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CAs Awful Prop. 31: Is This Your Future? [becoming second-class citizens in your own state]
National Review Online - The Corner ^ | September 4, 2012 | Stanley Kurtz

Posted on 09/04/2012 10:59:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Wake up California. You are perilously close to ratifying Proposition 31, a sweepingly redistributionist and profoundly undemocratic transformation of your way of life, and you don’t even know what’s at stake. Suburbanites of California, you are the special targets of Prop. 31. Act now, or be turned into second-class citizens in your own state.

Wake up America. Look toward the regionalist revolution on California’s horizon. In an era of looming municipal bankruptcies, this could be your fate: robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities. The regionalist transformation now being quietly pressed on California is exactly the sort of change President Obama has in mind for America should he win a second term. In California and America both, the 2012 election could open the door for a regionalist movement in hot pursuit of a redistributionist remaking of American life.

California’s Proposition 31 is the project of a collection of “good government” groups, in particular, California Forward. California Forward says its goal is “fundamental change.” They’re right about that. The change they have in mind, unfortunately, is creating a collection of de facto regional super-governments designed to undercut the political and economic independence of California’s suburbs. The goal is to redistribute suburban tax money to California’s failing cities. Instead of taking on the mismanagement that is breaking California’s cities, Prop. 31 lets failing cities bail themselves out by raiding the pocketbooks of California’s suburbanites. In the process, Prop. 31 will kill off the system of local government at the root of American liberty.

How does Prop. 31 work? It allows local governments to join together to form “Strategic Action Plans.” Supposedly, this pooling of local municipal services into a kind of de facto collective regional super-government would be voluntary. In fact, Prop. 31 deploys powerful incentives to effectively force the creation of these regional super-governments. To begin with, municipalities that join regional collectives–and only those municipalities–can effectively waive onerous state laws and regulations by creating their own more lax versions of those rules. Next, Prop. 31 channels a portion of state sales tax revenue to municipalities that join regional governing collectives–and only those municipalities. Finally, Prop. 31 authorizes local governments participating in the regional collectives to pool their property-tax receipts.

The result will be the effective redistribution of suburban tax money to the cities, and second-class citizenship for Californians who live in municipalities that refuse to pool their tax money by joining regional collectives.

If you understand the goals and tactics of the regionalist movement that created Prop. 31, it’s easy enough to see what California Forward hopes to achieve. In the beginning, California’s cities will join together with a few only-moderately-well-off nearby suburbs to form a de facto regional government with pooled tax receipts. Although some of the suburbs that join up will experience a net tax loss, this will be offset by the additional sales tax revenue preferentially funneled to regional governing consortia by the state. Relief from onerous state regulations will be another compensatory advantage of tax-sharing.

Meanwhile, the bulk of California’s more prosperous suburbs will decline to pool their tax money with the cities, and so will retain their independence by standing outside of the collectives. Yet that won’t be the end of it. For one thing, just by staying out of the regional governing collectives, the preferential funneling of state sales tax revenue to the regional consortia will effectively redistribute money from the suburbs to the cities.

Also, the ability of the regional governing collectives to effectively waive onerous state laws and regulations will disadvantage the suburbs. A legislator from a city in one of the regional consortia could vote for unpopular regulatory bills, knowing that his own constituents could exempt themselves from the harshest effects of those laws. Increasingly, cities will rule the suburbs, imposing laws and penalties from which they themselves would be exempt.

The only way out for the suburbs would be to join the nearest tax-pooling regional governing consortium, effectively redistributing a huge share of their tax money to the cities. Any way you look at it, the suburbs lose. Under Prop. 31, some combination of redistribution and second-class citizenship will be their fate.

Proposition 31 is an offense against America’s most fundamental concepts of liberty and self-government. Yet the outrages don’t end there. The revolutionary regionalism that is the boldest and most significant change contained in Prop. 31 has played almost no role in the public debate over this ballot initiative. Instead, when Prop. 31 is debated, the focus has largely been on its far less consequential “good government” provision mandating that bills in the California legislature be published at least three days prior to passage.

The irony here is that a proposition supposedly designed to further government transparency now threatens to impose a regionalist revolution on California’s citizens with barely any debate. Prop. 31 proponents are vastly outspending opponents. Their campaign, moreover, greatly underplays the regionalist revolution hidden in the text. Nor has the press come close to grasping what the regionalist provisions of Prop. 31 would actually do. Never has so great a governmental change come so close to success, with so little debate.

The state of California owes a debt of gratitude to Wayne Lusvardi. So far as I know, Lusvardi is the first analyst to uncover and publicize the regionalist implications of Proposition 31. Lusvardi also persuasively shows that the public debate over Prop. 31 has entirely missed the point.

If you want to understand the political and policy roots of Proposition 31, the best place to turn is the California Speakers Commission on Regionalism. (You can read a condensed version of the Commission’s 2002 report here.) This report was prepared for then-Speaker of the California Assembly, Robert Hertzberg. Hertzberg now serves as co-chair of California Forward, the key sponsor of Proposition 31.

The report of the California Speakers Commission on Regionalism is a pure product of the regionalist movement, the goals of which I describe in my book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities. Obama, too, is a product of the regionalist movement, and the regionalist provisions of Prop. 31 are prototypes of policies the president hopes to press on the country should he secure re-election. Sad to say, Obama is being every bit as open about all this as the proponents of Prop. 31 have been about their ballot initiative’s real goals, which is to say, not very open at all.

I’ll have more to say about Proposition 31 in the coming days.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: agenda21; bankrupt; ca; pensions; prop31; proposition31; suburbs; sustainability; unions; urban; wealthredistribution
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"If you want to understand the political and policy roots of Proposition 31, the best place to turn is the California Speakers Commission on Regionalism. (You can read a condensed version of the Commission’s 2002 report here.) This report was prepared for then-Speaker of the California Assembly, Robert Hertzberg. Hertzberg now serves as co-chair of California Forward, the key sponsor of Proposition 31."
1 posted on 09/04/2012 10:59:34 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

We are becoming a nation of looters and parasites. Thou shall not covet other people’s stuff is so old-fashioned. And surely racist.


2 posted on 09/04/2012 11:04:21 AM PDT by all the best (`~!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The clock to REV II keeps ticking down, it is almost at midnight now.


3 posted on 09/04/2012 11:05:30 AM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Rush Limbaugh, as usual, quickly identified the fact that Obama and his minions are waging war on the suburbs. This is the California state-level version of this war. If you think California is going downhill now—you’ve not seen anything yet. Wait and see what happens if Prop 31 passes.

Suburbanites—you will be slaves to the Liberals and their constituents.


4 posted on 09/04/2012 11:08:24 AM PDT by House Atreides
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To: House Atreides

Burn Down the Suburbs? Not exactly, but Obama is already working to get rid of them.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2915017/posts

This article is adapted from Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, by Stanley Kurtz, from Sentinel HC.


5 posted on 09/04/2012 11:12:37 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Running afoul of Godwin's law, I know but...isn't this what the Germans did under Hitler?

Consolidated all the quaint little German towns into more easily administrated political entities?

6 posted on 09/04/2012 11:14:02 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
31 is referred to innocuously as a "Two-Year Budget Cycle" on Wikipedia.
7 posted on 09/04/2012 11:14:24 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Other supporters include: The California Republican Party.
8 posted on 09/04/2012 11:16:52 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Republicans are going to have to learn how to win the cities.

Long-term nations are becoming more urbanized. This means that more and more voters will be in urban areas. Hence, conceding them to the Democrats is self-defeating.

Cities are also the economic powerhouses of the nation. Blue states are the ones which pay more to the federal government and subsidize the Red.

Cities are the source of civilization as the word itself shows. Every great civilization has a great city at its center.


9 posted on 09/04/2012 11:21:11 AM PDT by arrogantsob (Obama MUST Go. Sarah herself supports Romney.)
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To: TurboZamboni
They will be assimilated into "The 0bama Collective".


10 posted on 09/04/2012 11:26:48 AM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class!)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Cincinatus' Wife

So this is UN Agenda 21 to be implemented at the state level.


12 posted on 09/04/2012 11:28:42 AM PDT by NeoCaveman ("If I had a son he'd look like B.O.'s lunch" - Rin Tin Tin)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Isn’t this essentially what happened in places like Jacksonville, Florida and Columbus, Ohio that went out and annexed the whole danged County?


13 posted on 09/04/2012 11:29:55 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: arrogantsob
Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.
William Jennings Bryan
14 posted on 09/04/2012 11:31:40 AM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class!)
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To: House Atreides

It is interesting that they are giving voters a chance to weigh in. Normally it would be some law that only the state electors would vote for. This at least is a fairer way to pass something or shoot it down if a majority of the voters don’t want it.


15 posted on 09/04/2012 11:35:58 AM PDT by napscoordinator (Paul Ryan/Rick Santorum 2012....That would be the best scenario ever.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I wonder what’s meant by ‘regional’ and ‘local’? Are any geographic or mileage restrictions?

If this comes about and I was part of one of the local governments that’s doing ok or better than ok, I’d be searching across the _entire_ state of CA to find other local governments I could team up with, versus being forced into a partnership with the neighbors down the road who can’t take care of their own affairs.


16 posted on 09/04/2012 11:38:56 AM PDT by bobwoodard
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If I'm not mistaken, this was done in Georgia. A friend of mine had a very nice home in Buckhead area of Atlanta, Ga. I don't know the exact particulars except him telling me that each year, more taxes were being diverted from services in Buckhead to inner city Atlanta. I do know he said enough is enough and sold his home.
17 posted on 09/04/2012 11:39:25 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: arrogantsob
Republicans are going to have to learn how to win the cities.

Turning the AG loose to start sending a bunch of corrupt Democrat Mayors to prison and to expose their malfeasance for all the world to see would be a good place to start.


18 posted on 09/04/2012 11:51:14 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: TurboZamboni

This article is adapted from Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities, by Stanley Kurtz, from Sentinel HC.
**************************************************************
Thanks for the tip. Just ordered from Amazon. Should receive it on Thurday along with “No Easy Day”.


19 posted on 09/04/2012 11:54:51 AM PDT by House Atreides
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Agenda 21: Get everybody moved into the cities. I recently read an article about "micro apartments" in NYC. Square footage: 300 or less. Talk about packing them in!

Oh, and the best part: the apartments will rent for round $2,000.00 per month.

I sit here in my house in a pine forest on some land in Aiken County, SC and have two thoughts:

  1. Never in a million years
  2. Over my dead body

20 posted on 09/04/2012 11:56:21 AM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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