Just a note before we begin this review. Governments have to fund projects with bonds. Why? 1) Because private investors are not going to want to tie up their money in resources that have no direct measurable value to them. In contrast, bonds issued by government entities are viewed as stable investment vehicles for long-term investors who are seeking security rather than risk. The already-wealthy seek income stability rather than instruments that have a big up-or-down spread. 2) When California passed Proposition 13, we lost our main method of funding school construction and other infrastructure projects. Our tax base used to be real estate taxes, which are stable from year to year, and replaced it with sales tax, which fluctuates wildly.
We will come back to this theme. For now, keep in mind that governments and businesses have completely different aims. Therefore, the rules of business management for short term profits have no relation to the operations of government, which are fixed on long-term improvement in public infrastructure. Links here are mostly from KQED public television guide.
Prop 51 N_O
This Prop seeks approval for a bond issue of $9 Billion to build new schools and update old schools. This is usually a feel-good no-brainer YES vote. Here, the building industry and the realtors are the money behind the project. Gov. Brown and others knowledgeable in funding public projects say vote NO on Prop. 51.
Prop 52 Y_E_S
The federal government matches state spending on health care for the poor, so the more California puts up for Medi-Cal, the more federal dollars it receives. The hospital fee boosts the state’s fund for Medi-Cal and thus attracts more federal money. Those dollars are then paid back to the hospitals to reimburse them for caring for their Medi-Cal patients.
Californians pay much more to the federal government than they get back. Let’s get some of that money back here to help those who need medical care. Vote YES on Prop 52.
Prop 53 N-O
Proposition 53 would require voter approval whenever the state wants to pay for a public works project using more than $2 billion in revenue bonds.
This prop is funded by two rich people who think that our government is their toy. They don’t want any rules that stop them from stiffing their neighbors but they want to lay more on us. Vote NO on Prop. 63.
Prop 54 N-0
Here’s another rich person who thinks that American politics are some kind of wagering game. Charles Munger put up $10,000,000 and no one else put up much in support. I think there should be more transparency in lawmaking but hard-and-fast rules like this may not be the answer. Vote NO on 54.
Prop 55 Y-E-S
Proposition 55 would require the wealthiest Californians to keep paying higher income taxes through 2030. Under Brown’s earlier measure, those taxes would expire after 2018. The tax levy starts at 1 percent for individuals making $250,000 annually, increasing to 3 percent for individuals making above $500,000. If Proposition 55 passes, finance officials estimate it will raise $4 billion to $9 billion a year, depending on the economy.
The already-rich are there because we paid for the infrastructure that made them rich. They can cut back on the size of their super-yacht and give back to society. Vote YES on 55.
My analysis on the rest tomorrow. For now, here’s my recommendations. See Prop 61 at bottom.
Prop 56 N-O
Prop 57 Y-E-S
Prop 58 Y-E-S
Everyone is for this. No one funded the NO side. YES on Prop 58.
Prop 59 Y-E-S
Everyone wants to overturn the Supreme Court case “Citizens United” because corporations shouldn’t buy our government. Vote YES on 59.
Prop 60 Y-E-S
Don’t never do it without your Fez on. Vote YES on 60.
Bernie Sanders is campaigning for Proposition 61 here in California. Drug companies have put nearly $100 Million into defeating this Prop. Essentially, the Prop mandates that prescription prices for California public health providers should be no higher than what VA pays. YES on Prop 61.
We Oaklanders are sick of big sugar trying to tell us what to do. Vote YES on HH.
Deborah Lagutaris, aka Olivia LaRosa, was employed in banking and real estate for 30 years. She then went back to college to finish a BA and went straight to UC Hastings College of Law. She was the oldest in her class at 50. Since then she has drafted legislation, served as a law clerk for an attorney who practiced disability law, and worked as a law office manager for an in-house law firm. Ms. Lagutaris has submitted her LL.M. Thesis on International Banking and Wealth Management LL.M. She presently has a tax practice and is the co-director of the IHSS Project.