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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Asm. Travis Allen

California Democrats’ Blank Check Budget

Yesterday, Sacramento Democrats all voted in support of a budget that has an unknown cost, but is estimated to easily exceed the Governor’s record-level Budget spending that he proposed just two weeks ago. The Assembly’s current budget proposal is essentially a blank check committed to using record levels of taxes collected for a laundry list of bloated bureaucracies and wasteful projects.

This new budget proposal hides unilateral government plans to increase fees on every car owner and taxes on every cell phone user in California. Wasteful projects like the high speed rail are rewarded with $145 million of additional largesse. Furthermore, mismanaged bureaucracies such as CalTrans receive increased funding with zero oversight while California drivers experience worst in the nation traffic conditions.

On top of the $10 yearly vehicle registration fee hike and nearly 400% cell phone tax increase, some of the other highlights from the Democrats’ “Blank Check” Budget include a $145.2 million appropriation for high-speed rail, $2.1 Billion for an “optional” Obamacare expansion, and an additional $3.2 Billion for the recently raised Minimum Wage.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Govt. Created Energy Blackouts Coming to a City Near You

Most countries around the world think that it’s a good thing to have cheap energy.But in California, we have plenty of cheap energy available, just not the political will to access it.

California depends on natural gas-driven turbines and hydroelectric generators to provide just 38 percent of its oil needs. The state imports 12 percent of its oil from Alaska, and another 50 percent from foreign nations, relying heavily on Canada.

So why are California’s utilities warning of potential rolling blackouts again?

It’s political. And it’s corrupt.

Highest Electricity Rates = Less Power in CA

California’s natural gas shale formation is one of the largest in the world. And, California has been a pioneer in renewable energy, albeit still unreliable and unproven. Yet warnings are already coming that Californians may have rolling blackouts this summer. While… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Autocrats Accelerate State Gun Grab

The California Senate just passed 11 anti-gun, and quite possibly anti-constitution bills, which will likely be tied up in court for a very long time. The bills were rushed through by Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, infamous for his bill to paint all BB guns bright colors so they wouldn’t be mistaken for real guns.

This is what oppression looks like. And, it’s just plain stupid.

Even more dubious, the bills were gutted and amended“zombie bills” left behind by Assemblyman Henry Perea, a fellow Democrat, when he abruptly left the Legislature in… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Exposed: The Fraudulent CA Small Business Association

I keep getting campaign mail where candidates are touting their support from the California Small Business Association. Sounds like a good endorsement, right? WRONG.

I’m pretty involved in politics here in the Golden State – and I have to scratch my head. Because this group – well, it’s a fraud. I am aware that they host a big lunch in Sacramento each year (coincidentally that is today) but otherwise they do nothing that I am aware of to actually help small business. On the contrary, as you will read below, they actually throw their organization’s endorsement, with its misleading title, around on various political candidates, many of whom are left wing progressives who author and vote for more and more taxes and regulations that are adverse to small businesses in California.

A legislator should have to… Read More

Ed Ring

Government Unions and the Financialization of America

Financialization – “a pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production.” - Greta Krippner, University of Michigan (sourceWikipedia)

If you want one word to describe the biggest threat to the American economy, “financialization” would be the prime candidate. This is a threat that has no ideology. The left tends to blame economic challenges on the excessive power of oligarchs. The libertarian right tends to blame economic challengeson excessive regulations emanating from oversized government. But financialization empowered the oligarchs. And financialization is the toxic remedy that has, for a time, enabled oversized government.

Krippner’s analysis of financialization goes beyond its obvious manifestations – the most obvious being the loophole that allows hedge fund managers to avoid payingordinary income tax on the billions in bonuses they earn when they get lucky placing bets with other people’s money. An excellent in-depth article… Read More

Jon Coupal

TAXPORTATION: Profligate Waste Negates Justification for Transportation Tax Hike

A personal digression: My father was head of the Iowa Department of Transportation (then called the Iowa Highway Commission) in the late ’60s and early ’70s before he was appointed by President Ford to serve as Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. (Of course, he lost that job when Jimmy Carter became president, but he continued to work in the private sector for a transportation think tank).

When I was in high school, I remember him coming home from an ASHTO conference. That organization, the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, was a pretty well respected group and still is. He was complaining bitterly about what was going on in California. I don’t recall his exact words, but the gist of it was that the new head of California’s transportation agency, called CalTrans, had been taken over by a certifiably crazy person (with no background in transportation policy) by the name of Adriana Gianturco. According to my father, in the 1950s and ’60s, California had the best transportation agency in the entire world. But all that changed with the election of a new, anti-growth, small is beautiful, governor by the name of Jerry… Read More

Richard Rider

CA ranked the worst state for revealing spending data

California gains another “superlative.” We are ranked the worst state for “online access to government spending data.” We make less spending data available than any other state.

Two things to note about this latest CA “award.”

1. The study was done by U.S. PIRG, a decidedly left wing outfit that would LOVE to present the Golden State in a positive light. Eventheycould not save California from itself.

2. Three states earned an “F” score in the ratings. But CA won that match-up — it wasn’t close. Looking at the numerical scores, the 49thstate (Alaska) is still 26.5% better than California.



Figure ES-1: How the 50 StatesRead More

BOE Member George Runner

California Needs More Homes

Just one decade ago California’s housing market crashed, resulting in mass foreclosures and dramatic declines in home values. Today, we face a very different problem—a severe housing shortage.

There just aren’t enough homes. Supply is low, demand is high and home prices continue to rise. In fact, home prices in California are so high that middle and lower income families are being priced out of home ownership.

The average California home price of $450,000 is twice the national average.

In order to meet the demand for housing and to make homes more affordable, California developers would have to build millions of new homes—a million in Los Angeles alone—just to keep up. And it’ll be hard to keep up if California’s ultra-strict environmental regulations continue to get in the way.

Right now, there’s little incentive for builders to build homes, since excessive regulation has made it very expensive. To build a home, one must navigate a labyrinth of bureaucracy and follow a layer cake of rules. Builders are forced to price their homes higher, which then reduces the number of buyers who are able to afford the finished… Read More

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