicans are readying election measures of their own. GOP operatives filed two initiatives with the attorney general’s office Thursday — one to curb public employee pensions and another aimed at capping future state spending — in the event Brown walks away from talks with Republican lawmakers and opts for a November special election.

Now we’re talkin’.

Indeed, because of their minority status and the fractiousness of their state convention last weekend, Republicans have nowhere to go but up.

Even if these initiatives lose, they at least will generate debate and give voters a choice other than the usual Democratic mantra of “oh.we’re.broke.let’s.increase.taxes.”

And if the initiatives do lose, then come back immediately to qualify other initiatives, including tax cuts.

After the Prop. 1 tax cut lost in 1973, here’s what then-Gov. Ronald Reagan said:

The people will find a way to bring big government under control, to put a reasonable limit on how much of their income government may take in taxes. This idea will become a reality. It must prevail because if it does not, the free society we have known for two hundred years, the ideal of a government by consent of the governed, will simply cease to exist.

That’s even more true today.

Gov. Brown and the Democrats say they want to give people a vote.

So, give it to them.

March 25, 2011

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