California Propositions: Proposition 1B

I was reading Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded and came across the use of the word “humongous.” In vulcanism, a humongous volcanic event is truly huge. Why am I including this here? Well, Proposition 1B is a humongous bond proposal.

How large? The bond totals $19,925,000,000. Yes, almost $20 billion dollars. That’s a lot of money.

Before I comment further, the goal of the bond measure is laudable: fixing California’s deteriorating infrastructure. The bond measure will allow needed improvements to highways, seismic safety, public transit, and other infrastructure items.

There are, however, a lot of issues with this measure. First, to repay the bonds will cost $38,900,000,000. Yes, nearly $40 billion dollars. That’s double the GDP of Luxembourg. And when bonds are approved, someone must pay for them.

Frankly, I don’t see how this measure can be repaid without a tax increase down the road. I hope I’m wrong, but if this measure is approved our grandchildren will be paying for it in 50 years.

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