No matter what the tax is, it is sold to help fund “the children”, “the sick”, “the disabled”…. and what kind of sick greedy capitalist bastard are YOU to oppose it!! YOU HATE CHILDREN!!
The good ole “bait and switch” is almost the oldest trick in the book, and is used by the left as a matter of routine.
[Editor’s Note: For more on how the Proposition 63 Tax was a failure and how the resources were misused and eventually misappropriated to pet projects click HERE.]
Mercury News – Prop 63 hasn’t solved California’s mental health care crisis:
If President Barack Obama wants a model for solving the nation’s mental health care crisis, he needs to find a better one than California.
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg urged Obama to adopt California’s Proposition 63 as the nation’s model following the tragic shootings in Newtown, Conn., which raised awareness of mental health as well as gun control issues. Steinberg has asked Obama to consider matching dollar for dollar the money that states put into their mental health programs.
Proposition 63, approved by voters in 2004, was sponsored by Steinberg. It has, indeed, been good at raising money. The 1 percent tax on millionaires’ incomes has netted more than $8 billion over eight years.
But what does California have to show for it? Fewer psychiatric hospital beds, fewer doctors treating patients and fewer clinics across the state. An estimated 750,000 California adults failed to receive mental health treatment they needed last year.
And if California is making any progress in reducing the use of its jails and prisons to warehouse the mentally ill, it’s news to us. About half of the counties in the state have no inpatient psychiatric services.
The formula for distributing Proposition 63 money allocates significant amounts to counties for new programs for new patients rather than older but still-needed programs for longtime patients. And last year’s budget cuts made matters worse. While Proposition 63 raised $1 billion in dedicated funding, the Legislature took $798 million of nonrestricted money away from other mental health programs.
The result is a two-tier system in which a wave of new programs is flush with cash while long-standing programs serving the vast majority of patients are crunched for money.
“If we could fund the programs we need, we could greatly reduce the number of people in our jails and prisons,” says Jessica Cruz, executive director of California’s branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who supports the Proposition 63 programs but thinks more money is needed for others. “We could help reduce the number of mentally ill crowding our hospital emergency rooms and the homeless wandering our streets.”
A Department of Justice study found that 56 percent of state prisoners and 64 percent of local jail inmates have symptoms of serious mental illnesses. And 75 percent of those inmates received no treatment while incarcerated. Three out of every four people with serious mental illnesses can be successfully treated for a fraction of the annual cost of $47,102 of housing an inmate in California’s prisons.
Cruz notes that only 2 percent of mentally ill people are violent. If California could reach them before their problems manifest themselves in horrific fashion, we could make communities safer, save taxpayers money any improve the lives of thousands who now have nowhere to turn for help.