Billions in New Bonds Should Not Escape Voter Approval

UPDATE:

<Snip>

By Blutarsky –

Lets’ do repeats, Lenny……………..lets’ pour millions more down the never-ending suckhole of $$ called “public education”. Lets build giant edifices and facilities to crank out yet another generation of clueless future voters and benefit-bleeders who cannot read or write well, but score high on iPods, music and entertainment scales…………we need more retail clerks and shelf stockers !

Lets keep pushing for extremely BAD ideas of bonds to cover useless 7&8-figure expenses around downtown called “development”- and let the taxpayers foot the bill on yet more square footage for empty restaurants and cheeky “boutiques”, most all of which wont last 2 years before boarding the windows. Heavy industry? Tech?- that ship has sailed, mostly to the far East thanks to “free trade” treason.

I hate to break it to you longtime Parker & Weatherford folk……….you just are NOT on the must-see,must-go, must-do list of tourist attractions – state, nation or global. Weatherford is a nice bedroom community with a VERY small dash of cachet` related to the equine industry and a little 1800s history and a quaint monthly flea market- thats it. Quit thinking you will ever be on the “must” lists of much of anyone, anywhere.

But lets’ comtinue to lets hucksters, conmen and carny-barkers known as commissioners, county judges and city councilmen (funded by construction companies, architects and “developers”) try to con you in to another boondoggle bond project. How about a fools project called “light rail” ?………..the sucker taxpayers seem to fall for just about anything !

My idea is “20/20″……………..20% paycut, and 20% staff reduction in every city and county office and school – yes I include the sacred cow- teachers and administrators salaries every bit as much as the holiest of holy- LAW ENFORCEMENT.

And thats just for starters – elect ME

And a 10 year moratorium on ANY so-called BOND PROJECT.

The middle-class taxpayers are “DONE-for” and slithering 2-bit politicians are bleeding all of us bone dry.

“BOND” is a 4-letter word…………..

“An apathetic public, dominated by the Baby Boom generation, has the attention span of a gnat. As long as they can make the lease payment on their Escalade, use one of their 15 credit cards at the Mall, be entertained by 600 cable TV stations, play with the
latest iSomething, live in their McMansion for two years without making a mortgage
payment and consume massive quantities of fast food, then any thoughts of future
generations or civic duty are unnecessary. Live for today has been the rallying cry
for the Boomer generation. Pot was their drug during the 1960s. Debt has been their drug since 1980.”
—the Burning Platform

<Snip>

________________________________________

Although written about California, I think this article may interest you if you are a taxpayer. Should we learn from their mistakes…or repeat them?

I encourage you to read California’s Proposition 13.

_______________________________________

By Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Howard Jarvis

Billions in New Bonds Should Not Escape Voter Approval

Former Speaker Willie Brown once said, “In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment.” The strategy, he noted, was to start construction of a project quickly so it would be hard to stop once people learned of the real cost which, in many cases, could be many multiples of the initial price represented to citizens.

Constant cost overruns and a lack of accountability plague California’s infrastructure projects. Politicians casually throw “millions” and “billions” around like a game of monopoly, leaving hard-working families and future generations to pay the debt they so flippantly create.

Over the last 20 years, $50 billion in revenue bond debt has been issued without voter approval.  A loophole in state law allows politicians to commit taxpayers to repaying enormous revenue bond debt without voter oversight.

Clever politicians and special interests have discovered this deceptive voter avoidance scheme and are using this loophole to sign Californians up for multi-billion dollar projects with little accountability and zero voter oversight. This has become a very popular funding mechanism for politicians and Sacramento insiders who would prefer to leave voters out of the process.

The result is careless project planning and massive cost overruns beyond the “first budget.”

The good news is that an initiative on the November ballot will close this loophole, hold politicians accountable and ensure that Californians’ voice is heard before they get stuck footing the bill for these huge projects. The Stop Blank Checks initiative requires statewide voter approval for state revenue bond projects that borrow over $2 billion. These are the state’s biggest revenue bond projects that affect millions of Californians. If a project results in increased water rates, commute costs or other unavoidable fees, then voters should have a say.

Voter approval requirements for new debt date back to the earliest days of California’s history. And what was true 100 years ago is even more so today: Because long term financial obligations are paid by future generations, we should not allow politicians – who desire to placate special interests which stand to gain from megaprojects – to commit to massive debt without a direct check by those who will be on the hook.

But political elites hate voter approval and over the course of the last several decades, new esoteric debt instruments like “Certificates of Participation” and “revenue bonds” have been created for the purpose of avoiding voter approval. While “revenue bonds” are not inherently bad, especially for smaller projects, they are far more susceptible to abuse than are general obligation (GO) bonds. And that abuse is more likely as the size of the project gets bigger.

But we can stop this abuse by passing the Stop Blank Checks initiative appearing on the November ballot which will give voters a voice on the state’s largest projects. This will go a long way in holding politicians accountable and force them to be more responsible with California’s long-term debt spending. Moreover, it will help voters understand the full cost of future projects that they are expected to pay.

Californians would be wise to pass the Stop Blank Checks initiative as a needed first step in addressing California’s mountain of debt.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis  Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

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3 responses

  1. Reblogged this on Jack Carson Pickard and commented:
    All projects with costs going multigenerational should be voter approved period. If the costs effect more than the current generation it is long term.

  2. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    ” lthough written about California, I think this article may interest you if you are a taxpayer. Should we learn from their mistakes…or repeat them?”

    Lets’ do repeats, Lenny……………..lets’ pour millions more down the never-ending suckhole of $$ called “public education”. Lets build giant edifices and facilities to crank out yet another generation of clueless future voters and benefit-bleeders who cannot read or write well, but score high on iPods, music and entertainment scales…………we need more retail clerks and shelf stockers !

    Lets keep pushing for extremely BAD ideas of bonds to cover useless 7&8-figure expenses around downtown called “development”- and let the taxpayers foot the bill on yet more square footage for empty restaurants and cheeky “boutiques”, most all of which wont last 2 years before boarding the windows. Heavy industry? Tech?- that ship has sailed, mostly to the far East thanks to “free trade” treason.

    I hate to break it to you longtime Parker & Weatherford folk……….you just are NOT on the must-see,must-go, must-do list of tourist attractions – state, nation or global. Weatherford is a nice bedroom community with a VERY small dash of cachet` related to the equine industry and a little 1800s history and a quaint monthly flea market- thats it. Quit thinking you will ever be on the “must” lists of much of anyone, anywhere.

    But lets’ comtinue to lets hucksters, conmen and carny-barkers known as commissioners, county judges and city councilmen (funded by construction companies, architects and “developers”) try to con you in to another boondoggle bond project. How about a fools project called “light rail” ?………..the sucker taxpayers seem to fall for just about anything !

    My idea is “20/20″……………..20% paycut, and 20% staff reduction in every city and county office and school – yes I include the sacred cow- teachers and administrators salaries every bit as much as the holiest of holy- LAW ENFORCEMENT.

    And thats just for starters – elect ME

    And a 10 year moratorium on ANY so-called BOND PROJECT.

    The middle-class taxpayers are “DONE-for” and slithering 2-bit politicians are bleeding all of us bone dry.

    “BOND” is a 4-letter word…………..

    “An apathetic public, dominated by the Baby Boom generation, has the attention span of a gnat. As long as they can make the lease payment on their Escalade, use one of their 15 credit cards at the Mall, be entertained by 600 cable TV stations, play with the
    latest iSomething, live in their McMansion for two years without making a mortgage
    payment and consume massive quantities of fast food, then any thoughts of future
    generations or civic duty are unnecessary. Live for today has been the rallying cry
    for the Boomer generation. Pot was their drug during the 1960s. Debt has been their drug since 1980.”
    —the Burning Platform

  3. I PROPOSE THAT THE NEW BONDS BE APPROVED!!!

    But…only if Texas also changes its name to “Puerto Rico Redux”. If Texas is to follow in the financially irresponsible footsteps of the broke U.S. territory, Puerto Rico…and walk further down the road of insolvency and bankruptcy…then let them not merely tiptoe into that great black hole of massive and unpayable future debt…let Puerto Rico Redux, USA boldly go into that dark night with the same lack of pride and humiliation with which the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is now sinking into 3rd world poverty and utter economic collapse.

    “Misery loves company.”

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