Yeah, it’s true — I DO fiendishly enjoy beating a dead iron horse — in this case, our California HSR choo-choo. But bear with me. New stuff! Three solid articles, as a matter of fact. At this point, it’s hard to imagine we Californians will continue with this HSR madness, but never underestimate the bull-headed stupidity of Democrat politicians — both state and national. Fortunately there now is a new stake (a silver spike?) that’s been driven through the putrid heart that sustains this beast. As an educational aside, let me suggest that this singleexample of government running amok at the behest of special interests — in this case, HSR train lovers, green religionists, labor unions and big rail business profiteers — a project justified by obviously fraudulent “facts” — could and should constitute an entire college political science course on how government REALLY works. Of course, it won’t make the course list (or even be mentioned as an aside in the classrooms), but collegiate pro-socialist bias (with the … Read More
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Recently a liberal online debater jousting with me presented two factoids that he smugly assumed proved conclusively that CA should have high taxes — that my concerns over CA taxes were thus “the height of sophistry.” Both his FACTS were true — but they did nothing for making his case. Indeed, they UNDERMINED his case — a delicious example of boomerang sophistry.
Since this nonsense periodically pops up out of the liberal playbook, I thought I’d deal with each factor in some detail here.
1. “California has the biggest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of any state in the nation.”
True, but — so? If anything — this factoid should make the case for LOWER tax rates, not higher.
First, let me point out that, while California has the states’ highest GDP, we also are by FAR the most populous state in the nation. California has over 37 million people, while second place Texas has a bit over 25 million. New York state is third with over 19 million. In other words, our large GDP is no big deal. … Read More
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
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
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
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
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).
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