Governor Needs a New Horse – Not a New Saddle for a Dead Horse

Michael D. Antonovich
Los Angeles County Supervisor

Governor Brown, who has proposed a 7% increase in his FY 2012-13 budget, is once again asking voters for more tax increases when the state’s economy remains stalled by already high taxes and slow growth.

Threatening voters with draconian cuts in public safety and education if they don’t approve his tax increases is a typical scare tactic used by bully politicians who have failed to initiate reforms and improve government efficiency.

The Governor fails to recognize that when you have a dead horse, you need a new horse — not a new saddle.  The Governor needs to tackle civil service reform and initiate structural reforms, not continue business as usual.  Abuses in the antiquated civil service system are currently paying two prison doctors, Dr. Jeffery Rohfling and Dr. Radu Mischuu, who were responsible for inmate deaths, over half a million dollars a year just to sort mail and review files in storage.  This is an outrage.

A sample of the vital structural reforms needed include:

  • Consolidating Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization to save $100 million annually;
  • Consolidating Medi-Cal, Calworks and Food Stamps to save $4 billion, including $1.5 billion in state general funds over five years;
  • Biennial renewal of driver’s licenses to save $1.2 million;
  • Cut the bloated California State University system bureaucracy which now has more administrators than full-time faculty.  Between 1975 and 2008, the number of faculty members rose by 3% to 12,019 while the number of administrators rose 221% to 12,183;
  • Implement a 2-year budget;
  • Adopt a part-time legislature; and
  • Repeal term limits.

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