October 10, 2009

STATING THE OBVIOUS: Top Judge Calls Calif. Government ‘Dysfunctional’.

UPDATE: Reader William Harrington emails:

In your post you comment that the judge is stating the obvious in calling California government dysfunctional. But it’s important to note that he apparently doesn’t consider the elected officials to be dysfunctional. Instead, he blames the voters. Government is dysfunctional in the judge’s eyes principally because California voters, using the referendum process, created a requirement of a supermajority to raise taxes and consequently “California’s lawmakers, and the state itself, have been placed in a fiscal straitjacket by a steep two-thirds-vote requirement — imposed at the ballot box — for raising taxes.”

It apparently didn’t occur to the judge that Californians might not want to make it easy for their legislature to enact confiscatory taxes, or that California’s fiscal mess could be resolved through cuts to profligate spending rather than to continue to shovel ever-increasing amounts of taxpayer dollars into government’s gaping maw. Rather, he sees the voters and the referendum process as impediments to unrestrained government spending.

It’s astonishing to see how many of our public officials appear to be firmly convinced that the people work for the government, and not the other way around.

Excellent point. And it would seem that Justice Ronald George has raised questions about his ability to rule fairly in questions involving ballot initiatives.