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Jon Fleischman

Random Thoughts For A Monday

— The battle between Governor Jerry Brown and Molly Munger, the daughter of Birkshire Hathaway titan Charles Munger, allows me to officially proclaim that bipartisanship is not dead. Governor Brown opposes Molly Munger’s massive tax increase. And Molly Munger opposes Governor Brown’s massive tax increase. And I actually oppose both the Governor’s massive tax increase and Munger’s massive tax increase. We’re all on the same team!

— Speaker John Perez and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer both have something in common — both of them want to pass a massive billion dollar plus tax increase that would only further weaken economic recovery in California. You seriously cannot make this stuff up.

— So it is unclear to my why any Republicans in the California legislature would be voting to give any kind of tax breaks to Hollywood for movie production costs. Putting aside the policy issue of all of these tax breaks that allow the political class to pick winners and losers — politically, why would the GOP assist in any favorable treatment towards a community that pour vast amounts of money into liberal politicians nationally, and here in California?

— The ruling last week by the Supreme Court was a travesty. Many fought and lost their lives to create this country, where basic liberty and freedom are protected from politicians by a strong Constitution. Chief Justice Roberts tossed that out the window, and here’s the sad reality.

— Thank God there aren’t Congressional earmarks anymore (for now). But this article highlights a battle between Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, where one of them is trying to madly clutch onto the ill-gotten gains of a particular egregious piece of pork.

— It is worthy of note that we are now in July, and there is so still no language forthcoming from legislative Democrats on the critical issue of pension reform. I would remind all that if a proposal does come forward, the most significant metric to check it against will be do what degree its adoption lowers the unfunded pension liability. Democrats should read this, and understand tinkering with formulas for the ‘next generation of workers’ doesn’t solve our contemporary crisis.

— In San Bernardino County, politicians think that it is a good idea to use government’s eminent domain power to “seize” someone’s home mortgage. You cannot make this stuff up. The housing crisis was largely caused by government sticking its nose into what should be private contractual arrangements between home buyers and lenders.

— Just because financial times are tighter for the State of California doesn’t mean that the large public employee unions are not continuing to loot everything in sight. This latest budget demonstrated that the unions can still demand and get insane deals, and also continue to slam the door on common sense. Don’t look for the influence of the unions to do anything but grow as a result of Prop. 14.

— As of yesterday it is now against the law to sell foie gras in California (foie gras is a food delicacy that involves force-feeding a duck before killing it to eat parts of it, unlike a Chicken McNuggett which my son would say is a delicacy, that involves just regularly feeding a chicken before killing it to eat parts of it). It turns out the law is not so easy to grapple with, and may not be too effective. I can tell you that at two places I like to dine, they are now giving away a foie gras course (to get around the ban on selling it).

Revenues are already falling short on the newly minted State Budget. But this is no surprise. Despite many warnings from the excluded party, Democrat legislators went ahead and passed an unrealistic budget (again).

— So with the passing of the budget and its trailer bills, there is now a 20% penalty if you overpay your taxes. That happened.