Columnist Byron Williams has made a provocative claim that is sure to challenge California voters. Instead of incessantly blaming the Governor and legislature for the state's current predicament, perhaps voters should take a long, hard look in the mirror. While state government has failed the people in numerous ways, the people have elected these politicians, and the people have voted for several propositions, often contradicting each other at times, that generate massive deficits. Williams writes:
"Over the past several decades, we have voted for a series of unrelated ballot propositions, from Proposition 13 to Three Strikes to bond measures to other items without any consideration of the unintended consequences that have coalesced into annual institutionalized deficits...We want the legislature and governor to fix the problem, as if there is any obvious pain-free solution that no one has considered. And we want it by the constitutionally mandated deadline, approved by a two-thirds majority...By the way, we're okay if the Legislature and governor are forced to make tough choices as long as those choices impact someone else."
Williams raises a legitimate point. Californians have significantly contributed to the state's economic mess and political dereliction. We the People have elected the same old partisan players, voted for big spending measures that add more debt, and chosen propositions that result in excruciating political gridlock. We the People have voted for the establishment candidates, celebrities, and media darlings, yet California continues to perform miserably year in and year out. We the People have voted along party lines, instead of carefully assessing policy solutions, regardless of political affiliation, on a case by case basis. The list goes on and on.
In short, as appalling as state leaders have been, on both sides of the aisle, the people deserve just as much of the blame. Until the people clean up their own acts and learn to think for themselves, California will continue to deteriorate, both politically and economically. Hopefully, with Independent voters now the only growing bloc of voters in the golden state, the status quo is about to change.