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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Ray Haynes

My Advice to Legislators: Don’t Rely on LAO Rosy Scenarios For A Budget Surplus

There is so much wrong with California at this point, from mob “smash and grabs” to “out of control” housing prices, to stratospheric gas prices, collapsing transportation infrastructure, as best demonstrated by the hundreds of ships setting outside the Port of Los Angeles, to the inner city rot caused by the failure to properly deal with the homeless, to the failure of the responses to the pandemic and a Governor who thinks it is his right to act like a tinpot dictator, and his unquestioning sycophants in the Legislature, all supported by the media lapdogs and ill-informed voters seemingly unconcerned with the collapse of the social structure their political leadership is creating in the once-great state of California, that it is hard to find good news about anything California government does. That is why last month, when the Department of Finance and Legislative Analyst Office announced California’s government was looking at a $31 billion surplus, a lot of politicians breathed a collective sigh of relief. How could they face the voters next year without offering some glimmer of hope? People can only take so much. A big surplus can be used to… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Sullivan and Frum Define Continued Trump Hysteria

Since Joe Biden was declared the 2020 winner, I have only written once about Trump. I have not changed my mind in that his policies were wonderful (particularly as contrasted with the disastrous Biden), but I think we should move on – there are better choices than Trump to move those policies forward without all the noise. Then Andrew Sullivan wrote his Weekly Dish defending a David Frum column but coming to a different conclusion, entitled It Wasn’t a Hoax, It was Media Overkill.

This comes at a time when John Durham has begun to charge people for providing manipulated information to the FBI regarding the Steele Dossier. It has become clearer that the Clinton campaign was behind the Russia, Russia, Russia allegations.

Sullivan starts his piece by lauding Frum as a man of clarity and truth by pointing out many aspects upon which the two agree. Sullivan writes that Trump had many conflicts of interest when it came to Russia. One could believe that to be true if he had initiated his business dealings in Russia with the idea it would catapult him toward a run for the U.S. presidency. There is little if any evidence… Read More

Richard Rider

CA law allows sheriffs to issue far more “concealed carry” gun permits. Urban county sheriffs won’t do it.

Most Californians think that — unlike 40+ other states — CA state law all but forbids its citizens from legally packing heat in public. That’s not true, but the local issuing authorities (generally the county sheriffs) have wide discretion.

The CA state law says that for a CA citizen to receive a CCW (concealed carry) permit, the applicant must show thatGood cause exists for you to be authorized to carry a concealed weapon.” The definition of “good cause” is entirely up to the local sheriffs.

The results are pretty much what you’d expect in woke California. The RURAL CA sheriffs often issue CCW’s for “self defense,” with little or no additional reason required. It’s often relatively easy to legally carry a concealed firearm in these counties.

But in the urban and suburban areas of the state where the overwhelming majority of the people live, our progressive politicians and sheriffs have severely restricted the ability to get a CCW. Here’s a map that pretty much sums of the CCW… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Why in the World Are Democrats Preferred on the Issue of Education?

While watching the election returns in Virginia, the analysts — you know those people with those slick boards which move pictures with the flick of a finger — were talking about what a shock it was that a Republican was favored on the issue of education. At this time in America, why would anyone favor the Democrats on this issue?

Did anyone happen to notice that once public employee unions were legalized back in the 1960’s, the cost of public education soared in this country while the quality of said education plummeted? Scientific theory, of which subject teachers are completely inept, would tell you that the two are not necessarily cause and effect. An honest person would state there are other factors involved. Is it a coincidence that these things happened simultaneously? I think not.

The country’s largest city which operates the country’s most populated school system has an (outgoing) mayor who has been an ardent enemy of charter schools. These are the same charter schools that have thousands vying for limited spots via lottery to get their children into schools not controlled by the mayor and his teacher union supporters.… Read More

Richard Rider

California is massively borrowing from feds to pay for state’s unemployment payouts. No GOP state is borrowing ANY unemployment money from DC.

A common lame liberal talking point is that the GOP states are doing better than Democrat states because the red states are more subsidized by the federal government. It’s often not true, as well as rather trivial — I’ve written about this before. Here’s one of my somewhat wonky articles on the topic: https://riderrants.blogspot.com/2016/11/per-capita-federal-taxes-and-spending.html

But now we have another example. The graphic below shows all the states that are borrowing from Uncle Sam (well, Uncle Biden) to bail out their massive unemployment spending. CA leads the pack, but — to be fair — it’s also the most populous state. That being said, in this instance, California is borrowing more unemployment funds per capita from the feds than any other state.

Read More

Bruce Bialosky

There is a Big Difference Between R’s and D’s

Many people will jump in and say that there is no distinct difference between this country’s two political parties. If you take out the extremes of each party, you cannot slip a sheet of paper between the two. Yet there is a big difference in philosophy that divides the two parties that defines what each believes and is at the heart of almost all respective actions. That was exemplified by an interaction I had on a matter that you would never guess would be so defining.

Over the past 50 years, I have participated in planning our class reunions. It is an interesting position for me because I came to Los Angeles as a high school sophomore and was not that involved in my high school’s activities. I was more involved in an outside religiously based organization. Over the years I became closer to many of my high school classmates and worked with the principal person who stayed in touch with the class and helped organize the reunions.

Some of my friends were afraid we would not have a real reunion for our 50th and contacted me to make sure it was at a nice place and properly planned. I stayed in touch with the person organizing the event. That person had asked me to… Read More

Richard Rider

Why I love the VAT (sales) tax and hate the corporate income tax

Okay, okay — that title is a bit of a “click bait” come-on. A more nuanced headline would be “When looking at the VAT/sales tax (hereinafter called simply the VAT tax) vs. the corporate income tax, OF THE TWO I far prefer the VAT tax.” Too wordy for a headline.

It’s all about truth in taxation. And the truth is that corporations don’t pay taxes. Their customers pay the “corporate” taxes.

CorporationsCOLLECT taxes from their customers in the form of higher prices. Corporate taxes are almost all “pass through” taxes that customers never even realize that they are paying. In contrast, customers DO see a VAT or sales tax when they make a purchase. More about that shortly.

Most Corporations in competitive markets have limited options. To deal with the higher costs of increased taxes and mandates, businesses have do one or more of the following:

Charge customers for the taxes (it’s just another cost of doing business). Pay their employees less. Accelerate automation to lower laborRead More

Bruce Bialosky

Defend Taiwan

We are coming off a debacle departure from a country in which we were entangled for 20 years. There are many Americans that look skeptically at entering another country to defend it against evil forces. In this case, we have a mostly different situation. It is imperative for us and our allies that we defend Taiwan.

Americans have recently been left with a cynical attitude due to our military actions. We entered a country (Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Trio) with a just cause and it turned into quicksand. We arm and train the local population to defend itself against the enemy (Viet Cong, ISIS, and Taliban) and as soon as we depart the local forces fall apart thereby wasting everything for which we were fought. Taiwan is not that.

Taiwan is a democracy and wants to remain a free and independent country. Despite assertions by Xi Jinping (head dictatorial authoritarian), the fact that Taiwan is part of China is a stretch. After thousands of years of existence, it became part of China in 1683 and remained so only until 1895 when taken over by Japan which controlled the island until 1945. From there it was part of China for four years until becoming a free… Read More

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