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December 20, 2004

Berkeley Becomes Bush Burg

Well, not really, of course. But they are getting pissed off about unending tax hikes:

A TAX REVOLT in Berkeley?

That seems to be what's happening in one of the nation's most left- leaning strongholds.

After years of voting for various tax measures that have made Berkeley's property taxes the highest in the state, voters are now saying: enough already.

On Nov. 2, four tax measures designed to fund basic services such as fire and police, youth programs, medical services and libraries -- yes, libraries -- failed to get the two-thirds vote they needed to pass.


There are other reasons. As someone who has lived for much of his adult life in Berkeley -- and willingly paid extra property taxes so Berkeley could remain one of the world's most livable and innovative communities -- even I couldn't bring myself to vote for all the latest tax measures this time around.

I was incensed to see President Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger make cutting taxes the centerpiece of their respective campaigns -- and winning. I realized that voters in Berkeley (and San Francisco, and other similar communities who are not against taxes on ideological grounds) have in effect been enabling Bush and Schwarzenegger to continue on their anti-tax crusades. By continually voting to impose higher taxes on ourselves to keep essential services going, we have made it easier for them to carry on as if the taxes they're cutting weren't needed in the first place.

Dude, if you want to pay high taxes, fine, do it in your own neighborhood. But stop whining that others seek to block you from exporting your high-tax-regime where it's not wanted.

NickS, who provided the tip, enjoyed this passage:

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, a veteran of the Bay Area's progressive struggles, insists that Berkeley is still committed to its left-of-center politics. Ninety percent of all Berkeley voters, he points out, cast ballots for Sen. John Kerry, a higher figure than any other large city with as diverse a population as Berkeley. (Only in Detroit and Gary, Ind., with black populations of more than 80 percent, did Kerry get higher numbers.)

First of all, I don't know anything about Berkeley, but I get the feeling it's not particularly "diverse" in the typical euphemistic meaning (i.e., lots of blacks and Hispanics). I speak from ignorance, as usual, but I think Berkeley is most smelly white people and chicks that don't shave their legs very often.

I think they're using the word "diverse" here as a new euphemism for "progressive" or "super-liberal." Why not just call things what they are?

NickS also wants to know how "diverse" is a city that goes 90% for one candidate?

"Diverse" doesn't mean diverse anymore.

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:20 PM

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