Monday, July 19, 2010

Sen. Wolk seems to go rogue

Sen. Wolk seems to go rogue

| | July 17, 2010 22:41

At a recent Solano Economic Development Corp. monthly breakfast state Sen.
Lois Wolk was the featured speaker and her topic was the Delta water package and companion state water bond. She brought with her some good news.

Polls show the $11.1 billion water bond headed for a crushing defeat in November. This is why its legislative sponsors are scrambling to remove it from the ballot. Wolk prefers the voters send it to a watery grave and defeat it this November.

That was her official message. However, the story behind the news is one of a liberal state senator going rogue.

Several months ago, after battling her own party leadership as chairwoman of the Delta water committee, she was removed. The committee was assigned the task of finding a way to divert more Delta water to a thirsty Southern California.

In her absence, the committee, under new leadership, committed two egregious blunders. First, they loaded the bond with pork projects to buy votes and second, they decided to use a general obligation bond, further crippling our state economy, instead of a revenue bond, which would be repaid by only those benefiting from the project.

As Wolk chronicled the many fatal flaws, I sensed I was listening to a new voice. It had the appeal of a common sense conservative railing against government waste and pork barrel politicking. It was refreshing.

Although the breakfast was billed as a discussion on the Delta water package and bond measure, the audience was just as interested in the senator's take on solving the state's chronic budget deficit. And when the topic changed from water to the deficit, my 'moment of joy,' hearing a liberal legislator sounding conservative, began to evaporate.

When an audience member asked, what is the solution to our budget problem, Wolk's reply was the all-too-familiar mantra coming out of Sacramento, 'cut spending and raise taxes.' (She actually said enhance revenues, but I knew she meant raise taxes.)

In the spirit of encouraging another road less traveled by the senator and for her to embrace her rogue spirit again, I suggest she embrace the following solutions.

First, cut government spending now and in the future. The truth is, the financial burden of an ever-expanding entitlement society isn't sustainable.
Europe has given us a recent look into the future and it's the full retreat of socialist policies under suffocating debt. The cradle-to-grave government model only works in fairy tales.

Second, instead of raising taxes, put a moratorium on tax increases until you can find a way to reduce them. Pass legislation to give business a reason to invest and stay in California. Unchain the private economy and it will stimulate a tidal wave of job creation.

Reducing unemployment and adding 1 million jobs would do more to balance the state budget than punishing what's left of our productive society with tax increases. The concept of our elected representatives taking more of our money to pay for an ever-growing entitlement class will suffocate any recovery. And it's political suicide.

Go rogue, senator. You wear it well.

Kevin English