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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Bruce Bialosky

California Pension Program Another Government Sham

It always starts with a bucolic name. Democrats are great at that. This one is “Secure Choice.” It starts with a good concept — people don’t save enough for retirement. But then it puts it in the hands of elected officials and their cronies and, when things go south, they will point fingers at private enterprise and we will bear the cost.

As a financial professional (CPA), I advise all my clients to put money into a pension plan. All professional literature suggests the earlier you put money into a pension the better off you will be later. Even if you are getting social security it will not be enough to support you in your retirement years, and those years are getting to be longer and longer with increased life spans.

John Chiang, California State Treasurer, has been promoting this plan and he even has a website pushing it which is funded with your tax dollars (of course with a picture of his smiling face). Everything on the website is “peaches and cream.”

The one negative he starts with is how many people don’t have pension plans. Of course, he starts with the Big Lie. They have pension plans. They can set up a traditional IRA.… Read More

Jon Coupal

CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICTS: HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

Special districts in California are the unnoticed variant of local government entities. Although they spend over $42 billion dollars annually, most taxpayers don’t give these ubiquitous agencies much thought. They vary from modest vector control districts to behemoths like the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit authority, an agency that has a billion-dollar budget and, despite declining ridership, continues efforts to suck ever more pennies from every dollar spent in Los Angeles County.

The problem with these semi-autonomous agencies is that it is extremely difficult to determine whether or not taxpayers are receiving good value for every one of the billions of dollars being spent by agencies that, in many cases, are governed by unelected political appointees. Even when these boards are directly elected, many special districts do not receive the same level of scrutiny as do city and county governments.

Most taxpayers support local control, but they also want to see local governments and special districts maintain maximum transparency, follow the Brown Act and post important fiscal information on their websites. This information is a valuable asset to… Read More

Richard Rider

San Diego’s SANDAG central planners lying about transportation use. They ALWAYS lie.

The front page San Diego U-T feature article (below) is generally favorable towards the SANDAG (San Diego County’s central planning agency) half percent sales tax increase — a tax increase to get people to not use cars for transportation. But the article makes the case that the SANDAG usage projection figures are a fiction. In other cities, spending such massive amounts of money on non-car transportation results in minuscule gains — if any.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/aug/28/san-diego-mass-transit/

SAN DIEGO’S UNPRECEDENTED TRANSPORTATION GOAL No U.S. city has quickly managed to get high numbers of residents to swap their cars for trains, buses, bikes and sidewalks. . . EXCERPT: Metropolitan regions frequently cited as havingRead More

Katy Grimes

Farmworker OT Bill a Disaster for the Ag Industry – Unless That is the Goal

The California Legislature is threatening its own agriculture industry again with an expansion of overtime rules for farm and ranch workers.

State government has been hostile to California farmers and ranchers for some time: cutting water to farmers and water rationing, “humane” chicken farm laws, regulating farm stands, regulating dairy farms almost out of existence, and very hostile labor relations with the malignant Agricultural Labor Relations Board. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Following a staged publicity stunt hunger strike last week by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the recently gutted-and-amended bill to expand overtime for farm workers was passed by the Senate.

Using the shell of another bill, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, in cahoots with the United Farm Workers, the… Read More

State Sen. Joel Anderson

Solar Fight at the Imperial Irrigation District

In the Imperial and Coachella Valley, the local municipal utility, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), abruptly ended its solar net metering policy, without warning, leaving about 1,200 applications for the program in limbo. Many of these customers already had solar panels installed on the roof and were just waiting for the utility’s approval to interconnect. They are now left with stranded assets and sunk costs.

This is a failure of government. Not only has the utility shut down a growing solar industry, but they’re punishing their own customers who supported it.

The responsibility for this situation lies with IID, not with people who went solar. Last fall, IID stopped accounting for net metering applications received from solar customers. Over the ensuing months, applications for net metering in IID piled up to the point where the utility lost track of how close it… Read More

Richard Rider

Surprisingly sharp drop in rate of U.S. births since 2007

We all know that the U.S. and Europe are experiencing declining birth rates. But I was struck by the MAGNITUDE of the U.S. drop since 2007. As the accompanying chart shows, it’s dropped for every race, though most dramatically for the Hispanic population. More important, we’re now below the “replacement level fertility” level.

The “Replacement level fertility” is the totalfertility rate—the average number of children born per woman—at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration. Thisrateis roughly 2.1 children per woman for most [developed] countries . . . .Read More

Katy Grimes

Republican Votes For Supersizing California’s Failed Climate Change Plan

Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from 0.03 per cent to 0.04 per cent has not caused and is not causing catastrophic runaway global warming. Dishonest references to “97 per cent of scientists” equate a mild warming influence, which most scientists agree with and more importantly can demonstrate, with a catastrophic warming influence – which most don’t agree with and none can demonstrate. –Alex Epstein, author of theMoral Case For Fossil Fuels, on the fundamental problem with the climate change industry

Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. announced this week he is anxiously awaiting SB 32and AB 197 to hit his desk. If these bill numbers don’t… Read More

Ed Ring

California Supreme Court Strikes Down Vergara Appeal

Here’s an axiom of California politics. When it’s the teachers union against everyone – that’s right, everyone else – the teachers union wins. Yesterday’s decision by the California Supreme Court to not hear the Vergara case is just the latest example.

Prior to losing on appeal, which brought the case to the attention of the State Supreme Court, the original Vergara ruling upheld the argument of the plaintiff, which was that union supported work rules have a disproportionate negative effect on poor and minority students.As reported in the Los Angeles Times in June 2014:

“Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu tentatively ruled Tuesday that key job protections for California teachers violated students’ rights to equal educational opportunity. Treu struck down state laws that grant teachers tenure after two years, require seniority-based layoffs and govern the process to dismiss teachers. He ruled that those laws disproportionately harmed poor and minority students… [writing:]

‘All sides toRead More

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