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Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

War has been Declared in Sacramento
Winds of change in the capitol...
[Ray Haynes] 1/20/04

There is a war in Sacramento. It is a battle between the defenders of the status quo and the agents of change. The defenders of the status quo want your money, and they want to spend it to feed a monster government. The agents of change want to bring government under control. Governor Schwarzenegger recently triggered a war with the big spending status quo defenders by cutting off the food supply to California’s government monster, that is, by cutting your taxes and refusing to raise them. Those who feed that monster, the defenders of big government, are now striking back.

Government controls a lot of money, and a lot of people make a lot of money off of government. The people who make the money then take that money and contribute part of it to politicians who keep up the flow of money to the contributors. A government “program” therefore is a clever disguise for directing money to these politically influential people.

We all know that it seems that the more we spend on government, the less it seems to deliver in services. Here’s why. Politicians get contributions from public employee unions to get elected to office; public employee unions get money from the dues of government employees, and make more money if there are more employees; and the larger a government program is, the more money the bureaucrat in charge of that program makes in salary. So—the head bureaucrat draws up a budget to “expand a program” (read: hire more employees) and hands it over for approval to the politicians, who have received money from public employee unions who make money from the hiring of more employees. This evil triumvirate, the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the public employee unions really don’t care whether the program works. They will continue this pattern of plunder, at all levels of government, until the taxpayers say enough.

Governor Schwarzenegger has said he will fight these special interests and will not increase your taxes to subsidize them. He has his work cut out for him.

His first challenge is that those in charge of the spending in the legislature are one leg of that evil triumvirate. The Democrat members of the budget committees owe their political allegiance to the spending lobby (the public employee union bosses) in Sacramento, the second leg of that spending lobby. Whenever anyone suggests that a government program be cut, the big-spending legislators, and the big-spending lobbyist hide behind the poor, the disabled, the children, the seniors, whomever, to keep the flow of money going.

The second challenge is that the chief bureaucrats, the third leg, who supposedly work for the Governor, really conspire with the other defenders of the status quo to expand programs, because their power and influence grows as their programs grow. Breaking through that wall of growing government is difficult, because the bureaucrats, legislators, and public employee unions also control the information about the program.

To understand how powerful the spending lobby is, look at how the budget proposals have been portrayed. Based on the howling, wailing and gnashing of teeth, you probably have assumed that the state's budget has been cut pretty dramatically. Maybe a 10% reduction in spending over last year? Five percent? You'd be wrong. The Governor's proposal actually increases general fund spending by $4 billion over last year's budget (from $75 billion to $79 billion). While there are programs that have been cut, the state budget overall has not. I would support actual cuts in the level of spending in the budget. Unfortunately, the unions, the bureaucrats and their sponsors in the legislature have made it clear that they will fight not only to prevent their programs from losing money, but to ensure that they continue to grow at the level they feel is necessary and proper to (as the Governor remarked in Blazing Saddles) "save their phony-baloney jobs!"

The only way to cut off the head of this monster is to starve it. We do that by not giving it any new taxes. By cutting off this monster from it source of sustenance, however, Governor Schwarzenegger has challenged the status quo, and has started a war with the evil triumvirate that will only get more heated as the year continues. I will support the Governor and do whatever it takes to help him pass a budget that does not increase taxes and further harm our economy. He has begun the process of starving the monster, but it is still only the first step in winning this war.


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