Newspapers opine on the 11 propositions

Oct. 26, 2012

By John Seiler

The Nooner site on California politics has compiled a nifty grid with all the newspaper editorial-page opinions on the 11 propositions. Click on the Y or N for the link to each individual editorial. Here it is:

Ballot Measure Endorsements
Paper P30 P31 P32 P33 P34 P35 P36 P37 P38 P39 P40
Bakersfield Californian N Y Y N Y Y Y N Y Y Y
LA Daily News Y Y Y N Y Y Y N N N Y
LATimes Y N N N Y N Y N N Y Y
MercNews/BANG Y Y N N Y Y Y N N Y Y
OCRegister N N Y Y N Y Y N N N Y
Press-Enterprise N N Y N N N Y N N Y Y
SacBee Y N N N Y N Y N N Y Y
SFChron Y Y N N Y Y Y N N N Y
UTSanDiego N Y Y N Y Y N N N Y


As you would expect, the more liberal papers are tax-giddy. The San Jose Mercury-News, the L.A. Times, the S.F. Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee all backed Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase.

The Bakersfield Californian opposed Prop. 30, but backed Molly Munger’s Proposition 38.

Daily News

Strangely, the L.A. Daily News, usually conservative, backed Prop. 30. They wrote:

“It is this ultimatum — pay up or the children will suffer — that has given our editorial board the most trouble in taking a position.

“On the one hand, this is a page that has criticized Sacramento’s bad management of the state treasury. The principled stand is that Californians must refuse to bail lawmakers out of the financial hole they dug themselves. Let them reap the financial chaos they have sown and perhaps we will finally get some real budget reform for the state.

“But what happens in the meantime to the education of our children? California already ranks among the lowest in per-pupil spending. The state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, already has the shortest school year in the nation.

“There’s too much at stake to oppose this measure on principle, which is why we’re recommending a yes vote….

“Critics of Proposition 30 are correct that California’s taxes are high — but the revenue from this initiative represents just over half of what was lost when three other taxes expired in 2010 and 2011. The overall tax burden will still be lower than it was two years ago.”

But those tax increases were supposed to be “temporary.”

“General fund spending will be $11.6 billion lower than five years ago and will represent the same share of the economy as in 1972-73, according to the department of finance. This is not profligate spending.”

Yes it is. Five years ago was 2007, the height of the real estate boom that turned into a bust. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was spending like berserker Oktoberfest Austrian, increasing the general fund by 25 percent in just two years. The extravagance couldn’t last, didn’t, and shouldn’t be restored.

As to the level of spending being the same as 1972-73, that’s because revenues — and spending — always drop during tough economic times. Today’s economic “recovery” is the slowest since the Great Depression. What’s needed is not more jobs- and business-killing tax increases, but a complete overhaul of the state budget, beginning with the bloated pensions.

Prop. 39

On another tax measure, Proposition 39, the Daily News came out opposed. The measure would impose a new $1 billion tax on out-of-state businesses, killing jobs here (contrary to the misleading pro-39 TV ads). Curiously, the liberal Chronicle also opposed it, but for liberal reasons. They wrote:

“California needs to fix a corporate tax system that gives an undue break to out-of-state companies. But Proposition 39, which would direct about half of the extra $1 billion in annual revenue to energy-efficient projects, corrupts a very good idea (tax reform) with a very bad one (ballot-box budgeting).

“The last thing voters in a state with such dire fiscal problems should be doing is locking in more than $500 million a year in spending for a program that is undeniably worthy — but not necessarily the highest priority. Californians should consider whether that revenue would be better spent on education, public safety, parks, foster care or myriad other priorities that have been cut severely — and may be facing even deeper cuts if the two tax measures (Props. 30, 38) fail in November….

“This loophole should be repealed in the Legislature, and all of the new revenue should be available for the highest state priorities. Vote no on 39.”

So they still want the tax increase, just not the designated spending. That’s another good reason to saw S.F. off from the rest of the state and let it be its own state, or even country.


Write a comment
  1. us citizen
    us citizen 26 October, 2012, 10:09

    The reason LA has the worst record in education is because that is where the most illegals are. Why in the heck doesn’t anyone be honest about this…..

    And prop 30 even saysssssssssss………there is no guarantee that this money will go to the schools. What? they cant read?

    Yes, Im in favor of nuking SF along with Sacramento. You could throw Villagrossa in there too.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 26 October, 2012, 11:07

    It is really fun watching greedy doomers follow every scrap of poll news….hoping their euro shoulder purses are not dipped into by VILLAWILLTAXYA and Sutter the State dog!

    Reply this comment
  3. Edward Rasen
    Edward Rasen 26 October, 2012, 17:05

    Jerry Brown promises to cut education funds if prop 30 is rejected but in recent months new Calif. State University presidents have received new salaries or pay raises that range from $400G – $500G plus moving and car allowances and free housing. I wonder if the education cuts apply to administrators and other education bureaucrats.

    Meanwhile, everyone seems to forget that Jerry signed the Dream Act, providing $100 million for illegal immigrants to attend college. That travesty was pushed through the legislature by John “Money Grows On Trees” Perez. Meanwhile, more than 50% of college students need remedial education but neither the community colleges or states universities were chartered for such.

    Reply this comment

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