If it prevents a disaster, I’m willing to vote for Proposition 1A on the May 19 ballot. But I worry: Am I enabling bad behavior? Am I giving comfort to a failed system of government that won’t be repaired until after it crashes and burns?
Year after year, state government cranks out one budget crisis after another. Blame ballot mandates. Blame the paralysis that follows when no budget can be enacted without two-thirds majorities in both houses. Blame poisonous partisanship. Blame special-interest politics and weak-kneed politicians.
Whatever the reason, nothing ever changes in Sacramento. When state government ought to be living with its means, streamlining the bureaucracy and reforming the tax structure, it chooses instead to kick the can down the road – deferring the hard choices that will be necessary to stop the decline into mediocrity.
No one wants to see schools and parks shuttered. No one wants to see highways and other public improvements deteriorate. No one wants to see people in need left without services.
But when will the governor and state Legislature come face-to-face with the real world? State government has to change. The old model doesn’t work anymore.