Posted: February 21, 2018
Stop Locking Up People for Victimless Crimes
Crime is up, people are scared, we need leaders who will build more prisons, hire more police, and district attorneys who will lock 'em up and throwaway the key. Now hold on just a minute, did the editorial board not read its own paper? Turn the page and you will see the Town of Apple's contract with the sheriff went up $828,415 in one year and expected to increase 1.2 million within the next two years due to administration cost.
San Bernardino County Sheriffs earn an impressive $150,000 to $200,000 a year including benefits, Sheriff McMahon makes an eye-popping $469,000 including benefits. District Attorneys top out around $300,000, and a prison cost between 280 to 350 million to build. Throw in unfunded pension liabilities and these high cost will be driven through the roof. Just exactly how are we to pay for more of the above?
Assembly Bill 109, Propositions 47, 57 and early release are said to be the reason crime has spiked 20% in the High Desert. I'm of the opinion this is not exactly true. A lot of these inmates were sent to prison for non-violent or drug related offences where they learned to be harden criminals (they should have never been sent to the big house in the first place). Only about 20% California inmates can demonstrate a basic level of literacy, the average offender reads at the 8th grade level, and 68% or US males in prison don't have a high school diploma.
According to the LA Times we spend an astounding $75,560 per year to house an inmate. Yet, we only spend around $9,500 per child each year to educate our children. Now I am not saying we need to spend more on education, our educational system have failed these inmates and our children badly, yet consumes 50% of the states uncommitted budget.
We need to stop doubling down on failed policies and find real solutions. Vouchers would be a good start so parents can choose where to have their children educated. Decriminalize drugs, let's spend less time and money trying to solve social problems with force; and use some of the savings on intervention programs. We need strong and creative leaders who will stand up to the unions, cut regulations and create an environment where businesses can thrive and provide job opportunities.
Posted: February 6, 2018
Libertarian Solution to Fire Service in California
Victorville has asked San Bernardino County Fire to go back and review its proposal, and give them its final and best offer for fire service. I doubt it will be much different than the first offer. California cities are hard pressed by increases in both fire and police cost, which can be traced back to pension obligations, benefits and salaries unmatched in the private sector.
While 72% of fire service nationwide are handled with volunteers, California is mostly paid service with medium compensation packages ranging from $145,000 for state to $195,000 for county and city firefighters. The public employees unions have a strangle hold on Sacramento politicians, there is no relief forthcoming from the legislature in reining in these cost. Unless cities find a way to control these cost, other services such as roads and parks will have to be curtailed.
Fortunately there is a solution and the example is right in our own backyard. The little town of Calimesa and its Mayor Jeff Hewitt have taken back control of its fire service from Cal Fire and save the city's taxpayers money, too. Calimesa is now able to determine it own staffing levels and even though it pays its firefighters less and a 401k style retirement, they are still well paid and had no trouble finding qualified firefighters. In addition it is able to afford a new fire station and a new $411,000 fire truck.
Dinoasur in The California Desert
California spent millions of dollars building a state-or-art CHP truck weigh station on I-15 at state-line to inspect commercial trucks entering our state. It has been operating for over a year now and yet it still keeps the agriculture inspection station in Yermo open, inconveniencing motorist returning home and backing up traffic for miles and wasting millions of gallons of fuel a year.
Governor Brown just passed SB1 which adds 12 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and 20 cents a gallon on diesel. Not one cent is going to add any additional lanes and 30 percent is siphoned off for other transportation projects including money for his train set. If one is new to Brown and the legislature's shenanigans passing a gas tax sounds reasonable. Well not so fast. Under Brown the state budget has increased approximately 45 billion dollars in the last seven years and not one cent went to roads. Brown and the legislature have been raiding transportation funds for years. Now they are concerned about roads, give me a break.
I-15 is mostly two lane in each direction with substandard bridges and is a glaring example of our democratic leaderships neglect. It is one the most traveled roads in the nation and is the lifeline for moving freight in and out of Southern California and should have been upgraded to four lanes 20 years ago.
Countless lives are lost in accidents every year because I-15 cannot handle the traffic load. The agriculture station is a testament to our state governments waste and inefficiency and it keeps demanding more and more money, and providing fewer services. Public unions have a strangle hold on our state government so don't expect any change unless we change leadership.
For those who hope to change California and restore some sort of sanity to Sacramento, the Libertarian Party of California holds the answer. Libertarian candidates bring small government, fiscally conservative principles to the table. There 141,461 registered Libertarians in California a 23% increase over the previous year and it is growing fast. If you are tired of the direction our state is headed the Libertarian party deserves a serious look. Posted: November 28, 2017