Every three months, the Independent Institute highlights a state or local spending program, tax, or regulation that fleeces California taxpayers, consumers, or businesses. On occasion, the awards also spotlight a federal program that disproportionately harms Californians.
The California Golden Fleece Awards expose waste, fraud, and abuse in California government. To receive this ignoble designation, a spending program, tax, or regulation must violate common-sense principles of responsible government, be considered wasteful by people of varying political philosophies, and must be well documented.
send us Fleece candidates. Public participation will help make the California Golden Fleece Awards a more valuable resource for exposing government waste, increasing transparency, and holding government at all levels accountable.
|Winner: Summer 2016|
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) won the second California Golden Fleece Award for its waste of taxpayer money, while at the same time demanding more funding. Caltrans should be drastically scaled back as part of broader reforms to modernize California’s highways.
|Winner: Spring 2016|
California’s High-Speed Rail Authority
The California High-Speed Rail Authority won the first California Golden Fleece Award for its lack of transparency and history of misleading the public about key details of the state’s “bullet-train” project, which no longer reflect what voters approved in 2008.
Additional award winners coming soon!