BY INGA BARKS Contributing columnist
I am not bitter about last week's election. I suppose I should be, but I'm not angry, bitter or disappointed. Why?
First, conservatives in California are used to losing. Sometimes we even lose when we win. (The name Arnold comes to mind).
Second, conservatives consider government more often to be the problem than the solution. While the founders intended for the government to protect our God-given freedoms, the conservative sees government these days to be an impediment to seeking life, liberty and happiness. As a result, we don't consider government to be the final authority, the end all, or our source of hope. I guess if we did, this election would have been devastating.
Finally, I'm not bitter and am in fact curious about what is going to happen over the next few years now that California Democrats and their union buddies won a supermajority in the state Assembly and Senate AND got the tax increase they wanted in the passage of Proposition 30.
It's gotta be a pretty exciting time for them as the reality sinks in that they can now do anything they want. Pass any law without Republican interference. Raise any tax without a hue or cry! The fate of 38 million people and millions of businesses and jobs ... the fate of our schools, prison system, roads, universities and hospitals ... future regulations and policies regarding our utilities and automobiles ... all of it is theirs.
The party of the little guy, the downtrodden, the helpless and the poor, out-spent and out-messaged the party of the rich. And now the schools will stay open, teachers will keep jobs, university tuition won't go up and the state budget will no longer have a deficit ... right? I mean, that's what was promised, wasn't it?
Gov. Jerry Brown traveled up and down the state for weeks threatening that if the voters didn't raise taxes on the rich, middle class and poor, schools would be closed and teachers fired. Little children held up signs at his rallies begging their parents to pay more in sales and income taxes to save the schools.
And the message worked! Of course, the governor and his messengers failed to mention that the $6 billion in taxes they hoped to raise had already been spent on the budget passed in June. This tax on the rich, middle class and poor isn't new money, but merely a backfill for the over-spending in Sacramento. Not only that, but despite the governor's promises that the tax money would go to the schools, Proposition 30 clearly stated that only a portion would go to the children. Even then, there's no guarantee that classrooms will ever see a penny.
Then the governor went to the universities and told young people that their tuition would continue to go up and classrooms would continue to close if they didn't register and vote to raise taxes on their parents and themselves. Some reports coming out of the universities claim that instructors and schools used college class time to preach the gospel of the tax hike.
At one university, after being scolded for illegally politicking, the professor snuck propaganda about Proposition 30 into pop quizzes.
So the students came out in droves and voted and within days of Proposition 30 passing, the universities were already warning that tuition will be going up (though the regents and trustees did agree to postpone raising tuition until students have forgotten about the promises in Prop. 30. It was a move Brawn hailed as heroic. I guess it really takes a lot of guts to postpone a vote).
My guess (and I'll eat my Jeep if I'm wrong)? In a year or less, we will start hearing again that there isn't money for schools, teachers will lose jobs and school days will be cut. Tuition will go up at the universities, the sky will fall, dogs and cats will be living together in sin and we'll need another tax increase.
Only THIS time it won't take a vote of the people. This time no Republican vote in the legislature will be needed. Scary, huh?
But the good news is, with the promise of saving the schools, jobs and tuition combined with complete authority that the Democrats now have over California's laws and wallet, there should be no more student protests. No more Occupy movement. No more public employee strikes or threats of strikes. No CTA or SEIU press conferences with handmade signs calling for fairness. No more bellyaching by the little guy or the downtrodden.
I think I'm going to enjoy the silence.
-- Inga Barks, who hosts a talk show on KMJ AM 580, is one of three community columnists whose work appears here every Saturday. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. These are Barks' opinions, not necessarily The Californian's. Next week: Ric Llewellyn.