Of all the state election results across the nation, few can top the shocking good sense of California voters in approving temporary tax increases to raise $6 billion a year to shore up the state’s tattered public schools and university system. That’s right: There were voters in these hard times agreeing to be taxed despite the “no new taxes” mantra of simplistic conservative politicians.
“The ballot measure, Proposition 30, was an audacious gamble by Gov. Jerry Brown”.
Just about everyone knows the Steve Jobs comeback story, but just about everyone outside of California has forgotten that Jerry Brown had already served two terms as Governor of California, leaving office the first time in 1983. After that it was all downhill for a long while. He was defeated in his 1982 run for the Senate, and then failed in his third and last bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination, that time against Bill Clinton.
Then in 1999, Brown began his climb back up the political ladder, winning two terms as Mayor of Oakland, and one as California Attorney General, before winning a third term as Governor in 2011.
Jobs will no doubt remain the most popular California comeback hero, but even though I’m a faithful Mac user since 1984 I believe that Brown deserves just as high a place in public esteem thanks to what he has accomplished in this election.
Let’s hope that California will once again lead the way, and that voters nationwide will remember that it’s worthwhile to pay higher taxes in order to maintain essential public services.
(The above quotations are from today’s NYTimes editorial, “Californians Say Yes to Taxes”.)