Bonds bonanza

first_imgSeldom does an election pass in Los Angeles without politicians devising at least one more compelling reason why we should give them a little more money, and let them mortgage our future with one more loan. We’ve been asked to swallow higher property-tax bills and more debt for any number of causes: building new schools, fixing old ones, jails, police stations, libraries, animal shelters, zoos, community colleges – the list is dizzying. The net effect is that we are mortgaged to the hilt, and borrowed money isn’t free. City and county bonds have raised the average city property-tax bill to $1,155 per $100,000 – a staggering sum for those trying to buy first homes. And even though state bonds don’t directly affect tax rates, paying them off ties up the state budget for decades. Yet for all the good causes politicians have cited to tack on one tax hike or debt burden after another, no one has ever proposed giving voters a say about higher salaries for city workers or 90 percent pensions, or more holidays. We’ve never been asked to approve of Sacramento’s many needless board and panels, or to provide large, well-paid staffs and brand-new cars to our elected officials. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventWhen it comes to funding the politicians’ priorities, there’s always plenty of money in the general fund. But when it comes to funding the critical needs of city, county and state residents – well, then the pols say we need another bond measure, lest any more roads crumble, inmates get released early, or schools fall into disrepair. The basic services that state and local governments are fundamentally charged with providing – like policing, education, or libraries – are held hostage at the polls: Approve more debt and taxes, or else. This is nothing but voter blackmail. Meanwhile the waste, the corruption, and the gravy for special interests are sacrosanct, immune from the budget cuts that threaten the services voters care about most. But at some point, something has to give. Soaring property bills are devastating the middle class, and an enormous debt burdens future budgets. Sooner or later, the bonds bonanza must stop, and public officials must start spending the public’s money on the public good. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more