Initiative rights are under nonstop assault from the political class.
Fortunately, most voters know the value of being able to end-run or reverse the bad decisions of lawmakers. And just a few clear-thinking defenders of initiative rights are enough to expose the murky evasions of the politicians and their pals.
One recent example is a Boston Globe column by Jeff Jacoby entitled “Something stinks, but it isn’t voters.” Jacob details an attack on initiative rights by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Ronald George. I’ve already commented on Georgie’s jumbled judgment, but let me quote Jeff’s summary of how such critics think. He observes that these folk simultaneously “believe that citizens are too dumb to judge the merits of legislation — and that such decisions are therefore best left to the lawmakers they apparently weren’t too dumb to elect.”
Lawmakers are especially annoyed by any citizen-imposed restraint on their ability to tax and spend the electorate into the poorhouse. Like California’s Proposition 13. In another fine column, Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association recalls that at the time, “people were losing their homes to double-digit annual tax increases.”
Prop 13 gave folks a way to keep what was theirs. Despite the greedy grabbing of the political class. Who’d rather, you know, just have a free hand.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.