Meg Whitman has an ad out with some specifics about how she’s going to cut 40,000 jobs without harming state services. And she’s really serious about this. Only problem is that her plan is really nothing new at all, her “facts” are just wrong, and as an added bonus she goes after the most needy among us while ignoring those who skirt taxes and the billions of unnecessary tax loopholes and credits. Stay classy Meg!
Take a listen to the ad here, the biggest part of this plan is for a civil grand jury to go through and find the “waste, fraud, and abuse.” That would be a great idea for some body to go through and compile a list of everything that should be combined, reduced, and other savings opportunities. So great in fact that it has been done before. And not like done before thirty years ago, but done before as in 2005. Arnold Schwarzenegger had this same plank, but he dubbed it the California Performance Review.
These sorts of reviews aren’t really all that cheap, so what Meg is asking the state to do is to write another report, on the taxpayers dime, when the CPR is still sitting there. Sounds like some waste to me.
Meanwhile, as she continues on the “billions of waste, fraud, and abuse” right-wing canard, she’s really talking to the right-wing base, in the whole wink-wink way. When she says there are billions of waste in IHSS, Medi-Cal, and welfare, what she is talking about to the right-wingers is the whole concept of those programs. To them, IHSS is a big waste. That is until one of their family members gets sick and they need to rely on state assistance. If you look at the actual reports, IHSS fraud exists sure, but not to such a great extent that it is really any more prevalent than other workplaces.
California Watch investigates another flaw in the ad, her statement of fact that the LAO has called 150 employees at the Department of Education superfluous. Of course, they have now changed that to 70 people, months before the ad went on the air, and even that number is heavily disputed by SPI Jack O’Connell, who has said that cuts on that scale would stop the Dept. of Education from carrying out the tasks assigned to it under law.
The whole ad is feeding into the theory of government is not supposed to do anything, shutting down our infrastructure, and stopping the cycle of investment that worked so well for us as we made California into the truly Golden State. Meg Whitman’s future is a grim future, where there is no such thing as a fair share, where everybody is left to fend for themselves, and the governor’s gig is just a stop on the way to the top for her and her right-wing policies.