The column "California is in big trouble again" by Noah Smith covered a variety of subjects, but two that were particularly interesting was the repeal of Proposition 13 and government pension plans.
When Proposition 13 was passed by the voters, property tax increases were out of control. These unrestrained increases in property taxes were making housing less affordable to the middle class and people on fixed incomes. One only needs to look at New York for the results of high property taxes. When people retire (fixed income) in New York, they generally move to a more tax-friendly state. Look at your current property tax bill and about 30 percent of the property taxes paid will be for bond issues. Repeal Proposition 13 and no one will be able to afford a house or live in California because the state legislature and local governments have absolutely no self-control on spending someone else’s money.
As pointed out in the article, the ballooning costs of state and local pensions need to be addressed, and again government has failed to manage both benefits and costs. If private industry cannot afford defined benefit pension plans, the state cannot afford these type of plans either. The escalating pension costs eventually will force governments to drastically cut benefits to prevent a financial crisis.
Thomas Payne, Bakersfield