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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Richard Rider

Some CA exports BOOMING. But sadly, the wrong kind of exports.

Today I spoke for a few minutes on a conference call to state tax experts, lobbyists and activists across the nation — one of several speakers on a call sponsored by the Tax Foundation.

It was an awesome audience. And I DO mean awesome — I was thoroughly intimidated.

Let me tell you one thing — they LOVE California! Especially our state and local governments. Our “Golden State” is helping almost ALL their state economies with our exports.

Our primary exports? Wealth, prosperity, businesses and human capital. And unlike most exports, the folks in other states receiving our outflow don’t even have to pay for these wonderful products!

As we Californians know all too well, the generosity of our politicians knows no bounds.… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Europe’s Effect

Europe’s Effect: Europe is a long ways away. It may seem like what happens there can’t be of that much consequence to us in America. But, that’s not true. Just as conflicts that ignited in Europe in the 20th century dragged us into two world wars, the effects of economic unrest on that continent will involve us, as well – whether we like it or not.

To coin a phrase, Europe is in economic deep doo-doo. They are suffering a huge crisis born of too much debt of which the causes and potential cures are far too complex for a meaningful analysis in this short format. Suffice it to say that Europeans have given themselves a lot of socialistic benefits without paying for them, instead choosing to borrow the money. The resulting union-dominated socialism has led to very little growth. Italy, for example, has had zero GDP growth in 10 years! Without GDP growth, you cannot grow wages, benefits, government, or social and environmental policy. But, they have tried to do all of that. Germany is the most prosperous country in Europe, but even their prosperity has not been pure. Note that 50% of all of Germany’s products are exported; most… Read More

Richard Rider

CA prop process is bad, but legislative process is worse

Liberals in CA vehemently dislike the CA initiative process. Indeed, they just tried to enact an effective ban on the process, but the bill was vetoed by Gov. Brown.

These mislabeled “progressives” dislike citizen-signed propositions, as such measures bypass the institution the Big Government advocates control throughout most of the state — elected officials. I doubt we’d be hearing the anti-proposition bleating from them if such were not the case.

Moreover, the feigned concern about improprieties in signature gathering ignores the benefits of a full vetting of the prop once it is on the ballot — especially compared to our chaotic state legislative procedures.

I recommend an informative, humorous out-of-print book (available at Amazon) by the late State Senator H.L. Richardson — “What Makes You Think We Read the Bills?” http://www.amazon.com/What-Makes-Think-Read-Bills/dp/0916054780

Most of us know that in the closing days of each legislative session, our intrepid CA elected leaders vote on literally hundreds of ever-changing bills — some even… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Why I Support the Amazon Deal

AB 155, as proposed to be amended, will retroactively repeal the “Amazon Tax” for a year or longer, allowing time for impacted parties to seek a federal solution to the dispute.

This is far from a perfect plan, but politics is the art of compromise. It’s a good thing when competing interests are able to come together on a contentious issue.

The deal provides at least a one year reprieve for affiliate businesses whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the dispute. It allows time for impacted parties to seek a federal solution to this issue. Congress has always been the right venue for this conversation.

However, I’m disappointed that this deal provides no certainty for thousands of affiliates who partner with out-of-state online retailers other than Amazon. The uncertainty will discourage these companies from creating new jobs and investing in our state.

Furthermore, the Legislature refused to include a pathway to immediately bring Amazon jobs to California. I’ll be working with Amazon and legislators to find a way to expedite their presence in order to bring thousands of new jobs to our state as soon as possible.

Throughout the year… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Leaders Should Consider Amazon Jobs Proposal

I sent a letter to theGovernor and legislative leaders todayurging them to consider aproposal by Amazon.com that would bring an estimated 7,000 jobs to California. I also asked them to re-evaluate the projected budget revenue associated with the “Amazon Tax” (AB 28X).

Read my letter here.… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Governor Brown Shouldn’t Count on “Amazon Tax” Revenue

According to the Los Angeles Times, Governor Jerry Brown is “leaning against” a proposed deal to bring an estimated 7,000 Amazon.com jobs to California. The Governor is concerned that a deal would somehow cost the state revenue.

If the Governor truly believes the ‘Amazon Tax’ is going to generate millions in revenue for the state this year, he’s mistaken. Board of Equalization staff have determined that the projected $200 million in revenue will not materialize this year.

As of today we’re not aware of a single online retailer that has registered with BOE to collect sales tax because of AB 28X. According to Board of Equalization staff, the number of out-of-state registrations in July 2011 was actually lower than July 2010.

Additionally, should a referendum qualify for the ballot, the law would be suspended until a vote of the people in June or November of next year. That would mean the ‘Amazon Tax’ would be a guaranteed money loser this fiscal year, since terminated affiliates will pay… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

California Falls to 50th in New Business Startups

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a new study provides even more bad news for California’s job creation prospects and overall budget picture. According to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., California has fallen from first in the nation for new business formations to a dismal rank of 50th.

According to the report’s authors:

California’s economic woes and instability have been well-documented, and this data makes another case for how bad things have gotten there. California had the most net new business establishments in 2009 (more than 12,500) and 2008 (32,000-plus); in fact, it ranked either first or second from 2001 to 2009. But the Golden State sank all the way to 50th in 2010 with more than 4,600 fewer new establishments than the previous year.

Could it be that California’s business climate has become so hostile that entrepreneurs now feel they mustleave the state in order to successfully launch a new business endeavor? This news should be a wake-up call to Governor Brown and the Legislature.… Read More

Richard Rider

San Francisco building useless 1.7 mile subway for $1.6 BILLION

Many of us simply marvel at the idiocy underlying California’s high speed rail (HSR) project. It was sold to the public with what are now obvious lies, falsehoods and — well — more lies. The backers are in it for the billions of profit, yet the left loves these “green” corporatist conmen. Knowing what we now know, how can any sane person still support HSR?

The answer is a mystery, but to me, “mindset” seems to best describe the underlying mentality. And we can see this mindset with the current insane, useless, wasteful subway project proceeding in San Francisco. San Francisco is determined to build an unneeded 1.7 mile subway for $1.6 billion (likely more). If you read this story, you’ll simply shake your head in dismay.

If it were ONLY the left wing loonies in the Bay Area who were paying for this boondoggle, perhaps this modern pyramid to lunkheads could be ruefully enjoyed. Sadly, we all will be paying for 60% of this deal via the federal government, which apparently has money to burn — or, in this case, to bury forever 100 feetRead More

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