Ethan Explains California Proposition 59

Ethan Explains California Proposition 59

This is number 9 of 17 of the California statewide ballot initiatives in 2016 that I’ll cover. Proposition 59 is the “California Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question.

Money in politics is corrosive to a democratic system as the person with the most money can buy the most influence.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was ruled on by the United States Supreme Court in January of 2010. This ruling said money is equal to speech and protected under the First Amendment. Further, “the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast.”

Bad news for our country, right?

But Proposition 59 doesn’t fix this ruling. It is an abuse of the ballot initiative process by crowding the ballot with a non-binding advisory that changes nothing, nothing about money in politics.

As I argued in my book, “Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours,” money is not speech. From the book:

Money is not equivalent to speech. Money is a substitute for bartering goods or gold. Money and bartering alike are methods of economic transaction, not forms of speech. If you traded a goat for a sheaf of wheat, would you consider that speech? Or how about an iPad for an Xbox, still speech? Corporations, unions, and non-persons should not be able to participate in political campaigns as individuals.

What I also find interesting is the volume with which my friends on the left argue against Citizens United, yet they leverage it to their advantage every bit as much as my friends on the right. Take a look at what OpenSecrets lists, you’ll see just as many liberal groups with money as conservative.

Again, Proposition 59 solves nothing and is a simple grandstanding move.

I say NO to Proposition 59.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains California Proposition 56

Ethan Explains California Proposition 56

This is number 6 of 17 of the California statewide ballot initiatives that I’ll cover, Proposition 56, “Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.”

I hate smoking, it’s gross, it stinks, and it’s bad for your health. I am also sick and tired of you dangling your beloved cigarette out the window in traffic so I have to inhale that stench. Hot box in your car if you love smoking so much.

This initiative is supposedly to stop kids from smoking and to fund Medi-Cal and other health programs. While more expensive cigarettes will deter some kids (a big win), the rest of it falls apart.

Cigarette sin taxes fail because the dependency on a dwindling revenue stream, as people stop legally purchasing those smokes, becomes a problem.

Also, higher cigarette taxes increase illegal smuggling, thus funding criminal enterprises.

Last, this is an exceptionally regressive tax since 26.3% of smokers are below poverty level, according to the CDC. Think they’ll all quit?

I say NO to Proposition 56.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains California Proposition 55

Ethan Explains California Proposition 55

This is number 5 of 17 of the California statewide ballot initiatives that I’ll cover, Proposition 55. Proposition 55 is “The California Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase Initiative.”

Remember the Proposition 30 “temporary” tax increase for K-14 to save the children during the Great Recession? Proposition 55 is the nearly permanent extension of the .25% sales tax and large income tax increase for brackets of $250,000 and above.

Wait, what happened to temporary? Because of the Great Recession?

If you listen to the majority politicians in Sacramento, the economy in California is doing great! So, which is it: is it doing great or not? If it is then the temporary tax is ready for a sunset.

Further, the highly progressive income tax leaves this funding to the gyrations of the stock market, which is what caused the problem in the first place.

Lastly, even proponent of Prop 30 argued with me that Prop 30 had to pass so then they could go back and fix the structural problems with education in California. Which never happened.

I say NO to Proposition 55.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains California Proposition 54

Ethan Explains California Proposition 54

This is number 4 of 17 California statewide ballot initiatives on the ballot this year. Here I talk about Proposition 54, the Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote proposition.

If we learned anything from the Affordable Care Act, it is that we need our legislators to actually look at legislation and make it available to the public for review. Before the vote. With enough time to actually read it.

Prop 54 requires that after a bill is finalized, a 72 hour period pass with the legislation posted online for public review.

Seems pretty logical that both we and the legislators have a chance to review legislation before a vote, doesn’t it?

The only people against this must like backroom dirty deals to sneak things past the public.

I say vote YES on Proposition 54.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show weekdays from noon to 2pm on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains California Proposition 53

Ethan Explains California Proposition 53

California has 17 statewide ballot initiatives this year. Here I talk about Proposition 53, California Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion Initiative.

Californians already vote on general revenue bonds. This proposal is inflation adjusted for voters to approve revenue bonds for over $2 billion. Things like the Sacramento River Delta Water Tunnels and the California High Speed Rail will be covered by this initiative.

This is a great way to hold politicians to account for their project promises and for voters to have more input. We already vote on this kind of money on everything else, we should on revenue bonds as well.

The arguments against are singular and weak. All under the banner of local control, which I usually support. Here, the local control over a $2+ billion dollar revenue bond? Like what? They claim bridge repairs in Los Angeles.

Really? A bridge repair in Los Angeles? I find that a specious argument for the Democratic majority in Sacramento to continue spending on revenue bonds as they see fit. Regardless of what the voters actually want.

I say vote YES on Proposition 53.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show weekdays from noon to 2pm on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains California Proposition 52

Ethan Explains California Proposition 52

California has 17 statewide ballot initiatives this year. Here I talk about Proposition 52 “Medi‐Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

California politicians just can’t help themselves to fund whatever they want with money earmarked for a specific purpose.

In this case, California passed a law in 2009 to tax hospitals for raising funds to get maximum matching federal dollars for Medicare. Medicare in California is called Medi-Cal.

The politicians have basically stolen $900 million out of this fund to move into the general fund. Prop 52 will require a 2/3 vote to make any changes in the future instead of just a majority vote, making it much more difficult to raid.

I say stop the profligate spending. Start by voting YES on Proposition 52 November 8th.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show weekdays from noon to 2pm on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com