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Wednesday, May 06, 2009


What we get to vote on...and what we don't

Here in the Bay Area an election has just taken place. Voters were asked to vote on (and have approved) a measure which would increase their property tax, by amounts ranging from $85 to $242 (depending on the county), to raise money for schools. Basically, the measure read: "We have a gun to your head. Give us your money or your children will be killed...educationally." Three years ago, a similar vote raised our sales taxes to pay for mass transportation.

But never, and I do mean never, do we get to vote on raising our taxes to pay for war. Can you imagine if we got to vote on a measure that read: "The government wants to invade Iraq (or Iran, or anywhere else), a country you may or may not have even heard of before we started whipping up a war fever and demonizing its leader, and most likely couldn't locate on a map. Each family will be charged $1000/year for the duration of the war, which might last a decade or more, as well as $250/year for the following 50 years to pay for medical care for the wounded and other veterans of this war. Vote yes if you approve increasing your taxes to pay for this invasion and associated costs." Oh and, by the way, just like the votes on property taxes and sales taxes, this measure would require a 2/3 approval.

No, I can't imagine it either.

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