City Journal Summer 2014

Current Issue:

Summer 2014
Table of Contents
Subscribe
Tablet Editions
Click to visit City Journal California

Readers’ Comments

Steven Greenhut
Taking the Initiative « Back to Story

View Comments (5)

Add New Comment:

To send your message, please enter the words you see in the distorted image below, in order and separated by a space, and click "Submit." If you cannot read the words below, please click here to receive a new challenge.

Comments will appear online. Please do not submit comments containing advertising or obscene language. Comments containing certain content, such as URLs, may not appear online until they have been reviewed by a moderator.


 
Showing 5 Comment(s) Subscribe by RSS
California is not facing the possibility of a completely unconstrained government. The US and California constitutions would still provide plenty of constraints. California is facing fatal paralysis because of the initiative and referendum system that should be either abolished, or severely curtailed.
B. Samuel Davis July 13, 2011 at 5:19 PM
It should not be considered ironic that Democrats are putting forth what are essentially anti-Democratic measures. It is simply what Democrats are - hypocrites who profess to be open minded but can't conceive of any other views but their own, and who are always seeking to stifle debate; people who profess to be against violence but use it against their political enemies; anti-corruption, but who support a system under which public unions funnel taxpayer funds back to the party, and on and on and on.

It's Democrats and hypocrisy - it's what they do!

While I agree with the trust of this story, this seems mistaken:
"Republicans and taxpayer groups worry that it would also apply to tax-cutting initiatives. The bill’s language seems to confirm their fears: “This measure would prohibit an initiative measure that ... would result in a net increase in ... costs ... unless ... the initiative measure provides for additional revenues in an amount that meets or exceeds the net increase in costs.”"

This language does not confirm those fears, but allay it. By its terms this requirement only applies to initiatives which would increase government costs. Those have to be financed either by included tax increases or other cost cuts.

But while tax cuts may reduce government revenues, they clearly do not increase government costs. So the requirement is completely inapplicable to tax cut initiatives. Therefore, unless there is some other devil in the details, this fundamentalist-level anti-tax commenter with nothing but contempt for the California legislature, in particular the Democrats, would actually be inclined to support this particular requirement.
Glynne Sutcliffe July 12, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Rather than curtailing direct democracy in California, maybe it would be a good idea if the current legal support of citizen initiatives were taken up elsewhere, as widely as possible, including internationally.
Gatto might not survive his reelection bid after the sorry, childish performance he put on over the legislative no-pay for budget delay. These proposals would still have to be submitted as referenda. If so, I don't think the voters will go for it. The legislature is not very popular these days.