The California legislature has become an excessive refuge for pork-barrel
programs and projects. These items have typically stemmed from fiscal indiscretions, which have ballooned into a bulk of wasteful spending. The state legislature must be held accountable for its political compromises, including unauthorized provisions and suspicious loopholes in the state budget. California taxpayers should be able to see where their money goes and determine how it is spent.
If we can reduce the excessive pork-barrel spending in our local and state governments, then we can better apply representative democracy within every community. Special interest groups must not be allowed to infiltrate the system with political entitlements.
George Washington said, "Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."
As a united California, we will transcend the "quid pro quo" system with a more honorable mode of leadership.
Examples of various (wasteful) pork projects proposed by
former Governor Gray Davis and/or the California state legislature that
contributed to California's largest budget deficit in 2003:
Turning Leaf Academy:
This program was originally designed to reform expelled children in public schools. The budget includes $3 million to continue its operation. However, the main shortfall of this program is that it has only rehabilitated 6 offenders at a cost of $15 million. Less than 30 cadets have fulfilled the program's requirements as California taxpayers are footing the bill at $500,000 per student.
Governor Davis preserves tens of thousands of vacant positions in state government. It could save taxpayers millions of dollars if these positions were eliminated.
Electric Car Program:
The state is spending $6 million for incentive grants to promote the purchase of electric vehicles. The California Air Resources Board continues to be good at wasting money yet ineffective at producing results (i.e. its goal to have 10 percent of California's cars to be electric from the early 1990's. This program exemplifies how policymakers can have noble intentions, but offer nominal improvements, as well as damaging repercussions on fiscal policy.
After a Governor's Action Request, the state spent an embarassing $95 million to contract with Oracle for software, leaving us with over $40 million in excess software. The Davis Administration contended that the inflated $95 million no-bid contract was an attempt to save $100 million in cost. All that effort to save $5 million resulted in a net loss of $35 million, not to mention some soon-to-be obsolete software. Another classic example of why government should not be in the business of negotiating such contracts.