Proposition 13 is the original victim of ‘fake news’

prop 13As Proposition 13 approaches its 39th birthday, it is still subject to the same dishonest attacks in the media that were used against it when it was on the ballot in 1978. Proposition 13 was one of the first victims of “fake news.”

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“The bigwigs in labor and business went all out to defeat 13,” said its principle author, Howard Jarvis. “They tried to outdo one another in issuing doomsday prophecies about what passage of 13 would mean.” The media slavishly supported the exaggerated and dishonest claims, often endorsing them through editorials and by giving prominent placement to negative stories on the tax revolt.

The politicians, including Gov. Jerry Brown, and government agencies from top to bottom weighed in. Here is a typical example: Before the election, Alameda County Transit told the public that passage of Prop. 13 would result in the termination of 80 percent of its 2,000 employees. Two months later, the Fremont-Newark Argus reported on the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 13, “To date, no one in the district has been laid off and officials now believe there will be no massive layoffs.” The paper added that three local fire districts that anticipated losing one-half to three-fourths of its staff, had not lost a single firefighter to Prop. 13.

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  1. Jerry Todd says

    September 22, 2011

    Bakersfield Californian

    Dear Editor:
    George Runner’s defense of Proposition 13 against the wiles of Sacramento politics is commendable. Giving incompetents more money to “waste and mismanage” almost exposes the root cause. Tax reform was needed, but was 13 the right formula?
    Proposition 10 was on the same ballot. It repealed California’s usury laws. Events leading up to the election saw banks’ drying up capital making it difficult to buy a home, automobile, refrigerator or borrow funds for business operations.
    After Proposition 13 local tax revenues plunged to the point that schools, parks, roads and public safety suffered for lack of operating funds.
    After Proposition 10, interest rates on auto, home, appliance and business loans skyrocketed to the 12 -20% range. Lenders would now finance at “competitive” interest rates. Usury costs far outstripped the high taxes people suffered pre-13.
    With the 10-13 combination – starving local budgets and overwhelmed families and businesses, the Feds usurped an active role in their greatest incompetence: Health, Education and Welfare. Teachers unions sensing power joined the rush to federalized education.
    Financial and emotional pressures tore at families with babies on the way. Quit her job or get an abortion? Divorce rates skyrocketed; maybe a new love interest at work. If she had feminist tendencies, she might bolt to “find herself.” Day care was fulfilling the feminist dream of state-raised children.
    The “Great Society” created a dependency class and a “welfare industry” that feeds on it. The poor were always taken care of through dedicated professionals, medical companies, high class church and foundation related services and facilities – Mercy, Shriner’s, St. Jude’s, Cedars-Sinai hospitals, Catholic Charities and Salvation Army to name a few.
    Was the unique combination of 10 and 13 a “progressive” conspiracy?

    • Gary Von Neida says

      I believe You have hit on something here much greater than You may have intended. Prop. 10 never entered My mind;however, during the period where locals ( Alhambra, Monterey Park, California ) were financing at 20% both Cities (thru the far East Bank) were “bought up” by China (I said China as there was a Map in a government building that had a area from Hollywood to the San Gabriel Valley—-all shaded in RED with a name
      NEW HOLLYWOOD CHINA across it)———-The new migrants were paying 2% for loans—-over 50% of businesses were sold and almost overnight the complexion of both Cities I worked in changed—-Just part of the DE-CULTUREization of the area I surmise.
      One World Government is sly and like RUST NEVER SLEEPS.

  2. Hatchetwoman says

    I was in 5th grade when Prop 13 passed, and all I remember is our teacher ranting and raving at us because “our parents” were “greedy” and “didn’t want to support teachers and government.” Fifth grade, and we were being yelled at — in a school district with majority Hispanic families!

    I’ve never forgotten that — and I can’t stand left-leaning liberals with their phony “tolerance” to this day.

  3. Roberta Allen says

    At the time, Prop 13 was a grassroots movement to slow down the Property Taxes for homeowners. Especially the Seniors. There was no prediction for taxes year to year. This set caps & also allowed us to know just what future costs would be. Perhaps not perfect, but it did set limitations. I remain proud to have worked for Prop 13. We plugged a few holes, tho our State Government continues to spend & avoid our intent. We had NO internet & newspapers did NOT support us.

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