Listening to some of the Democrat presidential candidates during town halls has been quite enlightening, to say the least. Beyond the doom and gloom outlook of continued rule by the “orange guy,” you would think that the world under liberal leadership would be a veritable utopia of goodness and pre-determined outcomes for everyone.

Of course, we don’t have any recent history to go by on that score.

We continually go from one unintended crisis to another, usually directly related to a previous bad decision made by the very government managing the current crisis. But this time the bureaucrats are serious, and know exactly what needs to happen to fix it....or so the line goes.

It is literal insanity, expecting different results from the same players, running the same game.

But who pays the costs?

Well, we do. Taxpayers.

Take the Flint water crisis, which reads like a warning label in government intervention. The people of Flint have been held hostage to government in all its forms, and are still in the midst of hostile negotiations. Corrupt local government doesn’t do its duty in maintaining infrastructure. State government steps in to takeover, more bad decisions are made, layering on top of the local corruption and bad decisions. Cover-ups of bad decisions and corrupt actions follow. Then the feds come into the picture, and the bad decisions are made at an exponential pace.

In the meantime, there has been a musical chairs of sorts, changing out of officials due to mismanagement or by election. Former government employees have been charged for their actions in the crisis. And what of Flint’s water pipes, five years later? Well, current reporting from local journalists is that of corruption and mismanagement of over $100 million in EPA funding by city officials who refuse to answer any kind of question about it. Flint residents pay more for water than anywhere else in the country, and many who are now administering the state and federal responses are sounding warnings about local officials not being able to steer future maintenance in a fiscally responsible way.

Go, government!

California, by no means alone in its ineptitude, has chosen Gavin Newsom as the newest captain of an ever-sinking ship. Governor Newsom has become quite the champion of the resistance against President Trump, declaring California to be ground zero in the fight. Well, things are off to a banner start on that point.

Currently under consideration in the State Assembly and Senate are two bills that zero in on legislative priorities for the Golden State. First is SB225, introduced by Senator Maria Elena Durazo, which “ensures that all qualified Californians, regardless of immigration status, may serve on state and local boards and commissions.” The legislation was sponsored by CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, based in Los Angeles. The bill is currently awaiting further reading in the State Assembly, after passing in the Senate.

Senate Bill 24 would require all university and college health centers in California to offer free medication abortive services. The bill was previously vetoed by Governor Brown, but was reintroduced after signals from Newsom that he will sign it. Brown’s opinion, that the services are widely available off campus wasn’t enough because according to Senator Connie Leyva, who introduced the bill both times, “collegiate women…should not have to bear the costs of abortion or travel long distance for the procedure.”

Now, I have a hard time imagining that any college in California has no medical services in the vicinity of campus. This is about funding, not locale, and continuing a shill game of taxpayer funds being used to pay off politicians for parroting the progressive party line.

While the Golden State tackles such high-priority matters, issues that have been ongoing for longer than I have been alive remain unresolved and a dwindling middle class tax base, aging infrastructure and roads built for half the population, water delivery challenges to both farmers and residents, a growing urban homelessness crisis and myriad health issues stemming from it.

By all means, please continue to legislate for protest and activists groups, and pay no heed to the problems that will invariably arise or worsen because the needs of tax-paying citizens are ignored.

All of this insanity is reflected in the Democrat primary… where each and every potential candidate has a prescription for more government. Free college, student loan forgiveness, Medicare for all public option, the Green New Deal. Each and every one a government bloating program that will do nothing but make lives miserable and more beholden to the tax collector.

The common denominator in all of these current crisis? Government intervention.

More government has led to everything being worse. Usually government of the liberal or progressive variety. There is no one to own the problem or solution, just a faceless department in the alphabetical albatross that constitutes our federal government. Nothing must be solved, because no one actually cares. Paychecks are issued regardless of outcome.

The answer to all of this is not more government, or better government. It is smaller government that does not try to dictate the daily lives of its citizens. It is responsibility for yourselves and your communities.

It is the ultimate folly, trying to convince Americans that the government who “fundamentally transformed” healthcare in America… causing doctor shortages, steep increases in premiums, skyrocketing drug costs and loss of access to private insurance will now step in - decimating private health insurance so everyone can enlist in a public option. It is absolutely immoral to also say this will be cheaper for Americans in the long run.

By the way, smart people did the math… doubling all corporate and personal income tax receipts still isn’t enough for the minimum $32.6 trillion in new spending over the next 10 years - and estimates are historically closer to $38.8 trillion in new spending. That's anywhere from 11-13 percent of our total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022 and upward of 13-15 percent of GDP in 2031. By way of example, military spending is about 3.5 percent of GDP and our total national debt is $22 trillion.

Democrats want us to believe people are clamoring to entrust our national healthcare structure to the same people who couldn’t roll out a website or can’t answer basic questions without a team of government attorneys and a subpoena.

Sorry, but no.

There are better solutions for Americans than a top down government boondoggle to solve all of society’s woes.

Socialism and bureaucracy are never the answer.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at or by calling (209) 862-2222.