For Immediate Release Wednesday, May 20, 2009
To erase the deficit, the California Legislature must address its addiction to spending
PANORAMA CITY, CA — The Libertarian Party of California (LPC) applauds the defeat of ballot propositions 1A through 1E, and notes that to eliminate the perennial budget deficit, the state legislature must confront its addiction to spending.
“The Libertarian Party of California couldn’t be more pleased that voters soundly rejected the proposed tax increase and phony budget solutions offered by Props. 1A through 1E,” said Kevin Takenaga, the chair of the LPC. “These propositions, which were crafted in a backroom deal with no public input, offered phony solutions to real problems.
“The legislature has no choice now but to confront its addiction to spending. And the Libertarian Party of California has offered, and will continue to offer and support, policy suggestions that could save billions of dollars dedicated to wasteful and inefficient programs.”
Government demonstrates every day that increased spending doesn’t guarantee quality service. For example, test scores for students in government-funded schools are lower, on average, than for students who attend private schools, which spend less per capita than its public counterparts. In “The Money Myth: School Resources, Outcomes, and Equity,” author and University of California professor W. Norton Grubb cites studies that find only a weak relationship between public school funding and educational outcomes.
Moreover, adjusting state employees’ pay and benefits to average that of workers in private industry could save the state up to $40,000 per position and would go a long way towards eliminating the current budget deficit. The state budget could be further cut by reviewing each state department, division, bureau, board, and commission to determine whether the taxpayer-funded government service should be discontinued, merged with other departments, or charge user fees to cover its budget, or whether the service should be competitively bid out at less cost to taxpayers. Many such options were already offered by the California Performance Review Commission.
The legislature and governor can also find savings by rethinking its current punitive taxes on wages, enterprise, the sale of goods, and the value of buildings, and replacing them with voluntary user fees, pollution charges, and taxes on the land value generated by governmental public goods.
Spending relief could also come as a result of decriminalizing recreational drugs. Billions of dollars could be saved by eliminating enforcement of drug laws, including the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders.
“Libertarians don’t just complain, but offer real solutions,” Takenaga said. “Our sound advice is a far cry from the shell games, phony spending caps, and budget gimmicks that the Democrats and Republicans have tried for years to offer as budget reform. If they have proven anything, it’s that their ideas don’t work. It’s time for a fresh approach. Libertarians believe in freedom and limited government, but we want the government we have to work efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, that is a novel concept for the career politicians who control Sacramento, but it’s one we hope voters will embrace as a real solution for California.”
About the Libertarian Party of California
The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. The Libertarian Party of California fields candidates at the local, state, and federal level each election cycle. It also publishes the weekly Libertarian Perspective, an op-ed column authored by writers who strongly believe in freedom and individual liberty. Libertarians are socially tolerant and fiscally responsible, believe in personal freedom in both social and economic spheres, and in government small enough to protect those freedoms. For more information, visit www.ca.lp.org .
Press release from the Libertarian Party of California