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Reason Foundation

California's Budget Problems Not Due to Voter Initiatives

Adrian Moore
October 3, 2009, 12:50pm

In this column in the Wall Street Journal, Shikha, Adam and I explain why voter initiatives are NOT the source of California's budget problems.

With the Golden State still struggling to balance its books, politicians from both sides of the aisle have come up with a nifty way to avoid responsibility for the mess: Blame the voters.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, summed it up for his fellow pols recently by telling a reporter: "All of those propositions tell us how we must spend our money. . . . This is no way, of course, to run a state." State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, has made similar comments in denouncing "ballot-box budgeting."

Their indictment is false. Voters aren't tying lawmakers' hands too much, but too little.


Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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