FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

Phil Mickelson’s CA NET income tax rate going up 83.6% in 2013!

Here’s the fact that EVERYONE (including me) initially underappreciated concerning Phil Mickelson and CA state income taxes. Starting in 2013,golfer Phil Mickelson’s NET state income tax rate has jumped an astonishing 83.6%! And yes, this huge increase hits most Californian making more than $2 million income.

Here’s why. Until 2013, state income taxes were deductible for federal income tax purposes. Starting in 2013, for the really rich, this deductibility largely goes away (as does deducting property taxes and many other deductions). For people with over $2 million of income, they lose 80% of such deductions.

With Proposition 30 passed in November, CA has raised its income tax on the wealthy by 29%. The combined tax increase is breathtaking. Do the math, and you find that in 2011 the net CA income tax for Mickelson was 6.7%. In 2013 his net CA income tax is 12.3% — an increase of 83.6%.

Some would respond that Mickelson has been subject to AMT (the Alternative Minimum Tax) and thus could not deduct his state income tax in years past. But almost surely he has NOT been subject to… Read More

Ron Nehring

BREAKING: Obama’s Economy SHRINKS

Today’s shocking report that the U.S. economy actually shrank during the 4th quarter of 2012 shows just how fragile America’s economy “recovery” continues to be.

Some economists were quick to attribute the economy’s poor performance to “one time factors,” such as government spending cuts and slower inventory growth. But hold on – with a skyrocketing national debt, further government spending cuts should not be considered a “one time” event. Nor should slower inventory growth, which of course happens from time to time.

What’s really going on here?

The recovery from the 2008-2009 recession has been the most anemic of any in recent decades. In other words, we’re limping out of the hospital still badly wounded, not putting on our running shoes.

An economy with Reagan-era economic growth rates of 8% would be able to absorb such “one time factors” (which as we just discussed are not really one-time) without having the economy actually shrink. By contrast, the Obama “recovery” is so weak that the 2.6% which government spending cuts and slower inventory growth took away from GDP growth was enough to knock us back into… Read More

Katy Grimes

CA lawmakers at hearing aim at guns, not crooks

SACRAMENTO — There was no shortage of drama yesterday in a Capitol hearing about California’s gun laws. A show-and-tell, demonstration by the California Department of Justice, of several high-capacity rifles held the rapt attention of lawmakers.

The prevailing theme for state Democrats during the three-hour hearing was that there are bad guns and good guns, and the bad guns need to be outlawed.

They did not discuss that home robberies have increased in many cities in California. The typical home invasion consists of three to four perpetrators, armed with semiautomatic pistols or semiautomatic rifles, who force their way through the door of the home. Police report that the perpetrators do not care at all about gun laws, and are willing to kill. And since a felony murder charge already carries a life sentence or the death penalty, the gun crime is a freebie in sentencing.

Read the story at CalWatchdogRead More

Congressman John Campbell

Violence

Let me begin this discussion by joining in the mixture of sorrow, disgust and anguish that is universally felt by all Americans at the recent spate of killings resulting in the deaths of children and students in schools and colleges around the country. The Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy is one that will not, and should not, leave our collective memories for many years. My daily prayers include the families of these young victims. There is no disagreement that such violence is on the increase in our country. There is similarly no dispute that we must have a reasoned and serious debate about its causes and potential solutions.

With this writing, I will enter that debate.

With a few exceptions, the proposals to reduce such violence have been focused on increased gun control legislation. Some have also talked about increased mental health funding and reporting, while others have suggested armed guards in schools as a solution. I believe that these proposals all deal with the symptoms rather than the causes of such violence. Furthermore, I believe that most of these proposals are actually counterproductive in that they distract us from what perhaps are much more… Read More

Katy Grimes

Anti-gun lawmakers lead gun hearing Tuesday

Jumping on the anti-gun movement in the country, two of California anti-gun lawmakers will lead a hearing today about guns and violence. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, Chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, and Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, Chairwoman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, will be taking a look at gun violence and firearm law in California.

However, putting Ammiano and Hancock in charge of the gun and violence hearing is like having Lindsay Lohan lead an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and Tiger Woods in charge of sex addicts anonymous.

Ammiano was instrumental in getting rid of San Francisco’s High School competitive .22 cal rifle teams, and worked to put an end to the junior ROTC program in San Francisco’s High Schools. Ammiano supported the ban on allowing gun owners to carry an unloaded gun in public. ”Whether a gun is loaded or not, it’s still an act of intimidation and bullying,” Ammiano said.

It was reported yesterday that Ammiano is about to introduce a bill to tighten gun-safety laws already in place by adding a safe-storage requirement when a person prohibited from gun possession is living in the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Ban more California jobs with plastic bag ban

With introduction of the twelfth bill to regulate plastic bags in 10 years, consumer choice doesn’t stand a chance in California. And unemployed Californians looking for a job can forget it – plastic bag companies will be just one more industry in manufacturing to get the boot out of the most business-unfriendly state in the nation.

“To continue the use of these bags would ignore the convincing body of global evidence proving that these bags are having a drastic effect on marine ecocultures,” said Freshman Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, author of AB 158. “Additionally, there are several easily available and affordable alternatives to plastic bags. We need to ban these bags once and for all.”

Despite a recent study by the National Center for Policy Analysis which found lawmakers’ banning or taxing such bags reduces economic activity and increases unemployment, Levine has put forward a bill to prohibit grocery stores with more than $2 million in annual sales, or retailers with more than 10,000 square feet of… Read More

Jason Cabel Roe

The GOP – Our Lord Grantham

If you watch the BBC-produced Downtown Abbey on PBS Masterpiece Theater, you can’t help but like the clan’s patriarch, Lord Grantham. Even when he’s doing the wrong thing, you hope that modernity will slap him in the face and detour him from the wrong decision.

As I watched this past Sunday’s episode, it occurred to me how analogous Lord Grantham is to the current state of the Republican Party.

For the uninitiated, I will explain. Downtown focuses on a family of British aristocrats in the early 20th Century and the trials and tribulations of feudal-style life for the nobility and their servants. Season three covers a period following World War I where enormous change is thrust on society, including women’s suffrage and the end of tuxedos at dinner.

Lord Grantham, as the lord of the manor, feels a sense of obligation to protect tradition and in so doing, often finds himself swimming against the tide and making decisions based on protecting the past rather than embracing the future. You root for Lord Grantham because you can see that he is intent on doing the right thing and that he is a good man, confused by societal change.

Such is… Read More

Jon Fleischman

Superminority Status Can Be Permanent – Look To Hawaii, or Massachusetts

Much has been written about Democrats achieving “super majority” status in both the California State Senate and the State Assembly, where they can now pass all legislation with “urgency” (to take effect immediately), pass all tax increase measures, and even place measures on the ballot — all without a single Republican vote. I have spoken with many of the 36 Republican legislators in the Capitol since the beginning of session — and can tell you there is general consensus — being in in the “super minority” sucks.

That having been said, Republican legislators should be very concerned about the fact that things can get much worse they are now. Look no further than to states like Hawaii or Massachusetts to see how “super majority” can become “virtually non-existent” — scary stuff. Just for the heck of it, I went onto Google and… Read More

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