Manhattan Institute, California Style

The Manhattan Institute has a well-produced indictment of Albany out today, and a new Web site to go with it.

Their bottom line is that the state taxes and spends too much, and the targets for blame are “the special interests,” identified as teachers unions, public authorities, public employees, public “servants,” and the plaintiffs’ bar.

It’s hard to argue that any of those groups don’t have a great deal of power over Albany, but it seems unfair to leave out the vast private-sector contracting world that has grown fat off lobbying and doing business with state government. Like that Newt Gingrich line about it taking two to make a corrupton scandal.

To be fair, one policy recommendation is to make contracting more competitive.

Another, newsier suggestion — Fred Newman, rejoice! — is introducing a California style system of initative and referendum.