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March 8, 2004
Here's A Novel Idea!

Who says an old Democrat can't learn new tricks? Not the LA Times, who reports that the party strategy in California has changed somewhat after their pet proposition to make raising taxes easier got stomped 2-1 last week:

Democrats recognize that tactics of the past simply advocating tax increases to protect the needy won't work, and they are trying to take a page out of Schwarzenegger's playbook, embracing a strategy that looks for waste first and relies heavily on economic arguments.

"We're not saying tax first," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Wes Chesbro (D-Arcata). "We have an obligation before we ask people for taxes or cut any services to people to reduce state government spending in every way we can."

What a novel concept -- rather than running the tab up further on California taxpayers, the Democrats propose to actually look at the budget first to get rid of waste! Who would have thought to do that? Well, actually the Republicans have been demanding that for decades now, but since they represent a minority in California (and especially in their legislature), the Democrats have felt free to cheerfully ignore them, at least until now.

What's changed their mind? The first Democrat in two decades to sit in the governor's seat got recalled, the first time that's ever happened; their only candidate in the recall got trounced while Republicans rolled up two-thirds of the replacement vote; and finally, Proposition 56 got beat by the same margin, which would have removed the supermajority requirement for new taxes and tax increases.

Do you think they're getting the message? Maybe. The story goes on to say that they're doing this to highlight the fact that cuts won't be enough, but for a state that's increased spending by 50% over the past five years, my guess is that they'll find plenty of waste as long as California voters continue to hold their feet to the fire.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 8, 2004 6:40 AM

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