Crashing the Piggybank

I think I have it figured out. Public employee salaries and pensions are out of control and will eventually break the taxpayer piggybank. We think that electing new politicians to run city councils, county boards of supervisors, and many other entities will finally fix all these problems. However, it just gets worse, and I know why. As soon as we elect someone, that person becomes a part of the problem as well. Heavily influenced by employee unions, their own salaries and promised retirement benefits, and co-worker peer pressures, that public employee is now working less for the “public” and more for himself. One can see this occurring when the City of Vallejo declared bankruptcy. City “officials” had the chance to modify outlandish salaries and runaway pension payouts, but they would not. Why? Because they would have been doing it to themselves. They want all they can get.

I think that to take back control of our runaway “governments,” we need to separate leadership from actual worker bees. Put financial control back in the hands of those who have to pay for it. Government has become a leading growth industry. The bigger it gets, the more influence and cost it has on the public in the future. We have been driven to the financial accident site by the previous chauffeurs. It is time to turn the wheel to miss the wreckage that will surely come from representative democracy.

Shouldn’t we, as the owners of our governments, have total say on how issues are handled? We citizens should vote on every aspect of running the governments that we want to have. We need to move faster toward a direct democracy that empowers each citizen to take an interest. Most people now see the loss of control, but do not feel they can make change happen. A citizen utilizing direct democracy would know his or her vote was “directly” managing the affairs of government, without the intrusions of backroom deals, special interest lobbyists, wasteful campaigning, and general political gaming. Politics interfere with important decisions that affect our lives and checkbooks. Money and power intimidate every corner of every public entity, because we have allowed it to happen. Politics should be evacuated from the peoples’ voting process. Representative democracy has driven us a long way down the freedom road, but we are gradually drifting out of control. Do we want to crash the piggybank?

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Bellosguardo Fundraiser Draws Big Donors and Heavy Criticism

The nonprofit foundation, set up to fulfill Huguette Clark's legacy, also faces a legal challenge.

Arts and Honors Scholarship Deadlines Approach

High school seniors can now apply to S.B. Scholarship Foundation for financial awards.

UCSB Suspension for Sexual Assault Overturned

The accused student was “denied a fair hearing.”

Cannabis Watch Santa Barbara

City retail dispute spurs a lawsuit as the county cracks down on illegal grows.

North Hall Takeover: 50 Years Later

Actor Danny Glover keynotes UCSB conference.