Barking Towards Oblivion

Yesterday, the California Democrats unveiled their budget proposal, an utterly uninspiring amalgamation of new burdens on businesses and taxpayers, with no proposals to cut spending – not one.

Businesses would be scammed out of $2 billion by letting some rare California business tax breaks expire. Personal income tax and car fees (what got Grey Davis drummed out of office, for cryin’ out loud!) would both go up. There would be no cuts to welfare entitlements, no sanity injected into the state’s prison system, and certainly no purging of useless, duplicative state commissions, boards, agencies and departments – in short, there was no respect for the people of California.

Against all that, I give you my vet, Dr. Mike Eberhardt.  I’m going to a Rancho Santa Margarita Planning Commission hearing on his behalf tonight, to speak in favor of innovation and against the expensive repression of business that goes on so routinely in Crazifornia.

Dr. Eberhart’s clinic is in an industrial park, not a neighborhood.  An innovative vet, he built a fenced-in dog run behind the building, encircling it with an expensive wrought iron fence, in keeping with the design of other fencing in the park. He uses it to let dogs walk off anesthesia, and to better diagnose dogs.  He found that dogs on a metal table in a vet’s treatment room will mask their symptoms, but if he and the owner go out to the dog run, in a few minutes, the dog will drop the mask and a better diagnosis can be made.

Ah, but the city of Rancho Santa Margarita has a policy requiring a Conditional Use Permit for dog runs like his. And they’re recommending that the Planning Commission deny his application.  Overseeing dog runs may be a good idea if you’re attempting to regulate doggy daycare facilities, where such runs can create a lot of barking and a lot of poop.  But his dogs are there for one-on-one observation, are never left alone, and are cleaned up after, so it’s … well … an entirely different animal.

What’s logical to you and me is missed in the regulation-addicted mindset of California government.  How crazy is it?  Well, Dr. E’s spent over $20,000 to date on attorney’s fees, and will ring up a bunch more as his attorney prepares for and sits through tonight’s hearing.

Welcome to business in California – where every good idea gets the bureaucratic bum’s rush, and every good business gets taxed into oblivion.

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