A little context goes a long way. That's the lesson that advocates of Proposition 30 -- California Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to increase sales and income taxes in the Golden State (cheekily titled the School & Safety Protection Act) -- should have been taking over the course of this long, hot summer. When the tax proposal was first polled back in the spring, liberals crowed about the fact that it enjoyed a nearly 2/3 majority
. By last month, however, those numbers had dropped by 10 percentage points and polling indicated that spending on projects like the state's infamous high-speed rail project was likely to further sour voters on Prop 30
. Now opponents of the tax increase are using that sensibility to devastating effect in a new ad.
chronicles the various developments in California politics this summer that have called into question whether insufficient revenue is nearly as big a problem as exorbitant spending. Here's a partial list, assembled by Joel Fox at his invaluable Fox & Hounds site
7/15 Sacramento Bee exposes a secret vacation payout scheme in the Parks Department costing taxpayers $271,000.
7/18 Senate and Assembly are caught giving pay raises to staff. Governor Brown later admits that he too gave staff pay raises.
7/19 Governor Brown signs bullet train bill, saddling taxpayers with $380,000,000 per year in interest payments alone (approximately the same amount by which he has cut higher education).
7/20 Parks announces $54,000,000 in hidden assets
7/24 Brown Administration admits that $37 billion in special funds are monitored through an "honor system."
8/3 Brown Administration concedes that hundreds of millions of dollars in special funds are unaccounted for.
As Jon Coupal, president of the state's Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, has noted, California voters have rejected the last seven tax increases put to a popular vote. When they see this video, the chances of an eighth iteration will only increase.