Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kacer’s Call - November 2, 2010 General Election

 General Guidelines - How I approach Propositions (Do’s & Don’ts):

  • Do: First read the Summary, Analysis, Actual Text, then the Arguments for and against
  • Do: Ask yourself if this is a proper role of government
  • Do: Ask yourself if this is the right thing to do, who it benefits, and the consequences
  • Do: Determine what principles apply (Biblical, conservative, practical)
  • Do: Apply common sense; come to tentative conclusion – find position of those I trust
  • Don’t: Rely upon organizations by name only (many sound good but are deceptive)
  • Don’t: Wait until the last day to do your research (spread it out over time)
  • Don’t: Support government going into future debt (some rare exceptions)
  • Don’t: Allow rare circumstances to overly influence you (“rare cases make bad law”)
  • Don’t: Support anything that’s too complex to completely understand (obfuscation)
Note: “(C)” following Proposition Number indicates a State Constitution change; (S) a Statute change

Prop 19 (S): Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 Oppose (No)

Concerns: Makes tax revenue more important than what’s morally right. Opens opportunity to further
                Weaken drug control in future. No other state allows this. Can’t control “personal consumption”
                amounts from being sold to minors. Prevalence of activity doesn’t make it right. Gateway drug
                issues are real, as is expected increase in substance abuse and medical services. Work place
                drug free testing is at risk, as are federal contracts. Higher concentrations per oz. not limited.
Consider: Adult acts impact children’s decisions (Prov 22:6). Government shouldn’t legitimize casual use
                of mind damaging drugs (Rom 13:4a). No “impaired” work/driving performance standards.
                Zoning laws could impact church properties public access and rental property usage (Acts 5:29)

Prop 20 (C): Voters FIRST Act for Congress Uncertain (Leaning Towards Oppose (No))

Concerns: Citizens Redistricting Commission (Prop 11 of ’08; Assembly, Senate, BOE) not tried yet;
                 unintended consequences not known. Does allow minor party representation. Urban/rural, etc.,
                 criteria allows political maneuvering. Proof of unbiased decisions impractical. Overturning result
                 by referendum possible but impractical.  Adding Congressional seats desirable but premature.
Consider:  Any redistricting or commission selection can & will be gamed (Jer 17:9). Voters ultimately
                 choose their leaders (Deut 1:13) & hold them accountable. Test CRC value first (Eccl 7:27).

Prop 21 (S): State Parks & Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act  – Oppose (No)

Concerns: Replaces existing Park budgeting approach. Tax is inequitable: targets selected state-wide
                 vehicles not Park users. Some funds for “underserved urban community” recreational facilities &  
                 “equitable access”. Tax exceeding Legislature determined adequacy level will be used elsewhere.
                 Other usage fees can be raised independently. Does not address State budgeting priorities. 
Consider:  Pay as-you-go entrance fees most equitable (Prop targets wrong group). Any excess tax
     intended for other use instead of forcing State fiscal restraint/prioritization (1 Tim 6:10a)

Prop 22 (C): Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010  Support (Yes)

Concerns: Property taxes: Intended for local use. Now State can redistribute to schools or during fiscal 
                 hardship borrow for 3 yrs. Prop prevents State from shifting (for schools) or borrowing (3 yrs) to
                 balance State budget. Fuel taxes: Will require 2/3 legislature vote to change current 2/3:1/3 
                 state/local tax split. Prevents State use for: bond debt-service costs; borrowing (3 yrs); or cash 
                 flow problems. Redevelopment usage may be problematic, but is unchanged. VLF tax: Most for 
                 local use. Prop prevents State use to offset new or improved service program State mandates. 
Consider:  If authority is fiscally negligent, don’t provide tax use flexibility (Rom 13:7). True rainy day fund 
                 is needed (Prov 6:6-11; 21:20; 1 Cor 16:2). Bonds are presumption on future and limit use for 
                 intended purposes (James 4:13-14))

Prop 23: (S) California Jobs Initiative (Suspends AB 32 Air Pollution Control Law) Support (Yes)

Concerns: Measure halts ½ of Green-House-Gas regulation creation. AB 32 based on unproven climate
     assumptions to justify new taxes & redirect private industry (Prov 14:8). Punishes creative
     industry/energy competition instead of using tax breaks incentives. Prop temporarily halts open
     ended expansion of massive government regulation. Only effective til 4 gtrs 5.5% unemployment.
Consider:  We have stewardship duties (Gen 1:28), but much study is needed (1 Kings 4:29-34; Eccl 7:27;
                 Prov 18:17). Massive tax burdens on everyone for unproven good is foolish (Rom 3:8)   CA
                 already has nation’s strongest regulations and we can choose green energy now.

Prop 24 (S): Repeal Corporate Tax Loopholes Act – Oppose (No)

Concerns: Businesses made decisions based on enactment of tax reforms by ‘11 (NOL carryback; multi-
                 state tax formula; tax credit sharing). Prop removes pro-business tax reform that helps both
                 small and large volatile businesses. Prop would retain current tax levels – continuing adverse
                 impact on business/jobs.
Consider:  Removes business incentives to stay in or move to CA. Presumes no change in industry base
                 (James 4:13-14). Maintains high tax rates without corresponding reduction in State spending (1
                 Tim 6:10a). Deceptively claims schools & public safety at risk (State budget priority only).

Prop 25: (C) On-Time Budget Act of 2010 Oppose (No)

Concerns: Majority party fiscally irresponsible in controlling spending or balancing budget. Fees (taxes)
                 not addressed (major loophole). Tax revenue changes not explicitly defined for 2/3 vote.
                 Punishment for poor legislator performance is elections, not salary and expense accounts.
Consider:  Deceptive claim 2/3rd vote hurts schools/services (State budgeting priority)(Prov 14:8). Unfairly
                 punishes those with fiscal restraint (1 Tim 5:18b). Easier vote breeds less responsibility or need
                 for compromise (1 Tim 6:10). Those using fiscal discipline are due double honor (1 Tim 5:17a).

Prop 26: (C) Two-thirds Vote Requirement  for State and Local Fees Support (Yes)

Concerns: Revenue-neutral tax increases now allowed by majority vote, result: higher tax rates on higher
                 incomes (redistribution) - Prop eliminates this.  Current law (majority vote) portrayed as
                 pollution protector, yet all criminal laws & penalties remain intact independent of this measure.
Consider:  Deceptive to use “fee” not “tax” (Prov 14:8; 26:26). If government giving direct benefit, fees are
                 proper (Mk 12:13-17). Partiality is generally wrong (Lev 19:15; Prov 28:21a)

Prop 27: (C & S) Financial Accountability in Redistricting Act Oppose (No)

Concerns:  Virtually impossible to guarantee +/- one person difference in like districts. Citizens
                  Redistricting Commission (Prop 11 of ’08) unproven – unknown benefit, consequences TBD. 
Consider:   Any redistricting effort can be gamed (Jer 17:9). People must ultimately choose their leaders
                  (Deut 1:13) and hold them accountable. Test Prop 11 value first (Eccl 7:27) then evaluate
                  effectiveness. Current approach by legislators known to be compromised

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