How Government Wastes Money and Pushes Aside Free Markets

Editorialorder times;”>By Stephen Frank

and times;”>Chattanooga, viagra 100mg Tennessee is thought of as a conservative, fiscally responsible community. No one would believe it is a city that in 2008 decided to run a business—in competition with other, successful businesses. Yet that is what the city is doing. According to CNN News, May 20,2014, the city started the process of building and owning a 1-gigabyte Internet broadband system. Even though the city was served by private firms, hiring workers, paying taxes, the city—government—decided it knew better than a business what the community needed.

These systems are very expensive. How could they afford in a major recession to pay for this without raising taxes? No problem, President Obama came to the rescue and gave the city $111 million of your taxes—the tax money from the people of the San Gabriel Valley, so that the city of Chattanooga could try to close down private business. In the CNN article it noted, “But aided by an $111 million stimulus grant from the Department of Energy, the service was up and running by September 2009. The EPB currently has around 5,000 business customers along with 57,540 households,”. No mention if it makes money or needs a subsidy to continue operation.

Years ago I got into trouble with a Member of Congress for outing him for voting for a bill that spent tax dollars to “Study why San Francisco prostitutes use drugs”. Seriously, does this mean the Pasadena prostitutes don’t use drugs? Think about it—is anybody surprised that a prostitute uses drugs? In the same bill was another study that we as taxpayers paid for, “A study of the sex lives of panda bears in China”. This was not a porno, it was a serious study about how, why and when panda’s in China have sex.

Here in California we just gave $1.5 billion of tax money to the billionaires that produce movies and run studios’s—to keep jobs in California. Yet, those “jobs” are still going out of State. Yes, headquarters and management is paid from these funds, thanks to creative accounting a movie can be shot in Canada, with California taxpayers paying for a portion of the movie. Since when is it the role of government to become investors in a movie? Indeed, we are not investors, we are suckers. We put the money in, but do not get the money back. It is a one way street—for Hollywood billionaires.

In San Diego and Santa Clara, hundreds of millions of tax dollars have been used to build stadiums for billionaire owners of play toys, football teams. The city of Sacramento just spent tens of millions of dollars to build an area for the billionaire owned corporation for their play toy, a basketball team.

These are direct expenditure of your tax dollars. But, in the strictest sense it is not the only tax government misspends or creates. Under Prop. 13, it takes a 2/3 vote of the legislature to raise taxes or go to the ballot to allow voters to approve taxing themselves.

Yet, the grocery stores just got the legislature to provide them with an expected $700 million profit for a new profit center—no not higher prices for eggs, milk or beef. No, not by mandating more efficient management, or allowing workers to be hired without paying bribes to unions. Nope, the grocery stores will make an extra $700 million a year when plastic bags are outlawed and the stores are allowed to charge you a dime for each paper bag that use or the profit from the sale of those dirty reusable bags—these bags have bacteria. Bacteria? When was the last time you cleaned the bags after it held chicken, beef and vegetables?

The plastic bag ban is just one way government uses to get into your wallet. It does not have to be a direct tax. For instance, thanks to the government policy of restricting available water to fish and not stopping water flowing into the oceans, your food bill is up. Have you seen the cost of milk, eggs and beef lately? Eggs are up 35% in one month due to the ability of special interests to pass a ballot measure to create “condo’s” for chicken. This has exploded the cost of eggs.

At some point the people of California, and the nation, need to look for ways to cut spending. We need to return government to its legitimate role, defending us from enemies foreign and domestic—and that does not include using your tax dollars to have a city challenge the free market production of broadband for the Internet. When will folks start voting down, routinely, all tax increases and bond measures, demanding government be legitimate—not just another special interest with a hand in your purse or pocket?

This is a new year, make this your New Years’ resolution—honesty and legitimacy in government.


Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank: Is the the publisher and editor of the California Political News and Views.  Mr. Frank speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows and is a full time political consultant.

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