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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Tim Coyle

Costs Continue to Vex New Housing

You’re hoping that excessive housing costs don’t have an effect on consumers, aren’t you? After all, you may have supported a few of those costs and backed the local governments that charged them.

Like solar power. Who doesn’t like a renewable like solar? So, you may have looked the other way when the state imposed a system-installation mandate for all new single-family homes.

That is until you’ve entered the market for a home and you get the bill for a new one: More than $800,000. That is the median price for a home in California today. The amount will change tomorrow – and will be worse.

About $50,000 of the home price will pay for the solar panels and their installation – starting now all new homes built in the state must have them. You probably supported the solar initiative. Most people in California did.

The cost of solar comes on top of myriad local charges for approving new California housing. Those exactions are summarized in a March, 2020 study by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center of Housing Innovation and include:

• Land costs, which have doubled, even tripled over the first 16 years of the decade;… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

ProPublica’s Disgusting Attack on America

Last week, members of Congress applauded the acts of a significant journalistic operation for their “responsible” reporting of stolen information. President Biden was silent regarding an attack on his government’s taxing agency. All of this was done to advance a policy goal of the Left.

ProPublica is a nonprofit that states it is a “newsroom that aims to produce investigative journalism in the public interest.” As they stated, “ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns on thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years.” This is a misleading statement as what they have is personal information on specifically identified American taxpayers. They stated they received this information from an anonymous source. They consider this a journalistic coup.

This is not the Pentagon Papers or even the information published by Wikileaks. There was great debate whether those releases of information were legitimate. There should be no debate whether this was legitimate. This is the individual tax information for many people. Our government, in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service, has… Read More

Jon Fleischman

OC Supervisor Bartlett’s Proposal To Allow Current Supervisors To Each Serve Three More Terms Is Back

She’s baaaack. Once again term-limited Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett’s misleading ballot measure/power grab is back on the agenda for the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting this coming Tuesday. Readers may recall that last July/August, right up against the deadline to place items on the November election, Bartlett introduced a cynical, self-service measure that would “blow up” term limits for all of the incumbents on the board, giving all of them the ability to run for three more four-year terms (currently Supervisors are limited to two four-year terms, then cannot run for a third term without retiring and being forced to come back – which has only happened once). Bartlett’s frantic effort last year was because the current term limits prevent her from running for re-election next year. She is forced to retire. At the time, despite support from one of her colleagues – Supervisor Chaffee, she was unable to garner support from Supervisors Do, Steel and Wagner. Her effort failed — and she had to face the reality of leaving the board after two full terms, like everyone else. She pretty quickly launched a campaign for… Read More

Richard Rider

Almost everyone who received pandemic unemployment benefits is now a criminal

Government programs — especially giveaway programs — are notorious for poor management and lax oversight. There are few incentives for government “public servants” to ensure the legitimacy of need for recipients. Indeed, giving away more taxpayer money results in a bigger agency operational budget and higher pay for supervisors.

But with the coming of the pandemic, federal and state unemployment agencies have outdone themselves. Incompetence and massive theft have risen to breathtaking levels. The mindboggling bill for this widespread fraud will go to American taxpayers and to our progeny (via the soaring national debt and the accompanying inflation).

The history of unemployment benefits has always been anti-employment. It’s amazing how many people would magically find a job the very week that their unemployment benefits ran out. This has been going on for decades.

The lesson is obvious — if you pay people generous unemployment benefits, you’ll have more unemployment. Youliterallyget what you pay for.

Unemployment “eligibility” is established by state agencies. The feds… Read More

Ray Haynes

Bread and Circuses

The phrase “Bread and Circuses” was coined by Juvenal, a Roman poet, as a means to describe the incompetence and self indulgence of the Roman Emperor, who used superficial “appeasement” of the people to generate public approval, rather than excellence in public service. The emperor would cover over his incompetence and authoritarian control of Rome by distracting people with “shows” and pay offs.

In California, these circuses are “shows” populated with cartoon characters and toys, like the minions from “Despicable Me” or Optimus Prime, the Transformers toy. In a press conference on Tuesday about the “reopening” of California, we were treated to this show, and the choice of characters was very “Freudian.” I am sure we lowly peasants are seen as minions, and the man running the press conference certainly sees himself as Optimus Prime. He gives us the circus, then he promises to give us tax rebates, the bread.

Our Arrogant Lazy Authoritarian in Charge (ALAIC), Gavin Newsom, claims to have “reopened” California. He refuses to lift the emergency he claimed required him… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Sayings About the Pandemic That Should Never Be Heard Again

Since our overlords are telling us in California we will be unshackled as of June 15th (at least for now), it is time to examine some of the nonsense and distortions of the English language we have endured over the past 15 months.

Being part of a pandemic in 2021 is not the worst thing if you compare it to what it must have been like in 1918. You have deliveries to your door, take-out food from multiple restaurants, Netflix and Amazon Prime to stream endless movies and 57 channels with nothing on. You can take a hot shower every day and don’t have to walk outside to go to the potty. One should always look at the brighter side of life. Yet despite that, there are some sayings that we should never, ever be required to hear again.

Non-Essential Business – Let us lead with the biggest and most diabolical statement made during the time of the pandemic. We all know it and you have probably said it. There is no such thing as a “non-essential business.” At least not in the terms these fully-paid governmental employees are saying.

Yes, making buggy whips is a non-essential business … today. So is Woolworth’s and some other retailers in the current… Read More

Tim Coyle

Strikeout – Governor Swings and Misses, Again

Gavin Newsom is lost. He hasn’t a clue how to fix California’s housing problem – something that he promised to do three years ago, when he ran for Governor. And, the crisis gets worse every day.

What Newsom said he would do is to clear the way so that the state would produce about 500,000 housing units per year through 2025. Instead, California reports annual housing starts haven’t exceeded 115,000 in several years.

His budget for next year falls well short of helping, as well. After hearing the plaintive appeals for more money from the many poverty pimps surrounding housing programs the Governor proposes an $8.2 billion for them. (To this a skeptical Legislative Analyst warns that the state ought to be more directly funding the differing strategies of local governments, not state programs.)

The FY 2021-2022 budget also includes – presumably to improve California’s falling rate of homeownership – $3 billion to provide low-interest loans. Doesn’t Newsom know interest rates have never been as low as they are today and we may not need mortgage assistance right now? Doesn’t he know that getting cash for the down payment is the… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Good Reason for Everyone to Vote for the Recall

Governor Newsom is maneuvering in every way he can to make sure he wins the recall vote. Don’t doubt the state reopening on June 15th wasn’t a political decision. There are many reasons to consider voting to replace the Governor. Let me convey a tale of incompetence that is symptomatic of why this state is a disaster for its residents and we need someone in charge who has a clue.

You may be familiar with PPP loans. Billions of dollars were provided by the federal government to small business employers in 2020 with the idea that the businesses use the monies to keep their employees on staff. At the time the program was established the idea was that the employers would keep their staff together for a quick bounce back after a couple months of pandemic. Of course, that plan failed because the pandemic ended up stretching out months longer than initially anticipated. But millions of Americans received salaries as opposed to unemployment benefits.

The federal government determined last December that the proceeds of the loans were not taxable, and the related expenses would still be deductible. Immediately after that, the state government of California decided that… Read More

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