At least, that is what I am sure that the political leadership in California is saying right now, what with their plebiscite on further confiscatory taxation being rejected so heartily. According to the old adage, "As goes California, so goes the Nation. That was certainly true in the '70s when Proposition 13 started a real revolt on taxes that swept across the country. You could even argue that they have paved the way for the mess we are about to enter with overspending and overtaxing. But it took California quite a while to get into this mess, and it was driven by politicians who promised all sorts of wonderful and happy programs that were all going to do so much good. I suppose the next step is for the wise solons of Sacramento to start slashing everything, which will then present the voters with the reality that there is no such a thing as a free lunch. You can't control spending and taxes and get every little nicety that appeals to you. Adults have to make choices, and the choices are often hard, but that is why they get to make them. Maybe the voters of California have realized that the promised Nirvana if they would just pay more is not going to come about. Just like we probably will realize in less than a year and a half on the national level.
The problem to me though, is this a well thought out assessment of their situation, or a gut reaction to the idiots in Sacramento? Don't get me wrong, I concur with the results, but when you match up the sort of initiatives that get passed, you wonder if people really do understand them. For instance, in Montana we have passed an increase in the minimum wage that is paired with the CPI for increases, and expanded SCHIP to children of families making $50,000 a year. Leaving aside the merits of these proposals, fiscally speaking they are a disaster. Businesses are raising prices to make up the increase in wages, thereby reducing the value of the wage increases and children are being dropped from family health care plans to become covered by the state.
I don't know what the answer is to my fellow citizen's inability to understand the complications of their choices. But maybe for a cynic, the answer is clear: Appeal to emotion and get your way (at least temporarily) and deal with the consequences later.
Oh wait, that's just what is happening now.