Green ideas can solve the budget mess
The Green Party of California has recommended - for a long, long time - ways
in which we can get out of the budget mess in the state.
They are fairly simply solutions, not convoluted as the Democrats and Republicans
claim as they attempt to sell their "flim-flam."
According to the platform the GPCA, and as explained in a publication by the
Green Party of Alameda County, alternatives include:
(1) Abolish the 2/3 vote needed to pass the budget. (Even State Senator
Loni Hancock has introduced a constitutional amendment to do that.)
The current situation gives the Republicans much more power over the budget
than their numbers warrant. That is obvious. What is less obvious is that the
current situation gives cover to the Democrats while billions of dollars are
cut from services to their constituents. But don't blame them -- it's the Republicans'
While a few states do require a "supermajority" (that is, more than
a simple majority) to pass their budget, and a few states require a supermajority
to raise any state taxes, California is the only state to require both. California
(2) Amend Proposition 13. Adopt the split-roll property tax system,
in which income-producing property is taxed at a higher rate than primary residences.
Amending Prop 13 should also include automatic reassessments when businesses
(3) Return to the notion of progressive Taxation.. For too long, there has
been a bipartisan agreement (Federal, State, and local) to move away from progressive
taxation and substitute a trickle-down theory. It goes like this: If the rich
get richer, perhaps a crumb can be gotten for the rest of us. Forget it.
When Peter Camejo ran for Governor he made progressive taxation a centerpiece
of his campaigns. We should follow his example. Progressive taxation does not
just mean graduated tax rates on income. We need to tax wealth as well as income.
(4) Change the state laws that govern redevelopment districts. In Oakland,
for example, taxes generated by the big office buildings downtown have to be
spent within that redevelopment area. This is deliberate starvation of the
cities' general funds.
It is unacceptable.