Sunday, November 20, 2011
Can California End The Nation's Gridlock
Not gold this time. But more the Archimedes version. A solution. He stepped into a bath full of water and saw the level rise. In the California and American case, the answer would be that there is no free lunch. Bills must be paid.
On Monday a group of billionaires, celebrities and others are releasing a plan to use their money and brains to get the state out of debt that is destroying it.
"As Washington is in gridlock, maybe California can lead the way again by showing that we know how to fix things," former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg told the Sacramento Bee.
He is a member of "The Think Long Committee for California." The group is going to try to get an initiative on the ballot that would raise $10 billion to get the state back on the yellow brick road.
At first glance it seems another pie in the sky scheme. First, it costs millions to get an initiative on the ballot. Second, it costs even more for TV and other political expenses to get it passed.
Of course California has more Warren Buffetts than any other state. Some have signed on, as well as celebrities like former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Current governor Jerry Brown isn't ready to join, although he has tried and failed to raise taxes.
"The problem with most initatives is funding. That's not a problem this group will have," committee adviser Nathan Gardels told the Los Angeles Times. It also will create a watchdog committee to avoid some of the mistakes that led to this situation.
Everyone would end up paying somewhat more, though low- and middle-income families would pay less in state taxes. It is a commplicated plan that is to be released Monday. The goal is to raise 11 percent more in state revenue.
It is hoped to get it on the ballot next year.