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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

Business closings bring huge losses

When a business closes it’s doors forever, the impacts are far-reaching.

The announcement of the upcoming closure of the Campbell’s Soup plant in Sacramento will have regional and statewide impact.

Econ. 101

I may have been a political science student, but my husband is a longtime Sacramento manufacturer. For many years I lived and worked Econ. 101 lessons alongside 250 employees.

My businessman husband was an economics major in college and frequently reminds me that economics education in college has seen a dramatic shift. There weren’t many Keynesian economists in universities back then. Unfortunately, today, Keynesian economics seems to be the only economic theory coming out of universities.

Keynesian economics is an economic theory stating that aggressive government interventions in the marketplace and monetary policy are the best way to ensure economic growth and stability.

Economist Walter Williams has explained for many years the reality of the free market economy in which businesses must make a profit in order to survive: ”In the market, when a firm fails to please its customers and fails to earn a… Read More

Katy Grimes

Will the real Republicans please stand up?

As I drove home from the airport upon returning from a recent trip to Florida, I nearly cracked my wheel in a huge pothole on the freeway. Adding insult to injury, as I exited the freeway, I barely dodged another pothole.

The roads and highways in Florida were smooth, well maintained and safe. Florida obviously uses its transportation funds and taxes for its roads. Who knows where California’s transportation funds go. And for that matter, who knows where most of the taxpayers’ money goes in this new California.

The new California is like New Math — a failed experiment. We’ve become a state of potholes, pervasive unions, professional politicians and police.

Politics

The California Republican Party really started to fall apart after electing Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor in the historic 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis.

Many citizens go into politics with… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Compromise

Compromise: First of all, thank you to all those who live in the new 45th Congressional District in California for your strong support of my reelection. It looks like I will have won by a margin of 18 points in spite of a new district (50% of which I have never represented), a poor year for Republicans and another opponent who spent many times more money than I did and spent it largely on negative advertising. I appreciate your confidence in me. I will not let you down.

But, I must confess, it didn’t feel much like a winning night. Frankly, I haven’t been this saddened in a very long time. Yes, I won convincingly, but politics is a team sport. I need friends and allies to get stuff done, and a lot of them lost.

I will let others do the political analysis of why the election turned out as it did. But, I will tell you that my sadness is much deeper than it was four years ago. In 2008, we were pretty sure that McCain was going to lose, and we had some hopefulness that Obama wouldn’t turn out to be as bad a president as we feared. But in 2012, we were pretty sure that Romney/Ryan were going to win, and we are pretty sure that Obama,… Read More

Katy Grimes

How many tax increases will ‘fix’ California?

There are 230 bond, tax and fee increase proposals on the 2012 ballot in California. Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase measure is the least of voters’ problems this election.

There are 100 school bond measures on the ballot throughout California. There are more than 30 sales tax increase initiatives, business tax increases, parcel taxes, utility taxes, and hotel taxes. There are even tax increase measures for sodas and abandoned-cars.

How many tax increases will “fix” California?

The answer is easy. None.

What’s really wrong California?

Local governments would have everyone in the state believe that they are struggling to make ends meet. But they grossly misuse the word “struggle.” The only downsizing done in local government has been to cut the lower paid employees who probably weren’t eligible for pensions anyway.

In Sacramento, the City Council is pushing hard to pass several ballot initiatives:

* Measure Q: Sacramento City Unified School District;

* Measure R: Sacramento City Unified School District;

* Measure T: Sacramento (City of) Mandates on Garden and Yard Refuse… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Gas Tax Revenues Set New Record

It’s bad enough that California’s gas tax is among the highest in the nation. It’s even worse that the gas tax goes up whenever gas prices rise.

Today I released data showing that high gas prices have resulted in a record windfall for government at the expense of California consumers.

California motorists paid a record $8.3 billion in state and local fuel taxes during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

From July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, the California State Board of Equalization collected $6.9 billion in motor vehicle fuel taxes, up from $6.7 billion the prior year. Excise tax revenues accounted for $5.2 billion, while sales tax revenues accounted for $1.7 billion.

Over the same time period, the state collected $1.4 billion in diesel fuel taxes, up from $1.2 billion the prior year. Excise tax revenues accounted for $343 million, while sales tax revenues accounted for $1.1 billion.

Read More

Katy Grimes

Reform for California only a vote away

Anyone who still has the hope of reforming California knows that it must begin with the political system. Far too many politicians in California are so heavily influenced by big money that constituents seem to be nothing more than an afterthought and a group to pander to for political advertisements.

For many years politicians have sought political contributions from corporations and unions, then voted the way those special interests ordered.

And, unfortunately, too many politically ambitious Republicans have gone along with the big-government party plan instead of thwarting the political dominance from unions and big corporations.

The only way to begin real reform in the Golden State is to neuter the money influences. Proposition 32, the “Paycheck Protection” ballot initiative, could begin the reform process.

Big bucksRead More

Katy Grimes

New small biz survey supposedly supports tax increases

A new survey of 500 small businesses claims that a majority of small business owners want high income earners to be taxed more. This is difficult to believe, and amazing timing with the election less than two weeks away.

I participated in an early morning conference call on Thursday with Small Business Majority. They just published the survey titled, “Scientific Opinion Poll Finds Majority of Small Businesses Support Letting Tax Cuts for High Income Earners Expire.”

But during the conference call, when I heard the CEO claim that the majority of entrepreneurs “see a productive role for government in helping small businesses achieve success,” I nearly flipped.

John Arensmeyer, the founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, also claimed nearly six in 10 small business owners “agree that government can play an effective role in helping small businesses thrive.”

The Small Business Majority is a liberal Democratic group based in San Francisco. They… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Welcoming Amazon Jobs to California

This morning I will join other elected officials, community leaders and Amazon.com representatives at an opening ceremony for the company’s new San Bernardino fulfillment center.

As an elected member of the State Board of Equalization, I have the unique privilege of working with job creators like Amazon. I want to help these companies succeed in our state in the face of many tax and regulatory obstacles.

In my remarks, I will applaud Amazon’s decision to voluntarily invest in California, bringing thousands of jobs to our state. I will stress that working cooperatively with job creators like Amazon is the most effective way to rebuild California’s economy.

The new Amazon fulfillment center in San Bernardino lies just outside the boundaries of my current Board of Equalization district. However, in 2014 the district I currently represent will be reshaped by redistricting to include both Amazon’s new San… Read More

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