Coastal Voices: Over-government everywhere

By Roger Gitlin April 25, 2011 06:17 pm

Do you wonder why California is broke? It’s not you and I who are running the state into the ditch. It’s the politicians and their out-of-control spending. All the major political offices, including the governor’s office, are held by the Democrats. Almost two-thirds of both the Assembly and Senate are held by the Democratic Party.

I did a little research and was astounded to learn there are over 500 California state agencies overseeing every aspect of our lives.  I painstakingly counted 571 different agencies, each with countless employees, all who earn a more than fair wage and enjoy health and pension benefits that you and I would not find in the private sector.

Last weekend, I traveled across the border to Oregon to buy some plants from a nursery I recently learned about near Brookings, about five miles north of the state line. I purchased about $250 worth of plants, paid zero sales tax in Oregon, and returned toward home.

At the border, I complied with a mandatory stop at the State of California Agricultural Inspection Station. I declared my purchase and was detained nearly a half-hour as two inspectors and one supervisor were unsure whether a rhododendron plant I was transporting across the border was legal.

I kid you not. I sat in my vehicle while three California state employees determined if they would have to confiscate my questionable purchase. I displayed the necessary paperwork for the trip back to the Golden State. After what seemed to be an eternity of time, my vehicle was allowed to proceed into California with all my plant purchases.

I illustrate this point because it is all too common that we are hassled by the intrusion of over-government, in this case, the state of California. What a colossal waste of time and resources!

This story is not unique. Waste and the heavy hand of government are omnipresent. One cannot avoid this invasion.

Those 571 state agencies are all engaged in some kind of law enforcement, extracting fees and permits. Take any area of state government/enforcement and you will discover countless agencies overlapping their services to the point of insanity. All have an agenda to separate you from some of your money through a license or permit.

Let me name you just a few... The following is a list that starts with … “California Office of…”

California Office of Administrative Hearings; California Office of Administrative Law; California Office of AIDS; California Office of Binational Border Health; California Office of Child Abuse Prevention;  California Access of Deaf Access; California Office; California Office of Emergency Services, California Office of  Environmental Health Assessment; California Office California Office of Fiscal Services;

California Office  of Fleet Administration; California Office of  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Implementation; California Office of Historic Preservation; California Office of Homeland Security; California Office of Human Resources; California Office of Legal Services; California Office of Legislation; California Office California Office of Lieutenant Governor;

California Office  of Military and Aerospace Support; California Office of Mine Reclamation; California Office of  Natural Resource Education; California Office of Privacy Protection; California Office of Public School Construction; California Office of Real Estate Appraisers; California Office of Risk and Insurance Management; California Office of  Spill Prevention and Response;

California Office of State Publishing; California Office of  Statewide Planning and Health Development; California Office of Systems Integration; California office of Inspector General; California Office of the Ombudsman; California Office of the  Patient Advocate; California Office of the President; California Office of the Secretary of Education; California Office of the State Fire Marshal; California Office for the State Public Defender; California Office of Traffic Safety;  and California Office for Vital Records.

These are just a few examples of government in our life. Plus, there are city, county and federal agencies controlling every aspect of our lives.

Is it any wonder California is going broke?

Roger Gitlin is a Crescent City resident, a retired teacher and a member of the Del Norte County Tea Party.