Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

D. Dowd Muska attacks conservatives and libertarians for so strongly supporting voter initiative and referendum. From the august pages of the Hartford Business Journal, he writes that we’re “hopped up on the false notion that elected officials respond not to voters but the dictates of liberal elites.” It all started, he says, after passage of Proposition 13 in California, back in 1978: “America’s right swooned.”

Well, I plead guilty — for both swooning and then being “hopped up” on citizen access to a path to check their elected know-it-alls. Prop 13 not only saved Californians from losing their homes to exploding property taxes, it also touched off a nationwide revolt. Within two years, 43 states passed property tax relief and another 15 states (including California) enacted income tax cuts.

But Muska warns initiatives “have a mixed record.” He points to a number of measures, some initiatives and others placed on the ballot by legislators, which have expanded government spending or regulation.

Talk about astounding revelations! Of course voters aren’t going to always be right. They won’t agree with Muska 100 percent of the time. They won’t even acquiesce to my superior wisdom and vote my way every time.

Still, it seems to me that any decision legitimately the province of our government ought to be open to democratic oversight by citizens.

Others, like Muska, prefer that voters choose between candidates Tweedledum and Tweedledee — and then to butt out.

Real options work better. For everyone but insiders.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Richard Jones says:

    Hi Paul,

    I always agree with you. This time though I lean towards those who worry about the potential for harm with citizen initiatives. CIs are examples of pure democracy, something the Fed. Papers warned about with good reason. As a matter of broader principle we are supposed to be a Republic of carefully elected reps, not a democracy. Tea Party movement type citizen participation beats initiatives every time. TP people tend to be thoughtful, measured and well informed. Most voters (the dumbed down, public-school-indoctrinated masses) only “measure” their votes based on which partisan side buys the most/best ads. Dangerous stuff.

    Thanks. Dick

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  3. Drik says:

    Methinks he doth protest too much. CIs on top of our representative republic are a much improved choice over the oligarchical elites running their own show and still a LONG way from a pure democracy.

  4. jack green says:

    See KARL ROVE the Norweigion’s book entitled “courage and conseuences” on page 369 he calls
    Do you have any common sense? ? ? OR DO YOU JUST BEG FOR MONEY

  5. Lynne Weaver says:

    We are running Prop 13 Arizona for the 2012 ballot. We copied California’s successful Prop 13 formula and initiative language. Arizona already has a 2/3 majority requirement to raise taxes so we did not have to include it. And, we closed up one of the CA loopholes by including both ad valorem and non-ad valorem taxes. We blocked parcel taxes and fees.

  6. S Rubicon says:

    Barack Obama made a speech. Not sure if it was before the election or after. All I know is any who agree w/ his comments are enemies of America in my not so humble opinion. That means any on the left or the right.
    Obama said, those folks who made this mess. I don’t want to listen to them. I don’t want to hear them. They should shut up & sit down!”
    Never in my life did I ever expect an American presidential candidate or president, imply that ANY American should shut up & sit down!
    Once he said that I knew he was bad for America & that ‘we the people’ would have to take back our government from the cabal who has led us into the mess we are in.
    I say, the people can do no worse than what our politicians, those suspiciously influential special interest groups, the wealthy elite, the media & social elite, & numerous others who profess special knowledge that we “rubes” cannot possibly understand, have already led us into!
    When any imply the people should not be heard or run the show, we all should know they are the types who over history have led nations around the world, into the abyss of destruction, death, poverty, & chaos.

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