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April 27 buzz: With same-sex marriage and tax increases, rethinking California's decision-makers

Most viewed and commented: "It's time to pass California tax hikes legislatively"

In his Wednesday column, Tim Rutten calls on Gov. Jerry Brown to ditch his "ill-advised campaign promise" to let voters decide on tax increases. Instead, Rutten would prefer that the governor forge his own path and do what's right for "the common good of all Californians." Referencing the Economist, which called our state "an experiment in extreme democracy gone wrong," Rutten suggests that perhaps it’s counterproductive to have voters make too many decisions about how our state should operate.

On our discussion board, frequent commenter GregMaragos weighed in with this counterpoint:

Rutten is the mouth piece for a failed political philosophy that is now drowning in its own excrement.  We have wall-to-wall liberals in Sacramento, so one cannot effectively blame conservatives.  Realizing the problem, Rutten turns, instinctively, to blaming "the system", which includes "the people" who voted for all the wacky, convoluted, idiotic ballot laws that have made such a hash of things.

One can reasonably argue that, perhaps, "the people" have made some bad laws, but one cannot turn to the supposed cause of a problem and, in the very next breath, declare it's supposedly corrupt opinions to be a means of validating a solution.  Rutten justifies ramming through tax increases with opinion polls of "the people" -- you know -- the same ones who made all those stupid laws.  Observe:

"In the meantime, a Times/USC Dornsife Poll released Sunday found that more than half the state's voters agree with Brown's approach to the fiscal crisis and want to balance the budget with a combination of painful spending cuts and moderate tax increases."

Most shared: Prop. 8: Who's fit to judge?

Just because Judge Vaughn R. Walker had a longtime male partner doesn't mean he was unfit to render his decision that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. To the org ProtectMarriage, the editorial board writes:

The guidelines for judicial recusal can be unclear at times, but generally the bar is a high one. The rules call for judges to disqualify themselves when their impartiality might reasonably be questioned, but they are not supposed to back away from cases because of who they are — their ethnicity, gender, marital status, affluence, political leanings or, yes, sexual orientation. It's another matter if they are directly and materially affected, or if they have previously displayed a deep-seated bias on the issue at hand. A judge who drives a gas guzzler can still hear a lawsuit against an oil company, but not if his or her spouse works for the oil company.

ALSO TRENDING:

Economy and environment in peril -- scare tactics or truth?

Same-sex marriage

Saving the Dodgers

 Feeding the Obama-phobes

Armenian genocide

--Alexandra Le Tellier

 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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