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Bill Maher Torches California for Its Regulation, Even Where the Golden State's Sun Doesn't Shine

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Bill Maher is right about a lot of things, but this one takes the cake.

On HBO’s Real Time Friday night, the comedian reamed California for its beyond-enthusiastic love of regulation.

Meanwhile, he said, the state can’t protect its water supply.

“In a story I’m getting tired of reporting,” he began, “California is running out of water…72% of the entire West is in severe drought. The Bay Area was just placed under a water shortage emergency with mandatory restrictions.”

But, he asserted, things aren’t as they seem:

“There isn’t — even with the drought, really — a water shortage problem. It’s more a ‘where the water’s going’ problem. California agriculture accounts for 80% of our water use, even when California agriculture is less than 2% of our economy. We actually have enough water. We just give way too much of it to farmers who get their water subsidized by the government…”

Bill went on to say farming in the state are now mostly “Big Ag.”

Almond farmers, he pointed out, have doubled in the last two decades — “despite the fact that almond production alone uses more water than all the humans and businesses in Los Angeles and San Francisco combined.”

He summed it up this way:

“We have to make a painful choice: Getting [water] to the people, or getting it in the nuts.”

“It’s not like California doesn’t know how to regulate,” he added.

Then Bill turned his guns toward restriction, and boy was he right:

“We are the most regulated state in the nation, with more than 395,000 regulatory restrictions. It is a constant nightmare of inspectors and permits and fees. In this state, if you get to your car 10 seconds after the parking meter expires, it’s already gone and you’ll never see it again.”


“California has rules about every nitpicky thing you can imagine. If you don’t believe me, try parking in Santa Monica or trying to start a business or getting your solar power hooked up.”

Bill’s rant brings to mind a swimming rule in the state

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