Guest Post by Joseph Holmes: Some of the 1A-1E's deserve our support
Dan: I like almost all your recommendations. Consider Prop 84 and a couple of the other bond issues. Bonds for special projects are fine, sure, but basically that means long-term investments that will be paying dividends for several decades to come.
I just finished reading an article about how Cal Berkeley is falling apart from deferred maintenance. Cal is way behind in its need for seismic rebuilding and maintenance and its headed toward losing its leadership position as a few of our best people are being taken away by much better funder institutions.
A bond measure to cover perennially underfunded critical education facilities needs (many seismic) is entirely appropriate.
The same goes for a major overhaul of the antiquated and totally inadequate levee system which protects large portions of Sacramento and the entire suite of delta islands. We will be complete fools not to fix these levees in time to prevent flooding disasters from earthquakes, storms, and rising sea levels. It's New Orleans all over again. Should the people of Louisianna not have approved bond measures, if they could have, to rebuild their levees? What better long-term investment could there be for them? Our flood liability is just as great as theirs, people have said over and over again. I know it's true, having studied water as a resource a lot (while at Cal, and later). If the levees fail because of a major earthquake in the far East Bay, the freshwater intakes for the entire California Aquaduct and for Contra Costa County will become fouled with brackish water, and a disaster of biblical proportions will ensue.
So I'm not sure about the other three bonds, but 1D (educational facilities) and 1E (levees) deserve our strong support. Besides, if we don't do this, the taxes will mostly likely not be raised to cover the needs. And money should be discounted into the future. By the time we'll be done paying down the extra 100% that equals the interest on the bonds, inflation will have reduced the value of that money a lot, and those benefitting from the improvements will be paying for them all along. 1C is a very inexpensive one, that I'll also vote for to help out homeless people, battered women, and vets in need of housing. I hate to see new houses being built anywhere, but still... 1A and 1B are no's for me. Very expensive and to heck with more freeways! As much as I hate traffic, I hate to see the vast malignancy which is the human undertaking grow unfettered across the landscapes of California.
We do need higher state income taxes, especially at the top end. But can we get it before the state's infrastructure crumbles and we loose hundreds of billions in damages and lost prosperity?
I would also make Yes on 87 a stronger priority. This $4 Billion shot in the arm for bio fuels and other renewable energy is one of many absolutely vital steps for our survival. The climate situation is way worse than it seems. If we don't do this now, our descendants will perish. It's as simple as that. So says the latest science. Read about it in my latest news article. Not one of the arguments against it is worth a damn. A $40 Billion/year profit can buy a whole lot of bullshit. Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, and Shell are the ones behind it. On the other side, we have... almost everybody. And even so, half the voters of California are stupid enough to be fooled by the ads. It's going to be a tough battle.