Outrage! The New Big Money Bonanza: Bonds

Outrage! The New Big Money Bonanza: Bonds

Craig Huey Economics, Free Markets and Socialism, Government, Congress, and Politics 4 Comments

The bond epidemic is dangerous:

It hurts your family.

It takes your wealth.

It steals your freedom.

Here are 7 things you need to know about bonds:

  1. They are the most wasteful form of financing.

For every dollar earned from the bond, taxpayers will have to pay $2 because of the high interest charged on the bond.

A record 226 local and statewide bonds passed in Election 2016, the biggest waste of money in years.

  1. Who profits from these bond measures?

Many special interests make big money with bonds

  1. Construction companies—they can’t wait to get another lucrative contract
  2. Wall Street investors—they profit from the bonds because of the $2 to $1 payback costs
  3. Labor unions—they get more money and jobs for their members
  4. Government bureaucrats. They make big money keeping the money flowing into government coffers.
  1. Professional Money Machine

Each is backed by a professional company that specializes in advertising and passing bonds. They make big money—at taxpayers’ expense.

Beware of Bonds (Credit: Huffington Post)

  1. False Titles

Ballot measures often rely on deceptive or outright false advertising. They even impose a sense of guilt on those who don’t want to support the bond.

And the school districts which promote these bonds rely on paid consultants mentioned above—using your tax dollars—to write the most effective bond measure initiative to get your vote.

What’s worse, the final language of the measure often provides subtle loopholes, which allow the school district to spend the money any way they want to.

Here are some sample titles:

  • School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute
  • Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, California, Bond Issue, Measure F1
  • Albany, California, Infrastructure Parcel Tax, Measure P1
  • Union City, California, Public Safety Parcel Tax Extension, Measure QQ

Who would vote against public safety, right?

  1. No Oversight. None at all.

Bond oversight is a joke, if it exists at all.

School districts appoint bond committee members. Districts often appoint people who are meek or quiet, or who will not challenge anything or ask questions.

There are two annual bond audits for every district, but the auditor and the school district look over the issue privately, and bond auditor has the sole incentive of ensuring there are more bonds for him to audit.

  1. What you can do in the meantime?

If you have time to kill (and want to be bored to death), attend a bond oversight committee meeting.

The committee members will go through the motions, but have no influence or power. And no insight into what is really going on.

Often, the committee members just smile and nod in agreement with the reports given to them from the contractors and the auditors.

Members of the public can comment, but whatever they say has no impact. After all, bond committee members are appointed by school boards, and school boards have some of the lowest voter participation rates.

  1. Vote NO!

There is no better method to stopping bond measure abuses than simply not supporting them.

On every bond on the ballot, vote no!

What do you think? Email me at craig@craighuey.com.

Comments 4

  1. I’ve been voting in CA since 1988. For the reasons mentioned above and because current bond money is so often misspent, our family assumes a NO vote on every bond. Why should we vote/agree to throw more money out, while the current funding is being wasted? Dear government, use the current money responsibly before you ask for more. Dear voters, demand accountability. After reading each bond measure over the years, our vote has switched to YES possibly once, no more.

      1. I always vote no on bonds. They are wasteful. Torrance keeps asking for more school money when they had lots of school bond money they hadn’t even spent. Besides, it raises our property taxes! If you are a senior citizen and retired, that can become a hardship Most voters do not understand that and that includes renters. Renters have the mentality that because they are renters it’s okay to vote for bonds because homeowners are the ones that get hit. Guess again. That’s why their rent may go up more than once a year. They just don’t get it.

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