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Here is what I think are some of the problems we face in California & creative solutions that will help fix our State:

This is a multi-faceted problem with many components comprising the solutions.  Here are some of the most important changes that need to be made.

 

The Economy, Health Care, Efficiency, Conservation, & Getting the Best Deal on Purchases -

The Problem - The most important issue and what is truly at the heart of this recall election is the economy and budget deficit.  This huge problem can be attributed partially to the legislators in Sacramento, partially to the cyclic nature of the economy beyond any individuals' control, and partially on the voters in California.  The leaders in Sacramento are to blame for the spending increase of over 33% in the last few years.  Just a few years ago California had a $70,000,000,000.00 annual budget.  We are now spending $99,000,000,000.00 a year (and rising almost exponentially) and I don't think we are all doing 1/3 better than a few years ago nor are there 1/3 more services.  In fact it seems services and education are being cut.  This shows that just throwing money at a problem is NOT always the solution! 

Our representatives are also responsible for the plummeting of our bond rating.  I will describe this problem in detail below.

Another part of the problem is the cyclic nature of the economy.  It is natural for the economy to fluctuate up and down over time  We went from an economy that was over-inflated to one that was somewhat under-valued.  This extreme variation was beyond the control of any 1 individual and has added to the hardship many are now facing.  However, this down cycle should have been predicted and REAL reserves should have been set aside for such times when California was in the black just a few years ago.  How many of you remember the $60 rebates we got a few years ago?  That should have been saved for such times as now since every economist would have predicted that a economic slowdown was inevitable.  The problem of not being able to REALLY save money does lie with the government since our elected leaders cannot ever REALLY save for a rainy day, they are compelled to spend (at least) every penny they collect.

Finally, part of the blame belongs to California voters who keep passing bond initiatives like they are nothing.  Bond initiatives are contributing to the budgetary problems we are facing now.  This is explained in detail below.

The Solution - The solution lies in efficiency, conservation, cost-cutting, REALLY saving, prevention, education, pro-growth fiscal policies, slowing the increasing costs of health care, and restoring our bond rating. 

We are expecting as much as a $12 billion deficit next year ($8 billion carried over from this year plus $4 billion from next year).  While this is an extraordinary amount of money it is still ONLY 12% OF OUR BUDGET!  I think we can easily save 12% WITHOUT SACRIFICING PROGRAMS NOR RAISE TAXES if we would do some very simple things. 

Part of this deficit will be decreased on its own since our economy is already making a upwards turn due to its' cyclic nature.  We are seeing sustained gains in the stock market, unemployment claims are at a six-month low, and interest rates are stabilizing at a reasonable level.  This upwards cycle in the economy will help reduce the deficit REGARDLESS of who is elected.

Through efficiency, cost-cutting, and getting the best deals on all purchases we can EASILY save 12%.  If all vehicles that were purchased by the State for State use were required to be fuel efficient we could save HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars on fuel alone without giving up any programs.  By reducing administration from top-heavy programs (with includes most programs, schools, and other governmental agencies) we can save HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars without giving up any programs.  By buying in bulk for State agencies and schools (Costco approach) for many common items we can save HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars without giving up any programs.  By letting businesses compete for purchases and get the most value out of every dollar spent.  We cannot afford to waste money by being committed to long-term contracts when making purchases from a single business for years and years without trying to get better deals from competitors.  We can save HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OR BILLIONS of dollars without giving up any programs.  THESE CHANGES ALONE CAN SAVE US CLOSE TO THE 12% WE NEED.

We need to REALLY SAVE and build reserves when the economy is going strong AND NOT SPEND EVERY PENNY COLLECTED EVERY YEAR.  It is very predictable that the economy will eventually slump.  We MUST think into the future and try to save at least 1% for a rainy day, and more in years when there are economic spikes.  I don't now if lawmakers have the ability to save and not spend every penny collected, but they MUST.

We must invest in prevention.  It is MUCH cheaper to prevent diseases and problems than it is to pay for problems after they are full-blown.  The cost of treating or preventing an illness at a doctors office is about 20 times cheaper than if the person must go to the emergency room after a disease has advanced (not to mention the amount of human suffering that can be prevented).

We must improve or educational system.  Money MUST be spent DIRECTLY IN THE CLASSROOMS.  We must cut administrative and support costs and spend that money to REDUCE CLASS SIZES.  Just throwing money at the school system is not the answer unless that money will be spent in ways THAT DIRECTLY BENEFITS STUDENTS!  We must remember that education increases a persons quality of life AND INCREASES REVENUE WITHOUT RAISING TAXES since, on average, a more educated person will have a greater income and will pay more in taxes.

We must have pro-growth fiscal policies that will attract business and good paying jobs.  Since a business that is not in California pays no taxes to California, economic incentives that generate some income is better than getting none.  If we do offer incentives they must be phased out within a few years so there will be a level playing field.  We do have among the most productive and efficient workers in the country and a great place to live with a lifestyle that is unsurpassed so there are many reasons for businesses to move here.

 

Mandated Costs, Bond Rating & Bond Initiatives-

The Problem - Right now between budgetary formulas, entitlements, initiatives and other mandatory elements, less than 8 percent of the budget is discretionary.  As health care costs rise and more bond initiatives are passed, this discretionary portion will decrease further unless we do something NOW to reverse this trend.  This will be an up-hill battle, but one we must undertake as a top priority.  When legislators approve bond initiatives for the ballot, they are shirking their responsibility and using the public to allow otherwise illegal deficit spending since the bonds are sold and repaid over decades.  Our elected leaders are also careful to choose programs that the public will be sympathetic towards since they know no one will vote against clean water, clean air, or improved education.

The Solution - We MUST get control of increasing health care costs and the bond initiative laws must be fixed.  The cost of health care is growing at an almost exponential rate.  If something is not done about these increasing expenditures we are destined to have repeat this years budgetary crisis year after year.  More details about this are discussed below.

In a Republic, it is supposed to be the job of our elected leaders to pass a budget and make budgetary decisions.  The bond initiative process, which abdicates our legislatures budgetary responsibilities to the general population, is harming California's fiscal health.  When a bond initiative is passed by the voters, bonds are then required to be sold and the obligation to repay these bonds decreases the discretionary money that is available.  As our bond rating decreases, the cost to sell these bonds increases, and the cost of each bond initiative rises far above the original predicted analysis.  As voters me must stop tying the hands of lawmakers and elect people who will take the responsibility of doing their job to fund the necessary programs we need.  The bond initiative process stems from our elected leaders not doing their elected duties.

 

Taxes & Spending -

The Problem - Our elected representatives can not help but spend EVERY penny they collect, plus some.  In the late 90's the California budget was about $70 billon, now, a few short years later it is at about $99 billion.  Even though spending has increased over 35% I don't think every Californian is 35% better off nor receiving 35% more services.  Our leaders in Sacramento MUST CURB THEIR COMPULSION TO SPENDING ADDICTION! 

The Solution - We must demand that our representatives will NOT INCREASE TAXES OR SPENDING.  We must elect people who will make a commitment that for every new dollar spent one will be saved or cut from another program.  We must vote for leaders who will REALLY save money in reserves when times are good for the predictable hard times that cyclically occur.  Our leaders MUST insist that we are getting the most value from every dollar spent.  We must elect people who will conserve resources at every possible opportunity.  If these simple steps are taken NOW we will have all of the programs we need without raising taxes and the savings we realize from these efficiencies will make our State and economy stronger and more productive.

 

Education -

The Problem - We have an educational system that is not getting the job done and many students are either not graduating, or graduating without a minimum competency in reading, writing and basic math nor the necessary skills to be prepared for work.  Our school system is top heavy in administration and support staff and cuts to schools seem to mostly occur by firing teachers and increasing class sizes.

The Solution - We must improve or educational system.  Money MUST be spent DIRECTLY IN THE CLASSROOMS.  We must cut administrative and support costs and spend that money to REDUCE CLASS SIZES.  Just throwing money at the school system is not the answer unless that money will be spent in ways THAT DIRECTLY BENEFITS STUDENTS!  We must remember that education increases a persons quality of life AND INCREASES REVENUE WITHOUT RAISING TAXES since, on average, a more educated person will have a greater income and will pay more in taxes.

Here are some other areas where we have major problems that MUST be fixed:

Pro-Growth Fiscal Policies

Budgets Based on Future Projections

Keeping Our Word

Professional Politicians, PAC's, Soft Money, & Lobbyists

Term Limits

 

If you are willing to help or if you have any other questions you can e-mail me at vote@priceforgov.com or call me at (707) 616-5382. 

Thanks,

Darin Price

Natural Law Candidate for Governor.

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