Saturday, October 13, 2012

Collin reads the November 2012 California ballot propositions

The state ballot pamphlet came the other day, and here's my whack at November's propositions.
  1. Temporary taxes to fund education…: YES

    This measure increases taxes on those who can certainly afford to pay them, to relieve the burden on those who can't afford an education -- and we as a state can't afford to destroy the dream of the UC and CSU systems. For more on this, google the "price of civilization" (with or without quotes).

  2. State budget. State and local government. Initiative constitutional amendment…: NO

    I was in favor of this until I heard the league of women voters were against it. Their argument makes sense to me: the bill has many flaws and that such minute details don't belong in the constitution.

  3. Political contributions by payroll deduction…: NO

    This would tilt the balance of power even more toward the rich and away from labor and the unions that represent them. I hate to disagree with my buddy Charles, and maybe before Citizens United I might have voted for 32. But corporations and super-PACs can raise and spend tons of money, anonymously in some cases, and this bill would make it even easier for them to crush workers.

    Sorry to sound like a Communist, and by the way I don't believe unions are all sweetness and light either. But golly, wasn't Citizens United bad enough? It's like the one side has machine-guns and we want to give them helicopter gunships, while the other side has only stone knives and slingshots.

  4. Auto insurance companies.…: YES

    Here's how I understand this, based upon the legislative analyst's summary: today, auto insurance companies can't offer you a discount based upon your being insured by some other company for some time. The proposal is to let them give you a discount for being continuously insured by some other company.

    So who could be against this? Incumbent insurers, that's who! If today my car is insured by, say, Allstate, and I'm considering switching to, say, GEICO... then Allstate can hold on to me by giving me a discount (if I've been insured by them for some years). GEICO might like to give me a discount, but Allstate doesn't want them to be able to do that.

    I think GEICO ought to be able to say "Sure, you've been insured with Allstate for 10 years continuously, we'll give you a discount on your rate."

  5. Death penalty…: YES

    For two reasons. First, if you execute an innocent prisoner, you can't give him anything back. We really are not 100% sure about all those guys on death row. Even if you think it's OK to kill a criminal, it's not OK to kill someone innocent.

    Second, it costs a lot of money, much of it from taxpayers, to go through all the court proceedings necessary to execute the prisoner. Or to change their sentence to life in prison. We do not need to spend this money.

  6. Human trafficking…: YES

    Human trafficking is an abomination. If the price of more vigorous enforcement is that the "erotic services industry" (read the ballot arguments) finds it a little more difficult to do business, I rally have a hard time feeling sorry for them.

  7. Three strikes law…: YES

    The point of this is the three strikes law currently means: "if you have two serious/violent felonies, and one not serious/violent, the judge may or may not be forced to give you a life sentence, depending on the order. If the non-violent/serious one is the third one, the judge must give you that life sentence—but not if it was the 1st or the 2nd."

    Huh? The proposition would change the law to require a life sentence to be imposed for the 3rd serious/violent felony. This only makes sense.

  8. Genetically engineered foods. Labeling.…: YES

    Some people think the law is too vague and will cause various problems. But it seems to me a step in the right direction, vs doing nothing.

  9. Tax to fund education…: YES

    The story I heard is that the worst case for schools is having both 30 and 38 fail. Some education advocates prefer 30, some prefer 38. But if they attack each other too much and both 30 and 38 fail, that's not a good situation for California's future. Thus I want to give both of them the best possible chance of succeeding.

  10. Tax treatment for multistate businesses…: YES

    Why should we give any company a tax break if it's selling a lot of stuff in California? Money from the state is going to the company; it should pay taxes here in proportion to sales.

  11. Redistricting. State senate districts…: YES

    The citizens' redistricting commission drew new districts and prop 40 ratifies those state senate districts. There isn't even an argument against 40 in the voter's pamphlet.

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