July 30, 1999


COMMENTARY

The State Budget Grows And Grows

By Assemblyman Howard Kaloogin
(District 74-R)

One of the most inexplicable features of government is its self-perpetuating growth. This year's budget grows the bureaucracy by almost 10%! Since 1984, the state budget has ballooned nearly 300% while the population increased 36%. Does government services really grow 10 times faster than population? If it is assumed that government delivers services without waste, fraud or abuse, then it should grow only as fast as population and inflation. Since 1984, the state budget is $20 billion more than it should be.

We know where that money came from - your pocket - but where did this "new" money go? California regulates everything from hair braiding to agricultural production. There are 61 state departments, 12 agencies and 23 independent offices. This is the ever-growing greedy faceless bureaucracy that sucks our dollars to gorge itself. Imagine how much better your life would be if you had your share of this $20 billion to invest, spend or save.

To stop (or at least stall) this government-sponsored greed, Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Granada Hills) introduced AB 86. This bill would have created a coalition of budget experts, economists, auditors and government watchdog groups to make recommendations on how to pare back the bureaucracy to a more realistic, more viable level.

The bill failed to pass out of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection, Governmental Efficiency and Economic Development on a 3-2 vote. This is the type of spineless fraud the Democrats spin — they say they want better accountability and efficiency in government, then work to kill the bills that would do exactly that.

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