Sunday, May 2, 2010

California insanity

Apologists for California's politicians sometimes blame the state's problems on its initiative process. I was never very sympathetic to this argument and am less so after learning via Kevin Drum that California, which you may have heard has budget problems, recently extended and expanded a tax credit bonus for home buyers.

Only two Assembly members and one senator voted against the bill.

It would appear the California legislature is full of pandering idiots and that this probably has something to do with the state's problems.

As well as being terrible public policy in general, the specifics of the programs are also objectionable. As can be seen here and here (pdf file) you have to jump through a number of hoops to actually collect the credit. So it disproportionately benefits agile insiders. And of course nonrefundable tax credits (like these) favor the rich.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, "pandering idiots" is indeed a reasonable characterization of many of the current legislators in California. However, the initiative process is also a source of trouble, as is the supermajority (2/3) requirement to pass a budget or raise taxes.