Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I used to think I was liberal

Proposition 1C is a California Proposition for $2.9 billion in bonds for housing.

The first thing the bill (on some ads, the only thing) supporters mention is that the bond includes money for homeless shelters and battered women's shelters. That's about 300 million out of 2.9 billion - a little over ten percent of the total money. The positioning of the bill is actually a huge turnoff for me on this bill - don't pitch the bill based on how ten percent of the money will be spent!

The other thing that makes me dislike this bill: California housing is expensive. If we subsidize housing, it will only get more expensive for everyone. Let the free market take care of it.

I dislike bonds. On this proposition, over the next 30 years the people will pay off $2.85 billion in principal and $3.3 billion in interest. It's not awesome to spend taxpayer money to pay off bond interest. If I had the option to pay $84 in taxes for this immediately or $182 over the next 30 years, I'd choose the $84 in taxes this year! (Values calculated as $2.85 billion / 33.8 million people and ($2.85 billion + $3.3 billion) / 33.8 million people, assuming the population stays constant. I'm too lazy to factor in how population growth will affect my total amount)

Of course, I probably will leave California in the next 30 years, but I'm also paying past bond interest with my taxes - if all programs were funded by bonds, every tax payer would pay about 2 times as much as she does currently. I say we use bonds as a last ditch measure, and just pay as we go.

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