Friday, February 27, 2004

Californians will soon go to the polls to consider a number of State budget-balancing measures that could only have been written by Sacramento politicians. Real budget reform proposals have been around for some time but are not an option on election day. RPPI's Citizen's Budget is just one example of opportunities avoided. Asset sales and privatization are also off the table.

Yet, even the ballot propositions do not satisfy those who hanker for "modest" tax increases on "the rich" to would avoid "draconian" cuts. That, of course, evokes the class-warfare rhetoric on which many politicians thrive.

The newest Statistical Abstract of the U.S., Table 19, shows State Resident Population -- Components of Change: 2000-2003. California is only topped by New York in terms of internal migration losses (made up by international immigration here but not in New York); Texas experienced gains from both sources.

Tax increases and other policy failures in a federal system run the risk that capital and labor relocate. Listening to the Democratic candidates' views on outsourcing, one gets the impression that the relocation option would also be dealt with were they elected. They would have about as much success curbing out-migrations as they have had curbing illegal in-migrations.

It is discussions of this caliber that leave us with the budget proposals that we have. Vote "no" and hope that the next round of proposals will be better?