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|League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Brian Lee Cross
Read the answers from all candidates.
1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?
Stop spending more than we take in. That isn't meant to be glib. That is always the answer to a budget problem. The difficulty has become that politicians and citizens have come to believe that government can magically solve social problems, but since resources are limited so will be the ability of any one to 'fix' these problems. The more that is demanded, the more pressure politicians feel to spend their way out of these promises, even to the extent of creating enourmous debt. Voters have gone along with it, of course, especially when it benefits them personally, but if we don't start exercising discipline over our spending, we face bankruptcy, and the collapse of the programs we have come to rely on. Better to scale back carefully until spending can be contained, or other alternatives to provide these services can be found.
2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?
The first thing we should do is end the state monopoly on education. Yes, there are private and parochial schools, but parents using these schools are paying twice for their childrens education. Government schools spend almost $10,000 per child a year, and claim never to have enough to do the job. In recent years measures have been enacted that claim to bring accountability to the system, but there can never really be accountability until there are consequences. Employees who do not perform must be fired, and schools that do not perform must be closed. This leaves room for the employees and schools who do perform to get the job done. Unions and monopoly protection has insulated the government system from the consequences of poor results, and as long as that continues real improvement cannot realistically be expected.
3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?
Resources are not infinite. The more we use the more careful we must be. The surest way to make sure that happens is to let costs dictate how the resouce is used. Right now government regulates the price of water for farm use and urban use creating imbalances in the use of this precious resource. If the cost goes up we will conserve, or find alternatives such as desalinization. It's naive to think our population can go on growing without making changes. I believe it's better to be honest about these costs and look for the best ways to meet them.
4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?
All legislation has done is complicate the system adding enourmous costs. Doctors don't like it, patients don't like it. Many medical expenses become affordable when it's just you going to a doctor. Licensing and FDA requirement have also increased costs significantly. These expenses added to the system need to be re-evaluated to see if they create a real benefit, or are just contributing to the costs that make health care unafordable for the average Californian.
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