Monday, January 26, 2009

Just put down the pen and walk away...

When legislators don't do the work, voters tend to get fed up, step in and do the decision-making for them. Problem is, we're not that good at setting cohesive policy.

Hence California's patchwork of spending formulas, mandated earmarks and the ludicrous two-thirds majority required to pass a tax increase — one of the main culprits behind Sacramento's budget gridlock and radicalization of state Senate and Assembly representatives.

That won't stop us from trying again.

Right now, the California Teachers' Association is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would raise the state sales tax one cent to be spent strictly on education. While I'm all for sparing school districts from the machete, another ballot initiative formula is not the way to fund education.

This is part of how we got into this mess in the first place.

But don't expect voters to learn when the Legislature hasn't, either. One of the suggestions our lawmakers are seriously considering is sending budget-balancing plans to the voters.

If that happens, maybe the voters should consider a different type of ballot measure — a recall. Of everyone.

Because if doing their job is just too much work, we should do lawmakers the favor of removing the burden.

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