The Long-Game of Policy Making

The Long-Game of Policy Making

Editorial: California’s election results require patience. That’s a good thing.

In California, as in many other states, election results require patience, not drama.

Let’s call it the long-game of policy making.

It’s good that the electorate was able to come to terms with the shortcomings of Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders around his signature environmental program, Proposition 4, and turn back the effort to impose a $130 billion state spending package on Proposition 30, which would have funded it.

The issue is whether voters could have accepted the terms of the election compromise—a deal that the GOP would not endorse.

Voters rejected the GOP’s plan for $130 billion in spending for the next 15 years, while accepting the GOP’s plan for $2 billion for state parks.

California voters have a reputation for being tough.

But they can act with grace when dealing with difficult public policies.

That’s true of Gov. Brown’s pension reform and Proposition 30.

And it’s why the voters were able to say no to the $2 billion tax hike imposed on the most-productive state business in the nation, California’s tech industry.

The GOP’s plan for new taxes on technology, which was defeated here, could have been another version of the tax hike plan that voters rejected in November. And it would have been different in important ways.

Both of those proposals would have imposed new taxes for a generation on the tech sector, which employs only a few thousand workers in a big economy.

The Republican plan would have created a new state tax on a handful of companies.

The tech industry supports the Republican plan, because it would have put the brakes on new regulations and given them room to focus on areas of greatest economic growth and investment.

The other plan would have been a tax increase.

It would have forced the tech industry to pay $400 million in new taxes per year. And it would have put the brakes on innovation.

Instead, the voters chose to support Gov. Brown’s pension reform, which didn’t seek to tax the companies that are the drivers of California’s economy.

The other proposal, for new taxes on the tech industry, could have been different in every way, except in the direction that voters wanted it to go.

The problem for Democrats is they

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