Debra J. Saunders

"How many times do the voters have to vote to place the sales tax on gasoline for transportation purposes?" Rentschler asked. "They've had to do it twice now."

He makes a good point, except that voters have passed a host of measures that conflict with each other. In recalling Gov. Gray Davis, California voters made known their opposition to his hike of the vehicle license fee. Other measures set up special funds to protect pet programs. As a result, no governor can give the voters everything they've asked for at the ballot.

Californians say they want their tax dollars to fund public transit, but when they vote with their feet, they put their foot on a gas pedal. As Schwarzenegger's office notes, California spends about a third of the state's $24 billion in transportation dollars on public transit, yet a mere 2 percent of trips made use of transit. If Schwarzenegger observes what people do, rather than listening to what they say they want, his budget move makes sense.

Debra J. Saunders

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