Sunday, October 07, 2018

Legislative Budget Tricks

It is getting close to election time and the voters are being bombarded with all sorts of bond measures and other goodies to vote on. The plea for money for roads, infrastructure, and schools sound like a very honest necessity, but hold on for one minute. The logic at work here is just that logic, commonly called smoke and mirrors.

In California they passed the gambling lottery for “Our Kids.” The premise was that the additional money would help the schools. What happened? The funds that the state was previously paying to the schools could now be used somewhere else, the lottery money didn’t appreciable increase the dollars for the schools. The legislature already has money for road repairs, pass the tax measure for new roads, and the money that they budgeted for roads will be spent on the homeless.

We are looking at roads falling apart, that were designed to be replaced after 30 years. Current age is more like 60 years for many of LA’s concrete highways. The water system dates back to 1900, no wonder at why so many pipes are bursting. There is no budgeted scheduled replacement of the infrastructure, repair is the main option. This deterioration took time. The tax dollars were deemed better spent somewhere else by the Legislature. The new bullet train that is to run from LA to San Francisco could probably replace a lot of the infrastructure in LA an San Francisco.

Sales taxes are approaching 10 percent in California. Jerry Brown said the state had a 16 billion dollars budget surplus this year. The fact that CalPERS needs more than twice that to be solvent is probably too insignificant to even mention. See if that surplus carries over to next year—we know where it is going. The state will distribute it to the cities and the cities will send it to CalPERS.

In high school when I was a kid, it was a common joke, if you dad couldn’t get a job, go work for the government. They didn’t pay good, but if you were an outstanding employee the private sector would offer you a real job.

Where is the logic that we can afford to pay public employees more that the same ones in the private sector? And to top that off, offer them 100K yearly retirement.

When we go to the polls this year, don’t let the bleeding-heart liberals bring up our kids, widows and orphans as an excuse for new funds. We need to cut them off completely. They need to do more with what they already have.

I didn't mean this to sound like an editorial, but I get the feeling that politicians are a bunch of con-artists that consider every voter a goodie-two-shoes Samaritan that they can rob blind. The thing that bothers me is that they are probably right in their assumption. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and the politicians want to charge extra for a hand basket. Go Figure!


Sackerson said...

Good one. Weasels.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sack

Thank you much. Great to hear from you. Enjoyed your road trip adventure. I'm 72 and my body is not as willing as my mind. I would trade my wisdom for youth any day just to do it all over again.

Sackerson said...

Not my trip, I'm too idle - it was Wiggia, one of my fellow BOM writers! The internet has let us converse without all that travel - what a boon!

dearieme said...

At my father's knee I was instructed that what we now call infrastructure was built by our predecessors, back to the Victorians, and even to the Romans and before. The politicians of my lifetime, the old boy said, would largely neglect it. I'd say he was right.

And he explained it correctly too: the hunt for votes. Votes mean office, and office means power.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

I think you are right.

It seems that great civilizations collapse from the lack of infrastructure repair.

Of course that might seem a little unfair, but when fiscal irresponsibility sets a pattern, people move to where services work better.

In California 20 years ago people moved from LA to San Diego. The infrastructure was new.

From here, we have a problem. There is no money to fix what is wrong in California.

Nobody will say that. Just live with it. Kind of Sucks.