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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Bruce Bialosky

Nonsense Spewed by Democrat Candidates

It became obvious early on during the Democrat Debates that the moderators/press would not seriously challenge any of the ideas proposed by the candidates. This is a press that likes to keep a daily count of what they consider to be President Trump’s misleading statements, but question others? As a public service, here are some of the highly questionable statements/policies by the candidates.

Julian Castro is quite a thoughtful guy, but his proposal of how to deal with the three countries in Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) staggers the mind. He questions why President Trump cut off funding to these countries. He has proposed a Marshall Plan for these three countries.

Does he not know we have been providing significant foreign aid to these countries for years? Does he not know that despite that significant aid a torrent of people are leaving, and we are being flooded with citizens from those countries? Does he not know their governments are corrupt and that most aid will not go to the people? Does he know there are corrupt governments on other continents and their people want to come here also? Yet he suggests we provide these… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Stop Whining, America’s Great

If you think the constant bickering coming from our political leaders is disconcerting and the communication on our social media dips to levels that have never been seen in our history, you haven’t a clue. Travel to foreign countries — particularly ones that may be economically challenged — and you really will confirm that we may have collectively lost our minds.

Those of you who have read this column for a while may recall that directly following tax season is when the Beautiful Wife (BW) and I hightail it to some foreign lands. Thankfully we lock up our smartphones so that we can have a true vacation instead of staring at the small screens in restaurants (and everywhere else) like the rest of… Read More

Richard Rider

CA has the highest gas taxes in nation — and the SECOND worst roads

1 July, 2019. Congratulations, Californians. As of this date, with our latest 5.6 cent/gal gas tax increase, you folks (well, WE folks) now officially pay the highest gasoline and diesel taxes in the nation. Pennsylvania, you’re relegated back to #2.

So why do we have some of the crappiest roads in the nation? Read on.

First, a clarification: Prior too this latest CA gas tax increase, California ALREADY had the highest taxes on gasoline, but our CA “cap and trade” tax is not listed with the other fossil fuel taxes in such comparisons. The California Legislative Analysts Office estimates the cap and trade tax on gas is about 12 cents a gallon.

Now, about those roads. Below is a URL to a graphic showing that when it comes to the percent of “roads in poor condition,” California is worse than all but four states. And what’s interesting about the four states that are worse than CA is that all of them suffer from extreme cold temperatures and heavy snows, which are very hard on roads. What’s California’s excuse?

NOTE: I’ve had to update this article.My original figures had… Read More

Richard Rider

COL? California, Texas and the rest of the 57 states

The biggest single COL factor for middle class folks is housing. It can vary dramatically within a state (and usually does), but a state’s median home price is a good indicator. Texas is low, but 27 states are lower. The most expensive and affordable states to buy a house, ranked (https://www.businessinsider.com/cost-to-buy-a-house-in-every-state-ranked-2018-8#24-minnesota-28)

To compare states’ overall COL, I use the “Missouri” COL index. I think it makes a more realistic comparison than the BLS figures. Using this index, Texas is low, but 17 states are lower. Cost of Living Annual Average 2018 (https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/)

Looking at this index, it’s clear that the “red” states are cheaper to live in than the “blue” states — by a LOT. For instance, for the first quarter of 2019, California’s COL is an astonishing 65.8% higher than… Read More

Edward Ring

A Strategy to Transform California in One Election

As a statewide political force, California’s conservative voters are disenfranchised. Almost now politicians holding state office speak for conservatives, almost no court rulings favor conservatives, and nearly everywhere, conservative values are discredited or ignored by a hostile press. But California’s political landscape could be poised for dramatic shifts. Even now, after more than a decade of national economic expansion that has especially favored California’s high tech industries, the negative consequences of liberal political dominance are increasingly visible.

By now every voter in California knows that something is wrong. Failing schools. Out of control homelessness. Millions living in poverty. Bad roads. Water shortages. Ridiculously expensive electricity, gasoline, utilities, even food. Overpriced homes. Regressive taxes. Punitive regulations that specifically target small businesses. We’ve heard this litany again and again. It’s true. And there are solutions.

Today Californian voters might reject liberal governance if they were offered candidates offering a new political agenda designed to rescue California’s schools and lower the cost of… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Losing Two Families — Thanks Governor Newsom

Hopefully you spent Father’s Day weekend celebrating a man you honor and cherish. I spent my weekend with my family, but more importantly with two young families that were leaving the state of California. They had enough and are moving on. Members of the middle class that believe they will never achieve their dreams in the state where everyone used to dream their dreams.

The first couple is moving to Henderson, Nevada. They are done scrambling for schools, scared of the quality or lack of quality in the LAUSD for children. I met the husband through politics close to twenty years ago and became his CPA and then his family’s CPA. Ironically, he later married the niece of one of my closest friends since my… Read More

Richard Rider

CA building fees dwarf the fees charged in the other 49 states. MOST states charge almost NO such fees.

Think our California property taxes are too low? Consider this: The average “impact” fees in CA for building the median single-family residence ($548,000 – May, 2019) varied from 6% ($32,880) to 18% ($98,640) per home, about double the fees charged by the next most expensive state and more than TRIPLE the norm among jurisdictions that levy such fees. Such fees typically pay for capital improvements, like water and wastewater facilities, required by a new development.

https://www.zillow.com/ca/home-values/

Many states and localities on the eastern side of the Sierras have little or no such fees at all. To add insult to injury, that “fee” becomes part of the price of the home orRead More

Edward Ring

How Can California Reduce the Costs of Incarceration?

California Governor Gavin Newsom has agreed to give state prison correctional officers a 3 percent raise. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, there is “no evident justification” for this raise.

Arecent articlein theSacramento Beesummarizes portions of the LAO report, writing “The last time the state compared state correctional officers’ salaries to their local government counterparts, in 2013, state correctional officers made 40 percent more than officers in county-run jails, according to the LAO analysis,” and, “Since 2013, salary increases for state correctional officers have increased by a compounded 24 percent, according to the LAO.”

Within theLAO report, it is made clear that the rising cost for pensions is a major factor in escalating compensation costs for California’s prison guards. In theory, the cost to provide pension benefits is reasonable. The so-called “normal cost” of a… Read More

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