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  1. #121
    Joined
    Mar 2002
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    California
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    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    I think if people nationally ever make the connection between what the Obamanation is proposing and what is happening NOW in CA there will be h3ll to pay on the hill.



    California’s Nightmare Will Kill Obamanomics: Kevin Hassett


    July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Last week, we discovered that the state of California will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

    With California mired in a budget crisis, largely the result of a political impasse that makes spending cuts and tax increases impossible, Controller John Chiang said the state planned to issue $3.3 billion in IOU’s in July alone. Instead of cash, those who do business with California will get slips of paper.

    The California morass has Democrats in Washington trembling. The reason is simple. If Obama’s health-care plan passes, then we may well end up paying for it with federal slips of paper worth less than California’s. Obama has bet everything on passing health care this year. The publicity surrounding the California debt fiasco almost assures his resounding defeat.

    It takes years and years to make a mess as terrible as the California debacle, but the recipe is simple. All that you need is two political parties that are always willing to offer easy government solutions for every need of the voters, but never willing to make the tough decisions necessary to finance the government largess that results. Voters will occasionally change their allegiance from one party to the other, but the bacchanal will continue regardless of the names on the office doors.

    California has engaged in an orgy of spending, but, compared with our federal government, its legislators should feel chaste. The California deficit this year is now north of $26 billion. The U.S. federal deficit will be, according to the latest numbers, almost 70 times larger.

    Bleak Picture

    The federal picture is so bleak because the Obama administration is the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of the U.S. I would imagine that he would be the intergalactic champion as well, if we could gather the data on deficits on other worlds. Obama has taken George W. Bush’s inattention to deficits and elevated it to an art form.

    The Obama administration has no shame, and is willing to abandon reason altogether to achieve its short-term political goals. Ronald Reagan ran up big deficits in part because he believed that his tax cuts would produce economic growth, and ultimately pay for themselves. He may well have been excessively optimistic about the merits of tax cuts, but at least he had a story.

    Obama has no story. Nobody believes that his unprecedented expansion of the welfare state will lead to enough economic growth. Nobody believes that it will pay for itself. Everyone understands that higher spending today begets higher spending tomorrow. That means that his economic strategy simply doesn’t add up.

    Character Deficit

    Back in the 1980s, Reagan’s own economist, Martin Feldstein, spoke up when he felt that the Reagan administration was pushing the deficit too far. Where are the economists with such character today? Apparently, the job description for economists has transformed from recommending policies that are defensible to defending whatever policies that the political hacks in the West Wing dream up.

    As bad as the California legislature has been over the years, it has never entered a fiscal crisis like the one that we face today and then doubled down with a massive spending increase. In the end, when times got tough, patriotic and sensible Californians of both parties stood up and began acting like adults.

    Maybe the same thing is starting to happen in our nation’s capital. The key players in Washington are Senator Evan Bayh and 15 Senate Democrats who joined him this year in forming a coalition of moderates. One thing that has distinguished moderate Democrats from the garden variety of the species is heightened concern about fiscal responsibility.

    Off a Cliff

    With the price tag of Obama-care likely to exceed $1 trillion, moderate Democrats face a simple choice. They can jump off the cliff with the president, or they can stay true to the principles that they have espoused throughout their careers.

    There are reassuring signs that principle is winning. One of the most expensive components of the Obama plan is the so- called public-insurance option, which opponents fear would result in massive government subsidies. Senator Mary Landrieu said that she is “not open” to a public option that will compete with private insurance.

    Many other Democratic Senators, including Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Tom Carper, also oppose the public option. As the cost estimates increase and support wanes, the Senate Finance Committee is even going as far as to pursue its own health-care plan, meaning that the health-care end game is now in sight.

    Tax Bite

    Moderates might support Obama’s health-care objectives if the bill also included tax increases to cover the spending increases. But those tax increases would likely be unpopular, making it almost impossible to pass a bill.

    Given the increasing public concern about deficits that heightened significantly last week because of the California crisis, there are only two possibilities left. Either the Obama plan will come crashing down or Senate Democrats will concoct some bill that has health in the title but costs almost nothing and does even less. With Al Franken arriving in the Senate and providing Democrats with a crucial 60th vote, the latter seems most likely.

    (Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  2. #122
    Joined
    Mar 2002
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    California
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    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    California Screaming
    The Golden State's political class comes unglued in the face of a citizens' revolt.


    On May 19, California voters went to the polls to decide whether to pass a package of six tax-and-gimmick ballot propositions. Its supporters—Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic legislative leaders, the California Teachers Association, and the overwhelming majority of the state’s major newspapers—billed it as the last best hope to plug Sacramento’s $24 billion budget deficit. “Either pass it,” warned the Los Angeles Times editorial board, “or risk fiscal disaster.”

    Those who believe that either money or the media determine political outcomes should pay close heed to what happened next: Although opponents were outspent by more than 7 to 1, they trounced the state’s political class, rejecting five of the six measures by an average of 30 percentage points. The only proposition to pass was an anger-driven new law that limits elected officials’ salaries.

    Faced with such thorough repudiation, California’s best and brightest then did a telling thing. They lashed right back.

    The Los Angeles Times headlined its morning-after news analysis, “California Voters Exercise Their Power—and That’s the Problem.” Sacramento columnist George Skelton argued that “voters helped get themselves into this fix” by “passing feel-good ‘ballot box budgeting’ initiatives” and sanctioning “heavy borrowing” for “infrastructure projects.” Business columnist Michael Hiltzik averred that “far more blame for the deficit belongs to California voters” because “year in, year out, they enact spending mandates at the polls, often without endowing a revenue source.” Missing from any of these critiques was the fact that the Times’ own editorial board endorsed more than 90 percent of the very same ballot-box bond measures during the last decade. No matter: A perpetrator had been located.

    “Good morning, California voters,” The Sacramento Bee’s post-election editorial began. “Do you feel better, now that you’ve gotten that out of your system?” The Bee, which (like the Times) had endorsed four of the five losing measures, came under immediate attack for its heavy-handed, citizen-blaming sarcasm. (A sample: “So, now that you’ve put those irksome politicians in their place, maybe it’s time to think about this: Since you’re in charge, exactly what do you intend to do about that pesky $25 billion hole in the budget?”) Rush Limbaugh gleefully read passages on his show, San Diego Union-Tribune editorial writer Chris Reed called it “staggeringly juvenile, arrogant and revealing,” and commenters on the Bee’s website were full of reactions like, “What an obnoxious editorial. Nevertheless, it illustrates that the Bee is completely in favor of bigger government and higher taxes.”

    Then another funny thing happened: The Bee scrubbed the editorial off its website, replacing it with a much more conciliatory piece, addressed this time to legislators. The original editorial had been posted in “error,” the paper explained, and the new piece was the one that appeared in the print edition. “That [first] article was a draft prepared for internal discussion among members of The Bee’s editorial board,” a brief note said. “Such discussions are a routine part of our work, and frequently lead to editorials that are considerably different from writers’ first drafts.”

    This instant airbrushing, normally fodder for such journalism-tracking websites as Jim Romenesko’s Media News, went virtually ignored by all but a few mostly right-leaning websites. So did another colossal gaffe, by the aforementioned Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, who thundered that the very notion California had a “spending problem” was an “infectious myth.”

    Hiltzik claimed that the state government’s budget growth had kept pace “almost to the penny” with growth in population and inflation during the last decade. There were three problems with this analysis: Hiltzik miscalculated population growth (claiming 30 percent instead of 14 percent), he chose a federal inflation rate of 50 percent during that period instead of the California Consumer Price Index figure of 35 percent, and, most important, he excluded from state spending more than $100 billion in bond measures. This whopper was roasted and dissected on local talk radio, but it was unmentioned by more august repositories of public policy and journalism debate, such as the Times-tracking LA Observed.

    Rarely has the chasm between elite political discourse and grubby popular opinion been displayed in such sharp relief. The implications of this citizen revolt—and the hostile reactions to it—stretch far beyond Nevada’s western border. California is the Ghost of Federal Government Future.

    During the last two decades, the Golden State has been transformed from what was once known as the nation’s most anti-labor outpost to a state essentially run by public-sector unions. Nearly three in five publicsector workers are unionized, compared to less than two in five public employees in other states. The Democratic Party, which is fully in hock to unions, has controlled the legislature and most statewide posts, with the notable exception of the governor’s mansion, for more than a decade. That means more government workers, higher salaries, and drastically higher pension costs.

    According to Adam Summers—a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this magazine—the state’s annual pension fund contribution vaulted from $321 million in 2000–01 to $7.3 billion last year. According to public databases, more than 5,000 people are drawing pensions in excess of $100,000 from the state of California each year.

    So pervasive is the union influence that big labor doesn’t even try to defend its deleterious effects on California’s finances. Just before the special election, a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board asked Service Employees International Union chief Andy Stern to respond to charges that unions are the 21st-century equivalent of the railroads that were once all-powerful in California. Stern verbally shrugged: “I think democracy is an ugly thing at times.”

    That ugliness has made the California budget, like those in most of the other 49 states, less efficient and more bloated. Government spending, unlike spending in the private economy, is a zero-sum game—especially on the state level, since governors can’t print money. Every dollar spent gilding a pension is a dollar not spent funding an orphanage. Naturally, the same elite outlets that were busy blaming voters after the election spent even more time detailing the horrors of the “annihilating cuts,” as the Los Angeles Times called them in a news article, that were coming down the pike. (In early June, the paper invited readers to be shocked that a high school with 3,200 students would have to make do with just three guidance counselors.) Bloated pension costs and the increasingly inefficient provision of state services received a fraction of the coverage.

    The federal government is now run by a president and Congress more responsive to union concerns than any in at least two decades. The same bloat currently bogging down statehouses and city halls is being duplicated in boomtown Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama even brought Andy Stern in to help warn Schwarzenegger that federal stimulus money would not be disbursed to California unless the governor rescinded some proposed state job cuts. Though that threat was later withdrawn, Schwarzenegger at press time was pushing for a measly work force reduction of 2 percent.

    But there’s another interpretation of California’s rebellion, one with far sunnier implications for those of us who prefer our governments constrained. Faced with a political class that ignored bureaucratic inefficiency, that demanded higher taxes, that filled the newspapers with scare stories about people who will literally die as a result of budget cuts, the citizens of one of the bluest states in the nation collectively said we just don’t believe you anymore. If even California’s famous fruits and nuts can call the statists’ bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country.

    Matt Welch (matt.welch@reason.com) is editor in chief of reason.

    Discuss this article online.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  3. #123
    Joined
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Corruptfornia
    Posts
    3,785

    Re: Let's talk California

    Even in the worse of times of no money but free spending...them's
    some good eats by golly, and even have some jams to go with chow
    and Mikey getting the last laugh !

    http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_12786871?source=rss
    Feeding the controversy over taxpayer costs for the Michael Jackson memorial, officials disclosed Wednesday that the city paid nearly $50,000 for box lunches from an upscale market 80 miles northeast of L.A. for police who worked the event.

    An outraged City Controller Wendy Greuel, whose office is responsible for paying city bills, said her staff researched the expense and found that 3,500 box lunches ordered from local Subway shops in Los Angeles would have cost only about $17,500.


    "There are many troubling issues that are raised by this expenditure," Greuel said in a letter to Jim Featherstone, general manager of the Emergency Services Department.

    "While it appears your office followed the rules for when an emergency is declared, it does not appear your office took steps to find the lowest possible price to provide lunch for the first responders."

    She added that in the current economic climate it would have been better to have the meals purchased in the city of Los Angeles. Buying within the city would also give the city local sales tax revenue.

    Instead, the lunches were made at Jensen's Finest Foods in Wrightwood, a hamlet tucked high in the San Gabriel Mountain range.

    The lunch costs further fueled an already angry debate over why Los Angeles, in the middle of a budget crisis, has had to pay millions of dollars in personnel costs for the private event at Staples Center.

    Council members say they have been inundated with irate calls and e-mails over the city costs involved, while the issue has also generated heated debate on local talk radio.

    A spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said late Wednesday the city cost for providing services at the memorial was $1.4 million. Earlier estimates were as high as $5 million.


    NEXT IN LINE!

  4. #124
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    Fans Flock to Mourn California, 1849-2009

    LOS ANGELES - Millions of fans from around the globe gathered along Sunset Boulevard to pay final respects to California today, as a slow moving funeral procession transported the eccentric superstar state's remains to its final resting place in a Winchell's Donuts dumpster in Van Nuys. The self-proclaimed 'King of Pop Culture' died last week at 160, in what coroners ruled an accidental case of financial autoerotic asphyxiation. The death sent shock waves across the world and sparked an outpouring of grief by rabid fans.

    "I don't care what the tabloids and the Wall Street Journal say," said a weeping Illinois. "I still love you, Cali!"

    The 640-mile long funeral parade route was lined with flowers, candles, teddy bears, and IOUs from millions of mourners and debtors who made the somber journey to watch the passing of the state that had once ruled the box office and industrial charts. Among them were current chart-toppers who cited California as a key influence.

    "If it wasn't for California, I wouldn't be where I am today," said Arizona of Westside 3, the popular sunbelt trio who recently benefited from the late state's generous gift of fleeing taxpayers and businesses. As a tribute to their mentor, Arizona vowed the group would start spending money "like crack-addled hip hop stars."

    "California's financial and musical legacy will never die," said band mates Nevada and Oregon.

    At the official funeral service at the LA Coliseum, a grief stricken Washington, who teamed with California on several hit software and wine projects, had to be physically restrained from climbing into the deceased's gold plated casket.

    Similar emotional outpourings were the rule of the day. Stories - apocryphal or not - of the late state's bizarre self-destructive behavior and fondness for molesting children did little to dampen the the flood of tributes from fans who preferred to remember California as America's Sweetheart.

    From a humble beginning as a water-poor remote Spanish mission outpost, California proved to be a precocious and talented child performer. It struck gold with 'Sutter's Mill' in 1849, earning accolades and attracting millions of crusty bearded prospectors. Black gold soon followed with 'La Brea Tar Pits.' Unlike many child acts, California made a smooth transition to adolescence, scoring a major hit with 'Agriculture' in 1891.

    Even a frightening bout with tremors did not stop the flow of hits. The 1915 megasmash 'Hollywood' broke all records, as did the wartime favorite 'Aerospace.' More recently, California topped the charts with 'Tourism,' 'High Tech,' and 'Coastal Pretension.'

    For a time it seemed as if the superstar could do no wrong, but behind the glittering facade of Disneyland Manor troubling signs of mental instability began to emerge. The state developed a well publicized drug problem during filming of 1967's 'Summer of Love,' and briefly dabbled in strange religious cults. Under the influence of spiritual guru Jerry Brown, it began wholesale experimentation in exotic spending programs, eventual resulting in a traumatic 1979 stay at the Prop 13 Rehab Center.

    During the 80's and 90's California enjoyed a brief career renaissance with hits like 'Olympics,' 'Real Estate' and 'Dot Com Boom,' but personal problems plagued the reclusive star once again. During the recording of the 'OJ' and 'Rodney King' albums, friends and visitors expressed concern over its recurring tremors and penchant for self-mutilation.

    "California used to be so happy and beautiful," said a horrified Ohio. "I hardly recognize it any more."

    During that period, camp insiders say the increasingly psychotic state began driving away its long time professional management team and support crew. In its place, it assembled an entourage of con men and embezzlers, some of whom stoked California's increasingly bizarre environmental paranoia. It was seldom seen in public without a breathing mask to ward off imagined pollutants.

    Worse, the hits began drying up; the huge 2001 flop 'Dot Com Bust' put a huge crimp into California's once unlimited cash flow. Despite the setback, insiders say the superstar was unwilling to change its lavish lifestyle, and retreated once again into spending abuse. Personal expenses skyrocketed, propelled in part by California's 8 million adopted foster children. During the 90's sensationalistic accounts of child abuse began surfacing. Eyewitnesses reported California cruising local neighborhoods in school buses, luring unsuspecting kid for sessions of 'public education.' By some estimates hundreds of thousands were left traumatized and severely brain damaged.

    The charges were vigorously denied by California camp spokestate Vermont.

    "California loves children," said Vermont. "California loves children, because deep inside California is a also a child -- full of innocent wonder, and the belief that any budget wish can come true as long as you just wish hard enough."

    True or not, the charges alienated many longtime fans, leaving California in an ever worsening financial position. In 2003 the state rejected suggestions that it was facing bankruptcy, saying that "I can't be out of money, I still have checks left." Amid the maelstrom, though, it fired tour manager Grey Davis who many blamed for California's financial woes. In his place, California hired Arnold Schwartzenegger to help engineer a career-saving comeback tour.

    Under the management of the flamboyant Austrian body builder / therapist, California began a rapid descent that ultimately ended in death. Some faulted Schwartzenegger's unconvential therapeutic methods and prescription spending pills, including state pension steroids that some say were powerful enough to kill a Scandanavian industrial power. Schwartzenegger denied culpability, saying that his spending pills "help build de upper financial torso and lats, and deese other sings and so on."

    Despite the last minute financial maneuvers analysts say the state died penniless, owing creditors as much as $100 billion. Amid the swirling recriminations between California camp factions, fans chose to mark its passing quietly. Longtime California fan club president Iowa said that despite being the constant butt of the Golden State's insults and jokes, it will remember the late superstar fondly.

    "Let's not remember California as a bloated, rotting freakshow corpse hanging above a filthy public pension toilet," it said. "Let's remember the good times. Like my 6-day bender at the '91 Rose Bowl."

    "California's pain is finally over, and I like to think that the whole state is going to a better place," Iowa added. "Just look at all those U-Hauls headed to Oklahoma."
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  5. #125
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    Spot on.. and what many here have been saying for sometime.


    California vs, Texas




    I think this may be the graphic of the year. It is from the cover story in The Economist that points out the differences between the two states and why Texas is doing so much better.

    ...

    ... Indeed, high taxes, coupled with intrusive regulation of business and greenery taken to silly extremes, have gradually strangled what was once America’s most dynamic state economy. Chief Executive magazine, to take just one example, has ranked California the very worst state to do business in for each of the past four years.

    By contrast, Texas was the best state in that poll. It has coped well with the recession, with an unemployment rate two points below the national average and one of the lowest rates of housing repossession. In part this is because Texan banks, hard hit in the last property bust, did not overexpand this time. But as our special report this week explains, Texas also clearly offers a different model, based on small government. It has no state capital-gains or income tax, and a business-friendly and immigrant-tolerant attitude. It is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state—64 compared with California’s 51 and New York’s 56....
    ...
    The article is wrong about education in Texas which I think is clearly better than California and I don't think Texas is going to go back to the Democrats anytime soon. We are too smart for that. But the graphic is right on.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  6. #126
    Joined
    May 2002
    Location
    Twain Harte, CA
    Posts
    20,453

    Re: Let's talk California

    ^^^ the cartoon...

  7. #127
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    Be interested to get at the details...

    State leaders have tentative plan to fix budget
    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/20/MNI218S6T1.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0Lv35vIBP


    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders reached a tentative budget compromise Monday to plug a $26.3 billion deficit by making hefty cuts in education, health and welfare services, and taking billions of dollars from county governments.

    The plan also includes allowing an offshore oil drilling project near Santa Barbara, keeping most state parks open and eliminating the Integrated Waste Management Board, which is led by political appointees, many of them former lawmakers, who earn six-figure salaries. Prison spending would be cut, but inmates would not be released early.

    Cal Grants would be spared, which means college students who have been promised the awards this year would receive them, and HIV/AIDS programs would lose some, but not all, state funding.

    "I am glad that we will close the deficit, and I am glad that IOUs will no longer be needed," said Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Baldwin Vista (Los Angeles County). "But make no mistake, this is a budget of shared sacrifice and shared pain. But we did not eliminate or completely shred the safety net in the state."

    ote set for thursday

    The Legislature is scheduled to vote on the plan Thursday. Approval would allow the state to begin recovering from this latest fiscal disaster, in which it issued IOUs while its credit rating plummeted toward junk-bond status.

    "We accomplished a lot in this budget agreement," said Schwarzenegger, adding that negotiations at times were "like a suspense movie."

    The tentative deal contains about $15 billion in cuts, roughly $4 billion borrowed from local governments and the rest from various accounting gimmicks that include early collection of taxes, increasing withholdings and shifting $1 billion worth of state workers' pay from the last day of this fiscal year to the next.

    Bass said that by not eliminating many popular health and welfare programs, as proposed by the governor, "we will be able to patch the holes when the economy does improve."

    Assembly Republican leader Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo said he believes the compromise will help the state return to fiscal stability.

    "None of these were easy choices," he said.

    But Paul McIntosh, executive director of the California State Association of Counties, said the plan to take money from counties would be devastating.

    "This is one of the largest takes of local government monies ever in the state," he said.

    The compromise would avoid raising new taxes, but would add more money to the state's depleted coffers by taking billions of tax dollars that local governments receive each year - money that the state would repay in future years. The plan also includes Schwarzenegger's ideas to collect taxes earlier and increase the state income tax withholding in worker paychecks. This move would allow the state to collect more income taxes earlier but could result in higher refunds.

    ccounting gimmicks

    The deal would also include other accounting gimmicks, such as a one-time plan to pay state workers one day late - on July 1, 2010, instead of June 30, 2010 - so that the spending is done in the next fiscal year instead of the current one.

    The agreement would also eliminate the Integrated Waste Management Board and combine its functions with the Department of Conservation. Together they would create a new department under the state Resources Agency. The plan would eliminate the waste board's six-member panel, which is made up of political appointees who each earn $132,179 a year.

    Former lawmakers have often been given the lucrative appointment, including former state Sen. Carole Migden of San Francisco, currently a member of the board. She and her fellow members would be out of their jobs at the end of this year.

    The more contentious issues revolved around the state's education funding and how much to cut from the state's health and welfare programs.

    Legislators agreed to limit spending on education without suspending Proposition 98, a voter-approved constitutional rule that spells out minimum spending for K-12 schools and community colleges. Sources told The Chronicle that the governor and legislative leaders also agreed on a scheme to pay $9.5 billion to public schools beginning in 2012 to make up for education cuts in the current budget.

    uts to health programs

    Schwarzenegger's initial proposal to eliminate health and welfare programs outright was rebuffed by Democrats, but those programs - In Home Support Services, CalWorks and Healthy Families - face deep cuts as well.

    The deal also includes Schwarzenegger's earlier proposal that would allow offshore oil drilling near Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 6 miles from the Santa Barbara County shoreline, generating about $100 million a year in new royalties for the state.

    Even with these hard-fought budget fixes, the state's future may remain hazy.

    Over the past 18 months, California's revenues have steadily declined as the economy weakened, leading to one deficit after another - and resulting in tax hikes and a series of spending cuts to state programs. It was only five months ago that legislators closed a $42 billion deficit that had been projected through June 2010.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  8. #128
    Joined
    Aug 2003
    Location
    West Richland, WA
    Posts
    6,397

    Re: Let's talk California

    It will be interesting to see what happens on a local basis when all of this funding disappears.
    Brian

  9. #129
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    What's this... take advantage of energy at our disposal to create jobs, tax revenue and make us less dependent on foreign oil??

    California Could Expand Oil Drilling Under Budget Agreement

    Now why didn't someone think of that sooner??
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  10. #130
    Joined
    Aug 2003
    Location
    West Richland, WA
    Posts
    6,397

    Re: Let's talk California

    Drill, baby, drill!
    Brian

  11. #131
    Joined
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Corruptfornia
    Posts
    3,785

    Re: Let's talk California

    ^ Funny you should mention that. In the "budget" there is a deal
    regarding increased drilling off shore. Deal is this is already a bust.

    Check it out. So this compromise..fixes what ? In a few months we'll
    be in the red again. We have too many people here not paying. I'm
    not one for taxes at all, but let's face it, there are a LOT of people
    leachin' off the system. The Unions have us by the nuts.

    The worse deal I see about this is the fact the seniors get nailed.
    That was and is one part I believe should not have seen cuts just
    from personal exp. I ask you, when you go to the store to get
    chow, how many times do you see seniors buying 1.00 frozen
    foods, or damaged can goods. I see it a lot up here where I live.

    I just hate to see these folks doing this, but they do it with as much
    dignaty as they can muster. I think the REAL crime as far as this
    goes is the profit grocery chains make off the prices they set.

    I've asked more than once at a local chain just how much they mark
    up the prices of the good they sell. Guess what..I still haven't had
    anyone step up and cop to it. Something mighty fishy there.

    Bottom line is we're never going to see the light of day. Wages stay
    the same while day to day living expenses go up big time. How
    are we who DO pay our way fix that ?

    And how come since the Dems have been in control of the Assembly
    and Senate are we always facing this budget crap ? So many regs
    going on it doesn't pay to open business here in Corruptfornia.

    I have to watch almost every penny I make or have just trying to make
    it day to day, yet those clowns up Sac way are living it fine. Just how
    many depts, etc are floating around that get a huge amount of money
    for so called costs to "handle business" ? I read an article today stating
    unemployment is going to reach 15% here is Ca before things start
    to look up.

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/s...22.e03ffa.html


    What the hell..?

    If this isn't a depression I don't know what is.

    Here are the cuts...so far.

    As the saying goes: the devil is in the details and some of them emerged as the leaders prepared to brief their fellow lawmakers:

    * $6 billion from K-12 schools and community colleges over a two-year span.

    * Nearly $3 billion from the University of California and California State University systems.

    * $1.3 billion from Medi-Cal, the state's health care program for the poor. Also includes a proposal to bill the federal government for more money.

    * Saves $1.3 billion by retaining three unpaid furlough days per month for state workers.

    * Includes $1.2 billion in unallocated cuts to the state Department of Corrections. Does not include Schwarzenegger's proposal to release some inmates early.

    * Cuts $528 million from CalWORKS, the state's welfare-to-work program, partly by increasing sanctions for families that fail to meet work requirements. Schwarzenegger had proposed eliminating the program entirely.

    * Cuts $124 million from Healthy Families, a program that provides health insurance for 930,000 low-income children. Lawmakers hope nonprofits, foundations and other groups can fill in some of the losses.

    * Cuts $226 million from the state's in-home supportive services program for the frail and disabled. Also includes Schwarzenegger's plans to require fingerprinting of caregivers and recipients, and would require caregivers to undergo background checks.

    * Cuts about $8 million from state parks, allowing the majority of state parks, beaches and attractions to stay open. Some parks are likely to close, however, based on popularity and use.

    Other Measures:

    * Borrows about $2 billion from local governments' property tax revenue, money that would have to be repaid with interest in three years. As a concession to angry local officials, the deal would prioritize repayment of the so-called Proposition 1A money after schools and bond holders are paid.

    * Takes $1 billion in redevelopment money from local governments.

    * Takes $1 billion in transportation funding from local governments.

    * Speeds up collection of 2010 personal income and corporate taxes to bring in revenue earlier than anticipated.

    * Sells off part of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, which the administration values at $1 billion. The fund is a quasi-governmental agency that is the state's largest writer of workers' compensation insurance

    * Allows limited expansion of oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast, bringing in $100 million in the current fiscal year.

    * Eliminates the Integrated Waste Management Board and the Board of Geologists and Geophysicists, which Schwarzenegger had targeted as wasteful and unnecessary.

    * Gives school districts the option of cutting the school year by five days.

    * Defers state employee paychecks by one day for a paper savings of $1.2 billion, which has been criticized by some as a gimmick. Instead of being issued on June 30, 2010, the paychecks would be issued on July 1, the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year.

    * Gives the governor authority to pursue the sale of about 10 state-owned buildings as a potential revenue source in future years, including the Orange County Fairgrounds, the Public Utilities Commission Building in San Francisco and the Ronald Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles.

    * Rejects Schwarzenegger's proposal for a surcharge on homeowner insurance policies to boost funding for emergency services. The surcharge would have averaged about $48 a year per homeowner.
    Last edited by no2guncntrl; 07-22-2009 at 10:53 PM.

  12. #132
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    26,280

    Re: Let's talk California

    Bah.. drilling back off the table. Replaced with smoke & mirrors..

    Legislature passes budget deal that doesn't quite close the gap


    SACRAMENTO — Often struggling to stomach the task of slashing services, the Legislature emerged from a marathon session Friday afternoon with final approval to most of a $26.3 billion deficit-cutting package that is sure to have far-reaching and, in many instances, devastating impact.

    Because the Assembly failed, however, to approve measures to borrow gas-tax revenues from local governments and on oil drilling, the Legislature handed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a budget that falls short by $1.1 billion of being balanced.

    Scwharzenegger said he would make line-item cuts in the next few days to make up for the gap, but lauded lawmakers for taking on the painstaking job.

    "This is not an easy budget — it's a difficult budget, but it's a necessary budget," the governor said in a press conference afterward. "California has experienced an unprecedented drop in revenues and we have no choice but to live within our means."

    The Senate, which finished its voting 11 hours after it opened session at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, adjourned nearly nine hours earlier than the Assembly, which had difficulty rounding up votes on four issues: repayment of $9.3 billion to schools, cuts to In-Home Support Services, oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast and borrowing $2 billion from local governments.

    "We got through it; we made our deal," said Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles.

    "There's no question I have a great sense of relief
    Advertisement
    in overcoming this hurdle," said Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, after his chamber finished its work at 6:23 a.m. Friday. "But I am very sober about it. Getting it done is very, very important. But I also recognize this budget will be very, very difficult for a lot of people."

    The tense and laborious session reflected the excruciating choices lawmakers had to make that will have a real effect on real lives, said Larry Gerston, a political science professor at San Jose State.

    "It's one thing to read about all the changes — it's all on paper now," Gerston said. "But it's another thing when parents see how large their class sizes are in the fall, when suddenly people who are shut in their homes can't get people to work for them, when potholes can't be filled. When people see the state's infrastructure deteriorating the way it will, that's when the real question will hit: Was it all worth it?"

    Staggering out of the Capitol after, for many, more than 30 hours at work, lawmakers broke for a three-week summer recess. It's a break lawmakers savor after a six-month stretch of continually dealing with the wreckage of the state's economy. In that time, the Legislature cut, in total, $60 billion from its budget and is now operating on a budget of a little more than $80 billion.

    It is an outcome to the liking of Republicans, who were able to get through negotiations without taxes ever being seriously considered. Republicans had already provided the minimum amount of votes for a $12 billion tax hike in February, and used the state's two-thirds vote requirement as a shield against more taxes.

    "This was one of the toughest budgets California has ever faced," said Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo. "In the midst of the deepest recession in a generation, this compromise reigned in spending, instituted reforms and closed the budget gap without raising taxes. This is a victory for California."

    For welfare advocates, the budget slashing was a bitter pill.

    "It is shameful, disgraceful and one of the lowest moments in the history of social welfare in California," said Michael Herald, lobbyist for the Western Center on Law & Poverty. "It is deeply offensive to hear Democratic leadership claim to have "saved the safety net" or that they will undo this in the future. They will never have the votes to restore CalWORKs and they should stop trying to deceive the public about the harm they have done."

    Hundreds of thousands of people who depend on government services — from college students and elementary school teachers to welfare-to-work recipients and sick children — will bear the brunt of a budget package months in the making.

    Of the $25 billion in budget "solutions," $15.5 billion come by way of cuts, with schools ($6 billion) taking the biggest hit. The University of California and California State University systems will be slashed by $2.8 billion; MediCal services are facing a $1.3 billion hit; corrections departments are facing an unspecified $1.2 billion in cuts; and three major welfare programs — the welfare-to-work CalWORKs program, In-Home Supportive Services and the children's health insurance program — stand to lose a total of $878 million.

    The rest — about $10 billion — is achieved through one-time raids on local government funding (for a total of $3.4 billion) and accounting maneuvers, such as deferring state employee paychecks by one day for a savings of $1.2 billion. Another $1.7 billion is saved by speeding up tax withholdings on individuals and businesses.

    The proposal to allow offshore oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast in exchange for $100 million in selling the rights, the final issue taken up, fell well short, on a 28-43 vote, a major victory for Democrats and environmentalists.

    Earlier, cuts to higher education, college grants, health programs, welfare, in-home supportive services and state prisons barely cleared the required two-thirds threshold in the Senate, on a 27-13 vote, though it went through more easily in the Assembly, on a 57-22 vote.

    Republicans had balked over the corrections cuts out of concern they would be seen as favoring a plan that calls for the early release of 27,000 prison inmates. The vote they took was technically for "unallocated" cuts, to be determined when lawmakers return next month after summer recess.

    "Tonight we were essentially asked to close our eyes and vote, sight unseen, on funding cuts to public safety," said Sen. Tom Harman, R-Costa Mesa, who voted against the measure. "There were absolutely no details of how those spending reductions would be enacted. Without details, there is no guarantee the cuts would not ultimately result in the early release of 27,000 inmates."

    Republicans have been assured that the GOP plan will be considered when lawmakers return from their summer session. But the plan will only require a majority vote, meaning Republican votes will not be needed — and likely will contain some elements of an early release.

    Administration officials and Democrats insist that only 6,300 of the inmates would be released early from prison, but don't define it as such, saying the inmates would remain under DOC supervision on house arrest.

    Earlier, Steinberg said that he hoped lawmakers wouldn't have to come back any time soon to deal with more revenue problems, but that the economy hadn't yet bottomed out and revenues might continue to drop.

    "But I will tell you, we have cut enough," he said. "When it comes to cuts as we go forward, enough is enough. I think the people frankly are going to want us to put back some of these investments as soon as we can."

    The budget plan also assumes bringing in $1 billion from the sale of part of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, a quasi-governmental agency that is the state's largest writer of workers' compensation insurance. The state Legislature's budget analyst, however, has said it is unlikely that a sale could be completed by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

    Steinberg said he hoped that the Legislature would not have to make any more cuts for the rest of the year, saying that the deficit-cutting actions of the past six months should allow the state to sell enough bonds later on to deal with any potential cash problems to take the state through June 30.

    That would enable the Legislature, Steinberg said, to begin to focus on reforming government — including going to the people for a vote to eliminate the two-thirds vote on budgets that he said forces the kinds of drastic actions they had to take this week.

    Reach Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.
    "The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us...
    Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business."


    -The Gipper


  13. #133
    Joined
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kern River Valley, CA
    Age
    71
    Posts
    21,598

    Re: Let's talk California

    2009 Legislation

    SB 572 | Harvey Milk Day


    This bill would require the governor proclaim May 22 each year as Harvey Milk Day. It would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.

    Status: Introduced on February 27, 2009, passed the California State Senate Governmental Organization Committee by a 9-4 margin. Passed Senate by a 25-12 bipartisan vote. Passed Assembly Education Committee by a 6-1 vote.


    http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=5023623


    One might think California has more pressing issues.

    Out of touch, out of control bleeding heart progressivism…

  14. #134
    Joined
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Corruptfornia
    Posts
    3,785

    Re: Let's talk California

    Well, well, well. They can dish it out to us peons, but God forbid THEY
    have to honor em..Crooked SOB's !

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/0...s_Own_IOUs.htm
    SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Small businesses that received $682 million in IOUs from the state say California expects them to pay taxes on the worthless scraps of paper, but refuses to accept its own IOUs to pay debts or taxes. The vendors' federal class action claims the state is trying to balance its budget on their backs.

    Lead plaintiff Nancy Baird filled her contract with California to provide embroidered polo shirts to a youth camp run by the National Guard, but never was paid the $27,000 she was owed. She says California "paid" her with an IOU that two banks refused to accept - yet she had to pay California sales tax on the so-called "sale" of the uniforms.

    The class consists mostly of small business owners, many of whom rely on income from government contracts to keep afloat. They say California has used them as "suckers" as it looks for a way to bankroll its operations while avoiding its own financial obligations.

    "Instead of seeking funds through proper channels, the State has created a nightmare," the class says. "Many of these businesses will not survive if they are required to wait until October 2009 to have these forced IOUs redeemed by the State."

    The class claims the state is violating the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It demands that California be ordered to honor its own IOUs, plus interest. They are represented by William Audet.

  15. #135
    Joined
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Corruptfornia
    Posts
    3,785

    Re: Let's talk California

    See how good the unions have been for Ca...
    http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_13131328?source=rss
    excerpt
    At a time when government agencies are cutting back on law enforcement, health care for children and services for the poor, the number of public servants collecting $100,000-plus pensions - including one raking in nearly $500,000 a year -- has exploded in recent years, in some cases tripling or even increasing sevenfold.

    In Los Angeles County, the number of retired county employees receiving pensions of $100,000 or more has nearly tripled from 1,198 in 2004 to 3,096 today, the Daily News - a sister publication of the Daily Breeze - has learned through a series of Public Records Act requests.

    Throughout California, the number of retired state workers collecting $100,000-plus pensions has mushroomed more than sixfold from 816 in 2004 to 5,115 now.

    And the number of school administrators and teachers collecting six-figure pensions has rocketed more than sevenfold from 427 in 2004 to 3,088 now.

    Los Angeles, excluding the Department of Water and Power, currently has 600 retirees collecting more than $100,000 a year.

    "This is just outrageous to me," said Marcia Fritz, vice president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, an organization that advocates statewide pension reform. "I would not have expected the number of ($100,000 pension club members) to have increased that much in the last five years."

    The dubious honor of collecting the state's highest pension belongs to former Vernon City Administrator Bruce Malkenhorst, who receives $499,675 per year - even though he is currently facing two counts of misappropriating public funds for allegedly taking $60,000 in city money for personal use.

    Malkenhorst's attorney did not return calls for comment.

    The second largest pension goes to an undisclosed Los Angeles County government retiree who is paid $366,384.

    As grand juries throughout the state are investigating pension systems, former Assemblyman Keith Richman, president of CFFR, said these huge pensions are the result of a "corrupt pension system."

    California, Richman said, is the only state in the nation that allows employees to use their highest year of salary - including unused vacation, vehicle allowances, bonuses and other compensation - in calculating their pensions.

    "The bottom line is we have very extravagant pension benefits that taxpayers can't afford," Richman said. "Pension-spiking has played a large role in this. We have public employees throughout the state who are retiring at age 50 and collecting more than 100 percent of their salaries, getting annual cost-of-living raises and lifetime health benefits."


    But union leaders bristle at the suggestion that most public workers receive extravagant retirement benefits.

    Barbara Maynard, a consultant for the Coalition of LA City Unions and the Coalition of County Unions, said only a small percentage of retired public servants receive "these exorbitant pensions."

    "It's really upper management who are receiving these benefits," Maynard said. "The rank-and-file workers are really struggling to get by on very meager pensions averaging $40,000 a year."
    I don't care what anyone says, 40,000 dollars is a lot of money. I
    could live VERY well on that.

    The revelations about the eye-popping pensions - a byproduct of what officials describe as a "Cadillac" pension system elected officials have created at the prodding of public employee unions - comes as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks and others are calling on elected officials to roll back generous pension and retiree health care plans.

    Schwarzenegger has estimated the unfunded retirement promises - the money the state has promised to pay over the lifetime of its employees and retirees without designating where the funds will come from - could be as much as $300 billion if investments don't meet projections.

    Without reforms, officials say taxpayers will be saddled with more taxes and watch more of their hard-earned dollars going to finance the lavish lifestyles of retired bureaucrats.

    When the state's first pension fund. the California State Teachers' Retirement System, was created in 1913, teachers who worked 30 years were paid a $500 annual pension, the equivalent of about $10,500 annually now. Over the years, other public pension systems were created and most were designed to pay public servants about half their salary in retirement.

    At the height of the economic boom in 1999, labor unions aggressively lobbied state lawmakers to pass SB 400 - the "pension-boosting bill" - retroactively increasing pensions for state employees and allowing them to retire at younger ages with higher pensions.

    Then in 2003, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling on a 1997 lawsuit allowing public employees to use bonuses, clothing and auto allowances, unused vacation and other income in calculating their pensions.
    Ah, yes the Ca Supreme Creeps. Should of known they'd be behind it
    SOMEWHERE..

    Since then, government agencies throughout the state have adopted similar plans and public employees, whose pensions are usually based on the highest year's pay, have used a variety of methods to "spike" their pensions shortly before retirement.

    Now, even as the number of government workers collecting $100,000-plus pensions has skyrocketed in recent years, the pension systems charged with dispersing their checks have lost tens of billions of dollars in the stock and real estate markets.

    As a result, the amount of taxpayer subsidies for these pension plans will have to be increased by billions of dollars in the years ahead, requiring more tax increases and cuts in public services.
    All I can say is...well I can't or I'll get banned, but it starts with a F and
    ends with em. I have to BE careful how I spend my little bit of earnings
    and though I make it, I pinch here and there. To see that these
    people are getting twice as much and some much more than I even
    make in retirement and are "struggling",.. is just flat BS.
    Last edited by no2guncntrl; 08-16-2009 at 04:34 PM.

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