Archive for ‘Fiscal Responsibility’

December 26, 2012

New Tax for Californians?

Elias: PARCEL TAX PLANS PROMOTE UNFAIREST OF LEVIES

by Stephen Frank on 12/25/2012 ·

My good friend Tom Elias is a liberal—but an honest one. He can call out a bad tax when he see’s it.  The “parcel tax” is a bad one.  Folks who do not own property—and are economic illiterates—think it is a free tax—a tax on someone else.  Of course, the landlord that pays a parcel tax passes it on to the tenants via higher rent.  The dolts who voted to have others pay higher taxes are the one’s harmed.

Now the Democrats want to make it easier to raise taxes—and harm even more people.

“Why are parcel taxes unfair? Because they have nothing to do with the value or use of any particular property. Parcel taxes almost always assess owners an identical sum for each property they possess. That means the tax on a small one- or two-bedroom cottage is identical to the levy on a luxury hotel or a large shopping mall. The owner of a 33,000 square foot mansion pays the same as the owner of a property one-twentieth as large.”

See the full story

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December 21, 2012

Deck the Halls with Macro Follies (video)

December 11, 2012

Shortsighted CA schools take virtual ‘pay day loans’ to keep operating

 

Tyler Durden has this nailed: 

These three letters – C.A.B. – might just be the Dis-Humor story of the day. NPR reports that more than 200 schools across California are coming to the shocking realization that the upfront cash they needed so badly came at quite a price. These ‘Capital Appreciation Bonds’ are unlike normal bonds (requiring regular coupon payments and principal repayment); instead they provide the ‘lent’ money upfront and defer all interest and repayment to some magical faery land time in the future (by which time the interest accrued has grown exponentially as the interest accrues on the rising ‘principal plus previously accrued interest’). Brilliant – as the Guinness chaps might say.  More . . .

December 1, 2012

Californians fleeing to Mexico

Nov. 30, 2012/By Chriss Street

On Tuesday, President Obama met with the newly elected president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto.  While the press focused on the Administration’s talking points for discussions on a wide range of issues from energy to climate change, the real concern is that the Mexican economy is far outperforming the U.S. economy and the new immigration concern is increasingly from Americans illegally moving to Mexico.

Nowhere is this trend more challenging than in California, which was just awarded the booby prize by 24/7 Wall Street survey, as the “Worst Run State” in the United States.  The state has:  Read more . . .

November 28, 2012

World News – Grover Norquist We need revenue through growth, not taxes (video)

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November 28, 2012

Enormous Ugly Fiscal Bill before end of year (video)

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November 20, 2012

CA City Employees Paid More Than it Appears

Average CA city employee compensation over $140,000/year!

Richard RiderPosted by at 1:37 pm on Nov 18, 2012

Okay, my headline may not be the average for all California cities. But for the three cities that have been analyzed below, it IS true.

Yet if you believe our state’s highly respected (respected by the MSM, that is) elected Controller, Democrat John Chiang, you’d think many public employees are one paycheck away from going Dempsey Dumpster diving.  That fiction is ably rebutted in the article below.  As the cliché says, this is a must read piece.

Here’s a quick comparison between the “average wages” used by Chiang and the more honest “average total compensation” cost to taxpayers.

Anaheim: “average wages” = $53,927.

Anaheim: “average total compensation” = $146,551. 

Costa Mesa: “average wages” = $71,379.

Costa Mesa: “average total compensation” = $146,863. 

San Jose: “average wages” = $61,308.

San Jose: “average total compensation” = $149,907.

Be advised — this comparison significantly understates both the average wage AND average total compensation.  Chiang includes part-time workers in his average, and ignores “special pay” and overtime.  Plus the full taxpayer cost of the benefits is understated.

Read the whole article.  Then go take out your aggression on a punching bag.

November 20, 2012

McClintock: Election will bring pain to CA

Nov. 19, 2012/By Katy Grimes

Abraham Lincoln said that if the voters get their backsides too close to the fire, they’ll just have to sit on the blisters for a while. After the Nov. 6 election, Californians have some very nasty blisters to sit on.

However, after pain, enlightenment usually comes. If not, California pharmacies will be selling out of salve.

A house divided

For a post-election reflection, I spoke with Rep. Tom McClintock, who represents California’s 4th Congressional District. McClintock spent 22 years in the California Legislature, ran for governor during the recall election of former Gov. Gray Davis, and was elected to Congress in 2008. He gets California as well as the national state of being.

“Unions may have won everything in California, but only in the short term,” McClintock said. “In the long term, unions are one step closer to the people in California awakening to the danger.”

That danger is “running out of other people’s money,” as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Lincoln said.

While President Barack Obama was just reelected, those same voters reelected a House Republican majority. McClintock said that exit polls showed that the American people agree with Republicans on nearly all of the issues and ideals. Polls also showed that Obamacare is at an all time low approval rating. “The American people are about to get a college-level education in Obamanomics,” said McClintock. “At the end of the college course, they will be a lot wiser. But the question is, will they wake up and recoil?”

As California goes…

While California’s liberal politics are rampant in the Obama administration, McClintock said he’s always held out hope that California would become a morality play.

Because California Republicans have acted too much like Democrats instead of holding true to ideals, they’ve helped to facilitate a huge net-out migration population — of Republicans. “Much of that is Republicans fleeing the state,” said McClintock.

“I should also warn you of the strange sense of déjà-vu that I have every day on the House floor as I watch the same folly and blunders that wrecked California now being passed with reckless abandon in this Congress,” McClintock told colleagues in 2009.

In that speech, McClintock warned America about California’s debilitating policies, and what was to come:

“To understand how these policies can utterly destroy an economy and bankrupt a government, you have to remember the Golden State in its Golden Age.

“A generation ago, California spent about half what it does today AFTER adjusting for both inflation and population growth.

“And yet, we had the finest highway system in the world and the finest public school system in the country.   California offered a FREE university education to every Californian who wanted one.  We produced water and electricity so cheaply that many communities didn’t bother to measure the stuff.  Our unemployment rate consistently ran well below the national rate and its diversified economy was nearly recession-proof.

 ”One thing — and one thing only — has changed in those years: public policy.  The political Left gradually gained dominance over California’s government and has imposed a disastrous agenda of radical and retrograde policies that have destroyed the quality of life that Californians once took for granted.”

“Many are leaving for the garden spots of Nevada, Arizona and Texas.”

Republicans did not make the case

Will 2014 be another 2010, where Republicans swept Democrats out of office across the nation? “Having bought the lie again from President Obama, it will be obvious in 2014,” said McClintock. “Particularly after the graduate course in Obamanomics.”

But how does the Republican Party get rid of its own deadwood and leadership?

“Nothing in the state Constitution says that the state has to be governed by idiots. It can change anytime,” he said.

He described many of the state’s Republicans as “self-defeating” and lacking the courage of their convictions. Consequently, liberty and freedom went down in flames this election. McClintock said that this won’t change as long as the American people put up with self-defeating Republicans and socialistic policies. But he anticipates a shift, especially after two more years of Obama’s policies and California’s economic collapse under Gov. Jerry Brown.

“The voters who reelected Obama are those who have been and will be hurt the most by that election,” said McClintock. But it happened because Republicans failed to make their case or effectively present their ideals to those voters, McClintock explained.

“Immigrants come to America for economic freedoms and to get away from an authoritarian economy,” said McClintock. Many of those immigrants are small business owners. They, and all small business people are hanging on by their fingernails. “Small, medium and large businesses” all are making alternative plans and downsizing.

“California is like the shopkeeper who leased out too much space, ordered too much inventory, hired too many people and paid them too much,” he said. “Every month the shopkeeper covers his shortfalls with borrowing and bookkeeping tricks.  Ultimately, he will reach a tipping point where anything he does makes his situation worse.  Borrowing costs are eating him alive and he’s running out of credit.  Raising prices causes his sales to decline.  And there’s only so much discretionary spending he can cut.”

And while he was sounding the warning bell three years ago, McCintock’s warning still rings true, but is even more dire today. “If anything, the collapse of California can at least serve as a morality play for the rest of the nation — unfortunately in the form of a Greek tragedy.”

November 17, 2012

Californians give Dems PIN numbers

Nov. 16, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO — After the election results came in, I started searching for two things: a stiff drink and a good out-of-state real estate agent.

The national election sends troubling signs about the direction of the country, but nothing much will change from the past four years, so we know what to expect, even if it isn’t particularly good.

But California voters have sent their state into some new and potentially dark territory, the results of which will soon be felt.  More…

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November 17, 2012

For a Preview of Obama’s America 2016, Look at the Crack-Up of California

by Stephen Frank on 11/16/2012 · 

Why is California in a Depression?  One major cause is that unions are allies and businesses are to scared to stand up for themselves.

“Perhaps the most shocking impact of California’s shift to one-party rule has been the complicity of the once powerful business community. In recent years, California’s business community has accommodated itself to the state’s ever higher taxes and regulations. They acquiesced meekly to the state’s climate change regulations, making the development of anything than largely undesired dense housing developments all but impossible. Industries that use energy — including oil refineries but also chip-makers and server farms — simply go elsewhere, either to another country or across the border to less relentlessly regulated states.

In the battle over the Proposition 30 tax hike, notes small business advocate Joel Fox, Governor Brown and his legislative allies prevented business leaders from opposing the tax hike.”

Watch Obama to do the same.  Dodd-Frank was major banks working with the White House to get rid of the smaller banks.  Obamacare is about AARP helping to kill medical care for the elderly, but keeping a little piece of the pie—literally playing with the lives of their members.  California is a leader—The California Depression of 2012 will lead to the on going national Depression of 2016.  Proud to be a Californian?  More…

November 15, 2012

The Worst Is Yet To Come For California

Elections have consequences.  There is little doubt that the reelection of President Obama will have far ranging consequences for the country.  The last two decades of legislative elections in California have had enormous consequences for California and the U.S. more broadly.  After 18 years of spending, taxing and regulating, the most resource-rich state in the Country is facing underemployment in excess of 20%, huge perennial deficits and failing schools. Sadly, the worst is yet to come.  More…

November 15, 2012

Massive Tunnel Project Raises Key Questions for Ag and the Delta

Nov 14, 2012/Lodi News-Sentinel/Ken Vogel

When the Legislature passed the Delta Reform Act in 2009, we were promised that any projects devised by those in charge of the state’s administrative processes would be based on the best available science. We were promised that the process would be inclusive of Delta interests. We were promised that Delta agriculture would be protected and enhanced. We were promised that vested water rights and priorities would be honored and enforced.

We are about to see whether those promises are fulfilled.

Within the next few months, the final Delta plan implementing many provisions of the Delta Reform Act will be adopted by the Delta Stewardship Council. Within the next few months, state and federal administrative agencies, with the participation of the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency, will produce a Bay Delta Conservation Plan that supposedly will provide answers for the Delta.

And yet, many questions remain unanswered.

Why has there been no full cost-benefit analysis of the BDCP to find out how much this is really going to cost? Why does the Delta Plan appear to usurp local governmental land use authority? How can any solution to Delta water problems be proposed before the state adopts water flow and water quality standards necessary for Delta agriculture, Delta aquatic life and Delta-derived drinking water? How can massive tunnels under the Delta, depriving needed water from in-Delta users, be justified? How can Delta levee maintenance — maintenance that provides flood control and protection of public infrastructure — be deemed not feasible?

Worst of all, how can a process be trusted when it is based on a concept that we should expend vast amounts of public and ratepayer money for irreversible changes to the Delta before we know whether those changes will further the co-equal goals of the Delta Reform Act and, at the same time, attain the state’s policy of reducing reliance on the Delta for future water supplies?  More…

November 15, 2012

Little Hoover: More CA city bankruptcies loom

Nov. 14, 2012/By Dave Roberts

“Are your cities going to make it for five years?” asked Little Hoover Commission Chairman Daniel Hancock at the recent commission hearing on pension and infrastructure financing.

“That’s a good question,” responded Dwight Stenbakken, deputy executive director of the League of California Cities.

California’s cities are being eaten alive by employee compensation costs. The pension reform measure signed into law in September by Gov. Jerry Brown, AB 340 by Assemblyman Warren Furutani, pretty much left current employees alone, focusing instead on new hires. Government officials will have to wait until 2018 to negotiate with public employee unions to reform pensions for current employees.  More…

November 4, 2012

CALIFORNIA POLITICIANS LOVE TO TAX LIKE THE FRENCH

CALIFORNIA POLITICIANS LOVE TO TAX LIKE THE FRENCHSupport for Proposition 30, the income and sales tax increase touted by Governor Jerry Brown, has fallen below the critical 50% needed for passage for the first time in the California Field Poll.  With just five days to go before the election and polls showing support for Prop 30 fading, the teachers’ and other public […]

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November 1, 2012

California Officials: ObamaCare ‘Exchange’ Will Hike Premiums up to 25%

by Michael F. Cannon, CATO,  10/31/12

California is one of the few states charging ahead on establishing one of ObamaCare’s health insurance “exchanges.” According to the Los Angeles Times:

California insurance officials have expressed concern about substantial rate hikes for some existing policyholders going into the exchange.

Under a new rating map approved by state lawmakers, the Department of lnsurance estimated that premiums for similar coverage could increase as much as 25% in West Los Angeles, 22% in the Sacramento area and nearly 13% in Orange County.  Read More…

October 30, 2012

Gee, Do You Think a Charter Is a Meaningful Way for California Cities to Pursue Fiscal Responsibility? $500,000 of Union Opposition Confirms It.

October 29, 2012 / Kevin Dayton /
 
Obviously a 4-1 majority on the Costa Mesa City Council has discovered a truly effective way in California to use taxpayer money wisely and responsibly. The evidence: labor unions and their allied organizations have raised almost $500,000 to convince Costa Mesa voters to reject Measure V, which would enact a city charter.

Charters currently give 121 California cities the authority to determine their own policies concerning their purely municipal affairs. It is a right given to cities in the California Constitution.

Unions hate charters because they give power to cities to circumvent costly union-backed state mandates imposed by the California State Legislature, such as government-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailing wages”). See Are Charter Cities Taking Advantage of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Exemptions?

Read More…

October 30, 2012

CA Moving toward Number 1 in Taxes

We have just moved up from 5th to 4th in a ranking of all 50 states by the Washington, DC–based Tax Foundation but, for average folks, this is not good news. California leads 46 other states in per capita tax burden, a dubious honor that helps to explain the state’s dismal economy.

California has the highest state sales tax in the nation, we are tied for first in gasoline tax, our income tax rate is second, and even with Proposition 13, we rank closer to the top than the bottom in property taxes.  More…

October 26, 2012

Support plunges for Prop 30, Gov. Gerry Brown’s tax initiative

October 25, 2012

How Texas Pays the Bills–CA Can Learn Something

Texas is a State on the move—jobs, low cost housing (compared to California), business friendly and a government that believes in people not control of people.

“My impression after many conversations with business and political leaders in Texas is that what is most attractive and effective about its tax climate is not the lack of an income tax or anything else about its particular structure, but the fact that it is predictable and stable. Nobody invests in Texas expecting to accidentally wake up in Connecticut or New Jersey two years later.

That goes double for the regulatory and legal environment, which is in my view probably more important than the tax burden.” Read More…

October 23, 2012

Double California Taxes!

Monday, October 22, 2012

California taxpayers are simply not taxed enough, so Governor Jerry Brown is asking Californians to vote for higher taxes on November 6, and why not?

We need to pay double taxes statewide immediately.  Let’s look into our hearts, reach deep inside our wallets, and start throwing huge wads of cash toward Sacramento!

Let’s finally end the battles over the California budget and state economy once and for all by doubling our taxes.  It’s only money, right?  Just green pieces of paper.   Read More…

October 3, 2012

California Backfire: Energy Subsidies Destroy Economy

San Luis Obispo, CA      Here is a 9 minute video news blog featuring International Scholar Alex Alexiev who exposes yet another huge  environmental energy scandal where a $1.2 Billion U S loan guarantee that was given to the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County that will provide only 12 permanent  low level-jobs in San Luis Obispo County while Pacific Gas & Electric has a long-term contract with CVSR for solar energy at a fifty percent over market rate, that will undoubtedly be passed on to the consumers, businesses and industries in the area.  Watch video…

 

September 29, 2012

US House Blocks Obama Administration’s Plan to Send $450 Million to Egypt

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 9:28pm by Jason Howerton
  • WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — The Obama administration’s plan to transfer $450 million in cash to Egypt hit a roadblock Friday as a top House committee chairwoman blocked the move, saying it warrants further review.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said the State Department had notified Congress of plans to move the money to the new government of President Mohammed Morsi as Cairo struggles economically. The money is part of the nearly $1 billion in debt relief that President Barack Obama had promised the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt earlier this year.  Read More…

September 22, 2012

100 Days Until Taxmageddon

Sunday will mark the start of the 100-day countdown to “Taxmageddon” – the date the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.  They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2013:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for small business owners, families, and investors (later re-upped by President Obama and Democrat Congress in 2010).  The following tax hikes will occur on January 1, 2013:

Personal income tax rates will rise on January 1, 2013.  The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which the majority of small business profits are taxed).  The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  All the rates in between will also rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.  The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:   Read More…

September 13, 2012

House conservatives call for stripping aid to Libya, Egypt from spending bill

By Russell Berman – 09/12/12 02:20 PM ET

 A group of House conservatives is calling for foreign aid to Libya and Egypt to be stripped from a six-month federal funding bill set for a vote on Thursday.

A handful of lawmakers voiced outrage Wednesday at the Obama administration’s response to the attacks on the U.S. embassies in those countries, and suggested the inclusion of foreign aid could influence their votes.  Read More…

September 12, 2012

First Audit Results In The Federal Reserve’s Nearly 100 Year History Were Posted Today, They Are Startling!

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) wins (again) the most significant victory of his congressional career. He has taken his pet issue since the 1970s–the unwarranted power and secrecy of the Federal Reserve–from something pretty much no one but him cared about six years ago, through a bestselling book and mass movement by 2009, the second time he’s gotten the House of Representatives to vote to widen the government’s powers to audit the Fed’s activities.

Huffington Post with details about the vote  , and on Paul’s Democratic ally equally upset with the Fed’s lack of transparency, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio):

In a rare moment of bipartisanship, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to audit the Federal Reserve.  More…

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