Daniel J. Mitchell

Every so often (about 362 days per year), I come to the conclusion that government is a racket for the benefit of special interests.

Greece  would be an example. And if we limit ourselves to the United States, California is probably the poster child for a kleptocracy masquerading as a government.

Here are some absurd details, from a Bloomberg report, about bureaucrats ripping off taxpayers.

Manglicmot is one of 42 state nurses who each made more than $1 million in those six years, mostly by tapping overtime, according to payroll data compiled by Bloomberg News. Together, those nurses collected $47.5 million. In 2008, Manglicmot was paid $331,346, including $211,257 in overtime. The extra pay that allows some nurses to triple their regular compensation underscores a broader trend in California, where government workers are paid more than in other states for similar duties and civil-service job protections hamper efforts to close budget gaps. Governor Jerry Brown said this week that revenue will fall short of expectations, triggering $1 billion in cuts to school busing, libraries and care for children, the elderly and the disabled, among other programs. “California taxpayers should be outraged,” said Lanny Ebenstein, an economics lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara and president of the California Center for Public Policy, a research institution critical of public-sector compensation. …California is home to city managers whose compensation is higher than the governor’s, prison doctors who make more than counterparts elsewhere, Los Angeles firefighters who collect twice the national mean and state workers who reaped $1.7 billion more than their regular salaries last year, from overtime and unused vacation pay to physical-fitness incentives.

I can only imagine how horrible it would feel to be a California taxpayer, particularly since the story just cited is merely the tip of the iceberg.

This video from Reason TV is a good explanation of how bloated bureaucracy has helped to cause a deteriorating situation in the Golden State.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
TOWNHALL FINANCE DAILY

Get the best of Townhall Finance Daily delivered straight to your inbox

Follow Townhall Finance!