Monday, June 4, 2012
Bloated Bureaucracy is No Life Raft for California’s Sinking Ship
The so-called California Cancer Research Act up soon for a vote is a misnomer. According to the measure, funds collected from California taxpayers are allowed to be spent researching elsewhere, including other countries. In an already bankrupt state, the $735 million projected to be raised yearly by this new tax will not help balance the budget or do a thing to pay down the $10 billion deficit. Thanks to a loophole spotted by the career politician behind this measure, it also defies California’s constitutional amendment requiring a portion of all new taxes go to schools. Cleverly, Proposition 29 will shortchange schools out of more than $300 million per year! Proposition 29 provides for money to be wasted on government agencies completely unrelated to cancer research. The State Controller’s Office, the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the Financial Information System for California will all get a piece of the bloated pie. Furthermore, the proposition dedicates up to $110 million a year to be spent on new buildings and facilities when California already has the finest research facilities in the world! It also duplicates existing tobacco control programs by parroting what California has already funded, but adds clone organizations run by an entirely new set of bureaucrats. Of course, an additional $22 million a year will go toward tobacco-related law enforcement, not crimes with real victims like murder, robbery, or rape. Some of the provisions for the massive overhead written into this proposition include $15 million a year for six political appointees’ travel, benefits, and salaries. They will have the sole authority, with no oversight, to spend taxpayer money until the end of time. This measure sets out to prove that it pays big to be a political appointee. Taxpayers pick up the tab for the meetings they attend. The CEO reserves the right to appoint other people (i.e. personal friends) with no oversight and pay their huge salaries, too. There is no limit for how large this bureaucracy can grow! Perhaps the most sickening part of this maniacal proposition is that the state’s governor or legislature is forbidden to make changes or correct problems within the organization’s bloated, taxpayer-funded bureaucracy for 15 years—even in instances of blatant waste, fraud, and abuse. If the proposition is approved by voters on June 5, the committee will be able to operate under its own rules, changing them as frequently as desired. The language of the measure explicitly states that grants can go to the organizations that employ the committee members! In an effort to address conflicts of interest issues, the measure plainly admits that it was created to accommodate conflicts of interest! Check it out at http://readforyourself.org There are many reasons Californians should vote against Proposition 29. Its authors hope voters do not look past the childlike argument, “Cancer is bad. Tobacco is bad. Curing cancer is good.” A deeper look into the wording of the measure reveals its true intention—the same-old-same-old political backscratching that put California into bankruptcy in the first place. To add insult to injury, the same guy who thought it would be a good idea to dump his fiancée, Sheryl Crow, when she was diagnosed with cancer is on the Board of Directors of this mess, California’s latest tax money laundering scam. Let’s hope the state’s voters wise up and vote against Lance Armstrong’s misleading Proposition 29.