Guest opinion

By JOSHUA CORONADO-MOSES
Third-year political science and history major
UC Regent Liaison

Nov. 6, 2012 was a great day for many reasons. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington and gay marriage was legalized in Maine, Maryland and Washington. But in California we also have something to be proud of. Proposition 30, a temporary tax measure to fund education, including the University of California system, was comfortably passed with 54.3 percent of the vote.

Marijuana, marriage and making education a priority is not just a victory for Marxist stoners everywhere — it is a great victory for today’s youth. Students like you and I are not only the future of this nation, but we are greatly affecting the present. Across the state of California 380,000 people registered to vote for the first time — a large number skewed strongly toward the youth of the state.

This is a remarkable number for a group that is supposed to be apathetic, ignored, disorganized and busy taking handle pulls. At UC Davis alone, 4,391 students were registered to vote by fellow UC Davis students. Not only are Obama mammas registering this mostly progressive block, but students themselves are also taking the initiative.

Our initiative didn’t stop with registering people; it also took place at the ballot box. It is easy to argue that Proposition 30 passed because of the youth vote. Twenty-eight percent of ballots cast on Proposition 30 were [from people] between the ages of 18 and 29, a voting bloc that overwhelmingly supported the proposition with two-thirds in the affirmative.

A supermajority of students, a supermajority that could never be found in today’s congress, stood together in support of a proposition that would have us sacrifice a little more, especially those at the top, but in turn we would slow the privatization of the UC system, which many see as inevitable.

Proposition 30 proved that not only can the youth unite, not only can we stop playing Halo 4 for a few minutes, but the privatization of the UC is not inevitable. The Regents will not save us, they really do not care about students — they really don’t. They are mostly businessmen, bankers and lawyers whose sole purpose is to increase the UC’s ranking in the U.S. News and World Report magazine, even if that means raising tuition to Ivy League levels.

They do not care about student opinion or keeping the UC affordable for all students. If you protest this, you will be kicked out of the Regents’ meeting, which is pretty standard now. There is only one way to make them care, and to make the governor appoint regents that care, and that is through sheer force of the ballot box.

Many doubt us. They say we do not have the votes. They are wrong. We passed Proposition 30, we even helped pass gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana — issues that stood no chance a few years ago before our generation voted.

They say the regents will save us.

They are wrong.

They have raised tuition on us multiple times, proving themselves incapable of our trust and their Sacramento political friends that placed them there have done no better. It is time that we save ourselves; it is time for us to take control of the present and the future we will inherit.

If you didn’t vote in 2012, educate yourself and vote, if you did vote, tell your friends to do so, get involved, your participation has made history and will continue to make history. We can stop tuition increases and the privatization of the UC; it takes about the same amount of time as a bong rip.

2 Comments

  • mertinburl
    February 5, 2013

    Higher taxes are fine with me. Oh, and really James Madison? 50%? That’s terrific!! Now if we could only push it up to 99%. And those are higher income taxes. Don’t you understand how taxes work James Madison? They go in steps.

  • James Madison
    November 29, 2012

    Dear Mr. Coronado-Moses -

    Please let me know how the “support of a proposition that would have us sacrifice a little more, especially those at the top…” works out for California, and how it has been working out in years past with regards to the state’s economy and budget.

    At some point, there must be fiscal responsibility and a cut in the grotesque amount of spending that is done at the federal and state levels. California is one of the worst perpetrators of this financial imbalance. If you continue to ask ‘those at the top’ to ‘sacrifice a little more’, eventually there will be no one left to fund your grandiose idea of how a state should be run. Then what will you do? California already has one of the worst climates for new/small businesses based on high taxes and huge regulations. This recent election will likely only serve to drive more of them to TX, UT, WA, etc.

    Let’s play a game here to help you understand my point. Without citing the exact numbers, let’s say you are now asking ‘the top’ to pay 10% in state income taxes, whereas others will pay likely half that. Now figure, with Obama likely to not extend the high income tax cuts, that the federal government asks for 39.6% of ‘the top’ income. Now if we add that up and round it out, ‘the top’ would pay 50% of their income in taxes.

    Now picture that you are forced to forfeit 50% of your income – or work 6 months of the year – to fund whatever the government feels is necessary. Forget percentage of income and ‘sacrificing more’ because someone makes more money. You’re flat out asking people to work 6 months to pay YOU and others just because you think it’s fair. Who gave you, and the government, the right to 6 months of my time and hard earned money? Is that in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? What if I find it unfair that you only work 4 months out of the year for the government as compared to the 6 you are asking of me? Is your time more valuable than mine, so that you should be given a leniency? I’d love to hear your logic.

    I won’t even begin to discuss the fact that ‘taxing the rich’ will not begin to pay down the deficit because there simply is just not enough money from tax increases. Spending must be cut, simple as that.

    JM

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