Sunday, October 21, 2012

California Prop 32: Popular with Voters and Tea Party

Don't Tread On Me

An October 19, 2012 Reason Foundation poll reported by Emily Ekins (Reason-Rupe Poll: Public Pension and Government Spending Reforms Are Popular With California Voters) shows support for California's Proposition 32. The Proposition limits automated paycheck deductions for political purposes by employers and unions.
Proposition 32 and Public Sector Worker Reforms
The poll finds 45 percent of likely voters support Proposition 32, while 48 percent oppose it. Prop. 32 would prevent unions and corporations from using automatic paycheck deductions for political purposes.  
While voters may reject telling unions how they can collect or spend their money, they are eager for elected officials to rein in public sector worker costs. In fact, 77 percent say they favor requiring government workers to pay more for their own health care and retirement benefits; 20 percent oppose doing so.

Likewise, 69 percent say future government workers—those who haven’t been promised defined-pensions—should be offered 401(k)-style retirement plans instead of the guaranteed pensions currently provided.

Nearly three quarters, 74 percent, of Californians say taxpayers should get to vote on retirement and benefit increases before they are given to government workers. Just 22 percent say taxpayers should not get to approve public sector benefit increases. The public wants its voice to be heard on the issue because 53 percent feel public sector unions have too much power over elected officials at the negotiating table and 42 percent say government unions hurt the state economy. Seventeen percent say public sector unions help the economy.

One specific example: 53 percent of Californians say the average state prison guard, who costs taxpayers over $100,000 a year in salary, overtime and benefits, is overpaid. Thirty-eight percent say guards are paid about the right amount and 6 percent say they are underpaid. 
This poll coincides with broad sentiments responsible for the tea party movement and a growing belief that public employee unions are hurting the common welfare. On September 10, 2012, Polling Shows Most Americans Think Teachers Unions Have Hurt Public Education Quality reported the following:
Since 1976, Gallup has surveyed Americans’ perception of teachers unions' efficacy. In April 1976, 38 percent of Americans believed that teachers unions hurt the quality of public education in the United States. By 2011, nearly half of Americans think teacher unionization has hurt the quality of public education in the United States.
Teachers Unions Hurting Not Helping Education

Retirement should be Responsibility of Individuals
Emily Emkins spoke on October 16th as part of a Cato Institute panel: Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party broadcast on C-SPAN. Her discussion included research that tea party and most non tea party Americans believe that retirement planning should be the responsibility of individuals and not government. This sentiment impacts the same voter motivations relied upon by unions to push for power.

Americans for Social Security Reform
A common left-wing retort to tea party sentiments has portrayed selfishness and hypocrisy within the movement on the issues of Medicare and Social Security. Emkins debunked these accusations with research on tea party sentiments on each issue. Most tea party supporters are also supportive of entitlement reforms including social security reforms.

The most famous accusation made against tea party supporters is the "keep your government hands off my Medicare" attack. Many tea party supporters have counter-attacked that the entire narrative was fabricated using union plants and Photoshop. Regardless, data shows that it is wishful thinking and marketing on the part of the left.

Americans in favor of Medicare ReformThe polling shows 74% of tea party supporters and 49% of non tea party Americans are in favor of Medicare reform. When paid-in benefits are guaranteed, Medicare reform support strengthens with 65% of non tea party Americans willing to sacrifice personal benefits for the good of the country.

America willing to Reform Medicare with Paid-In Benefit GuaranteedSacrifice for the good of the country is not a virtue assigned to the targets of Proposition 32. Union bosses wield political influence on the backs of workers through required automatic paycheck withdrawals. Crony capitalist corporations also politically tilt the law in their favor.

Money is spent on political contributions and lavish lobbyist jobs to further the advantageous status quo or create an unfair competitive environment. Public employee unions use the "cycle of tax payer money" to boost their political power and increase their tax payer funded benefits. Benefits that are currently out of reach for the individual tax payer who is footing the bill.

Corporations use their political influence to gain opportunities that are excluded to the tax payers at large. Privileged access to foreclosed homes is one example. The California tax payer is currently hindered from buying low priced homes while interest rates are low due to excessive bank regulations and the Fanny/Freddie secondary market. A market that only funds loans for the most typical home in the most typical neighborhood. These typical homes are scarce in California. When found, the typical home buyers are outbid by multiple investment corporations with cash offers and face restrictive loan regulations. Regulations which will be lifted the moment that corporate investors decide to sell the properties at a massive profit.

Traditionally, America's real estate market provides opportunities to frugal families and individual investors. The free real estate market has created millionaires in every previous economic recovery. This time around,  investment corporations will be the big winners due to the new loan market created by regulations, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.

Beset on all sides by the inequities of regulations and the tyranny of union bosses, California tax payers are deciding to take a stand with Proposition 32.


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