[guest post by JVW]
It turns out that this report dates back to February, but the always invaluable CalMatters blog neatly illustrates the reason that I am so antagonistic towards progressive government, especially here in the Golden State:
The California Volunteers College Corps program, backed by $159 million in mostly state money, promises to award up to $10,000 to 6,668 low-income students who volunteer in K-12 education, on climate action or to reduce food insecurity.
That only works out to $66.7 million for students, though. So where is the other $92 million going?
Mostly it’s going to hiring and administrative costs despite no guarantee the program will continue past 2024. Some experts think that money split makes sense because students could benefit from training and there’s a chance the program would get additional funding in the future. Other experts think the money should go directly to students, so fewer of them will have to work on top of their other responsibilities.
Try to find me an instance where Democrats propose a new government-sponsored initiative designed to help the working poor, or minorities, or homeless, or the middle class, or children, or any other favored constituency which doesn’t include creating hundreds if not thousands of make-work jobs for government bureaucrats, the most favored Democrat constituency of them all. Rather than reallocating funding and reassigning paper-pushers from existing programs which haven’t proven to work as intended, California Democrats (and national Democrats for that matter) invariably jack up the overall funding alongside of the headcount as they chase new dragons to slay.
The CalMatters piece goes on to quote two progressive Democrats, one a professor at UC Berkeley who thinks that the high overhead for this program serves an important purpose and is thus appropriate and the other a former Obama Administration official who believes that it would have been better to give a much larger chunk of the fully appropriated sum directly to the students. The reporter then turns to the California Community College Chancellor who — surprise! surprise! — thinks the high administrative costs are totally justified and a USC professor who has some concerns but overall is supportive of the plan. This being California, the reporter couldn’t rouse himself to get the opinion of any Republicans or small-government types, even though CalMatters is generally pretty balanced in the presentation of this sort of material.
Anyway, more intellectual ammunition for my argument that governments exist to waste money by first and foremost feather-nesting their own domains. Living here is to know what it feels like to forever be the mark.