People Believe That Government Wastes Money Because It Does

According to a 2014 Gallup poll, Americans believe that their state government wastes 42 cents of every tax dollar. However, here in California, the political elite dismiss citizens’ widespread concerns about waste and, instead, complain that the taxes they collect from beleaguered taxpayers are not enough.  This complaint is hard to understand given that California has the highest income tax rate in America as well as the highest state sales tax rate.  Oh, and did I mention that we also have the highest gas tax in the United States?Notwithstanding this heavy tax burden, our political elites in Sacramento have recently put forward numerous proposals to raise taxes even higher, including new taxes on services, property, gas, oil and tobacco.  Apparently, it has never occurred to them that perhaps they should address the endemic waste, fraud and abuse that permeates all levels of government in California.

To set the record straight, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation has released a new report titled Follow the Money 2014, documenting numerous specific examples of government waste that cumulatively add up to billions of dollars.

Politicians and bureaucrats are likely to ignore this information while continuing to demand more money, but taxpayers should hold them accountable for the mismanagement of our state.  The report includes instances of waste such as $848 million in overpayments by CalWORKs, $194 million in uncollected bills at the state toxics agency and University of California officials who seem to believe they should not have to disclose how they spend billions in taxpayer funds.

While the report sets forth numerous examples of waste, fraud and abuse, it still represents the tip of the iceberg. Last year’s report for 2013 exposed instances of waste, fraud and abuse was disheartening enough, but here we are in 2014 seeing that politicians have squandered billions of dollars more.

When taxpayers hear politicians talking about the need for “new revenues,” HJTA’s Follow the Money report provides a strong counterpoint as to why higher taxes are unjustified.  Despite the explosion of taxing and spending, our roads are ranked among the worst.  Although education spending has nearly doubled on a per capita basis since 1970, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation gave our state an “F” for effectiveness per dollar spent.

Instead of devoting their energy to concocting new schemes to tax people more, California policymakers instead should channel their attention in a constructive way and focus on real solutions to our state’s chronically high unemployment and poverty.  And as the Follow the Money Report makes clear, our state leaders also need to focus on how they use the abundant resources given to them by taxpayers in ways that are neither wasteful not fraudulent.

Until that happens, taxpayers are well within their rights to reject any and all new tax proposals.

The report can be downloaded by going to HJTA.org where it will be found under “Hot Topics.”
Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

Comments

  1. The Left’s constant lies about virtually everything they have done, do, and wish to do, is the one great constant in politics.
    Government (at all levels) in California does not have a revenue problem,
    it has a SPENDING PROBLEM!
    Until you can deal with that…..STFU!

  2. Askeptic, you must understand though it costs a LOT of revenue to buy votes!!

  3. The Democrat controlled “Tax and Spend” State Legislature, spends most of their time, figuring out how to steal, extort, and robbing citizens, and businesses of money.. They will never quit this Policy as long as they are in charge… The real pity is that the Air Head liberals keep electing these idiots……

  4. My biggest question is this: why isn’t this the number one headline news story, not just in California but nationally, The millions of dollars wasted that you accurately refer to are just small examples compared to the billions, with a B, the healthcare services department have wasted and cannot be accounted for. I could not understand how Jerry Brown could eliminate the California department of alcohol and drug programs, as he announced in 2009. So I looked into it and it was not eliminated whatsoever, and no one was relieved of their positions but, it was just transferred into the Department of Healthcare Services. The 2006 law raising taxes 1% on millionaires that would go to the health care agency for the troubled people with severe mental illness, has turned into what I feel should’ve been one of the largest stories in the national newspapers, not just in California. The state auditor revealed billions of dollars unaccounted for: Six billion unaccounted for! And understand this. The state auditors Report came from a sample of only four of the 58 counties in the state. How could this not be the leading story in our newspaper? Why were there not just resignations, or firings – but criminal indictments and people in jail. And a time when the California healthcare agency had to get their act together is when the auditor filed this report – so they could get their books in order and be considered responsible enough to continue in their positions and run California healthcare.gov?
    I want to know who dictates what a major story is and what is not? In my opinion when things such as the Ferguson story, went on and on and on for days– And I’m not a conspiracy guy just someone with practical common sense – are they just covers for major stories that need to be buried? I don’t know but I am upset and frustrated by people that seem to have hijacked this beautiful state. I’m the son of a former Marine core helicopter pilot. At three years old I live right outside the El Toro marine base and what was called the Weary housing projects, that are now all leveled and we also lived from 1966 through1968 on the El Toro marine base itself. My family moved into Mission Viejo in 1969; I was nine years old but still remember people telling my father and mother, “the Indians will get you down there”-very funny stuff, but at the time we moved in there was only 3000 people in the new little town. The people that made this town, now of course city, a wonderful place were in fact, wonderful hard-working people. To this day, at 54 years old, I still have good friends that I first met in the second grade. None of us recognize what California has become.

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