Proposition 22 : Welfare For The Wealthy

by on October 8, 2010 · 38 comments

in Economy, Election, Popular, San Diego

elections wolf sheepOB Rag Fall 2010 Elections – Part 5

These are tough times in California. Social services, education and basic services like police and fire departments are looking at another round of cutbacks as the latest budget proposal (2011) makes it way through the legislature. Proposition 22, “The Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act”, seeks to constitutionally protect monies normally set aside for “funds that are allocated to local government, public safety, and transportation”. Gosh, it sounds okay, doesn’t it?

elections hands cashBeware, dear voters, for hidden under the sheepskin-ish language of Proposition 22 is a wolf waiting to devour the very funding that it claims to protect. Future budgets in California will be locked in to hard choices like raising taxes or whacking another $1.4 billion from education funding. The fine print in this initiative cynically carves out set-asides for special interests at the expense of taxpayers and public services. These set-asides are to be used to subsidize developers via redevelopment agencies.

Unelected and unaccountable, these agencies dole out lucrative taxpayer funding to developers for auto malls, hotels and stadiums. In California, 12% of property tax dollars are diverted into these agencies – $6 billion is earmarked for developers. So, if you think subsidizing a new stadium for the Chargers is a better use of taxpayer dollars than schools, police, fire services or the poor, then you probably should like Proposition 22.

elections hotel wRedevelopment agencies were originally created to cure urban blight and then be abolished. They were never intended to be a permanent drain on public services, nor a cash cow for private interests. As we’ve seen in San Diego, these agencies don’t go away. Ever. And, all too often, they’re nothing more than fronts for greedy land developers seeking taxpayer guarantees for unsustainable projects. We have a sea of empty hotels sitting around downtown that prove that point.

Proposition 22 will constitutionally guarantee the worst abuses of redevelopment agencies. They now have statewide debt now topping $93 billion and continue to sell bonds without voter approval. Proposition 22 locks in this abuse, making it impossible for the legislature to reform the worst abuses of redevelopment agencies.

Tucked away, under the fancy language, there is a kernel of truth to the situation that Proposition 22 claims to address. County and city governments have good cause to be upset with the many raids the Legislature has made on local revenues to balance the state budget. And California voters deserve better state fiscal policies. Fundamental reforms do need to be made. But the likes of Proposition 22 are not the solution. One special interest group is helping itself here.

elections no on 22For the rest of us, Proposition 22 is a really bad idea.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane5150 October 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

Fire fighters can always follow the lead of their Tennessee brethern, and let Cali-fornia burn to the ground.

That would set priorities straight.


Ian October 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Good job on the spin, Diane… MSNBC has trained you well.


Diane5150 October 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I don’t need no stinking training.


Ian October 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Who taught you the fear mongering?


Peyton Farquhar October 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

So it essentially boils down being extorted by the public unions (PD, FD, etc.) or the special interests. How about we just outsource first responder jobs to the private sector since the public unions are raping the taxpayers. Private sector employment does not enjoy **any** of the bloated salaries, pensions or other bennies government employees do. Outsource them the way the private sector has been outsourced.


barbara October 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Are you kidding me? And that is what we should strive for? that nobody gets pensions , sick leave or paid holidays? What bloated salary? I retired form USPS and certainly never received a bloated salary. The military can’t keep soldiers because the pay and bennies are so tempting in the private sector. The government went off civil service retirement in 1984 and employees today get FERS, which is vested in the stock market. The stock market is not reliable and if you retire when it is down you are screwed. My bloated pension from FERS in $785 a month after 22 years! San Diego has a pension problem because of the politicians who underfunded the system. Don’t blame the unions, those contracts are voted on and approved by the city.


kenloc October 8, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Not really sure I’d like an outsourced police department Peyton.Could be kind of sketchy having a Haliburton style police force roaming the streets.”To Protect and Collect a Paycheck”


Ian October 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

You are trying to compare USPS to the local fire/police departments?
The city pensions are a huge problem.

The pension system is antiquated. Government workers should save for their own retirement like the rest of us.


Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 8:14 am

Ian- How about social security? Is that antiquated too? Or unemployment insurance? Public Education? I could go on but I think we caught your drift a long time ago, pilgrim.


Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 8:39 am

C’mon Barbara, These Jack-O’s have ALLWAYS aligned themselves with monied interests (Capitalist/Governing Class) against The People and popular movements (Labor, Peace, Civil Rights-etc.). Now as Chomsky would have it and as Doug has reported it, after having looted the treasuries, the are trying to manufacture consent to the selling of public assets for a song. The City of San Diego has been about the Strategic Deficit for some time now and the point of production has moved from the shop floor to the kitchen table. They will take the food out of your babies mouths to feed the bottom line. Nothing more elegant than that!


barbara October 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

Of course Danny, you are right. And because of many factors the public at large has allowed and is allowing this to continue.


Goatskull October 11, 2010 at 12:36 am

My bloated federal pension is not even a thousand a month.


Danny Morales October 11, 2010 at 4:10 am

Skull- Then you should qualify for low income (but not affordable) housing. Currently an affordable housing unit in San Diego county is somewhere around $1500. However in Ocean Beach the level of affordability is somewhere around $1100. So pensioners have to go for low income housing. Throw in food, trnsportation etc. and your left with bupkis! Give the right wing its way and you’re left with soylent green. Fair winds and following seas.-Danny


Goatskull October 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

I don’t need to qualify. I have a full time job in addition to my retirement pension. My point to Peyton is that not all gov employees have bloated pensions. In fact most don’t.


barbara October 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I am raising a 2 yr old who has autism. I can tell your readers first hand that social programs for disabled toddlers are all but nonexistent today. Federal and state agencies that used to care for the most vulnerable have been slashed, teachers fired, special ed gutted, no OT or PT , no respite programs left! Yet the city fathers are sitting back enjoying a big fat stogie today because of a nifty little measure slipped in the CA budget at the last minute! It paves the way for public monies to fund a new stadium downtown. Beyond outrage! Let those who like and can afford football pay for it! Talk about the jobs it will create. No, let’s talk about the jobs we just lost and the services to the poor, needy and elderly that we just cut out of the budget!


Ian October 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Those that have children should pay for them. If you cannot pay to support your children, then you shouldn’t have them.


doug porter October 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

thank you mr scrooge for showing us just how compassionate conservatives are.


barbara October 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm

The comment was rude and showed no class at all. Services for this disability are not predicated upon how much money you make. It takes several disciplines to provide the intense therapy necessary to have any chance of break through. My situation is not the point here, it is the priorities we have accepted on society today. Fire teachers, build a new football stadium. People who want to watch football should not expect the rest of us to pay for it:)


Ian October 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I didn’t bring up autistic children in a discussion about proposition that disallows the state from taking funds from local governments. You did, I wish you all the luck with your children, but talk about classless…


Ian October 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

First of all, I am not a conservative. The last thing I want to do is conserve the status quo and antiquated systems, like pensions.

Second, the comment was not rude or lacking in class, it was to show you how ridiculous your football comment was. Autism is not necessarily a disability; it is not even a particular affliction, it is a large spectrum disorder that is often a blessing.

My comment is all about the priorities we have accepted in society today. People who want to have children should not expect the rest of us to pay for it, nor should people who want to watch football.


Kenloc October 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Your a conservative Ian.Doug said so.
I get that on here too sometimes.Say something that’s not uber left wing and your a conservative.It’s meant to be insulting I suppose.Next you’ll be a teabagger.


Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 6:38 am

Kenloc- The right wing of state/monopoly capitalism includes conservative democrats, moderate republicans, libertarians, teabaggers, fascists, neo-nazis, racists et. al! The right wing is the enemy of The People and a friend of Monopoly Capital. If you lay down with dogs you’re going to get up with fleas. Good luck with that!- Danny


kenloc October 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

Coservative democrats,republicans,libertarians, ……nazis and racists???Your scaring me dude.You don’t really lump all those people together do you?


Ian October 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

You left out the liberal progressives who support the inflationary tactics of the Federal Reserve, and the crony capitalism that is running rampant.


Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 8:52 am

Ian, your ‘comments’ sound more like the criminal rationalizations that myself and other contributors to this blog have heard in the context of law enforcement. Be advised of a song that says, “To live against the law you must be honest…” or not!


Kenloc October 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm

What if someone could afford children,had them,and lost their job?What if your child was born with special needs like Barbara? Do you have any idea how difficult and costly that is to deal with?Things happen dude.Unplanned pregnancies,divorces,job losses.You know,life.


Ian October 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Exactly, things happen. Like recessions. And when recessions happen businesses are required to make cuts. Tax revenues fall, and governments need to make cuts, also.


Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 6:25 am

Ian, Please listen to kenloc when he makes an appeal to reason. Life as well as liberty and happiness hasn’t been reduced to a commodity by the “free market”. Or has it?


Ian October 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, can only be reduced when the government takes away liberties and fails to protect them. What “free market” are you talking about? The one where the Federal Reserve and your hero’s in government manipulate the price of credit and degrade savings and retirement through inflation?

I would ask you to appeal to reason, but you haven’t shown much capability in that department.


Danny Morales October 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Ian, why do you have to attack me personally? Your argruments, if they were valid should stand the light of public scrutiny. It’s just business, thats all. Nothing personal unless you want it to be…and are you feeling lucky today? Well are you…


Ian October 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

You have attacked me, and you have failed to make any reasonable counterargument, thus my observation (which you mistake as an attack).


Danny Morales October 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Ian- In the name of common decency sir, would you be specific as to the nature of my personal attacks upon you?
-Secondly for the sake of reasonable argrument; If it is the case that I did make an attack upon your person; how is it that I should provide you with a ‘counterargrument’ other than an apology and an amends to boot?- Please be very circumspect and deliberate in your response. The whole blog is watching!


Danny Morales October 12, 2010 at 12:17 am

Ian- Excuse me for not addressing your points regarding the subject of this article but to be plain you really didn’t address Doug’s premise that Prop. 22 is “Welfare for the Wealthy”. Excuse me for not seeing the relevance and high mindedness in your comments to Diane 5150,Barbara or Kenloc for that matter. I’m sorry that your honesty, integrety and compassion has escaped my (any perhaps others) observations as well. Let me know what amends I should make in addition to this apology. I can’t promise perfection in compliance, only progress.

Yours Truly,


Jerry October 13, 2010 at 7:01 am

This is an uninformed piece of writing. The Redevelopment Agency in our city is represented by elected officials, it is the city council. The state took $2.5M from our small town which impacts our ability to repair roads as will as build low income housing which is “required” under RDA programs. The state also messed with Prop 42 by changing the gas tax to an excise tax which means that again local governments no longer have guarantee of dollars for road repairs. BTW cities and counties only get 30% of fundings for road repairs, but are responsible for 80% of the roads.


Marcus October 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I’m contemplating voting yes on this thing just because you progressive deuchebags hate it so much. It’s too bad both sides are claiming that the other will cut schools/police/whatever, because we need to cut them like crazy and I would vote in a manner that actually did what all the pussywillows were crying about.


barbara October 18, 2010 at 7:48 am

You can’t string together a few words of dialogue without being a flame thrower? Wow, what a way to further the conversation! Name callers are so low rent, ya know?

you progressive deuchebags


Frank Gormlie October 18, 2010 at 8:15 am

Are “deuchebags” German douchbags?


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