Letters to the Editor Jan. 26, 2012

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers January 28, 2012 07:00 am

Cutting waste and fraud, not raising taxes, is the solution

Why more taxes to balance the budget? Why is it that when California wants more of our money because it’s “broke,” it wants to raise taxes? The first thing it does is tell us cops, firefighters and teachers will have to be laid off if we don’t raise taxes.

Really? What about getting rid of all the wasteful spending in other areas instead? Like getting rid of the Coastal Commission and its dictatorial staff? Or how about stop spending taxes on highway beautification? Stopping welfare payments to recipients who spend the money at casinos? Dumping new schoolbooks in the trash instead of giving them to a county that could use them? Paying for most, if not all, of a college education for an inmate who will never see the outside of a prison?

A California Taxpayers Association investigation reviewed 127 quantifiable cases of state waste, fraud, and mismanagement based on government audits and media reports over the past 10 years. The largest example of waste cited was $3.2 billion in cost overruns for the Bay Bridge Retrofit project. That project has cost the Department of Transportation a total of $8.3 billion since the project began in April 2001. In fact, the Department of Transportation accounted for the largest total dollar figure, with over $4 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars. I could go on but if you want to see more its right there for all to see on the Internet.

Cops, firefighters and education should be the last places we cut funding, not the first. Gov. Brown wants to tax us further because our state government can’t stop spending. Give them more now and they will only cry “we are broke” again in a couple of years because they will mismanage the new funds, too. It’s time the elected officials in Sacramento stop threatening us or scaring us into paying more taxes. Start living within your means like your constituents have to.

William Clawson

Crescent City