With all the arrogance of the French king Louis XIV, an increasingly power mad California Legislature and its bureaucracy has that monarch’s attitude: “L’etat c’est moi.” (“I am the state.”) Several examples reveal the existence of an overbearing, autocratic California state government.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development wants local communities in Contra Costa County (and elsewhere) to authorize the construction of housing for low-income people. In Orinda, for example, California wants the construction of 227 housing units — between 2015 and 2023 — for low-income people.
The efficient way to handle shelter for low-income individuals is to give them cash grants, allowing these people to live where they want. What will happen if no one wants to live in Orinda’s 227 housing units?
Many local communities, especially Orinda, have terrible roads. Money from California’s gasoline tax is supposed to be used to repair these roads. However, Orinda Watch, a local environmental group, claims that regional governmental bureaucracies like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are receiving so much gasoline-tax money that local communities like Orinda are being deprived of road-repair funds.
Critics of MTC say that the agency wants to use gasoline-tax money to build high-rise, high-density apartments (often called stack-and pack housing) near public transit hubs like BART stations.
Power mad California legislature
On May 10, 2010, MTC issued a report, stating that reductions in environmental pollution can be reduced by having individuals dispose of their cars and by moving into high-density apartments. The report states that most pollution reductions ” . . . that can be realized will result from how successful the region [the Bay Area] can be in moving toward more dense/mixed use transit oriented development . . . ”
The officers and directors of MTC are not elected directly by voters. The chairperson of MTC is Amy Worth, who is also a member of the Orinda City Council. Ms. Worth is paid by MTC; she receives no compensation from Orinda. Does Ms. Worth have a conflict of interest?
In other areas, the state is interfering with individual freedoms. A few years ago, the State Legislature banned 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. If a person wants such a bulb, he will have to go out of state to acquire this kind of illumination.
On April 15, 2014, federal and states taxes for 2013 are due. Taxpayers ought to ask themselves if they are getting, from their tax payments, sufficient personal liberty for their money. Then they must compare what they are getting against a power mad California legislature that threatens the liberty of its citizens and the financial solvency of the state.