Monday, December 17, 2012

California gets the government it deserves

Supermajorities in state house and senate mean they will get what they want AND have no one to blame. [Link]
Yet in the “be careful what you wish for” department, Democrats are beginning to confront the struggles and complications that come with being in charge of the store. This authority came at least two years earlier than most Democrats had projected. And it is unleashing years of pent-up Democratic desires — to roll back spending cuts, approve a bond issue to rebuild the state’s water system, amend the state’s tax code, revamp California’s governance system — that had been largely checked by the Republican minority.
At the same time, it is stirring concerns from Democrats, among them Gov. Jerry Brown, that the situation may inspire an overreach that could make the party’s reign brief. By contrast, some Democrats argue that handled correctly, the next two years could provide an opportunity to lock in long-term control.
“The center of gravity of the Democratic Party will be restraint, but some people can’t help themselves,” Mr. Brown said in an interview. “The supermajority is not a permanent condition. It’s something that can be lost far more easily than it can be gained.”
The demand became apparent even before the new Legislature was sworn in this month. State Senator Ted W. Lieu, a Democrat, proposed reinstating an automobile registration fee that was repealed under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. That fee was a rallying point of what many saw as excessive taxation here; its elimination created a $4 billion revenue shortfall. Mr. Lieu pulled back at the urging of Democratic leaders.
“Democrats have unrestricted, unchecked power in the executive and the legislative branch today — and they have not had that for decades,” said James L. Brulte, a former state lawmaker running for state Republican leader. “If you are a Democrat, the good news is that your party is 100 percent in charge of state government. If you’re a Democrat, the bad news is that you don’t get to blame anybody else if things go wrong. So Democrats own it.”
As the H. L.  Mencken quote goes:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

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