Is California's budget surplus just another government myth?

Wouldn't it be great if our politicians took some sort of oath which is the equivalent to that of physicians?  “Primum non nocere.”  That, in classic Latin, translates as:  to help, or at least do no harm.  The time has come for that vast, and growing, segment of our society that is bureaucratic to realize their job is not some kind of gigantic social experiment!  Treat the business of government as if you have to answer to shareholders.  In a perfect world the political class would have to answer to critical voters—today, not so much.

If you happen to be one of those rare people who has ever doubted that there is a double standard for doing business in this country—one for us and one for the government—ask any of the farmers here in the Central Valley who have had their land taken by the High Speed Rail project.  Better yet, try buying a parcel of land and then not paying for it.  

Eminent domain is bad enough where the government is allowed to seize one's land, basically on their terms, but now, months later, farmers are getting the run-around on payment for land that has been essentially ruined for agriculture.

A simple so-called  “order of possession” by a Superior Court allows the State to take ownership of the land even if negotiations with the land owner are continuing.  There is no way for a land owner in California to hold a winning hand when the deck is so stacked against them.

Being “put down” is a euphemism we use when an animal reaches a point where life is no longer viable and the suffering they endure makes the termination of their life preferable to their pain.  It just seems to me that the time has come for the entire High Speed Rail project to be put down!  In their 

case, throwing good money after bad makes no sense at all  so drop your lawsuit against the Federal government for more taxpayer money and, for Heaven's sake, pay the farmers who have been harmed by your stupid plan!  

Everyone realizes that the mess is no longer viable—never was—and should be terminated.  Make peace with it and realize that Jerry Brown's legacy will be the mess he created, benefitting no one.  Many people, including numerous consultants, have been enriched by this boondoggle.  The time is here to cut our loses and move on.

Having mentioned the fact that California has filed suit in an effort to gain additional taxpayer money from the Trump administration, it might be illuminating to point out that Gavin Newson and Xavier Becerra have already filed four dozen lawsuits, mostly over policy differences.  With all the problems currently being experienced in California it seems The Attorney General could make better use of his time and budget!

Newsom and Becerra are fighting Trump over $3.5 billion which they want to blow on something that, for all intents and purposes, is seen as being in its death throes.  These are the kind of guys who make it embarrassing to tell out-of-state friends that you are from California—after all, we elected them!

It seems that every time we assume that these people elected by the people of California to oversee the well-being of everyone manage to one-up themselves on stupidity.  To wit:  this past week the pandering group of politicians who “represent” us in Sacramento passed a health care bill which will provide free health care for illegals.  The additional cost to Medicaid for that hare-brained scheme will, in most estimates, run to $3 billion annually.

We're being told, by the liberal pundits and politicians, not to worry because California has plenty of money!  Really?  Last time we checked, the state had a $1.3 trillion debt and a $258 billion unfunded state employee pension fund.  Adding to that is the often overlooked fact that tens of thousands of taxpayers are fleeing the state because the quality of life here in the golden state is becoming untenable.  Housing is scarce and costs are prohibitive.  Energy costs are the highest in the nation.  Poverty increases daily and homelessness is rampant.  Given all that and all our political class can think of to provide more “entitlements” for illegals who can offer the most basic skills at the lowest wages imaginable.  Their drag on our society far outweighs their contribution.  I know that may sound cold but it's just a hard dose of reality, something our politicians fail to deal with every day of their cushy government employment.  I continue to hear the old adage about us getting the government we deserve but, honestly, we need some relief!

Ronald Reagan probably said it better than anyone I've heard when he uttered

“If you want less of something, tax it.  If you want more of something reward it.”  It just seems to me that we continue to reward wrong-doing.

But, as always, that's only one man's opinion.   


In addition to the Sanger Herald, Publisher Fred Hall oversees two other Mid Valley Publishing newspapers - Reedley Exponent, and Dinuba Sentinel. He can be contacted by phone at (559) 638-2244 or by email at

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