There was only a "smattering of California voters" out yesterday according to Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times. but they voted down all but one of Governor Schwarzenegger's propositions to fix the state budget hole by increasing taxes and juggling spending allocations.
The tax increases didn't just go down. They went down big. Here are the numbers as of Wednesday morning.
|Proposition||Yes vote||No vote|
|1A - Rainy Day Fund||34%||66%|
|1B - Education Funding||33%||66%|
|1C - Modernize Lottery||37%||63%|
|1D - Child Services Funding||35%||65%|
|1E - Mental Health Budget||34%||66%|
|1F - Elected Official Salaries||74%||26%|
The main proposition was Proposition 1A. It would raise taxes now and create a rainy day fund later. The other propositions would reallocate special funds into the general fund, allow the state to borrow against future lottery proceeds, and prevent increase in elected officials' salaries in any year in which there was a deficit.
Today, of course, Governor Schwarzenegger is accepting the will of the voters and vowing to move forward.
“We face a staggering $21.3 billion deficit and in order to prevent a fiscal disaster, Democrats and Republicans must collaborate and work together to address this shortfall,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “The longer we wait the worse the problem becomes and the more limited our choices will be.”
But the real potential for disaster is the one that Schwarzenegger doesn't mention. Suppose the state cut spending and the world didn't end?
That is a prospect that doesn't bear thinking about.
But maybe President Obama will bail the state out. Why not? He's bailed just about everything else out in the last 100 days. Why not California?