Vote No on Prop 6: The Campaign Is an Incoherent and Childish Effort to Distract You from Donald Trump

The defeat of Prop 6 is very good news
The defeat of Prop 6 is very good news

If you follow national politics, you doubtless know the name “Devin Nunes,” even if you are not a resident of his Central Valley Congressional District. Nunes, the Congressional Consigliere for the Donald Trump legal defense team (we’re too polite to call him a Trump Stooge as the Sacramento Bee does), is in trouble in his Congressional race. Sadly for Nunes, his devotionals to the president are not going to carry him to victory, so the Congressman has had to look for some other issue to lift his campaign.

And he thinks he’s found it. Unable to run on his own record, Nunes is instead running against the 2017 increase by the California legislature of the state’s gas taxes and vehicle fees. The increases will raise $52 billion over a decade, all of which is earmarked for transportation improvements–mostly fixes to the state’s crumbling infrastructure.

And he’s not being subtle about it. The Los Angeles Times reports that Nunes is donating campaign funds to the gas tax repeal measure, Proposition 6, which like Nunes will be on this fall’s ballot. Nunes’ first ad on Facebook, which he is spending his campaign dollars to promote, is focused on the state gas tax and why it is imperative that we repeal it.

And Nunes isn’t alone among national Republican leaders hoping to ride an anti-gas-tax wave back to keeping control of Congress. Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican who hopes to replace outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, has also kicked in funds (from his campaign, not his own money) to help support Prop 6. So have Ryan (R-WI) and Republican House Leader Steve Scalise (R-La).

While Nunes and out-of-state Republican elites are counting on a disinformation campaign to confuse voters and excite conservative voters who might otherwise stay home, there are two questions one can ask to discern whether or not supporting Proposition 6 is a good idea.

The first question: “Do you believe that investing in our infrastructure is a core function of government?”

If your answer to this is “yes” then you should probably vote “no” on Proposition 6. The condition of our state’s roads and highways is not good, and our bridges are even worse off than the surface streets. Because of a long, slow decline in the amount of revenue gas taxes produce, until they were increased last year the state had little money for maintaining, let alone repairing, these roads–and all the “belt tightening” in the world won’t put California’s infrastructure back into a state of good repair. New revenue has been sorely needed.

If your answer to the question above is “no,” then you still should consider voting against Proposition 6. Currently, the opponents of the increased gas tax and vehicle registration fee have not put forward a realistic plan on how the roads and bridges could be fixed without them. Even if you believe in the power of Capitalism and the Invisible Hand of the Free Market to fix the roads and bridges, the reality is they are falling apart now, and there is no movement towards finding a free market solution to the problem.

But there is a second question one should ask, the answer to which could override the first question.

Do you believe in Santa Claus?

CroweJ20151211_low

If you do, then by all means vote for Prop. 6 and just put “funding for modern infrastructure” on your list for Santa this winter. Problem solved.

But if your answer is no, then it’s time to acknowledge that there’s no one coming to the rescue, and instead we’ll have to rely on basic economics to make this work. A vote for Prop. 6 from anyone who knows California’s roads and bridges need fixing is basically the same as asking for something for nothing.

But Santa isn’t coming to fix California’s roads.

It’s up to us not to fall for a shallow political ploy.

Vote no on Proposition 6.

  • I am wondering how much of the funds the proponents raised went into social media and blog messaging. Two months on and trolls keep posting comments that in the end are venting how dare things deviate from an extreme right pov. Tomorrow we will see if the millions raised by Republicans succeeds in either passing the measure or helping hold the House (which was what this whole ‘wedge issue’ was from the get-go).

  • Rob Sieger

    Dana Gabbard — “The Republicans have been very upfront about their motives. And polling has not shown it doing particularly well with Democrats.”

    California Democrats will NEVER admit Republicans are right about anything because they are hyperpartisan, spiteful, and overly influenced by the morons of Hollywood.

  • Rob Sieger

    Dana Gabbard:

    If that polling is accurate then why did AG Becerra change the name from Proposition 6 Gas Tax Repeal to a different more convoluted name?

    Becerra’s ballot title — the official summary that describes the initiative — focuses on the elimination of road repairfunding, consistent with the messaging used by the initiative’s opponents.

    Two Sacramento County judges rebuked Becerra but he was ultimately rescued by the Trotskyist 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, unsurprisingly.

  • Rob Sieger

    Dana Gabbard:

    “It makes me sad you have damaged any credibility by employing invective and seem gripped by resentment. Have a happy life being unhappy.”

    That kinda means it’s true and you have no boilerplate answer. That makes me sad.

  • Rob Sieger

    Dana Gabbard:

    I just learned that 3/4 of “The Jungle”, which I also read as a teenager, was false, or agitprop, if you will, just as (in case you weren’t aware of it) the misguided liberal defense of Sacco & Vanzetti, both members of terrorist anarchist groups. Sacco did shoot dead the two men for whose murders he and Vanzetti were executed, and the alibis proferred on the duo’s behalf were phony. Don’t believe EVERYTHING you read.

  • Rob Sieger

    Dana Gabbard ::

    A) Oroville, not Orville

    B) You never replied to Bodhisattva’s comment: “Both I-805 and SR-52 in San Diego were built with minimal “bulldozing”. You’re the only one talking about an agenda to torpedo active transportation (is that code for “taxpayer subsidized”?) sustainability (subsidized programs ARE NOT sustainable), livability (yeah, rite – look at how the homeless problem is exploding due to the high price of living in California, driven primarily by all the nonsense Democrats pass to make things out of control expensive). Gridlock is due in large part to “activists” such as yourself who oppose every vital project, driving up costs, forcing huge sums to be spent on high priced lawyers, making projects obsolete by the time they’re finally built.”

  • Eric

    At first I thought this was a good tax but then when I saw all the unions running millions of dollars of ads to fight the repeal of it I thought to myself this money will be going to something else, most likely pensions hints union backing. No matter how many taxes ca. Gov. invent. the state pension is unsustainable let’s be real, what company would alow its employees to cash out all their vacation days and personal days a week before they retire and say okay now you get your retirement based on what you made that week. Thousands of state employees make as much as triple retired for life as they did as employees and that’s why gas tax was needed so they can steal it from the general fund instead of doing the right thing

  • But again, Prop. 6 is the WORST possible way to do so. It does NOT make things any better and WILL cripple the state for decades to come.

  • NO money from the gas tax goes to the HSR project and none ever has. However, mass transit is more efficient than driving, thus it is cheaper to fund it than building more roads. And despite your claims, mass transit systems around the state are posting records for ridership.

  • Absolutely. Claiming that none of the money from SB1 is going to the roads, as implied, is blatantly false. Claiming that gas tax money is going to the HSR project is blatantly false. And claiming that the money is being “diverted” is also blatantly false.

  • And climate scientist and their overwhelming opinion? Is that invalid too?

  • Pretty weak tea.

  • The Republicans have been very upfront about their motives. And polling has not shown it doing particularly well with Democrats.

  • Hillary? Where did that come from?

  • You are conflating, mis-directing, etc. Not a great way to convince.

  • Wrong. Taxes are not the issue. Reasonable taxes are acceptable. Unreasonable taxes, as we have in California, coupled with all the inappropriate spending – and don’t get me started on the fraud, waste and abuse – on “social justice” nonsense, also money diverted from what it was supposed to be spent on to pet projects like the “bullet train to nowhere” – how many billions have to be wasted on white elephants before liberals will wake up and wise up?

  • With pure Capitalism you had the horrors of child labor and unsafe meatpacking plants as Sinclair Lewis described in The Jungle.

    No, that’s not “pure capitalism”, that’s fictional projection of the wrongs of very few bad actors onto a whole system, something you leftists do because it’s right out of your Alinsky playbook.

    Corporations repeatedly deliberately lying in service of profit.

    No, that would be Democrats. “Pure” capitalism is self-regulating, as companies that do the things you mention would wind up paying a steep price for it. Sure, some go bad, and look, they’re gone. Unless the government calls them “too big to fail” and bails them out with taxpayer money, or takes the money that legally belong to shareholders and give them to unions, as was done with GM recently. How did that plan to mass produce Chevy Volts work out for Government Motors? I heard it was a huge failure.

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/transportation/advanced-cars/phils-vidminute-the-chevy-volt-is-still-a-costly-mistake

    https://www.carcomplaints.com/Chevrolet/Volt/

    And only idiots buy electric cars in California with the mess the state government has made, DELIBERATELY, of energy prices here, the gas taxes being only one great example.

  • I know you didn’t say Carter was poor, And I never say that either

    Typical tactic of a leftist. Imply or outright say you said something you didn’t, or you claimed they said something they didn’t, when you never did any such thing.

  • Actually other than George W. Bush in 2000 all the examples of Chief Executives who did win the popular vote are in the 19th Century.

    You left out Hillary in 2016 and so what if the others prior to Bush were in the last century? It’s rare, but you Democrats managed to pull off losing the EC while winning the popular vote twice in only one score years, with four to spare!

    Carter just cornered the peanut market then jacked up the prices to make us all pay for him not getting a second term. And how about that crazy nonsense he spews about Israel all the time? And his support of terrorists and their terrorism?

  • Remember how Hillary pled poverty, said she and Bill were basically penniless when they left the White House?

  • Hillary won the popular vote.

    Which doesn’t mean squat… or did you not read the Constitution?

    Take away the illegal votes in just New York and California alone and Trump won that vote handily also… though as noted it doesn’t matter, because the popular vote is, FOR GOOD REASON, AS DEMONSTRATED IN BOTH 2000 AND 2016, not how we do it, THANK GOD!

  • [edited for tiresome content]

  • [comment edited for tiresome content]

  • That was the projection for 2030, when most people aren’t even going to be buying gas in the first place.

    Wrong, but at least you admit this is government trying to force us to do something we don’t want to do.

  • do you consider rail on Europe and Asia a failure?

    do you consider rail on Europe and Asia a failure?

    Does it pay for itself, without tax subsidies?

    If so, then it’s a success.

    If not then yes, it’s a failure.

  • You prove you are indeed a “LazyReader” by claiming a President raised taxes.

    Go back and read the Constitution then tell us the President has the power to raise taxes again.

    You claim California had a surplus? IN WHAT ALTERNATE UNIVERSE?

    California has no surplus:

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/state-debt-clocks/state-of-california-debt-clock.html

  • Which is EXACTLY why we need to take the power to do that away from the legislature and give it to the people here in California!

  • You say these claims are false, yet “Dana Gabbard” is pointing out how SB-1 funds are going to go to various mass transit programs – are you calling “Dana Gabbard” a liar?

  • how do new roads happen without bulldozing neighborhoods?

    Both I-805 and SR-52 in San Diego were built with minimal “bulldozing”.

    You’re the only one talking about an agenda to torpedo active transportation (is that code for “taxpayer subsidized”?) sustainability (subsidized programs ARE NOT sustainable), livability (yeah, rite – look at how the homeless problem is exploding due to the high price of living in California, driven primarily by all the nonsense Democrats pass to make things out of control expensive). Gridlock is due in large part to “activists” such as yourself who oppose every vital project, driving up costs, forcing huge sums to be spent on high priced lawyers, making projects obsolete by the time they’re finally built.

  • [edited for personal attack]

  • That is the same thing they keep pulling with their “water bonds” which they keep saying are going to “fix water infrastructure problems” but the problems they say they’re going to fix they never do so they can use them again to sell another bond later. California taxation isn’t the only thing that is out of control – California debt due to unwise spending is as big if not a much bigger problem.

  • No, what is wreaking havoc on transportation funding is too much money spent to create and subsidize mass transit systems nobody is riding, such as the bullet train to nowhere.

    And the problem is that money that SHOULD have gone to roads and bridges went elsewhere, the bullet train to nowhere being only one great example.

    Mass transit projects should pay for themselves or be terminated, if in fact they aren’t stopped before they’re built in the first place.

  • How, exactly, did “a mistake by FERC” cause the state of California to fail to do proper construction, inspection and repair of it’s dams?

    SB-1 is going to hurt the poor, in fact it’s going to hurt the Democrat created “persons of color” underclass they’ve been importing hand over fist for the past couple decades and more so in the past 10 or so years in particular. This is their new “angry mob” who they’re going to use to create havoc when they don’t get their way. But they are going to send them spinning out of control by causing rampant price increases – which they will try to blame on Trump and the Republicans, no doubt.

  • Input is given via blog posts, hearing testimony and outreach

    Unscientific and basically invalid. A great example of this was the guy who sent out questions on climate change via e-mail. Most people felt it wasn’t important enough to answer, but in the results that FACT was ignored. Only a single digit of persons actually supported the idea that climate change was caused by humans, yet that single digit percentage of the total persons asked was represented to be 96 or so percent – when it was actually something like 96 percent of 7 percent.

  • Wrong, a volunteer job is still a job.

    And pointing out Trump is no conservative when it comes to spending only shoots your own argument to bits.

  • Oddly enough, it’s people like YOU who are “raging” and not accepting the reality that Clinton lost. Condolences? You need some!

  • And why was the maintenance deferred? To fund bullet trains to nowhere? YES, EXACTLY. Also to subsidize mass transit at the expense of badly needed infrastructure projects – and to purchase $6,000 “SB-1” signs to put up all over the place.

  • Wrong, as usual. Proposition 6 is a completely separate issue. However, it may help bring out more voters, many of them Democrats, unfortunately, as even some Democrats are pretty upset with the out of control taxation, as are Independents like me.

  • Except the REAL reason we face infrastructure problems is because of wasteful, unnecessary, ridiculous spending on bullet trains to nowhere.

    To understand how bankrupt the arguments against Prop 6 are, just look at how the state wastes and redirects money already collected which should have been spent on infrastructure, but wasn’t.

    As for arguments that SB-1 will “make AMTRAK great again”, it will still be heavily subsidized by taxpayer funds, STILL, which is NO VALID ARGUMENT at all. Those using the rail service AMTRAK provides should pay their own way, not get a free ride from taxpayers, particularly not from gas taxes and higher car registration fees. Any money needed for AMTRAK should come from AMTRAK riders. Same for Valley Link and other programs. If they’re not supporting themselves, they should raise their prices or cut unprofitable services.

  • Kevin Withers

    It’s rather simple. Brown promised no new taxes without a PUBLIC VOTE.

    Then he got in with the slimy group.

    So now, he is being held accountable. That sums it up.

    #Yeson6
    #TryHarderNexttime

  • What exactly was unacceptable about it? Jerry Brown’s promises, while nice, aren’t binding. As set out by Prop. 13, raising taxes requires a 2/3 majority vote in both chambers of the Legislature and that’s what passed SB1.

  • Kevin Withers

    The road money is one thing. The ~way~ they went about passing the tax increase was unacceptable. Jerry Brown had earlier promised voters would have a say in new taxes, then reneged.

    After 6 passes, we can again discuss the subject.

  • There have been no increases in the gas tax since the early 1990s and the money that was “borrowed” has been repaid as part of SB1. The voters passed Prop. 69 which means the Legislature can’t borrow the funds. The impact of cap-and-trade is about $0.15 at present, not 75 cents. That was the projection for 2030, when most people aren’t even going to be buying gas in the first place. And again, the $0.12 increase in tax is vastly overshadowed by the price jump due to the swing in the price of oil.

  • > People think they’re voting to fix our roads, but instead they’re actually diverting funds to go to HSR and electric city buses.

    Both claims are false. Anyone concerned about fixing roads should be voting no on Prop. 6.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG