national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]

















Bill Leonard - Contributor

Bill Leonard is a Member of the State Board of Equalization

A Week Under the Dome
Colleges, Prop 57, Coupal, Gipper's day...

[Bill Leonard] 2/2/04

Remedial Math

Last week’s news reported that the Cal State University system is throwing out fewer students for being behind in basic math and English skills. That is hardly something to celebrate. All students who graduate from California high schools should be able to pass such proficiency exams, but only 42% of incoming freshmen can. As a result, the CSU system is spending millions offering remedial coursework to get these students up to speed. What none of the news stories noted was how much money that is costing the state. The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that we could save millions annually by offering those basic math and English courses at the community college or high school level, rather than continuing such basic instruction at the University level. As we try to close a multi-billion dollar gap this year, budget writers should look for every available savings opportunity.

Thinking on 57

I have received several questions about Prop. 57, the measure on the March 2nd ballot asking Californians to approve $15 billion in bonds to help keep the state solvent. Most people who are questioning the measure wonder why they should continue to give money to a state that cannot stop spending it. It has been likened to giving a new credit card to a shopoholic. While that is an intriguing analogy, it is false. It is the equivalent of financing the shopoholic’s (or in this case, the Legislature ’s) previous buying binges, but it does not bring in new revenue to spend any new money on any new programs. While that may still be distasteful to some, I caution that the alternatives are worse. Without this money, the state would still have to borrow the money from somewhere and the costs go up dramatically if we do it through another mechanism, perhaps to the tune of $30 billion before 2005. Prop. 57 allows the state to consolidate its existing debt and pay it off at reasonable interest rates. I encourage voters to support this effort to bring some stability to our state budget so that Governor Schwarzenegger can begin working with the Legislature to curb their spending habits.

Coupal on Wealth

Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, had an outstanding article in the Orange County Register last week. Coupal recommends that voters evaluate candidates for the legislature based on their understanding of how wealth is created. He writes, “A majority of our current lawmakers seem to believe that the source of wealth is rich people. Their approach to governing is a lot like Willie Sutton’ s approach to robbing banks. Sutton said he robbed banks because ‘that’s where the money is.’ To these politicians, all taxes are justifiable, and those that fall on the rich are not only the most lucrative, they are the most justifiable.” The problem with this thinking is, as Coupal points out, that rich people do not just have money inherently. It is created through productivity. Productivity drives the economy, but without such productivity and economy, “the tax base stagnates and dies.” Thus, it is imperative that our elected officials understand that government spending and taxpayers’ productivity are directly linked. Coupal concludes, “So, if a candidate asks for your support, ask if she or he understands how wealth is created. If in response you get a deer-in-the- headlight look, vote for someone else.” Good advice, Jon.

Ronald Reagan Day

Governor Schwarzenegger has proclaimed February 6th as Ronald Reagan Day in California to celebrate the former President’s 93rd birthday. In recognizing Reagan, our Governor does us a great service. His proclamation reminds us of Reagan’s moral conviction, belief in entrepreneurial America, and his commitment to “peace through strength.” These are principles that should animate all of us to this day and give us hope in a better California, better America and better world.




Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005