Friday, August 27, 2004

Calif. to Vote on $3B Stem Cell Project

In the last big CA election, Californi citizens recently authorized a $15 billion (principle only) bond sale to refinance California's deficit spending. The interest payments on those bonds alone are estimated to come to $2000 per CA family. Roughly $10B of the $15B was to cover a single year's deficit spending. This was on top of $73B of bond already authorized. So gues what's the latest initiative for the upcoming ballot...

Let's take out another $3B in loans for stem cell research. The plan is to distribute the money in grants over roughly ten years and pay it off over the next 30 years. The interest would cause this $3B of funding to cost CA taxpayers roughly $6B.

What will it take for people to understand that CA needs to be making hard choices about painful budget cuts, not finding new discresionary spending opportunities? If Bill Gates, Silicon valley tycoons, and Hollywood celebrities want to fund stem cell research, then why don't they fund it themselves? Instead they're choosing to bankroll a campaign to get all of CA to pay for it.

They can use their money buy TV ads to promote the idea. But where's the money to fund the campagin against the initiative going to come from? So far, there aren't a lot of big donors.

Maybe I should start an initiative to require all people who give money to support an inititative's promotion give an equal ammount to support the anti-inititive campain. :)

Call me a cynic, but this is so outrageous, I have to wonder if the rich folks backing this are just trying to drive up the yields on tax-free CA municipal bonds And they get to act like they're working for the public good.

Yahoo! News - Calif. to Vote on $3B Stem Cell Project


Blogger Vincent said...

California can hardly afford to spend that much money at the moment. But perhaps a tenth that amount would make for an interesting move. With the Bush administration's head-in-the-sand, über-conservative ban on stem cell research funding, stem cell research will be productive in the US only if state governments or private industry provide the funding. Only a relatively small number of states have both the economic base to pay for stem cell research and the world-class research institutes in which to undertake it, so it's not like there are 50 opportunities to try state funding. Politically this should go over well in California; some rightists may be swayed due to the plight of former president Reagan, and the majority leftists and centrists will support the idea on scientific grounds. And thumbing their nose at the federal government/Bush administration may end up being inexpensive for Californians if Kerry wins the White House.

8/29/2004 01:04:00 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I'll point out that the "uber-conservative Bush" is the one who _relaxed_ the policy on federal funding for stem cell research, something your friend Bill Clinton never did.

8/31/2004 12:31:00 PM  

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