Several years ago, during the Bush Administration, there was a big brouhaha about federal funding for using aborted fetal tissue (stem cells) for medical research. Those bad, bad Republicans didn't want to allow it, didn't want "the fruit of the poisoned tree", that the crazies here in California had to show them who's who and what's what. Why, we'll just have the taxpayers here in California pay for fetal stem cell research! They got an initiative on the ballot and we all know there are enough crazies here in California to get it to pass. Cost: $6 billion. To this day I've yet to read about 1 cent in benefit from that expenditure--and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's still exist.
Another fine example is California's "bullet train", which is now planned to go from Fresno to nowhere whereas it was originally scheduled to to from the SF Bay Area to Southern California. It doesn't matter that there's only one of these trains on the entire planet that turns a profit (Southern France), darn it they're green and they're cool and we gots to have one! In 2008 the wonderfully progressive citizens of California voted for $10 billion in bonds, which would be bad enough except that the estimated cost of the system is now somewhere between $60 billion and $100 billion. No one except Governor Brown really expects this to be anything other that a pork trough, and Brown may even be faking it.
In 2012 the fruits and nuts and California decided that "greenergy" is the future, and the future is tomorrow! Yet another initiative allowed to raise corporate income tax rates in order to fund clean energy initiatives. We're taxing profits of those evil corporations, so it's really like free money, right? Woo hoo, let's spend those billions! Well, how's that working out, you might ask? About as well as the projects I listed above--and this according to the AP, a liberal-friendly news source if ever there was one:
The AP reported that three years after voters passed Proposition 39, money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met.I wonder if California isn't doomed. As the Instapundit always says, "Something that can't go on forever, won't." And we really can't afford stupidity like this, throwing good money after bad, but we're going to try.
Voters in 2012 approved the Clean Energy Jobs Act by a large margin, closing a tax loophole for multistate corporations. The Legislature decided to send half the money to fund clean energy projects in schools, promising to generate more than 11,000 jobs each year.
Instead, only 1,700 jobs have been created in three years, raising concerns about whether the money is accomplishing what voters were promised.