The numbers that government spending produce still amaze me, putting me in mind of a younger friend’s observation that all thatÂ old ladies do is “sit around and bitch about how expensive things are nowadays.”Â Well, yeah!
- Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, 8 March 2005, Reiner’s First 5 Commission to Be Audited
Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) and Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Glendale) requested the audit. Both lawmakers cited press reports that the First 5 California Children and Families Commission spent $23 million in tax money on an ad blitz touting the benefits of preschool at the same time Reiner was launching a preschool ballot initiative.
…Proposition 10 raised cigarette taxes by 50 cents per pack, generating about $600 million a year â€” more than $4 billion since 1999. The money is supposed to be spent on early childhood healthcare and development.
The initiative also earmarks 6% for public relations and advertising to promote programs and concepts related to children. That will amount to more than $250 million by June 30, when the current fiscal year ends.
The Rogers Group of Los Angeles has received $62 million in contracts for public relations since 1999. Since 2001, GMMB, a Santa Monica-based subsidiary of Fleishman Hillard, has received contracts worth $169.5 million for ads. Both firms worked on the Yes on Proposition 10 campaign.
The relativeÂ worth ofÂ goods, such as a can of peas, Â apparently maintain a long-termÂ steady relationship to concrete items of value, such as real estate or a cowÂ (and no, I can’t get a decent Google hit for a reference).Â Because of this, incomes that rise over time causeÂ prices to do the same (inflation),Â and consequently a can of peas that cost 25Â¢ X-number of years ago, when Worker Doe brought home $7.00 an hour, now costs 75Â¢Â with Worker Doe bringing home $21.00 an hour.Â Yes, this is a rough example, and there are times when one amount surges ahead of, or falls behind, the other, and (if I’m remembering Econ 101 correctly) “earning power” is yet another category.Â Â Economists in the audience are welcome to correct whatever I’ve mis-stated.
Still, the numbers in theÂ Los AngelesÂ TimesÂ article leave me a bit breathless.Â Put it down to old-lady-itis, and remembering squeezing into the budget a 40Â¢ half-gallon of milk.