Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yes on 84

California Proposition 84: Water Quality, Safety and Supply. Flood Control. Natural Resource Protection. Park Improvements. Bonds. (Initiative Statute)

Prop 84 would issue $5.4 billion in bonds (with an estimated repayment cost of $10.5 billion over 30 years) to fund projects for flood control and drinking water. California's population continues to grow, so we need to have water for them to drink and cook and bathe, not to mention water to grow their food and water for industrial and commercial purposes. The Central Valley isn't quite the Ninth Ward, but our levees are in need of serious and immediate attention.

I do have one serious beef with the Yes on 84 arguments, though: the claim that these bonds will solve the problem "without raising taxes" is technically correct, but cynically misleading. The repayment of the bonds will be from tax revenues, requiring either a reduction in other spending or an increase in taxes. You can't just pull $350 million a year out of thin air. Unfortunately, this specious reasoning pops up with nearly every bond measure.

Still, the bottom line is that we need these projects to protect the future of California, and we will benefit from them for decades to come. Vote yes on 84.

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