Looking the Other Way While Being Looted
by Deacon Blues
As certain as the sun comes up every morning, the GOP gubernatorial candidate in California will rant against waste, fraud, and abuse in state government and claim that eliminating it will largely deal with the state's structural budget deficit. And whatever deficit is left can be dealt with by bashing and eliminating public employee unions. That's the campaign message by Wall Street Meg Whitman, who has already put forward a misinformed policy prescription on funding higher education through a redirection of CalWORKS monies that cannot be done.
The phrase "waste, fraud, and abuse" is the spell that GOP candidates sprinkle over their sheeple every election. It dates back to Reagan's lies about welfare queens in the 1980's, and allows GOP candidates to get a two-fer by ranting against government programs and employees at the same time, with a dose of racism thrown in for good measure. The GOP can lump government workers and minorities into the same bag as fraudsters with such a message, which plays to their base effortlessly. Schwarzenegger did in when he ran against Davis in 2003, claiming billions in waste that he has yet to prove in seven years. Now Whitman has come along and repeated the message, and actually wants to set up a new state bureaucracy to root it out.
Whitman is basing her assertions about rampant fraud in government programs upon the work done by the business-funded California Taxpayers Association, which itself could only document $600 million in waste/fraud/abuse (WFA) at all levels of California government in 2009. Whitman, who is being bankrolled by Wall Street in this election, is telling California voters that WFA and public employee unions are largely responsible for the state's fiscal irresponsibility, but neither she, Carly Fiorina, or the CTA ever mention the billions in unpaid state taxes owed by the state's businesses and unaccountable corporate subsidies, a figure that dwarfs the potential WFA by at least a factor of ten.
But I'll make Meg a deal: she can have her grand jury to go after WFA and find the $600 million and claim credit for it, as soon as she commits herself as governor to chasing down and getting the billions of unpaid business taxes that her buddies owe the state each and every year.
And isn't it laughable to be lectured on fiscal responsibility by anyone with close ties to Wall Street?