You have probably noticed that the economy is not having its best week monthyear. Yet, most of the propositions on the State ballot are asking for more spending. Five of the twelve propositions create bonds to be issued. What many voters do not seem to realize is that “bond” means “loan.” The state has to pay that money back, with interest.
Take the train: Prop 1 was removed from the ballot because it was poorly written and could have resulted in a $9.95 billion bond (pay back nearly twice that at $647 million per year) to do research that may or may not result in a high speed train. Prop 1A has replaced Prop 1 on the ballot and creates the same bond and associated costs to research, develop and build a high speed train system.
Things to consider: A high speed train could reduce individual transportation costs and reliance on fuel (at least for the consumer), but the train still needs energy to run and the money to build it has to come from our depleted state budget.
Energy: There are two energy related propositions on the ballot. Prop 7 requires utilities to increase their clean energy production significantly. The cost to the state is only $3.4 million per year to monitor the adherence of the utilities. Prop 10 is part of the T. Boone Pickens Plan to reduce or eliminate our nations dependence on foreign oil. This proposition creates a $5 billion bond ($10 billion to pay back at $335 million per year) to fund research and construction of wind and solar energy producing sites.
Things to consider: Energy companies never increase their costs without increasing yours and mine. The energy produced as a result of prop 7 will cost us more, at least in the beginning. T. Boone Pickens is the 131st wealthiest man in the country. His plan will make him richer. It will also make our nation free of our dependence on foreign oil. All of the people I can find who oppose Pickens’ plan do so because he is rich and not because they disagree with the plan (although they say they do). Maybe they would like it better if he just agreed to give his money to Obama and let him “spread the wealth around.”
From the sublime to the ridiculous: The children’s hospital bond, Prop 3, creates a bond of nearly $1 billion which would cost twice that to pay back at $64 million per year. The bond provides for construction and renovation of children’s hospitals throughout the state and requires children’s hospitals to provide care for children with life-threatening and terminal illnesses.
Things to consider: I am all for children’s hospitals. Just last election I voted for a 10-year bond to support children’s hospitals. Wait, that was only 2 years ago. Who did what with that money? Maybe we should pay that back before we take out a new billion dollar loan. Don’t children’s hospitals already do the things required by this statutes? I would be concerned that there are those who would take advantage of us by asking for a billion dollars “for the children” when it is not really needed… just a thought.
Truth Be Told, when you look at where the money comes from and who gets it, you sometimes have an easier time deciding what to vote for and what to vote against. It is left to us as voters to decide if the proposition provides something worth the cost and if we can afford it or not. I’ll agree that some things are worth the money, even if we can’t really afford it. On the other hand, with the economy the way it is, I might just vote against anything that costs.