Passing Proposition 32 is a step forward for the taxpayers in California. Not only are corporate, union, and government contractors banned from using their money to “buy” government contracts, but Proposition 32 also bans the automatic deductions from individual paychecks for the purpose of supporting political causes.
People have the right to spend their money in the manner they choose. They can voluntarily contribute to charity, church, or political causes. In contrast, payroll deductions for various taxes are mandatory and required by law. Currently, corporations, unions, and government contractors can take automatic deductions out of their employees’ paychecks for political causes. However, no one automatically takes payroll deductions for charity or church. Why is it that these entities are allowed to take your money for political causes?
Imagine if there were an additional ten cent tax on every gallon of gasoline. This tax would be used to subsidize a local gas guzzling SUV manufacturer so as to make SUVs more affordable. If you did not want to pay this ten cent tax, then on the first working day of each year, you had to personally go to the DMV and fill out a three page form stating that you were opposed to SUVs and that you did not want to pay the additional 10 cent per gallon tax this year.
When “free will” and “voluntary” are removed from the process, automatic payroll deductions start looking like a tax. This is especially irksome when forced to give to a cause that may be antithetical to your personal beliefs. However, voluntary contributions, done without compulsion or intimidation, enable citizens to voice their support to the causes they agree with. This proposition does not prevent a voluntary deduction by a union or corporation from your paycheck.
It has been argued that Proposition 32 does not prevent super PACs from raising money for political purposes. Furthermore, corporations and other forms of businesses may find ways to contribute money for political purposes. For the sake of argument, let us conceded that this is true. But these and other potential loop holes of concern can be addressed in future legislation. Our vote for Proposition 32 should not be based upon what the author did not put in the Proposition.
One known purpose of Proposition 32 is to prevent automatic deductions from individual’s paychecks. It ensures that individuals only contribute to candidates, parties, or political causes with which they are in agreement when they want to make contributions.
We all have the right to spend our money the way we desire and this includes contributions to causes. Many large corporations have a process like this in place when it comes to donations to charities. These donations are purely voluntary just like contributions to political causes. Contributions that are confiscated without consent or by force for purposes that are not in accordance with personal beliefs should not be tolerated. After all, this is the United States of America, not a communist country.
The process should be such that a willing individual opts in for paycheck deductions. It should not take a lot of effort to opt out of donating to a political cause. In fact, there should be no effort at all; you just choose not to give.
A known problem is that government contractors contribute to politicians with the “understanding” that when state contracts come up for bids, the contractors that were the most generous in supporting a particular candidate or party expect a political payback. These paybacks lead to political and economic cronyism which is detrimental to the state as a whole. Proposition 32 is designed to prevent this abuse.
Is Proposition 32 perfect? No. Does it solve all the problems? No. Is there another way to stop the abuses in the system? Probably. But doing nothing will not solve the problems either. Proposition 32 is a step in the right direction toward cleaning up the problems that threaten California’s future. Let us deal with the known problems and solve them first. Then as the possible problems come, the same initiative process is still intact to deal with any new problems.