Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Trouble with Democracy

Here is a nice analysis in the Los Angeles Times of why the ballot measures designed to deal with California's budget crisis went down to crushing defeat yesterday. The voters want the legislature to deal with this problem, and are rightly frustrated that they cannot. We resent being presented with a bunch of complicated propositions that represent a compromise solution. At the same time we voters have rigged the system to make it nearly impossible for the legislature to deal with the problem. So basically the voters want to have their cake and eat it at the same time. Or as the story reports, a poll found that "voters oppose cutbacks in 10 of 12 major categories of state spending, including the biggest, education and healthcare. Yet most voters were unwilling to have their own taxes increased, and they overwhelmingly favored keeping the two-thirds requirement for tax hikes."

Well, there you have the problem in a nutshell. We don't want to cut spending and we don't want to raise taxes. That's what the voters expressed very clearly yesterday, and now the ball is back in the legislature's court. Good luck.


  1. How is the system rigged so the legislature can't deal with the problem? You don't think the fact that the Democrats sent up 60% in spending increases over the past 6 years as a problem? Arnold failed after he tried in the beginning.

    The fault is the voters for re-electing the bozos and the Democrats who never saw a spending bill they disliked and Arnold the turncoat.

  2. It is rigged because the legislators who do not want to raise taxes get to have their votes count twice as much as the legislators who are willing to raise taxes.

  3. I don't see how this is "rigged." Rigged would mean that the majority doesn't want to do X but the votes always wind up against their wishes.

  4. People want to choose how their money is spent and how much?

    Wow, What a concept!

    And some people would have you believe that's a problem.