Gov. Jerry Brown has released his budget and, to help pay for it, his tax initiative (Proposition 30) as well. He is also threatening Californians with reducing K-12 school funding if the tax initiative fails, akin to the Washington Monument Syndrome.
For those of you who are too young to remember or have forgotten the Washington Monument Syndrome, in 1969 Congress cut the National Park Service’s budget, and in retaliation the parks director, George Hartzog, closed for two days a week popular national parks such as the Washington Monument and the Grand Canyon. Complaints rolled in, and Congress restored the funding.
Proposition 30 will put the new money into the general fund where it can be spent on many things other than school budgets. Gov. Brown should cancel the high-speed train to nowhere in the Central Valley and reform the state employees’ retirement and pension plans to bring them in line with the private sector before he cuts any more school funding. Californians aren’t gullible enough to fall for Hartzog’s old ploy.
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