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Californians are paying off $5 billion in cost overruns on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, which came in, count ‘em, ten years late, with its safety still in doubt. Governor Jerry Brown wants to spend $68 billion on a “bullet train” that would be slower and more expensive than air travel. He also wants to spend $25 billion on a couple of tunnels. More than $13 billion in mental health money seems to have been spent in dubious ways. Now new Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, wants to hit up drivers with $1.8 billion in new fees to fix the state’s roads, the state’s already onerous tax regime apparently not up to the task. But as Breitbart notes, there’s always money to put politicians in spanking new wheels.
California just spent $540,000, more than half a billion dollars, on new Ford Fusion hybrids for the state senate. Senate boss Kevin De Leon, a person of scant distinction who spent $50,000 on an “inauguration” fit for a king, got a $40,117 Chevy Suburban last year. The free spending Atkins has a 2012 Chevy Suburban for her San Diego district and a $42,694 Buick Lacrosse for Sacramento, all courtesy of the taxpayers she wants to shake down for yet another $1.8 billion. And as we noted, Atkins paved the way for California’s Coastal Commission, an unelected body of regulatory zealots with disdain for property rights, to bypass the courts and impose fines directly.
State mouthpieces say the new Ford Fusions are part of green energy policy and so forth. Actually, the $540,000 is all waste. Elected officials, who are not special people, should pay for their own cars with their very substantial salaries. No minimum wage for Golden State’s pampered ruling class, and lots of lavish benefits, including fancy cars. Taxpayers can’t be blamed for believing that California government is a rotted out, money-guzzling wreck, and probably beyond repair.