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CORD BAUER, San Clemente

Last week was one for the history books.

Not only was the term “WW III” bandied about like we should all be researching bomb shelters, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally said she’d send impeachment papers to the Senate—as if that wasn’t the normal procedure. 

If someone looked at our political system, they’d think that we were the most divided nation ever. But I don’t think that’s true. Every news hour reads like a soap opera, and if the news isn’t that exciting, the media makes sure they “sex it up” a bit for ratings. 

Otherwise, TV does not represent real life. But maybe I’m wrong. So let me ask a few questions to those reading this note and see if there’s common ground.

Last week, we learned that blue collar wages were increasing at a 9% rate, far higher than the 2% rate of the top earners. I think that’s awesome, and I can only assume that Democrats are happy that our economy is helping everyone, not just the rich.

And despite President Donald Trump’s massive tax cuts, the Fed is collecting record tax revenues. That’s great news—dropping tax rates created more tax revenue. Apparently, economist Art Laffer knows something. But the government has also increased their spending by $200 billion, which means we continue to increase our deficit. 

I don’t like this, and hope everyone feels the same. Are we still on the same page? Closer to home, despite spending $3 billion on homelessness and drug abuse, California saw its homeless population increase by 17% last year. 

Here’s where I think the politicians don’t represent everyday voters; if Prop 47 and Prop 57 aren’t working, we should abolish them and go back to what worked before. I have no idea why having an illegal gun (worth $550 or less) on your person was changed from a felony to a misdemeanor. 

This doesn’t sound one bit like a Democrat position, but it’s Democrats who made these laws.  How about changing the laws so the rape of an unconscious person is no longer a violent crime?  Democrats, are you OK with this?  I didn’t think so.

A new ballot initiative will seek to repeal Prop 13, but it won’t mention Prop 13 at all. Instead, it will be called “Education and Local Funding.” I can’t imagine Republicans or Democrats being OK with their property taxes skyrocketing.

Regardless of who made these lousy laws, I can’t imagine anyone from any party wants them to continue.

Am I wrong?

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comments (3)

  • Yeah Cord, you’re wrong on a lot of it. You may not think we’re a divided country because your social circle lacks a diversity of ideas. I’ll go point by point:

    On rising wages, this is a tough one to pin down. By some measures they’re rising, and any progress is good, but it’s far from as rosy a picture as your simple statistic suggests.
    The increases are not broadly spread, but overwhelmingly going to the highest income households.
    A good chart of the last few years is available at the CBO site here:

    Treasury revenues are flat as a percentage of GDP, and accounting for inflation, were down after the recent mostly corporate tax cuts passed. They’re up slightly, but less than they would have been had the unnecessary tax cuts not been passed. In light of the massive federal deficit, there is no legitimate argument to be made in support of them. Just taking inflation into account, 2017, & 2018 are net reductions. Taken together, FY 2017-2019 are a net decrease, too. Reaganomics is a myth.

    Glad I could help.

    I’m not sure where your reference to a 550 dollar illegal gun being a misdemeanor comes from. Can’t find it anywhere. It’s unclear exactly what offense you’re referring to, but any possession of a firearm by a prohibited person or possession of an illegal firearm is a felony.

    Your sentiment on props 47 and 57 is confusing… The voters passed it, not politicians. That’s how propositions work. Issues about the classification of crimes in light of recently passed propositions are reasonable – but the solution isn’t to repeal the proposition, it’s to reclassify the crime. It’s less exciting, certainly, but it can be done with relative ease in the legislature. We just need to elect competent legislators.

    The proposed reform to prop 13 would not repeal it, it’s only a reform. It’s not as thorough or nuanced as we likely need, but it’s clear based on local governments dependence on state funds and shrinking city services, that a 1% rate and 1% increase cap and no reassessment is too limiting to meet the needs of local governments, even just in light of inflation. The noose around county and city governments and schools has been tightening for decades. The reform only lets it out a little bit. It’s probably the right move.

  • Corky Bilanthropalitis Reply

    Bill– Here’s why it will never pass. Once the camel gets his nose under the tent flap he’s in.

    Prop 13 is sacred in Cali.
    Citizens won’t let even a nuanced reform happen because no one trusts the guvment.

    • I fear you may be right, but the lesson prop 13 teaches us isn’t that government can’t be trusted, it’s that residents don’t make good laws. Setting tax policy by popular vote has been a disaster for local governments and schools.

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