The Public Policy Institute of California has some poll results that demonstrate just how confused Californians are. I'm just going to give you some highlights, since the entire report is 42 pages long; I'm sure there's more good stuff in there than what I've found in just a few minutes. Here are some numbers, I'll give some analysis below.

1. 50% of voters support spending more money on education, 38% oppose.
2. 41% support reducing the 2/3 legislature vote required for budget matters to 55%, 35% oppose.
3. 73% think having the 2/3 majority requirement is a good idea.
4. 58% disapprove of how the legislature handle financial matters, and 58% think the government "wastes a lot of taxpayers' money"; combined, 93% thinks "some" or "a lot".
5. 53% think the budget gap should be handled with a "mix of tax increases and spending cuts", 30% prefer only spending cuts.
6. 64% would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding of education.
7. 57% would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding of local government.
8. 50% would pay higher taxes to maintain current funding of health and human services.
9. 76% approve increasing "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco.
10. 71% approve of raising taxes for the wealthiest Californians.

Anyway, then Acrobat crashed, but you get the idea. These numbers show that Californians really have no idea what they want, and probably don't understand what their tax dollars are spent on.

(2) and (3) together don't make sense. Either people like the super-majority requirement, or they don't. The most important function of this requirement is to prevent the majority Democrats in the legislature from raising taxes all the time, and eliminating the requirement would abolutely-guaranteed lead to dramatic tax increases -- which doesn't seem to square with what people say they want.

Or does it? (4) 58% disapprove of how the legislature handles budget matters, and 93% think the government wastes "some or a "lot of" of money, and yet (1, 6, 7, 8) would spend more money on the three issues that combine to form 90% of state spending (education is 40% of the state budget, HHS is 30%, local government payouts are around 20%). If people think money is being wasted, these are the programs that are wasting it, and they should demand tighter controls not just throw more good money after bad.

What's more, 93% think their money is wasted but (9, 10) they're willing to raise taxes on "other people" to keep on wasting! How ridiculous is that?



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