Thursday, July 16, 2009

It is all in how you report the news

One of my favorite jokes is from the mid 1980s::

"Seems that there was an auto race with just two entrants: An American car, and a Soviet car. The American won. The Soviet press announced the results this way: "The Soviet car came in second. The American car came in next to the last."

I was reminded of this joke while reading Paul Jacob's column Prop 13 Declared Innocent. California politicians are having trouble agreeing on a budget. The media reports that Prop 13, which put a limit on how fast the government could raise property taxes, is to blame. Paul Jacob writes that Chris Reed of the San Diego Union-Tribune did some investigating and found even with Prop 13, property tax revenue has climbed 579 percent in the last 30 years.

I agree with Paul and Chris, the problem in California is not Prop 13, it is politicians who have trouble controling their desires for spending.

Technorati tags: taxes, Prop 13, Paul Jacob, education


Luke said...

"The American car came in next to the last." [smile]That's clever.


Sebastian said...

In defense (sort of) of CA legislators, there have also been bills and propositions passed which have set mandatory minimum spending levels in various categories. It would be very difficult to write a budget if even before you started, the spending was larger than the intake. On the other hand, I don't know that anyone has exactly been running on a platform of "This is broke and I will make hard choices to fix it." The have cake and eat it too seems to permeate the legislators, regulators, lobbyists and electorate.

I have an English football song with the line, "Germany won, England five."

A Mountain Mom said...

This is great! I have thought a lot lately on news in general and the power of perspective and choice words.

Sebastian... while they eat cake we can only stare at the crumbs. Isn't it just sad?