Republicans long claim the mantle of being the party of small government, but when in power, theyÂ seldom (if ever) actually deliver on this principle.Â The last US president to shrink the size of the Federal Government? Why that would be Bill Clinton of course.
Want smaller local government? Look to Irvine where the policies of the progressive City Council majority have managed impressive economic and population growth and actually shrunk the size of local government.
Details after the jump:
Im 2000, the last year conservatives were in power, Irvine’s population stood at 143,072.Â There were 545 full time jobs and about 247 part-timers so the city’s workforceÂ came in at around Â 811.Â That’s roughly 176.5 residents per city employee and the cost of services provided to each resident amounted to $609 each (police, fire, parks, etc.).Â
Today, Irvine has a population of 212,793.Â The city’s work force totals 967 (rounded up) with 733 fulltime employees and abou 234 part-timers.Â That’s a ratio of one city employee per 220 residents (smaller government right there).Â The cost of services for the current budget year is $684 per resident, but that number isn’t adjusted for inflation. Go to this site for a handy-dandy inflation calculator and punch in a couple of simple numbers.Â And we’ll note that $609 spent on each resident in 2000, accounting for inflation in today’s dollars, is really $763.32 each.Â That means the city is actually spending about $79 and change less today on services than we were in 2000.
So to recap:
Since 2000, Irvine’s population has grown by nearly 33 percent.Â The city’s workforce grew only by 19.2 percent at the same time.Â The amount of money spent by the city per resident grew by about 11 percent, but adjusted for inflation, actually fell by about 25 percent.Â There are no cuts in services and a number of initiatives were expanded to help the community in areas of education, healthcare, transportation, and other community services.
In 2000, the city didn’t provide any funds for Irvine schools.Â Today, they do.Â In 2000, there was no citywide effort to help children get healthcare services.Â Today, there is. In 2000, a commercial airport at El Toro was a strong probablity.Â Today, it’s an impossibility.Â In 2000, our mayor led an effort to make the City “More romantic.” In 2009, our Mayor fights to keep illegal guns off the streets.Â
With the conservative minority frequently voting “no”on many items before the city, you can fully credit the progressive council majority of Sukhee Kang, Larry Agran and Beth Krom for the smaller, more efficient and more effective government in Irvine.Â Funny what some research and a little math will and can do to knock the wind out of the sails of Republicans in town.Â The fact is, progressives are better at shrinking goverment than Republicans are, and we do with it without cutting essential services to people who need it most.