We’re Just Sayin’: Who Does CTA Think They’re Kidding?


Just wonderin’ how stupid the California Teachers Association thinks we are, given their new “Yes on Propositions 1A and 1B” TV ad and the matching mailer that arrived on Wednesday.

Here’s the essence of their argument:

“Prop 1A will control state spending and create long-term reserve funds to protect against more cuts to our schools, our children’s health care programs and funding for police and fire.

“Prop 1B will begin paying back some of the devastating cuts to our public schools and community colleges — when the economy improves.”

Yo! CTA! What about the $16 billion in tax increases that 1A extends in order to keep the budget afloat? Not important enough to mention? Are we too dense to possibly understand why this might actually be a good idea? Or are you just too weasley to actually try to make the policy case for taxes ?

“Repay and Protect Our Schools” is a swell slogan — but it lies by omission. And when voters figure it out, which they will, given that thousands of people are screaming about the tax hikes at rallies around the state, fuggedaboutit.

Just askin’ how the New York Times could report with such certainty that there were precisely 773 anti-tax “tea parties” scheduled across the nation Wednesday. Really? Not 772? Or 774?

On a day when TV pictures of “Obama = Socialism” signs and old fat guys wearing white revolutionary wigs dominated political news, the ideological battle to control the narrative boiled down to this:

1-The wave of tea party protests is an authentic manifestation of true grassroots outrage that will spread like a prairie fire in protest against reckless, wasteful Democratic government spending sprees; or

2-Tea parties are a phony, Republican put-up job fueled by Limbaugh, Fox and the repulsive Michelle Malkin cynically manipulating decent working class folks to rail against their economic self-interest.

Looking ahead to the 2010 elections, who wins this week’s spin war will matter much less than who is crowing on the morning of May 20, when the result of the special election are in.

If Prop. 1A goes down, and if it goes down big, the media are sure to interpret the vote as the opening shot of a new, California tax revolt, and comparisons to Prop. 13 will rule the airwaves (whether this is true or not). Prop. 1A foes are already stoking that story line, as in this talking point Ventura County supe Peter Foy delivered to us this week: “On May 19, we can say no. And then we’ll have the opportunity to take the tea party energy and drive it across the nation.”

As a political matter, the defeat of 1A — not to mention 1C — will also mean Gov. Arnold and legislative Democrats, tails tucked firmly between manly thighs, will be forced to return to negotiations with a cackling pack of minority Republicans, fiercely emboldened by the election result, confirmed in their belief that voters adore their anti-statist ideology.

At that point, California will be facing a deficit of $12-15 billion, with tax increases no longer on the table. With the state teetering on the brink of bankruptcy –- whatever that might mean –- the political options will be cuts, cuts, or more cuts.

Just sayin’ that the right-wing radio loudmouths demagoguing this week’s anti-tax protests should have checked the Urban Dictionary definition of “teabagging” and at least considered calling it something else. Dick Armey, indeed.

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There are 9 comments for this post

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    It’s not just the right wing who don’t like 1A. There are plenty of people in the center and on the left who don’t want a budget cap, and don’t like tax increases that hit the poor and middle class harder than the wealthy. And who resent the Republicans for forcing all these bad policies onto the ballot as the price of their vote for the budget.

    If 1A is defeated, it will mean one main thing: the 2/3 rules don’t work, and must be abolished.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    This is kind of silly. Lots of liberal groups are fighting 1A for the spending cap. Lots of unions are too. I don’t see how 1A failing automatically makes it an anti-tax thing.

    The previous commenter is right, the 2/3rds rule needs to go.

  3. avatar Dana Gabbard says:

    Get a paper bag.

    Hold it over you mouth and start breathing in and out until you stop hyperventilating.

    OK. Now that you have regained your senses:

    Thess “teap parties” are not the real deal. These are folks who want the benefits of what taxes do and just want lower taxes by someone else giving up something. No vision. No reality.

    And as Bill Bradly has pointed out “half the audience will be dead in the next 10 years.”

    No moneybags have so far been willing to pony up to fund an anti-1A campaign. And this so called revolt isn’t translating into any real political movement. The right is angry because George Bush was a failed President and their brand has zero credibility among all but the true believer types who showed up for these idiot events. And somehow they want this all to be someone else’s fault. Sorry, kids. Playtime is over. The adults are now cleaning up your mess. And resenting that is too petty to take seriously.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Voters aren’t fond of taxes, but they aren’t fond of spending caps that imopact the services they like, either.

    Voters voted down Prop 76 by a BIG margin, which was a spending cap, that wasn’t tied to taxes.

    This is one of those measures that will go down in Bakersfield and Berkeley, for different reasons.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    “the repulsive Michelle Malkin”
    Why is that necessary?

    The lie of omission regarding the failure to mention taxes makes them part of a large liars club. And if you take away the 2/3 requirement for raising taxes, there is no spending limitation in 1A. Any value it has in that regard is dependent on that restriction. But as this election illustrates, that 2/3’s requirement only applies to politicians and special taxes. The general fund taxes, like the extensions in 1A, require only a simple majority of the electorate to pass.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    Wow, I’m more than a little amused by the “We’re Just Sayin’: Who Does CTA Think They’re Kidding?” headline.

    The answer is, of course: everyone. You two blogger-dudes know this better than anyone. Campaigns are about spin. The promises of Prop 98 were all just spin. Arnold’s Prop 82 debutante ball was all spin. The recall rhetoric was all spin. The teabaggers have been hyper-spun.

    Look guys, the electorate is a brain-dead lump of carbon and the media is a blow-dried blonde talking about a new treatment for aging spots. Your “when the voters figure this out…” statement belies the reality of nearly every major statewide political campaign of the modern era. The voters almost never figure anything out, except for George W. Bush, and look what it took for them to finally get that!

    In the absence of a well-funded counter campaign making equally spurious but more persuasive claims, CTA’s tactics might have worked.

    Prop 1A will lose, but not because the voters figured anything out, it will lose because because of special election turnout dynamics:
    — there is no reason for anyone to take time out of their day to go vote to raise their own taxes, and
    — there are plenty of motivational factors for a variety of “no” voters from the right and left, including an overly complex ballot, distrust in the people who put it there, a desire to lash out at government, higher taxes, a misguided spending cap, etc. etc.

    “Who does CTA think they’re kidding?” you ask. As if their deceptive, misleading advertising will be ineffective because it doesn’t withstand basic intellectual scrutiny. I think CTA, and every political professional, are reading your blog thinking “Who does CalBuzz think their they’re kidding?!”

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    “And as Bill Bradly has pointed out “half the audience will be dead in the next 10 years.”

    Wishful thinking about the demographics.

    The baby boomer cohort is defined as the folks who were born between 1946 and 1964. They will be retiring in ever increasing numbers every year until the wave peaks around 2015. [After that peak, large numbers will still be retiring, but in diminishing numbers every year.]

    These folks want to have something to do after they retire. They’ll be easy pickings for anti-tax parties, especially after they see how much Obama will jack up their taxes…

    …and for what?! Nobody is truly destitute in this country. NO ONE is denied medical care. They don’t have to go to VMC, anyone can go to O’Connor Hospital, Good Sam or Kaiser with zero insurance, and they must, by law, be given treatment.

    The “poor” aren’t starving. In fact, the “poor” are the most obese. Almost all “poor” have color TV sets, cell phones and computers. And the bottom half of the entire population pays no federal or state taxes.

    So there is no legitimate reason to jack up taxes by 200% – 300% and more [while pretending that a few bucks a week tax reduction will make up for the substantial rise in the cost of goods and services — something that won’t go unnoticed by anyone, rich or poor. Only the poor will get whacked hardest.

    I’m not going to pretend I can predict the future of 1A – 1F, but I do expect people to start to wake up and realize they’ve handed their open wallets to a ravenous, money-hungry gang of thieves in the Administration and Congress.

    If the taxes were necessary to shelter poor folks and keep them from starving, and to keep them from dying from lack of medical coverage, American taxpayers would be as generous as always.

    But the current gang is simply confiscating assets and shoveling it to others for votes. Do you folks really think there isn’t going to be a backlash??

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    You are living in a dreamworld. No one is denied medical care? A woman here just dies because she put off going to the doctor too long for lack of insurance and there are thousands like her. No one is destitute? According to our local school board we have over 800 homeless CHILDREN in our small Northern California town. You are both cruel and ignorant of the world you live in.

  9. avatar Anonymous says:

    Tens of thousands of illegals are getting medical care on taxpayers dimes. Hell, Octomom is getting over $2 million in tax-funded care, even as she cuts deal for $500K with the enquirer.

    The system is being broken and Sacramento needs to make CUTS today! Everyone else is suffering, but it’s business as usually for the teachers unions and the electrical unions and the politicans. Even “One Bill” Gil is still at it!!

    NO ON 1A!! NO! NO! NO!

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