I like to read your site for information on Texas politics...but you are starting to go over the edge. I don't find the simple bias in the posting. It is expected as your site has a point of view. But, the posts are becoming more outrageous.
You do realize that Perry hasn't gone to Italy yet, correct?
The problem in California -- as it has always been -- is government waste, not necessarily Prop 13.
Capping the property tax, as Prop 13, caused a sudden and dramatic decrease in revenues. Unless there is thoughtful discussion about what is going to be cut in the absence of funding, we're going to see bad decisions under extreme duress.
Property taxes are inherently unfair that taxes on prospective wealth, not actual wealth. You want to tax me at the time of the sale of my home? Fine. But this is one of the worst tax schemes that we could have. I've used the example before, but my parents owned several acres, which my parents bought when land was relatively cheap. Being in construction, my father was able to build our house cheaply. After my father died, my mother had very limited income, yet she paid property taxes which assume that you have a corresponding disposable wealth. Even with certain breaks for her age, she was forced to sell the land and home, which turned out to sell at 60% of what it was valued at for taxes.
In the last 5 years, my home (which I bought at an excellent price) has gone risen in value by 40%. My income has risen only 5% in that time, and my expenses have significantly increased, as we now have two children.
The stories go on and on. The solution isn't capping property taxes: It's eliminating them. Regardless, any significant reduction requires a public, honest discussion of what's going to get cut, something I can almost guarantee the gutless wonders of Austin won't do.
You might think Andrew is writing in hyperbole, but in the late 80s when we faced a budget deficit, one solution getting serious consideration was shutting down several colleges. A friend of mine who worked for the governor confirmed that this was a plan very close to implementation.
I'm sorry you don't like the tone- I have always been a "go for the jugular" type, but I like to think that I still talk about real issues and discuss real problems. You are right, Vic, wastefulness is problematic in CA. But even when they had conservative leadership under Reagan, Deukmejian and Wilson they had budget issues. Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in state history to begin his term as governor just to keep the state afloat. The tax revolt made things miserable for his successors. In Texas, we don't have any fat left to cut, we've been cutting into the muscle and bones of our social services and education system for some time now. This scheme will strangle our local communities, particularly our poor urban communities, to death and will be bad for texas.
And I wasn't sure if he'd gone to Italy yet, I'm sorry for the confusion, but the line still works.
The plan, as I see it is "bankrupt local governments and let my successor figure out how to clean up this mess."