Nomiki Konst: The United States of America has a dirty little secret. We’re addicted to a drug. A drug dealt everyday in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, and at the exclusive Georgetown soirees. That drug is corruption, pure and simple. And the dealers are lobbyists. The year 2009 was record breaking for the lobbying industry, mostly due to the health care debate, with total spending on all issues at more than $3.47 billion.
Today, as I left the market, a paid signature gatherer asked me to endorse cutting state spending. I asked her if she knew that, after adjusting for inflation and population, California’s state spending has grown insignificantly in the past two decades. The state’s deficits exist because we reduced taxes, starting with proposition 13.
Responding to a budget preparation request I had made recently, Santa Monica’s Director of Finance has calculated that universal single-payer healthcare would save the City six million dollars a year in employee health-benefit costs. Disclosure: I am a long-time advocate of universal single-payer healthcare, who led the City Council to endorse both the California and [...]