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Contributor

Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

The Sound Of Fear
Horrors! A special election…
[Ray Haynes] 6/20/05

The sounds you hear, that wailing and gnashing of teeth, are the Democrats screaming about the special election the Governor just called for November. They are afraid. They are very afraid of the consequences of the election, and they should be.

Take a look at their original budget proposal. The current year budget (the 2004-05 budget, the one we’re in right now) is about $80 billion general fund spending. The Governor’s May revise budget for next year (2005-06), for all the talk of restraint proposed an $88 billion general fund spending plan, which includes a $3 billion increase in school funding. The Democrats proposal was a $90 billion spending plan, a thirteen percent increase in spending over last year, the second largest increase in California history. They are truly spending addicts—they can’t wait to get their fix from your pocketbook.

The Governor’s plan would actually reduce the “out year” budget problems (06-07 budget and beyond) to about $4 billion, an astounding improvement over the deficits created by Gray Davis. The Democrats, with their $9 billion increase are going back to the Davis deficit plan. The largest increase in California history was 2000-01, a $12 billion increase, which created the Davis deficits. The current Democrat leadership wants to repeat this pattern of deficits with their budget, topped off with a tax increase to indulge their addiction.

The Governor’s response to these spendthrift ways is an initiative he calls the “Live within Your Means” budget reform. “Live within Your Means” is a modest budget cap, essentially limiting state spending increases to the average spending percentage increase of the previous three years. That limit, however, would prevent Democrats from engaging in deficit spending plans, hence, they oppose it.

The other initiatives on the ballot are inspiring similar fears in the Democrats and their public union supporters. The teacher tenure initiative simply says a teacher has to do at least a half-way decent job for five years (instead of the current two years) in order to get their guaranteed lifetime job. The union bosses think their members are entitled to this benefit after two years.

The Governor’s third proposal would take the job of drawing legislative districts away from the legislators who benefit from the district lines. The lines of 2001 guaranteed the Democrats another ten years of control in the Legislature, and they are afraid of losing that.

More than anything else, though, their true fear is that “paycheck protection” passes. That is the initiative that tells the government employee union bosses that they cannot force their members to pay them money. Currently, everybody who works for any government entity in the state is forced, by law, to pay some government union at least $35 a month in “dues,” which is really just political tribute. Given the 330,000 people who work for state government, and the more than 1,000,000 people who work for local governments throughout the state, the amount of money that is paid to support the political agenda of the union bosses is huge. Those union bosses put over $20 million into electing Democrats in 2004. In exchange for this generous contribution to maintaining the power of the left-wing in California, these unions got increased power and lucrative employment contracts from the Democrats.

The California Teachers Union has already assessed its membership additional dues sufficiently to raise $50 million to fight these initiatives. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (prison guards) has proposed an assessment large enough to raise $30 million, and other public employee unions are in the process of following suit.

If the paycheck protection initiative passes, this extortion scheme is over, and the end of the Democrats reign of indulgence may be near. That is their greatest fear, and that is why they are screaming so loud. Rather than force people to pay tribute to their political agenda, they may actually have to work to convince people to vote for them. They might actually have to listen to voters, or risk losing power. What a novel concept. CRO

Mr. Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.

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