GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS NEVER DIE | Libertarian Party of San Francisco


"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program," said Ronald Reagan.  Once established, regardless of the changing world around it and regardless of how many times it changes its official name, a government program is like The Blob – you can’t kill it. 

As elsewhere, here in San Francisco hundreds of programs obliviously forge ahead, clash with one another, and contribute to the City’s eye-popping $9.6 billion budget. We offer some observations which you might find of interest:

o  Back in January 2016, Major Ed Lee ordered all City departments to cut spending by 1.5% because a $100 million budget deficit was looming.  In May Mayor Lee announced that the budget grew by $700 million to $9.6 billion with no cuts, thanks to growing property values (and property taxes) and a sales tax increase of .75% in the November 2016 ballot – yes, the budget is balanced with revenues that may or may not materialize.

o  “Venture capitalists tightening their purse strings, startups shedding jobs and the continuing dearth of IPOs could be taking their toll on the Bay Area's housing market.  By almost any measure, the Bay Area's roaring economy is cooling. The region's housing market is fueled by wealth creation and new jobs that have been hallmarks of the regional economy.”  So says The San Francisco Business Times.  No, we do not expect any programs to go away or any cuts to the City's mega budget that relies on growing property values. Luxury Housing Market Cools as Economy Slows.

o  Remember back in 2012 when the LPSF warned voters that San Francisco City College needed extreme changes in its governing system if it hoped to survive?  Instead, protests and law suits discouraged meaningful reform, enrollment dropped by 1/3, and the college is back on the brink living mainly off a CA state “stabilization fund.”  They are planning to place an extension of the 2012 parcel tax on the November 2016 ballot – four years ahead of when the tax was supposed to expire. 

o  A bit of conspiracy never hurts.  Also we need to emphasize that The Blob is everywhere, not just in San Francisco.  In Agenda 21: The Inconvenient Truth About Mixed-Use Development, the author says, “Pick just about any Bay Area city and you will easily identify any number of RRMU projects that have been proposed, entitled and/or developed over the past ten years.  And with rare exception, these projects suffer the same ills…relatively high vacancy rates, substantially below market rents, poor credit tenancies and a high turnover rate of the brokerage firms that try, with little success, to lease what is un-leasable.”  RRMUs are “residential over retail mixed-use development,” one of the requirements of central planning programs such as our own Plan Bay Area.  We bet they won’t go away no matter what either.