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The Perils of Government Austerity

Home Builder with CSR

I live in California. California is on the verge of bankruptcy. So, California has cut services to reign it's budget back in. That sounds good to me. So what services is California cutting? Well I really don't know. I see more street repairs going on then I ever have. There surely is no cut in politicians. What is funny is that I was recently at the DMV. We all love to point at the DMV as an example of failed government. They, as with most other State employees are furloughed every Friday (I think) of the month.  What is funny to me is that the DMV brings in money for the State. They not only support themselves, but the money that they bring in supports the Highway Patrol and other highway/road costs.

As an independent escrow company, we are regulated by the Department of Corporations, Escrow Division. They too, are furloughed 4 days a month. It is strange, because they are completely self financed too by the dues from independent escrow companies. Furloughing them only cuts salaries for their employees. It doesn't do anything to help the General Fund, just like the DMV. The DOC Escrow Division is necessary to regulate it's member companies, just as the DMV is necessary to manage drivers and their vehicles. It makes me wonder if the politicians are purposely cutting services that are really needed and matter. The ones that will be noticed versus the so-many useless services, agencies, and employees in the state (ie...the Coastal Commission).

It just makes me wonder how serious our politicians are when they cut services with such broad strokes. I would argue that they look a bit closer at what they are cutting and analyze what works best on a case by case basis. So far, from what little I see, they are cutting the money makers in favor of the money takers. Open the DMV as much as you can and collect that revenue. Keep those DOC employees working and managing their caseloads effectively thereby increasing revenues. Cut the programs and departments that spend without much production. That just makes better sense to me. Maybe that's the problem?


Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Many "street/highway" repairs are actually funded by the federal government with the "stimulus" money which many RED STATES did NOT TAKE because the strings included employment on the state payroll and legacy costs that would fall to the state later on.

May 22, 2010 10:53 PM
Barbara Kornegay
REMAX Essential - Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes

"Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory." Ghandi

May 22, 2010 11:25 PM
Tom Priester
Paradise Sharks - Jupiter, FL
Paradise Sharks

Raising taxes is easier than cutting services. Watch for more of both!

May 23, 2010 12:07 AM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

California, and other states/counties/municipalitis are prime examples of why we should not become too dependent upon government to provide the services for us. In times of austerity, they get taken away. Just last month Clayton County, here in Georgia, terminated its public bus transportation service, leaving thousands with no way to get to work, school, doctors, etc. All because of decreasing revenues from taxes.

May 23, 2010 03:37 AM
Broker Nick
South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc. - Coconut Creek, FL
Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.  -  Thomas Jefferson

May 23, 2010 01:45 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I had noticed a long time ago that when taxes brought deficits, art projects and pork were the result.  When the budgets needed trimming, police and fire salaries were the answer...  Odd.

May 30, 2010 04:39 PM