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.