Last month, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) said that California’s Proposition 13 — which requires that a two-thirds majority of the state legislature approve any tax increase — should be a “guiding light” for the nation. And Lungren is evidently not the only one in favor of crippling a state’s ability to budget. In a column yesterday, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore heaped praise onto Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who is calling for Texas to adopt a Prop. 13-type measure:
On Wednesday, Mr. Perry moved to seal the deal with conservatives by calling for a new constitutional set of protections for taxpayers. Call it a Texas-style “taxpayer bill or rights.” Mr. Perry wants the state’s constitution amended to require a two-thirds vote requirement of the legislature for any tax hikes. He also wants state spending capped at the rate of annual population growth plus inflation.
As Time’s Kevin O’Leary wrote, Prop. 13 lies “at the root of California’s misery,” leaving it no choice but to slash its budget during the economic downturn. Harold Meyerson has pointed out that the Republican minority in Sacramento “has refused in good times as well as bad to raise business or other taxes (increasing the tobacco tax, for instance, has failed each of the past 14 times it has come up for a vote).” So the state is left in an untenable position, and reduced to asking the federal government for support. The Wonk Room has more.