From the tranquil green campus of Princeton University, Paul Krugman today writes about the dire state of California. Even though Californians have been making bitter jokes about how the state has lost its way, it is chilling to know that on the other side of the continent a leading economist thinks that if California really still is “where the future happens first” then “God help America”. Krugman is worried because the political system in our state simply is not functioning. He points to Prop 13 as the ballot measure that started the trend toward unworkable budgets and an unstable government. Our dependence on income tax to fund almost all government functions leaves us vulnerable to every swing in the economy. And what are we doing about it? So far not much. Everyone knows we need changes in Prop 13 to enable us to make property taxes more equitable. We need to stop allowing a minority of lawmakers to hold our budget process hostage to the need for a two/thirds majority. As citizens we need to take responsibility for supporting change. It’s time for every one of us to support the call for a Constitutional Convention and to hold our lawmakers accountable for their decisions. The longer we wait the worse the world will be for our children and grandchildren.
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