Notes from the California Taxpayer Trust Tour–Monday edition

Reason has teamed up with Americans For Prosperity and the Pacific Research Institute and hit the road today on the California Taxpayer Trust Tour. We are hitting a number of locations around the state this week to highlight some of the absurdities of state spending–from the beach house in Malibu to thousands of missing state vehicles. At our Sacramento kick-off this afternoon, we highlighted the scandal over Rob Reiner and the First Five organization using tax money to promote universal preschool while Reiner was leading an effort to put a state funded universal preschool program on the budget. Our point on the tour is essentially to point out to folks that we all know the state is not managing the tax money we already send them well. Reason’s Citizen’s Budget identified $30-40 billion in savings from the state budget, and the California Performance Review by state employees identified over $30 billion savings. But the state’s leaders are not interested in how to do better with current funds. They are interested in getting more of our money. So in November we face initiatives for 5 bonds and 4 new taxes. In the best of circumstances Californians should be skeptical and more debt and newer taxes. Given the wasteful “lowlights” we are reminding people of on the Taxpayer Trust Tour, the potential savings that are on the table, we should be demanding that state leaders do their job and make much better use of the taxes we already pay.