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Learn From the Problems in California

Think about the message sent by the people of California to their state representatives in a recent mid-year election.
The propositions on the ballot were financial in nature, and the citizens were angry enough with politicians to say, "Stop wasting our money, stop raising taxes, and start working on balancing the budget.
" California is one of 23 states with referendum or proposition provisions.
This allows states to by-pass their elected representatives and cast votes directly for particular issues.
The only requirement is to get enough people to sign petitions in order to get the measure on the ballot.
Sometimes special interest groups try to use the system to force through issues; but, in general, propositions allow voters to be heard.
The lead proposition called for extending what is already the nation's highest sales tax for two more years.
This was defeated by a 2 to 1 margin - meaning the vote demonstrated bi-partisan dissatisfaction.
Other measures designed to extract more from the residents failed too.
The budget deficit would have been only $15 billion had the props passed.
Now the shortfall is $21 billion.
So the victory celebration may be short lived because public services will certainly be curtailed, and the desperate legislators in Sacramento are frantically concocting other schemes to pick our collective pockets.
Instead of coming up with new ways to get our money, those we elected ought to take a tip from the average family: don't spend more money than you take in; cut back when times are tough; and when things are good, save for a rainy day.
But politicians don't think that way; because it's not their money, it's your money they like to spend.
So it's going to be difficult for us in the Golden State.
But we're not alone, 44 other states are predicting budget deficits in 2010, and they're hoping higher taxes will solve their fiscal woes.
If this possibility bothers you, consider getting together with like-minded people - particularly other pre-boomers - and voice your concerns to your state's representatives before it's too late.
Maybe they'll listen to you better than the California politicians did.
Read more articles for pre-boomers (those born between1930 and 1945), directed to them , and written by a person born in 1936.
These thoughts, comments, and opinions are designed to spark thinking, foster discussion and stimulate debate.
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