Prop 30’s proponents argue that Prop 30 needs to be passed and the tax increase put into effect or school funding gets gouged with the proverbial ax. First off, that doesn’t need to happen.
The fear tactic being used by Gov. Jerry Brown and his side to push the Prop 30 agenda is the proposal of a $6 billion “cut” to school funding in the 2012-13 budget. However, that $6 billion is money that was prematurely allocated into the next year’s budget anticipating the passing of Prop 30.
You can’t cut what you don’t have.
That $6 billion could be taken from many of the overzealous and expensive failed projects the California government has put forth, such as the $5 billion put toward the “bullet train to nowhere” that hasn’t even gotten out of the station. The train project is currently costing California taxpayers $380 million each year.
The $6 billion figure that has been presented may not even come to fruition should Prop 30 pass.
The California General Election Official Voter Information Guide itself acknowledges that the potential $6 billion in revenue is “difficult to estimate” and subject to “multi-billion dollar swings.” The swings come with the tax increase on the upper-income taxpayers whose income taxes sway with their investments in the volatile stock market and their business revenues.
Even if Prop 30 passes and the $6 billion does come to fruition, no one can be sure where the money will truly end up.
There is a minimum portion of the funds that will go toward schools, but again the Voter Information Guide states that the remaining funds would go toward balancing the state budget. Also for those specifically at Saddleback College or Irvine Valley College, only 11 percent of the allocated funds would go toward community colleges. So, once the minimum has been achieved and the community colleges have received their pittance, expect the money to continue to flow to where it should not.
While the proponents of Prop 30 also make sure to promote that part of this money would come from taxpayers making over $250,000 a year, they downplay the quarter-cent sales increase that would affect everyone. The sales tax increase would drive up the costs of everyday items in the grocery store and raise the already rising gas costs. This affects every one regardless of their personal income in an already cash-strapped California.
While Prop 30 aims to address a major problem for California, it does not present the most prudent way to solve it. In fact, Prop 30 follows the line of thinking that has gotten California to where it is: spending money it does not already have. Sacramento needs to curb its own out-of-control spending before they start sucking more money from the constituency it governs.