As a rule, I don’t have much faith in government officials. Perhaps it is the combination of limited accountability and massive amounts of my tax money. Perhaps it is cases like this one from that most irresponsible of state governments, California.
The state has been selling special license plates with the pledge that the additional cost paid by motorists would go to funding scholarships for the children of 9/11 victims. A worthy cause indeed. Unfortunately, as the AP reports:
$3 million was raided by Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to plug the state’s budget deficit. Millions more have been spent on budget items with little relation to direct threats of terrorism, including livestock diseases and workplace safety.
Moreover, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been advertising the plates as helping the children of Sept. 11 victims, even though the state stopped funding the scholarship program seven years ago. The specialty plate fund continues to take in $1.5 million a year.
Californians who lost loved ones in the attacks take the raid on the license plate fund as an affront to the memory of those who died. “I can’t believe that they would do that,” said Candyce Hoglan, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area and bought a plate to commemorate her nephew, Mark Bingham. “We’re paying extra for the plate; we’re making a point, and it means a lot to us.”
Sad. But, I’d suggest that people who want to help others not give their money to broken state governments (California being among the worst). I’d also suggest never voting to give the government more of your hard-earned money.