Executive Address – March 2013

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”

There couldn’t be a truer statement –right? 

The foundation of all our liberty and freedom has become predicated on the existence of our government; on the ability of the government to show up to work, on time, on budget, and with room to spare.  Yet I doubt this statement isn’t met with immense sarcasm by most who read it.

Especially in California.  We’ve been transmogrifying for many years.

California’s government, coupled with the able-bodied assistance of the Federal government, has been undergoing multiple nose-job surgeries for decades. A finite surgical dance each annum produces dozens of unworkable laws, inoperable statutes, and often incompetent, dubious regulations.  Yes, the regulations are by far the most egregious of the botched plastic surgery performed, usually resulting in a cross between a malformed squirrel and a shrew(commonly referred to as a Screw) that the esteemed legislators attempt to pass off as the next thing to save civilization.  What we’re finding over here at the Farm Bureau is that “screws” are particularly abundant and fruitful –resulting in tens of millions of dollars for the State’s coffers, usually generated by an unprecedented amount of empty threats upon innocent state residents.

What I’m getting at is that regulations handed down by the State and its Federal counterparts appear to be moving up the hierarchy on the government’s priority regarding its “job.”  Moving faster than you can order up a quad-shot of Botox, regulatory business has been making a steady comeback as the State’s primary income source and treasury replenishment.  These daily “screws” have become so common-place in our society, that it’s the new normal to expect to break a law daily.  We’ve accepted permanent outlaw-ism as an existence and cohabitation with each other, with our elected leaders, and most of all, with our daily government.

In 2012, the California State Controller’s Office reported that the State’s treasury received almost $1 Billion from the collection of fees associated with regulatory enforcement (this did not include speeding or traffic tickets).  This figure is nearly 12 times greater than the same category in 2001.  It doesn’t take much to realize that the government has found a new cash cow – a new species of “screw” to collect the general public’s money.

Perhaps sarcasm hasn’t gotten the better of you yet –and you might suppose that the State of California will be using this new “screw” to promote your common welfare.  Perhaps.  However, before you succumb to shimmering bay-watch babes, note that the California Treasury is one of the only accounts that does not contribute to K-12 education funding.  Its’ part of the State’s hoarded reserves typically used to pay for its staff’s raises, hiring and dare we say –preservation and bureaucratic retention.  This doesn’t offer much to us in the manner of protection either.  I certainly don’t sleep better at night worrying about which regulation my members and family will be pummeled with next.

One thing does appear to be certain; the regulatory burden that is now facing this State and Country is immense –ceasing to decrease or slow.  With some fortitude and the right voices asking questions of those the government means to rule through regulation, we have to hope that all hope isn’t lost. 

Otherwise, my vote is to make for Bora Bora.

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”
–Barrack Obama, 2007

Anja K. Raudabaugh
Executive Director