Why California is Broke!

Russ Steele

I took the title of this post from Light on Nevada County, which has a long, long list of California Pork Barrel Agencies that employ about as many people as the entire State of Alaska which has a current population of 722,190. 

Check out “The List”HERE.  All of these people get salaries, medical coverage and pensions at taxpayer expense, yet the only place the our political leaders want to cut is . . . Education, Police and Fire. 


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

20 Responses to Why California is Broke!

  1. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    I’ve said before just open the phone book and look at the list of agency’s and try and figure out what they do

  2. stevefrisch says:

    I have an idea, lets cut military pensions!

    • Did you serve in the military?

    • Steve Frisch says:

      No, that’s why I say CUT them! It will affect someone else who was made a promise, not me! See, that’s how we roll in the good old USA Todd. By the way, did you serve in the military Todd?

      • Steve Frisch says:

        Russ, why do you have me on moderation for this comment? I was making a point about everyone being willing to cut someone else’s benefits but believing theirs were earned and due. I was also esponding to Todd’s question about whether I served in the military.

      • When the City of Bell and its accounting was finally exposed, we all got to see what a “secret” some people in elected office can get away with. When there is collusion between the CEO and the Council, or the unions that place their folks on the Council for labor negotiations, or eco groups that receive grants of taxpayers money while campaigning for people and propositions that will benefit them, then yes, we want to cut otheir money. There are a few good people left in public positions that have cut their salaries. The Mayor of Scranton I think cut his pay to the minimum wage. Arnie took no salary (even some Nevada City officials take less) and so it goes. Those unemployed Americans, millions and millions, who see eco salaries of 100K per year and public employees who retire at 90% of their highest wage and lifetime medical benefits jinn up this distrust and it is now coming home to roost. I listened to the Vice Mayor of Stockton this morning and all that George, Russ, Mikey and GregG have said was the problem was confirmed by the Vice Mayor. So, when someone in a position of trust of the taxpayers money flips the rest of us the bird, maybe we don’t like it.

    • Martin Light says:

      Steve, please research your material before commenting.

      • Steve Frisch says:

        Martin, if you researched your material you would find that many of the boards and commissions you listed as active and where “All of these people get salaries, medical coverage and pensions at taxpayers expense…..”, are either defunct, or do not receive the benefits you claim. Some never received salaries and benefits, some wore out their legislative mandate, some were eliminated over the past several years, some have been merged or subsumed by other departments. Another 22 of these boards and commissions were proposed for elimination by the Governor in this years budget.

        Russ, why do you have me on moderation?

      • Martin Light says:


        Your comment is too global and lacks specifics. Go through the list I posted and name names of those that are “either defunct; do not receive salaries/benefits; those which wore out their legislative mandate; those eliminated over the past several years; those that have been merged/subsumed by other departments; those to be eliminated by Moonbeam this fiscal year; etc, etc., etc.

        Put some effort into it for a change. Otherwise your views are meaningless.

      • Martin, I think there are a number of the citations that are actually incredibly valuable, starting with the very first one… “California Academic Performance Index (API)”. Valuable because they generate metrics that actually allow the performance of Elementary through High Schools to be compared, apples to apples.

        So Lyman Gilmore School in Grass Valley, with a 2010 Base API of 763 looks average and OK, but when compared to schools with similar demographics, 800 is the average and Gilmore is somewhere in the 2nd decile in actual performance.

        No, this is not Lake Woebegone and all our children are not above average, especially the ones who are owned by below average schools because of where they live.

      • Steve Frisch says:

        Martin, since you are the one re-posting a list done about 6 years ago, and representing it as accurate, responsibility for accuracy in posting lies with you and Russ, who reposted without checking!

        You could start here, with the list of boards and commissions eliminated as a result of passage of this years budget:


      • Martin Light says:

        Steve, thanks for the May budget proposal but we know how you progressive folks “work”….. put it out there and then pull it back. Once Moonbeam signs something of significance making all these nonsense feelgood welfare state commission/agencies vaporize then I’ll believe it.

        So, back to square one as I said…. do some real work and prove what you said in detail.

      • Steve Frisch says:

        Hey buddy, just for the record, I support eliminating many boards and commissions, and am on record in the legislative record (and on the blogs) and through other public documents, supporting streamlining. But if you are going to post a list, you are responsible for it. YOU go do some darn homework…this list has been circulating for years….you are just cutting and pasting. By the way, are you on record with our legislators supporting streamlining and elimination of boards and commissions?

      • Martin Light says:

        Nope, buddy, my ego isn’t in need of being stroked by going on “record” with the rest of the progressives under The Dome in Sac. Must be a rush although seeing your name in the “record”.

        So, you tossed out the bait with generalities…. put the red pencil to the original list of your commissions/agencies and whittle down it down to that based on fact.

        Do some work, man. Your Moonbeam isn’t gonna go against your fat commissions and agencies.

        LOL…. buddy…. I find it you progressive colonial government types such hypocrites.

      • Michael Anderson says:

        Martin, you and Steve are more closely aligned than you think. Seize the day!

        Oh well, maybe some other century…

      • Michael Anderson says:

        Greg wrote: “No, this is not Lake Woebegone and all our children are not above average, especially the ones who are owned by below average schools because of where they live.”

        Actually, it is Lake Woebegone if you get in the right schools. Union Hill and GVSD are on top right now, but everyone is drafting closely behind. This is a good time for Nevada County schools, as opposed to when you son went through.

      • Steve Frisch says:

        Yeah, just as I thought, just another aged sage of suburbia pontificating in his pajamas. I get no “charge” of going on the record, I just know that that is where change occurs, rather than cutting and pasting old crap from the internet.

      • Martin Light says:

        I think we now know why you’re moderated.

        Suburbia? Now, that’s funny coming from a fella who lives in a city. Clueless. LOL.

  3. The Federal Government pays military pensions, not the state of California. I fully expect the pensions will be cut, our medical payments are tripling.

  4. No Mike (07/14/2012 at 10:58 pm), the GVSD continues to lag, and even the cherrypicked GV Charter at Bell Hill is below average (4th decile) in that socioeconomic status weighed Similar Schools index. Lyman Gilmore is below that.

    Union Hill used to be great, still OK at also at the 4th decile (meaning 30-39th percentiles) but that means they’re still below average in handling kids in an above average socioeconomic status.

    Here’s the list for the county:

    Martin, that link is courtesy of the Academic Performance Index folks our tax dollars pay for, the first agency on that list. Most of the local schools want you to think its meaningless. The underperforming ones, that is.

    You are living in Lake Woebegone if you think the current GVSD has changed. They aren’t as bad as they once were, but the reformed state curruculum content standards is the big reason why. Good districts are still leaving them in the dust, though they don’t have half their kids in the bottom quartile like they did two years after we removed our son from their clutches.

    Clear Creek, one of the Nevada City schools, the Pleasant Ridge elementary schools are doing a nice imitation of Lake Woebegone, but not the rest.

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