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Hard Financial Choices For California

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Our personal and state financial health are critically important issues with regards to proper preparedness.  If our taxes are increased, we obviously have fewer funds available for our own preps.  If the state is forced to cut programs to ensure we have a state Constitutionally-mandated balanced budget, critical state preparedness budgets might be slashed.

It seems like once a year, I have done a post on wasteful spending by our California legislators.  My focus isn't on improper perks our legislators grant themselves as much as it is on entire departments we must fund.  It can be truly maddening.

I'm of a libertarian bent - I believe in conservative fiscal principles and liberal social freedoms.  Personal, individual responsibility!  In general, I think our state government should focus our limited resources on:
  1. Provide for an economic environment which encourages business growth.
  2. Provide for state-wide infrastructure projects, such as roads, levies, water, power, etc.
  3. Laws and enforcement: Courts, AG, State police agencies
  4. Basic legislature duties
  5. Basic Executive duties
  6. Regulate (not operate) business practices that an average layperson could not reasonably be expected to understand AND using those services could result in permanent harm or death (medical boards, etc.). This does not include telling us what kinds of foods we can buy and eat, where (and if) we can smoke cigarettes, etc.
  7. 100% of state education funds should be in the form of vouchers. Competition among schools and teachers will result in a better "product" being produced.
The bottom line is, if it isn't involved in the day-to-day or long-term operations of the state, or designed to  promote and enhance the state's economy, stay away from it!

That all being said, I'd like you to take a look at this site. It lists every single state department which we fund. I caution you to medicate yourself as you see fit to help counter to spike in your blood pressure you will likely experience!

Some questions I have after looking at this list:
  1. Why would the state WE be paying for any ethnic or cultural museum, commission or caucus?  Are not these things the domain of private ethnic or cultural organizations?  What could possibly be the justification for taking our tax dollars to pay for these things?  If YOU want to visit a certain type of museum, go right ahead.  Just be sure you bring the cash to get in.  It is not the state's job to ensure you are culturally aware or exposed to the arts.
  2. Why do we pay for all of these political caucus'?  The state assembly and senate each has a Democrat and a Republican caucus.  I'm sure each of these caucus' has it's own paid director, staff and researchers.  Why?  If the either party wants to look into or promote some issue, feel free to do so ON YOUR OWN DIME.
  3. The California Commission on the Status of Women?  Really?  Their 2009-2010 legislative agenda says they've been around for FOUR DECADES!  Why would we have a state-financed agency that ADVOCATES for one particular gender (or race or religion or IQ or hobby or anything)?  If the state is taking money from all of us, they need to only do things that benefit all of us.
  4. How's this for a double-edged sword?  We have the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation.  On the good side, it used to be two separate departments, and now it's only one.  On the bad side, why do we have this at all? Their website says, "At the Bureau, we strive to protect consumers, work with and educate businesses so we can be mutually successful in today's challenging marketplace." How about we let businesses and individuals be responsible for their own success? That's not government's job.
There are dozens and dozens of these types of departments.  Let's cut them first, then let's cut down the legislator's staff, THEN we can consider cutting some of the critical services.

Until we get serious in cutting non-essential services, and not worrying about stepping on politically sensitive toes, we're not going to get our state back on course.  Like our federal government, we are drowning in debt.  We simply must spend within our means.

You may have seen some department that you have some special connection with - we all do - but our funding is not unlimited.  We must make choices.  I choose to save critical services.
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You can contact Chief Instructor by visiting Accept The Challenge.

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