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Californian's Rejoice! Your taxes are going UP UP UP!

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The Corner Can California Be Fixed?By Victor Davis HansonMay 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. 9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299975/can-california-be-fixed-victor-davis-hanson
No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.
While you are a genius. Could you please point us to the books you have written?

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The Corner Can California Be Fixed?By Victor Davis HansonMay 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. 9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299975/can-california-be-fixed-victor-davis-hanson
No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.
I have no idea who this guy is. As usual though, you ignore the substance of the article and attack the person who wrote it.

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The Corner Can California Be Fixed?By Victor Davis HansonMay 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. 9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299975/can-california-be-fixed-victor-davis-hanson
No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.
I have no idea who this guy is. As usual though, you ignore the substance of the article and attack the person who wrote it.
New here?

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The Corner Can California Be Fixed?By Victor Davis HansonMay 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. 9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299975/can-california-be-fixed-victor-davis-hanson
No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.
Instead of name calling, maybe go through the 10 points and describe which are good ideas and which are bad and why? That might lead to more productive discussion. OK, nine points, as the last one is clearly tongue-in-cheek, although might be an interesting concept.

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An interesting article this morning from Chuck DeVore on why he left California and moved to Texas. Here are a few tidbits....

"Over the weekend California Governor Jerry Brown announced the grim news that the Golden State’s budget deficit had almost doubled to $16 billion – more than 17 percent of the new budget year’s $92.6 billion spending plan."

Immediately, protesters descended on the state Capitol to demand MORE welfare spending in a state that already hosts one-third of all of America’s welfare recipients."

"The liberals who run California tax more, spend more, regulate more, and drive up the cost of doing business, and then are shocked when tax revenue plunges as productive taxpayers leave the state."

"Last September, Northrup Grumman, the last major aerospace company headquartered in California, picked up its operations and tax base and moved to Virginia."

"As a share of its economic output, California spends about 46 percent more on state and local government than does Texas."

"California itself commissioned a study showing that its regulatory morass costs the average small business in the state $134,122 in compliance costs every year."

Chuck DeVore served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010. He is a Senior Fellow for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation

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Calif. 9/11 license plate fund raided for deficitsBy Hanna Dreier The Associated Press | Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 10:00 am | (0) CommentsSACRAMENTO — After the 2001 terrorist attacks, California lawmakers sought a way to channel the patriotic fervor and use it to help victims’ families and law enforcement. Their answer: specialty memorial license plates emblazoned with the words, “We Will Never Forget.”Part of the money raised through the sale of the plates was to fund scholarships for the children of California residents who perished in the attacks, while the majority — 85 percent — was to help fund anti-terrorism efforts.But an Associated Press review of the $15 million collected since lawmakers approved the “California Memorial Scholarship Program” shows only a small fraction of the money went to scholarships. While 40 percent has funded anti-terror training programs, $3 million was raided by Gov. Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to plug the state’s budget deficit.Millions more have been spent on budget items with little relation to direct threats of terrorism, including livestock diseases and workplace safety.Moreover, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been advertising the plates as helping the children of Sept. 11 victims even though the state stopped funding the scholarship program seven years ago. The specialty plate fund continues to take in $1.5 million a year.Californians who lost loved ones in the attacks take the raid on the license plate fund as an affront to the memory of those who died.“I can’t believe that they would do that,” said Candice Hoglan, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and bought a plate to commemorate her nephew, Mark Bingham. “We’re paying extra for the plate; we’re making a point, and it means a lot to us.”Bingham was killed on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, and was one of the passengers who led the attempt to wrest control from the hijackers. His mother, Alice Hoagland, also was troubled by the program’s apparent drift from its original purpose.“I’m sorry that as we retreat in time from 9/11, we seem to be retreating in our resolve never to forget,” she said in a telephone interview.The plates, which cost an initial $50 plus a $40 annual renewal fee, feature an American flag partially obscured by clouds and the “never forget” slogan. Residents of California, where all four jetliners were bound when they were hijacked, have bought or renewed the plates more than 200,000 times since 2002.Of the other states directly associated with the 2001 attacks, only Virginia has established a similar specialty plate program. Yet it did not set up a special fund for the proceeds of its “Fight Terrorism” plate.For the past decade, the California DMV has said on its website that the money will “fund scholarships for the children of Californians who died in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and helps California’s law enforcement fight threats of terrorism.” It advertises the program with the slogan, “Be a patriot.”While the DMV description of the program was not “totally disingenuous,” the department should probably remove references to the scholarship program, said Joe DeAnda, a spokesman for the state treasurer’s office, which disburses the money.“It’s out of date and it’s on DMV to update that,” he said.Late Friday, the department modified the description of the license plate on its website to remove the reference to the scholarship program in response to the investigation by the AP, which began in March. Spokeswoman Jan Mendoza said the reason promotional materials were not updated sooner was “unknown.” The DMV still lists the scholarship program on the online and hardcopy form drivers fill out to buy the license plates, but Mendoza said the department will change this next time the forms are printed.The legislation establishing the plates had earmarked 15 percent of the revenue for scholarships. Yet only $21,381 has reached the children and spouses of the three dozen California residents killed during the terrorist attacks. The state treasurer’s office closed the scholarship program in 2005, the sign-up deadline for potential recipients, and has $60,000 in reserve.The total amount dedicated to scholarships was 1.5 percent of the $5.5 million raised through the sale of the plates through 2005.The original legislation said the remainder of the money would go to “law enforcement, fire protection, and public health agencies” to be used “exclusively for purposes directly related to fighting terrorism.”But in 2008, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, borrowed $2 million to close a budget gap. Last year, Brown, a Democrat, borrowed another $1 million.Neither loan has been repaid nor are their deadlines to ensure they will be. Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for Brown, said the loans have done no harm.“We’re trying to simultaneously balance the budget and fund important programs,” she said. “If there was an indication that borrowing this money was going to negatively impact this program, we wouldn’t borrow the money.”The rest of the money has gone to a wide array of budgets and programs.The Legislature sent $3.7 million to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, according to the Department of Finance, to establish an online food monitoring database and implement a variety of worker safety programs, including hiring industrial hygienists to tend to worker health.But it is difficult to say precisely where the money has gone. Late Friday, the agriculture department delivered documents it said were in response to a California Public Records Act request the AP filed eight weeks earlier.The response contained itemized budget reports going back six years and listing payments for all types of government functions, ranging from salaries and benefits, to printing costs and communication equipment. Among the details: $18,163 for furniture in 2006 and $11,492 for auto inspection in 2009.The response also included a legislative report on the threats the agriculture department is targeting with an online database the license plate program helps fund . A similar report from 2006, when the license plate money was first authorized, lists bioterrorism as a potential danger. But the 2011 report focuses on food safety and livestock concerns, including foot-and-mouth disease and meat and poultry monitoring.Director of Animal Health and Food Safety Services Annette Whiteford said the department does not track license plate money separately from other funds.She said it would be wasteful to reserve the money exclusively for anti-terrorism work. For example, the department uses some of the money to buy safety suits that would be essential during an anthrax attack but also are useful for routine food investigations.“The things that I worry about in the animal food safety division are very high consequence events, but very infrequent. So I always try to leverage those resources,” she said.Another $2 million has gone to programs that aim to protect Californians from all manner of potential threats, not just those related to terrorism.The California Emergency Management Agency used nearly $1 million in memorial license plate money for general operations, including administrative costs, buying and fueling cars, and hiring a person from 2007 to 2009 to coordinate five so-called “fusion centers,” according to documents obtained through a Public Records Act request.The other $1 million went directly to the fusion centers, which were founded after the 2001 attacks to focus on terrorist threats but have since switched to an “all crimes” approach that includes gang activity and natural disasters.Herb Wesson, who wrote the license plate bill when he was speaker of the California Assembly, said he was saddened to hear how the money had been spent.“I understand the financial climate they find themselves in, but they are not following the spirit and intent of the legislation,” said Wesson, now president of the Los Angeles City Council. “The lion’s share of the money was supposed to be given to local law enforcement so that they could beef up their anti-terrorism operations.”About 40 percent of the total raised to date, or $6 million, has gone to anti-terrorism training programs for firefighters and law enforcement officers. There is a slight discrepancy between the DMV’s revenue figures and the Department of Finance’s expenditure figures that neither agency could explain.Patricia Anderson, who paid $98 for a personalized memorial plate reading “WE R 4US,” said she signed up for the program primarily to show respect for victims of the 9/11 attacks. Anderson said she was disheartened but not surprised to learn that much of the money has gone to fill the state deficit or used for general purposes.“That’s California,” said Anderson, who now lives near Austin, Texas. “It’s kind of a given these days — nothing is spent on what it’s supposed to be.”

http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/calif-license-plate-fund-raided-for-deficits/article_c7af7a78-a9a9-11e1-a1c5-0019bb2963f4.htmlSo glad I left. :wall: Edited by StrikeS2k

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An interesting article this morning from Chuck DeVore on why he left California and moved to Texas. Here are a few tidbits...."Over the weekend California Governor Jerry Brown announced the grim news that the Golden State’s budget deficit had almost doubled to $16 billion – more than 17 percent of the new budget year’s $92.6 billion spending plan."Immediately, protesters descended on the state Capitol to demand MORE welfare spending in a state that already hosts one-third of all of America’s welfare recipients.""The liberals who run California tax more, spend more, regulate more, and drive up the cost of doing business, and then are shocked when tax revenue plunges as productive taxpayers leave the state.""Last September, Northrup Grumman, the last major aerospace company headquartered in California, picked up its operations and tax base and moved to Virginia.""As a share of its economic output, California spends about 46 percent more on state and local government than does Texas.""California itself commissioned a study showing that its regulatory morass costs the average small business in the state $134,122 in compliance costs every year."Chuck DeVore served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010. He is a Senior Fellow for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation

And yet housing prices are still going up. :wall:

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The Corner Can California Be Fixed?By Victor Davis HansonMay 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. 9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299975/can-california-be-fixed-victor-davis-hanson
No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.
Instead of name calling, maybe go through the 10 points and describe which are good ideas and which are bad and why? That might lead to more productive discussion. OK, nine points, as the last one is clearly tongue-in-cheek, although might be an interesting concept.
1 - This is simply an attack on immigrants, it's none of the governments business what people do with their money2 - Agree3 - Tourism is essential to California and an oil spill would cost the state untold billions. Also, the oil is not going anywhere and is only going up in value4 - I wouldn't mind, but I didn't work 30 years expecting to receive it5 - I don't know enough about this to comment6 - The financial savings from this would likely have unforeseen consequences that would cost California even more. 7 - Again, I don't know enough about this to comment but it sound extreme8 - Good luck shutting down eBay and Craigslist9 - Absolutely agree10 - :rolleyes:

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Yet with all these taxes the one which Californians won't support is Prop 29 to raise the cigarette tax by $1.

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Yet with all these taxes the one which Californians won't support is Prop 29 to raise the cigarette tax by $1.

Don't believe in sin taxes. And cigarettes are taxed at a high enough rate as it is. And they're regressive.

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The Corner Can California Be Fixed?By Victor Davis HansonMay 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. 9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/299975/can-california-be-fixed-victor-davis-hanson
No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.
I have no idea who this guy is. As usual though, you ignore the substance of the article and attack the person who wrote it.
Substance? This is nothing but a regurgitation of right wing talking points. Cut education, deport illegals, cut gov't spending, cut pensions, drill-baby-drill, etc.

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Substance? This is nothing but a regurgitation of right wing talking points. Cut education, deport illegals, cut gov't spending, cut pensions, drill-baby-drill, etc.

I thin its a great plan to cut spending, cut regulations, increase economic activity and generate more revenue.

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This thread was started on 2/11/09, and I'm still waiting on my CA taxes to increase. I don't think Strike was suggesting that taxes were going to go up in 3+ years when he started this thread.

But keep up the gloom and doom - perhaps more of you haters will move away. :bye:

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Yet with all these taxes the one which Californians won't support is Prop 29 to raise the cigarette tax by $1.

Don't believe in sin taxes. And cigarettes are taxed at a high enough rate as it is. And they're regressive.
Smoking has tremendous health consequences that cost money ($17B in CA alone) so it's more than simply a 'sin tax'. It is regressive but if the tax is high enough people will stop smoking. If smoking were something that people truly enjoy doing it would be a different story but half of smokers have tried to quit.

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On top of everything, LA's mayor wanted to raise parking tickets by another $10 and hire 100 more traffic enforcement officers (to generate another $8M a year). The city was nice though and only raised it $5 - to $73.

In LA we have street cleaning once a week on each side of the street, usually for an hour. However, around my daughter's school the street cleaning is 2.5 hours on Monday and Tuesday from 8 am to 10:30 am and there is normally nowhere to park within a block radius. Absolutely ridiculous and despite many complaints the city refuses to change the hours.

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This thread was started on 2/11/09, and I'm still waiting on my CA taxes to increase. I don't think Strike was suggesting that taxes were going to go up in 3+ years when he started this thread. But keep up the gloom and doom - perhaps more of you haters will move away. :bye:

Search has yielded a truth that taxes have risen in California in 2011.http://www.bominpark.com/2011/03/25/california-sales-tax-increase-in-13-cities-effective-april-1-2011/These tax hikes may not have affected you.

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Yet with all these taxes the one which Californians won't support is Prop 29 to raise the cigarette tax by $1.

Don't believe in sin taxes. And cigarettes are taxed at a high enough rate as it is. And they're regressive.
Smoking has tremendous health consequences that cost money ($17B in CA alone) so it's more than simply a 'sin tax'. It is regressive but if the tax is high enough people will stop smoking. If smoking were something that people truly enjoy doing it would be a different story but half of smokers have tried to quit.
I don't think those costs are accurate, and the source is apparently from 2004 and no longer linked. It's been proven many times that smoking lowers long-term health care costs.

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This thread was started on 2/11/09, and I'm still waiting on my CA taxes to increase. I don't think Strike was suggesting that taxes were going to go up in 3+ years when he started this thread. But keep up the gloom and doom - perhaps more of you haters will move away. :bye:

Search has yielded a truth that taxes have risen in California in 2011.http://www.bominpark.com/2011/03/25/california-sales-tax-increase-in-13-cities-effective-april-1-2011/These tax hikes may not have affected you.
That's not what Strike was talking about when he started this thread. I'd be surprised if there was any state in the US that didn't have a single local tax increase in the entire state in the last 3+ years.

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That's not what Strike was talking about when he started this thread. I'd be surprised if there was any state in the US that didn't have a single local tax increase in the entire state in the last 3+ years.

What the hell are you smoking? The EXACT TAX INCREASES I started this thread about PASSED.

Schwarzenegger Signs California Budget, Tax Measures (Update2)

By Michael B. Marois - February 20, 2009 17:50 EST

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a $130 billion budget and a package of tax increases, spending cuts and borrowing plans, ending a four- monthlong impasse that left the most populous U.S. state on the verge of going broke.

The nearly three-dozen bills Schwarzenegger signed close a record $42 billion deficit expected over the next 16 months, enact a $92.2 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, make mid-year cuts to the current budget and place eight related measures on statewide ballots for voters to consider. He vetoed $1 billion of spending from the budget.

Passage in the Senate yesterday ended a deadlock in the Legislature that left California short of cash and with the lowest credit rating among U.S. states. The impasse threatened the jobs of 10,000 government workers and had forced the state to halt $5.5 billion of bond-financed construction of schools roads and other public works.

“During a down economy and facing an historic budget deficit we had to make some very difficult decisions, but I am very proud that California is back on the best path forward,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. The signing was not done in public.

The budget raises the state sales-tax rate to 8.25 percent from 7.25 percent and boosts vehicle license fees to 1.15 percent from 0.65 percent of the value of an automobile. The package doesn’t contain a gasoline-tax increase that was included in previous versions.

Tax Increases

The plan also adds 0.25 percentage point to all personal income tax brackets for two years, so that a resident currently taxed at 8 percent will face an 8.25 percent levy. That increase would drop to 0.125 percentage point depending upon how much money California receives under the economic stimulus measure signed by President Barack Obama. The budget anticipates at least $7.8 billion in such federal funds.

The spending plan also cuts $15 billion of spending, half from schools and colleges, and anticipates issuing $5 billion of bonds backed by the state’s lottery, though voters must approve the debt in an election in May.

The cornerstone of the plan, $13 billion of tax increases, passed after Republican Senator Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria broke ranks with his party to cast the deciding vote in exchange for support of unrelated changes to election law. His support allowed the budget package to attain the two-thirds majority needed for approval in the Senate, where it had languished since Feb. 14.

Democratic Control

While Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature, taxes and budgets must be approved by a two-thirds supermajority equal to 27 of 40 seats in the Senate and 54 of 80 in the Assembly. The tax increase passed 27-12 in the Senate; 54-26 in the Assembly.

Signing the budget will restore California’s ability to raise money by selling bonds to investors, which it hasn’t done since June. Without the ability to borrow, the state in December cut off funding for 5,300 public works projects, seeking to conserve cash until the Legislature acted.

Treasurer Bill Lockyer will review the state’s finances over the next few weeks with an eye toward returning to the bond market “as soon as possible,” he said in a statement today.

“This budget paves a major segment of the state’s road back into the bond market,” he said. “We’re still assessing all the short-term and longer-term ramifications of the final product, but I believe investors will conclude this plan passes the credibility test.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael B. Marois in Sacramento at mmarois@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aLQN_7PifIug Edited by StrikeS2k

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The Corner

Can California Be Fixed?

By Victor Davis Hanson

May 15, 2012 9:33 A.M.

Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?

To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)

In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state's population, 7 million are on Medicaid.

But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions.

So that said, are there any out-of-the-box things California might do to save or make a few billion dollars, other than the obvious measures of slashing spending and dismantling burdensome regulations?

1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance.

2) Cancel high speed-rail asap.

3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling.

4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000.

5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians.

6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business.

7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate.

8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens.

9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin.

10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary.

http://www.nationalr...or-davis-hanson

No wonder your views are so far on the fringe, you read guys who have been clamoring for GWBush to come back for the past 3 years. Hanson is a moron.

I have no idea who this guy is. As usual though, you ignore the substance of the article and attack the person who wrote it.
Hanson is actually sort of brilliant....because you disagree with his point of view, you say he is a moron. Lets go through his article point by point and see where a person like you comes up with his thinking, shall we?

1) Slap a user tax on the some $10–15 billion that is estimated to leave the state in remittances to foreign countries, or at least through executive action make foreign cash remittances grounds for disqualification from state public assistance. So what!?!?! Why is not o.k to send people government checks and then have them send the cash back to Mexico for family living there?

2) Cancel high speed-rail asap. Without train stations linking 3 of our cities, economic development is doomed. How will people ever be able to communicate without a rail system?

3) Open up immediately the estimated now off-limits 35 billion barrels of oil off the central California coast, the vast majority of which can be safely and cleanly exploited by on-shore horizontal drilling. Jobs now? Not for us!!!!! We don't want anything to ruin our view.

4) Cap the amount one can receive from a California public pension, or multiple pensions at $100,000. But hey....we earned the right to earn $250000 a year every year until we die for doing nothing!!!

5) Eliminate three-quarters of the thousands of public California board members, who stymie commerce and are mostly costly and unproductive term-limited insider politicians. Those aren't board members...they are dedicated public servants!!!

6) Mandate one official language for state publications and office business. YOU RACIST!!!!! HOW ARE OUR HISPANIC FRIENDS GOING TO KNOW HOW TO APPLY FOR OUR FREE MONEY IF WE DON"T LAY IT OUT FOR THEM IN SPANISH??????

7) Cut by 75 percent the number of administrators at the UC and CSU systems (their numbers from 1993 have grown by 212 percent), and pay them at the commensurate twelve-month faculty rate. Becoming an administrator is a right for people who have paid their dues in tough professorship jobs!!!!

8) Clamp down on the vast underground and untaxed cash economy that has exploded to the point that one can buy tax-free almost anything needed, from a new lawn mower to a four-course meal, at roadside emporia and canteens. LIES. NOTHING LIKE THAT EXISTS!!

9) Deport the 20,000 plus illegal-alien felons now in California state prisons to their countries of origin. They deserve to be here...the republicans made them commit those crimes with the '3 strikes and your out' law!!!!

10) Have George Clooney do another $40,000 per head Hollywood fundraiser, but with Sacramento, not Barack Obama, as the beneficiary. Get off Oparty's back...he's just trying to dig the car out of the ditch!!!

©2012 Victor Davis Hanson

<br class="Apple-interchange-newline">

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San Diego and San Jose Leading Way in Pension Cuts

While the eyes of the nation focused on Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker brushed back a recall attempt by critics of his move to strip most public-sector unions of their collective bargaining rights, a pair of less noticed local elections Tuesday in California could have more immediate ramifications for struggling state and local governments and for organized labor.Protesters demonstrate in March 2011 inside the Wisconsin State Capitol.Residents of San Diego and San Jose voted overwhelmingly to cut the pension benefits they give city workers. And they did so in a way governments traditionally avoid: moving to cut not just the benefits of future hires, but also those of current city workers, whose pensions generally have much stronger legal protections than those of private-sector workers.Unions in both cities vowed to block the cuts in court, but the ease with which the measures passed is expected to embolden other financially strained cities and states to follow their lead.It is not just Republicans seeking savings. Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, a Democrat, has been seeking to suspend the annual automatic cost-of-living adjustments for retirees.In Illinois, which has the nation’s largest unfunded pension liability, Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has been struggling to reach a deal with lawmakers that would cut the pensions of current workers without running afoul of the pension protections in the state’s Constitution. And in Providence, R.I., unions are being asked to ratify a tentative deal their leaders made last month with Mayor Angel Taveras that would suspend the cost-of-living adjustments for retired city workers.“I would say that the San Jose vote is a harbinger of things to come,” said Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, who was on President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. She said governments need more flexibility to solve their pension funding problems.The wide margins of passage for the pension-cutting measures — San Diego’s with two-thirds of the vote, and San Jose’s with 70 percent — underscored the extent to which both cities have struggled to pay for basic services. At one point San Diego — burdened with high pension costs for years after its pension disclosures ran afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the city lost access to the public bond markets — kept a rotating group of firehouses closed each day to save money.San Jose could not afford to open four new libraries it had built, and laid off police officers. And some voters grew resentful of the benefits given government workers — police officers and firefighters in San Jose could retire after 30 years with pensions worth 90 percent of their salaries — while private-sector pensions were growing rarer.Many states and municipalities are struggling with rising pension costs. In many cases benefits were set when the stock market was booming and investments seemed to deliver nothing but gains. It was widely assumed at the time that investment returns would cover most of the cost of people’s pensions.Now, though, the expected investment gains have fallen far short, and municipalities everywhere must make up the missing money, sometimes by raising taxes, sometimes by cutting government services. Laws and court precedents in many states have long been interpreted as saying that public workers’ pensions cannot be reduced. The new pension cuts passed in San Jose and San Diego may test that.The union representing San Jose police officers filed a lawsuit in Superior Court on Wednesday seeking to block the cuts, arguing that they are illegal under California law and that they violated the vested rights their members have to their pensions. “I think there’s a clear sense by the taxpayers that they want costs down, but it’s a question of how you do that,” Jim Unland, the president of the union, the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, said in an interview, adding that he would have preferred a negotiated agreement to cut costs.But city officials said they expected to prevail in court, and filed their own motion in federal court seeking a declaration that the measure is constitutional. The measure gives city workers an option: They can keep their current pension, as long as they agree to contribute more of their salaries — up to 16 percent — to the pension fund, or they can enter a less generous pension plan with a higher retirement age, benefits that accrue more slowly and smaller cost-of-living adjustments. Future hires would be put into a plan that costs even less, and would be required to contribute up to half of its cost.Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose, a Democrat, said the pension cuts were needed to restore police positions that were eliminated and to reopen firehouses that were closed on certain days, and so the city could afford to open the four closed libraries. He added that the changes were needed to make sure there would be enough money to pay retirees their benefits, so they did not end up like the retirees of Central Falls, R.I., whose benefits were cut when the city went bankrupt.He said he expected other cities to follow San Jose’s lead. “I think it’s clear that if you present the facts to the voters, they’re going to be there in support of pension reform,” Mr. Reed said.Gov. Jerry Brown of California, a Democrat who has been pushing his own measures to reduce pension costs, said the vote in San Jose sent “a very powerful signal that pension reform is imperative,” The San Francisco Chronicle reported.Some public sector union officials, reeling from their losses in the Wisconsin vote and the pension measures in San Diego and San Jose, said they needed to do more to educate the public about pensions and the nature of deferred compensation. They worried that some public workers would retire without enough money to support themselves.Some saw a pattern. “It isn’t lost on us that the one commonality in Wisconsin, San Diego and San Jose is that we were considerably outspent,” said Steven Kreisberg, the director of collective bargaining at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Washington. “You have politicians conspiring with corporations to take away pensions from workers.”San Diego’s plan would require future hires to enroll in a defined-contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) plan. In the future, public employees will be responsible for investing their own retirement money, and if their investments fail, the city’s taxpayers will not have to step in. The city’s current workers will see a freeze in the amount of their pay that will be used to calculate pension benefits, which the city estimates will save it $1 billion over the next 30 years — savings that unions say are overstated but that some critics say will not go far enough.Ian Lovett contributed reporting.This story originally appeared in The New York Times

http://www.cnbc.com/id/47719550

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With these pension cuts the state is going to lose a lot of its elite government talent.

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Just raise taxes. Those government union workers are worth those pensions. Nobody would do their jobs for less money and benefits.

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If they cut pensions, they are just going to have to raise salaries to equal that of the private sector...if the economy ever turns around. The attempt in Florida by Rickhead Scott has moved to the State Supreme court as the lower court already ruled it BS for existing employees.

Of course, 90% of salary, as that is what Calif. is paying is ridiculously unsustainable.

Edited by FavreCo

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With these pension cuts the state is going to lose a lot of its elite government talent.

The same "elite" government talent that's driven California to it's current dire situation?

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With these pension cuts the state is going to lose a lot of its elite government talent.

:golfclap:

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With these pension cuts the state is going to lose a lot of its elite government talent.

:golfclap:
Possibly even both of them. I mean, with a zillion state employees, there must be 2 who are elite.

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What do the board's Californian's think of this? I think the logical concern is that they'd be using money from this new plan to subsidize CalPers.

Link

Calif. creates state-run private retirement plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday that will create the nation's first state-run retirement savings program for private-sector workers, over the objection of critics who said it creates a new liability for taxpayers.

The bill will establish the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program for more than 6 million lower-income, private-sector workers whose employers do not offer retirement plans.

The program directs employers to withhold 3 percent of their workers' pay unless the employee opts out of the savings program every two years. It would be administered by a seven-member board chaired by the state treasurer.

State Sen. Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, introduced the bill earlier this year in response to what he called the "looming retirement tsunami" as millions of lower-wage workers face financial hardship in their retirement years. He said the program will act as a supplement to Social Security by offering private-sector workers a portable savings plan with a guaranteed return.

He said the program is not a pension but rather acts as a savings account, which could be a national model for improving retirement savings.

"This is a major step forward for retirement security in America," De Leon said in a statement. "I am grateful for Gov. Brown's acumen and with his leadership we are setting the path for middle class hard-working Americas to prepare for retirement so they won't be forced into poverty."

State Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Lake Forest, called SB1234 the "worst bill to make its way out of the legislature this year" because it would allow the state's main pension system to invest the money.

Walters noted that the California Public Employees' Retirement System is running a shortfall and that the savings program will be controlled by a group of "career politicians."

"SB1234 looks like nothing more than a cynical effort to prop up the floundering public employee pension debt with new funds from private investors," Walters wrote in a blog ahead of the bill signing.

Many cities and counties already pool their contributions along with the state in the public pension system, but taxpayers are on the hook to cover benefits if investment projections fall short.

It's too soon to say what would happen if CalPERS managed the new retirement program, said pension fund's spokesman, Brad Pacheco. CalPERS could create a separate account for private-sector workers, although it's more likely to pool investments with public employees.

CalPERS' fund posted an annual return of just 1 percent last year, missing its own long-term annual target of 7.5 percent. It currently has an estimated long-term unfunded liability of $100 billion.

Democratic lawmakers said the program gives workers more savings options, particularly women working low-paying jobs. Supporters say it will not cost the state money because it will be backed by underwriters.

The bill would not be implemented unless the savings program is projected to be self-sustaining and exempt from federal rules that cover private-sector defined benefit plans. Such plans have to meet minimum standards under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The bill also requires the board to submit an annual audit. It is opposed by businesses, insurance companies and financial services firms.

The governor also signed companion legislation under SB923.

Republican lawmakers who opposed the program when it was moving through the Legislature said low-income workers might be better off financially if they put after-tax earnings into a Roth IRA, which would allow them to take their contributions tax-free in retirement.

They also said there were too many unanswered questions about the program. GOP lawmakers said if the underwriter fails to meet investment targets, taxpayers and employers could be held responsible for covering losses and administrative overhead.

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Could we have passed more tax increases yesterday? Jesus I think my local sales tax is going to be 12%.

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Could we have passed more tax increases yesterday? Jesus I think my local sales tax is going to be 12%.

:lmao:

This state will get what it deserves.

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I've always thought about moving back West at some point, in / around San Diego in particular.

Just don't see any way that's going to happen with the fiscal irresponsibility that exists that way, and this is coming from someone paying a hell of a tax burden on Long Island in the broke (but "rich") County of Nassau.

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I've always thought about moving back West at some point, in / around San Diego in particular.Just don't see any way that's going to happen with the fiscal irresponsibility that exists that way, and this is coming from someone paying a hell of a tax burden on Long Island in the broke (but "rich") County of Nassau.

California is going to have to crash and burn for a long, long time before the electorate finally realizes that class warfare and punishing business doesn't create a great place to live. Unfortunately, I'm sure the federal government will bail California out before that ever happens. (This might be Obama's parting gift in 2015/2016...)

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Here's a good summation of why California is about to fall into the ocean:

Meet your new Californian legislature!

California's Liberal Supermajority

Taxpayers are going to get all the government they ever wanted.

For Republicans unhappy with Tuesday's election, we have good news—at least most of you don't live in California. Not only did Democrats there win voter approval to raise the top tax rate to 13.3%, but they also received a huge surprise—a legislative supermajority. Look out below.

The main check on Sacramento excess has been a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority of both houses to raise taxes. Although Republicans have been in the minority for four decades, they could impose a modicum of spending restraint by blocking tax increases. If Democratic leads stick in two races where ballots are still being counted, liberals will pick up enough seats to secure a supermajority. Governor Jerry Brown then will be the only chaperone for the Liberals Gone Wild video that is Sacramento.

Mr. Brown can blame himself for this predicament, after he drove more young voters to the polls by threatening to cut $500 million from higher education, which would have brought on large tuition increases. Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 made up 28% of the electorate, up from 22% in 2008 and 15% in 1996.

Unions also ramped up their turnout machine to kill a ballot initiative that would have barred unions from automatically withholding money from worker paychecks for political spending. The high Democratic turnout in moderate and right-leaning districts helped the party pick up three seats in the senate and four in the assembly.

So now Californians will experience the joys of one-party, union-run progressive governance. Mr. Brown is urging lawmakers to demonstrate frugality and the "prudence of Joseph." As he said the other day, "we've got to make sure over the next few years that we pay our bills, we invest in the right programs, but we don't go on any spending binges." That's what all Governors say. Trouble is, merely paying the state's delinquent bills will require tens of billions in additional revenues if lawmakers don't undertake fiscal reforms.

Lawmakers have been borrowing and deferring debts for the past decade merely to close their annual deficits, and those bills will soon come due. The legislature has raided $4.3 billion from special funds and deferred $10 billion in constitutionally required payments to schools.

The state has also borrowed $10 billion from Uncle Sam to pay for jobless benefits and $313 million this year from the state disability insurance trust fund for debt service on those federal loans. Democrats have proposed replenishing the state's barren unemployment insurance trust fund by raising payroll taxes on employers. Expect that to happen now.

Then there's the more than $200 billion in unfunded liabilities the state has accrued for worker retirement benefits, which this year cost taxpayers $6.5 billion. The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it needs an additional $3.5 billion and $10 billion annually for the next 30 years to amortize its debt.

The state has $73 billion in outstanding bonds for capital projects and $33 billion in voter-authorized bonds that the state hasn't sold in part because it can't afford higher debt payments. Unissued bonds include $9.5 billion for a bullet train, which will require $50 billion to $90 billion more to complete. Sacramento will also need more money to support an $11 billion bond to retrofit the state's water system, which is planned for the 2014 ballot.

With no GOP restraint, liberals can now raise taxes to pay for all this. They'll probably start by repealing Proposition 13's tax cap for commercial property. Democrats in the Assembly held hearings on the idea this spring. Then they'll try to make it easier for cities to raise taxes.

The greens want an oil severance tax. Other Democrats want to extend the sales tax to services, supposedly in return for a lower rate, but don't expect any "reform" to be revenue neutral. Look for huge union pay raises and higher pension benefits.

The silver lining here is that Americans will be able to see the modern liberal-union state in all its raw ambition. The Sacramento political class thinks it can tax and regulate the private economy endlessly without consequence. As a political experiment it all should be instructive, and at least Californians can still escape to Nevada or Idaho.

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Here's a good summation of why California is about to fall into the ocean:

Meet your new Californian legislature!

California's Liberal Supermajority

Taxpayers are going to get all the government they ever wanted.

For Republicans unhappy with Tuesday's election, we have good news—at least most of you don't live in California. Not only did Democrats there win voter approval to raise the top tax rate to 13.3%, but they also received a huge surprise—a legislative supermajority. Look out below.

The main check on Sacramento excess has been a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority of both houses to raise taxes. Although Republicans have been in the minority for four decades, they could impose a modicum of spending restraint by blocking tax increases. If Democratic leads stick in two races where ballots are still being counted, liberals will pick up enough seats to secure a supermajority. Governor Jerry Brown then will be the only chaperone for the Liberals Gone Wild video that is Sacramento.

Mr. Brown can blame himself for this predicament, after he drove more young voters to the polls by threatening to cut $500 million from higher education, which would have brought on large tuition increases. Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 made up 28% of the electorate, up from 22% in 2008 and 15% in 1996.

Unions also ramped up their turnout machine to kill a ballot initiative that would have barred unions from automatically withholding money from worker paychecks for political spending. The high Democratic turnout in moderate and right-leaning districts helped the party pick up three seats in the senate and four in the assembly.

So now Californians will experience the joys of one-party, union-run progressive governance. Mr. Brown is urging lawmakers to demonstrate frugality and the "prudence of Joseph." As he said the other day, "we've got to make sure over the next few years that we pay our bills, we invest in the right programs, but we don't go on any spending binges." That's what all Governors say. Trouble is, merely paying the state's delinquent bills will require tens of billions in additional revenues if lawmakers don't undertake fiscal reforms.

Lawmakers have been borrowing and deferring debts for the past decade merely to close their annual deficits, and those bills will soon come due. The legislature has raided $4.3 billion from special funds and deferred $10 billion in constitutionally required payments to schools.

The state has also borrowed $10 billion from Uncle Sam to pay for jobless benefits and $313 million this year from the state disability insurance trust fund for debt service on those federal loans. Democrats have proposed replenishing the state's barren unemployment insurance trust fund by raising payroll taxes on employers. Expect that to happen now.

Then there's the more than $200 billion in unfunded liabilities the state has accrued for worker retirement benefits, which this year cost taxpayers $6.5 billion. The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it needs an additional $3.5 billion and $10 billion annually for the next 30 years to amortize its debt.

The state has $73 billion in outstanding bonds for capital projects and $33 billion in voter-authorized bonds that the state hasn't sold in part because it can't afford higher debt payments. Unissued bonds include $9.5 billion for a bullet train, which will require $50 billion to $90 billion more to complete. Sacramento will also need more money to support an $11 billion bond to retrofit the state's water system, which is planned for the 2014 ballot.

With no GOP restraint, liberals can now raise taxes to pay for all this. They'll probably start by repealing Proposition 13's tax cap for commercial property. Democrats in the Assembly held hearings on the idea this spring. Then they'll try to make it easier for cities to raise taxes.

The greens want an oil severance tax. Other Democrats want to extend the sales tax to services, supposedly in return for a lower rate, but don't expect any "reform" to be revenue neutral. Look for huge union pay raises and higher pension benefits.

The silver lining here is that Americans will be able to see the modern liberal-union state in all its raw ambition. The Sacramento political class thinks it can tax and regulate the private economy endlessly without consequence. As a political experiment it all should be instructive, and at least Californians can still escape to Nevada or Idaho.

:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Best thing I ever did was leave CA 2 1/2 years ago. Small surplus two straight years and the airwaves are not filled with endless crap and problems day and night.

Not only are CA taxes absurd, the cost to just live their is a huge tax in itself.

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Here's a good summation of why California is about to fall into the ocean:

Meet your new Californian legislature!

Here are the actual effects of California's business climate (taken from the comments section)

Report: 254 companies left California in 2011

In 2011, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state, 26% more than in 2010, according to Irvine business consultant Joe Vranich who has been tracking these departures since 2009.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/moved-342887-companies-texas.html

California’s attraction gone the way of the Dust Bowl

Out-migration is significant. Since 2000, “more than 1.5 million crossed the state line, their California dream having faded away. California’s growth from 2000-10 was the slowest since its 1849 statehood and occurred only because the loss was made up by the natural increase (births minus deaths) and international immigration.”

http://spectrumlocationsolutions.wordpress.com/

Edited by OC Zed

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:whistle:

The Reverse Joads of California

OPINION Updated March 4, 2013, 3:24 p.m. ET

The Reverse-Joads of California

Low- and middle-income residents are fleeing the state. Sacramento's liberal policies may bear much of the blame.

By ALLYSIA FINLEY

During the Great Depression, some 1.3 million Americans—epitomized by the Joad family in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"—flocked to California from the heartland. To keep out the so-called Okies, the state enacted a law barring indigent migrants (the law was later declared unconstitutional). Los Angeles even set up a border patrol on the city limits. Soon the state may need to build a fence to keep latter-day Joads from leaving.

Over the past two decades, a net 3.4 million people have moved out of California for other states. But contrary to conservative lore, there has been no millionaires' march to Texas or other states with no income tax. In fact, since 2005 California has experienced a net in-migration of households earning more than $200,000, according to the U.S. Census's American Community Survey.

As it happens, most of California's outward-bound migrants are low- to middle-income, with relatively little education: those typically employed in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, hospitality and to some extent natural-resource extraction. Their median household income is about $40,000—two-thirds of the statewide median—and about 95% earn less than $80,000. Only one in 10 has a college degree, compared with 30% of California's population. Roughly 40% of the people leaving are Hispanic.

Even while California's Hispanic population has grown by more than 1.5 million since 2005, thanks to high birth rates and foreign immigration, two Hispanics have moved out for every one that has moved in from another state. By contrast, four Hispanics from other states have settled in Texas and Arizona for every three that have left.

It's not unusual for immigrants or their descendants to move in pursuit of a better life. That's the history of America. But it is ironic that many of the intended beneficiaries of California's liberal government are running for the state line—and that progressive policies appear to be what's driving them away.

For starters, zoning laws, which liberals favor to control "suburban sprawl," have constrained California's housing supply and ratcheted up prices. As Harvard public-policy professor Daniel Shoag documents in a working paper, land restrictions became common in high-income enclaves during the 1970s—coinciding with the burgeoning of California's real-estate bubble—and have increased income-based segregation and inequality.

Housing in California is on average 2.7 times more expensive than in Texas. The median house costs $459 per square foot in San Francisco and $323 in San Jose, but just $84 in Houston, according to chief economist Jed Kolko of the San-Francisco based real-estate firm Trulia . Housing in California is cheaper inland than on the coast, but good luck finding a job. The median home in Fresno costs $95 per square foot, but the unemployment rate is nearly 15%, compared with 6% in Houston.

California's staggering labor and energy costs—it has the nation's most stringent fuel and renewable standards—have helped kill hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in California's interior. Note: Those are jobs that traditionally served as entry points to the middle class. The Golden State has shed a third of its manufacturing base over the past decade. And while the U.S. has added nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs over the past two years, California's heavy industry continues to erode.

Campbell Soup announced in September that it was closing its 65-year-old plant in Sacramento, which employed 700 workers, and shifting production to North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Chevron is moving 800 technical positions—in other words, jobs that aren't physically stationed on California rigs—to Houston.

Non-manufacturing businesses are also moving or expanding operations where labor, land, energy and capital are cheaper. Comcast announced in the fall that it is moving 1,000 call-center jobs out of California because of the "high cost of doing business." Facebook, eBay and LegalZoom have opened up Texas offices in the past few years, while PayPal, Yelp and Maxwell Technologies have pushed into Phoenix.

Meanwhile, small businesses that can't leave California so easily have been slow to invest because they are financially squeezed. Rents are prohibitive, and Sacramento takes 9.3% of every dollar over $49,000—and 13.3% over $1 million—that an individual or small business owner earns.

By contrast, small businesses in Texas have been sprouting like bluebonnets in the spring to meet the demands of an expanding population. More people mean more mouths to feed, bodies to clothe and homes to build. All told, Texas has added twice as many jobs as California has since 1990. California's rate of job growth since the recession ended in June 2009 has trailed Texas's by two-thirds.

In a sharp reversal of the 1930s, Texas and the Sun Belt have supplanted the Golden State as a magnet for jobs and people, while California has become America's leading labor exporter. Democrats, however, don't seem to mind so long as the state maintains its high-tech hegemony.

In his State of the State address this year, Gov. Jerry Brown boasted: "We have the inventors, the dreamers, the entrepreneurs, the venture capitalists. . . . When I first came to Sacramento, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had not yet invented their personal computer. There was no wind-generated electricity, and we didn't have the nation's most advanced building and appliance efficiency standards as we later adopted."

Recall, however, that the Okies—poor as they may have been—provided a gigantic pool of labor that fueled California's postwar boom and helped transform the Golden State into the world's eighth-largest economy. The Democrats who have had firm control of the state during its years of decline would do well to remember that a society's most valuable asset is always its people, regardless of their wealth or clout.

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Can't wait for LA to get the sales tax increase tomorrow :towelwave:

Also high time that the IBEW gets another raise from the DWP. Already among the highest paid in the country. The new contract will be just so much better!

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I'm reviving this old thread for a new article on the impending train wreck of California's unfunded pension liabilities:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pension-675141-public-percent.html

Within the span of only 11 years, the hole at the bottom of California’s state and local pension funds increased a staggering 3,046 percent.

The monstrous growth of the gap between what public agencies have promised workers upon retirement and what they actually have – from $6.3 billion in 2003 to $198.2 billion in 2013, according to figures gathered by the state controller’s office – matters to all Californians, reformers argue.

...

How did we get here? Critics say the answer lies in that tremendous spike in unfunded liabilities from 2003 to 2004.

In 2003, the hole in California’s 80-plus public pension systems totaled just $6.3 billion. But in 2004 – virtually overnight – it exploded to $50.9 billion.

...
All this was made possible by SB400, passed in 1999 under then-Gov. Gray Davis, which Crane has called “the single greatest issuance of debt in state history.”

SB400 lowered retirement ages for general state workers, from 60 to 55, with pensions paying 2 percent of salary for each year worked. It based pensions on the highest single year’s salary rather than an average over three years. And it gave patrol officers the most generous formulas the Golden State had seen: 3 percent of salary for each year worked, beginning at age 50, vs. the previous 2 percent at 50.

:doh:

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That state is a joke. Unfortunately, it is not going to be funny when the rest of the country is forced to pay more taxes to bail out CA. What are the other alternatives?

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It was retroactive as well. What a colossal ####-wad that guy was.

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That state is a joke. Unfortunately, it is not going to be funny when the rest of the country is forced to pay more taxes to bail out CA. What are the other alternatives?

They will just keep pulling the money out of the school system. There is no other place to get that much.

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I'm reviving this old thread for a new article on the impending train wreck of California's unfunded pension liabilities:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pension-675141-public-percent.html

Within the span of only 11 years, the hole at the bottom of California’s state and local pension funds increased a staggering 3,046 percent.

The monstrous growth of the gap between what public agencies have promised workers upon retirement and what they actually have – from $6.3 billion in 2003 to $198.2 billion in 2013, according to figures gathered by the state controller’s office – matters to all Californians, reformers argue.

...

How did we get here? Critics say the answer lies in that tremendous spike in unfunded liabilities from 2003 to 2004.

In 2003, the hole in California’s 80-plus public pension systems totaled just $6.3 billion. But in 2004 – virtually overnight – it exploded to $50.9 billion.

...
All this was made possible by SB400, passed in 1999 under then-Gov. Gray Davis, which Crane has called “the single greatest issuance of debt in state history.”

SB400 lowered retirement ages for general state workers, from 60 to 55, with pensions paying 2 percent of salary for each year worked. It based pensions on the highest single year’s salary rather than an average over three years. And it gave patrol officers the most generous formulas the Golden State had seen: 3 percent of salary for each year worked, beginning at age 50, vs. the previous 2 percent at 50.

:doh:

Isn't that worse than the greek system?

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That state is a joke. Unfortunately, it is not going to be funny when the rest of the country is forced to pay more taxes to bail out CA. What are the other alternatives?

:lmao:

California has a budget surplus.

Also, California provides more revenue to the Federal Government than it takes back in Federal Spending.

But please continue with your ignorant California bashing.

Edited by Gr00vus

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That state is a joke. Unfortunately, it is not going to be funny when the rest of the country is forced to pay more taxes to bail out CA. What are the other alternatives?

:lmao:

California has a budget surplus.

Also, California provides more revenue to the Federal Government than it takes back in Federal Spending.

But please continue with your ignorant California bashing.

It doesn't really. They use cash-based accounting to push out a lot of healthcare costs and pension obligations. If they had to actually account for current expenses like businesses do the budget wouldn't look anywhere near the same.

The giant pension bubble is a real problem that has no good solution. It's going to wreck havoc on state and local services, especially schools.

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That state is a joke. Unfortunately, it is not going to be funny when the rest of the country is forced to pay more taxes to bail out CA. What are the other alternatives?

:lmao:

California has a budget surplus.

Also, California provides more revenue to the Federal Government than it takes back in Federal Spending.

But please continue with your ignorant California bashing.

The budget surplus does not address the unfunded pension problem. At all.

And California's history of maintaining budget surpluses is rather poor.

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I can tell you that in terms of retail, the amount of new companies coming into California is at its highest in all the years I've been doing this (since 1991). It seems like every day I receive 2-3 emails from new companies, especially food, looking to open up 25-50 new locations in Orange County and Los Angeles alone. Yesterday I was approached by a guy who wanted to open up new Circle K mini-markets. I asked him how many he was looking for. "As many as you can find. Skies the limit".

No question pensions are a real problem. But the difference between California and Greece is that our economy is incredibly vibrant. We keep growing. We'll solve it.

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