opinion from the late,

great, golden state...

CRO Main Page

by Ray Haynes Temecula Everyone talks about solutions to the budget.  I want to put a few out there based on real numbers.  The first thing to do is to look at real numbers, from an historical perspective, to determine what to do.  Our left wing friends don't want to look at real numbers, and the moment anyone starts talking about those numbers, people everywhere start falling asleep, so I am going to try to make this short, and deal with the budget in light of those numbers.  This analysis will be in several short blog posts, but it is a good place for any one to start. The first thing to do in any budget analysis is to go to Schedule 6 of the Full Budget Summary available on the Department of Finance's website here.  Go to that page, and download the .pdf file.  Go to appendix 13, to which is attached Schedule 6).  It is titled Summary of State Population, Employees and Expenditures.  It shows a detail of the growth of state government since the 1950-51 budget year. To put this summary in perspective, look at the numbers.  Between 1958 and 1974 (Governors Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan), this state built most of its University system (both UC and CSU), all of its freeways, most of its park system, most of its buildings, and had the best K-12 education system in the United States.  Our total state expenditures in 1974 was $8.3 billion general fund.  In that 20 year period, this state was dynamic, growing, "the Golden State."  Total number of state employees=203,000.  In 1975, the Legislature enacted, and Governor Jerry Brown signed the Meyer-Milias-Brown public employee union act, which allowed for the formation of government employee unions.  Over the next 30 years, our transportation system collapsed, our education system went from the best to among the worst, and our state government has collapsed into a squabbling morass of self-serving politicians financed by corrupt government unions. And what has happened to the state budget?  General Fund spending has increased from $8.3 billion to $102 billion, a 1200% increase.  The total number of state employees has increased from 203,000 to 359,000.  156,000 more employees, 1200% in spending for less government, less competence, worse services, and squabbling politicians. Interesting enough, most of this growth has occurred over the last 10 years.  After 16 years of Republican governors, Deukmejian and Wilson, the number of state employees rose from 226,000 to 268,000.  Starting in 1998, when Gray Davis was elected Governor to today, the number of state employees rose from 268,000 to 363,000, double the amount in 10 years that Wilson and Deukmejian did in 16 years.  Spending rose from $54 billion general fund to $102 billion general fund, almost doubling. These are the real numbers.  We are spending more and more in our government and getting less and less for it.  Real budget solutions have to recognize this basic fact.  Government employee unions and their bosses are the enemies of the people and the enemies of good governance.  They have been getting more and more money, and we have been getting less and less government. Governor Schwarzenegger started out in 2003 with the right idea, and then he capitulated to interests in Sacramento.  His excuse was that he "had to get things done."  He knew the status quo was the problem, but he capitulated to that status quo.  He could have used his influence to "terminate" those interests, as he promised.  Instead, he "capitulated."  He became the lap dog to those interests, and, in the process, squandered his ability to form a legacy of reform.  He was no longer the "Terminator," he was the "Capitulator."  He grew government as fast as Davis, hired as many employees as Davis, hired Davis advisors, and, as a result, has suffered Davis' fate.  A failed policy, a failed vision, and worst of all, a budget debacle of monumental proportions.  In my next writing, I will try to trace a pathway out of this wilderness, using those same numbers and a realistic assessment of what needs to be done CRO copyright 2009 Haynes Ray Haynes is a former member of the California Assembly and the California Senate.

Leave a Reply