In Case You Didn't Already Know that California has Lost It

California has a ballot initiative to raise taxes on wine, perhaps the state's highest profile export after movies, by 12,600%.  The South Bend Seven find the real howler though -- apparently 15% of this tax increase or over  a billion dollars a year will be directed to naturopathy programs.  Apperently a bid by astrologists to get a share of the tax increase narrowly failed.


  1. Matthew Brown:

    That is ... stupid beyond words.

  2. Ken:

    It's a little misleading to say "California has a ballot initiative." They need to get about half a million signatures before it goes on the ballot. California has a proposed ballot initiative.

    And yes, it's painfully stupid and offensive.

  3. Anna:

    That is really stupid. And won't go anywhere. People like their beer too much (tax increase from 11 cents to $6.08 for a six-pack), and there are a lot of them. Would be a nice exercise to have it circulate, though, if just to add to the people's anger at anything involving more taxes.

  4. Ian Random:

    They're getting close, but I'm still waiting for them to tax/regulate to extinction the high performance car and motorcycle builders.

  5. dearieme:

    What silly nonsense; obviously tax should be heaped onto gasoline, not onto happy juice.

  6. KTWO:

    Here is my proposal to solve the CA deficit problem?

    They should print state bonds with the word "Mortgage" boldly stamped upon them.

    Then Fannie and Freddie can buy them. Maybe the Federal Reserve would buy some too. They are probably better paper than the other crap they buy.

  7. DrTorch:

    When I read something as dumb as this, I wonder if it isn't just put out there to distract people from the real goings-on.

  8. Jens Fiederer:

    If I understand correctly, you can propose ANY ballot initiative. It's hardly surprising some would be howlers.

  9. eCurmudgeon:

    > They’re getting close, but I’m still waiting for them to tax/regulate to extinction the high performance car and motorcycle builders.

    Consider this: Every time we have any sort of automotive scare-mongering going on, the inevitable result is yet more electronic nannies being added to modern automobiles. In particular, the Ford Explorer roll-over fiasco from a few years ago which led to Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) being mandatory on new cars.

    So, between the current Toyota "sudden acceleration" fiasco and more aggressive EPA enforcement, I predict that we'll see 2011 or 2012-model-year automobiles have tamper-resistant programming in their engine-management computers to limit top speed to something like 60-70 MPH and restrict maximum acceleration to 5 MPH/Sec (i.e. 0-60 in 12 seconds).

    The Greenies would love this, as it'd result in the instant demise of anything even resembling a performance automobile. Why put anything larger than a 1.5L four-banger in a car if it can't go faster than 70 MPH[1]?

    Also expect that current automobiles will require a government-mandated ECU reflash or replacement as well to ensure compliance.

    [1] Or should I say 100KPH, as I expect metricification to be Yet Another Carter-Era Bright Idea to make it's way back...

  10. MJ:

    Nothin' like a little health care reform, California style! Hehe.

  11. mesaeconoguy:

    Explains why they’re bankrupt.

    Past stupidity is a guarantee of future idiocy….

  12. John Moore:

    One of California's problems is that they are the recipient of Coyote's immigration proposals. Only one, of course, but a significant one. Illegal immigration is a huge drain on California resources, and the resulting increase in the legal (born there) but poor Hispanic 2nd and 3rd generation population keeps electing more of the Democrats that pass these sorts of laws.

  13. NormD:

    Must be a slow news day

    The "Ballot Initiative" has been "Approved for circulation". It has not qualified for a vote

    There are currently some 60 or so other proposals in a similar state including one banning divorce and another exempting those over 55 from paying any state property or income taxes.

    You can propose anything. You have to get a lot of signatures to qualify it as an initative

    Check out the following list of other

  14. Not Sure:

    The silliness of some of the initiatives proposed always seems to obsure the fact that the people of California are at least able to work towards enacting legislation to address issues that their elected representatives refuse to instead of just having to sit there and take it on the chin (or wallet or whatever- can you say "Prop. 13?").

  15. KTWO:

    Watching CA state government die requires patience.

    You know what must happen - ceteris paribus - but you can't be sure which convulsion will be the last.

    Money for a month or so will probably materialize from somewhere and the rules be damned.

    Then the dying will resume. I wouldn't keep money where CA can get at it.

  16. caseyboy:

    This wine tax thing won't get anywhere. Doesn't Speaker Pelosi's family have a vineyard in Napa or Sonoma?

  17. IgotBupkis:

    > In Case You Didn’t Already Know that California has Lost It

    Well, we'll know they've lost it if they actually pass it. I doubt if that will happen.

    This thing is stupider, even, than Florida's Pig Amendment.

    > What silly nonsense; obviously tax should be heaped onto gasoline, not onto happy juice.


    Tax should be heaped upon politicians. I think we should tax the commissioners, and state and national legislators. Ten thousand bucks for every law they pass on a national level, a thousand for every law they pass on a state level, and a hundred bucks for every ordinance they pass on a local level... Add to that a refund for national legislators of a 10 bucks for every page they reduce the CFR by during the course of a year in office, from Jan21 to Jan21 (and what, a buck a page for state legislators?).

    It won't solve the deficit directly, but it ought to have an interesting effect on the size of the CFR and the general legal codes.

  18. Jimbeaux:

    Here in Georgia, a good sixer of beer costs close to $10. Raising that to over $16 would definitely ruin sales.

    Some of the breweries include:
    Gordon Biersch
    Sierra Nevada
    Stone Brewing
    Butte Creek
    Lost Coast