May 4, 2009
California politicians – the Republican governor and Democratic legislators – have scheduled a special election for May 19 to vote on several propositions that are nothing less than an enormous attack on the population.
Proposition 1A cuts funding from education, health care and other public programs below the already low constitutionally mandated limits. At the same time, it extends recent increases in the sales tax, income tax and car registration fees. Proposition 1C completely privatizes future profits from the state lottery using one gimmick or another. Propositions 1D and 1E overturn previously approved ballot measures to fund early childhood development and mental health care programs.
Of course, the politicians’ usual claims that they have no other way to balance the budget are complete, bold-faced lies. The proof is that in the last budget passed in September, the politicians voted to open up enormous tax loopholes to big business that tax experts say will be worth close to three billion dollars per year – potentially saving big companies 25% to 30% of all their corporate taxes! The politicians are literally taking whatever they can from the working population in order to hand it over to the wealthy few.
Early polls showed that these four propositions were unpopular with voters – which is a good thing. But working people must do more than vote to oppose these attacks. We can be sure that if these propositions are defeated at the ballot box, the bosses’ politicians will look for another way to do the same thing.