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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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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

Richard Rider

Recent great government pension gains are vanishing

A couple weeks ago CalPERS and other government pension funds released glowing reports about their earnings, which had “soared” in the last fiscal year. Most pension funds reported in excess of a 20% return on investment. The inference was that the pension managers were back in the saddle, riding great returns to pension fund recovery.

The unions and their apologists went into full attack mode, ridiculing those who have been expressing deep concerns about defined benefit pension plans and the lackluster returns this past decade (among several others problems) — when pension funds averaged under 6% returns per year.

The pitch from obnoxious labor posters and bloggers has been that “happy days are here again,” and that essentially we can now look forward to a string of similar annual returns that will make up the massive unfunded liability deficit that ALL such funds face.

Gee — what a difference two weeks makes. At this point, the stock market has lost all gains since the beginning of the year — and then some. Yesterday’s 500+ point DJIA drop was only the latest down day — though (so far) by far the… 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 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 out-of-print book 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 changed surreptitiously. NO ONE knows what… Read More

Richard Rider

Breaking Bad: California vs. the Other States – Revised 22 July, 2011

Here’s a depressing but documented comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (I keep updating this fact sheet):

California has the 3rd worst state income tax in the nation. 9.3% tax bracket starts at $46,766 for people filing as individuals. 10.3% tax starts at $1,000,000 LINK

Highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.25% (as of 1 July). 7% is next highest (does not include local sales taxes) LINK Table #15

California corporate income tax rate (8.84%) is the highest west of the Mississippi (our economic competitors) except for Alaska. LINK #8 — we are 8th highest nationwide.

California’s 2011 Business Tax Climate ranks 2nd worst in the nation. LINK

Fourth highest capital gains tax 9.3%Read More

Jon Fleischman

GOP Legislators Honored For Votes To Abolish Redevelopment Agencies

The Family Action PAC is one of California’s most prominent conservative donor organizations. Founded years ago in Orange County as a ideologically conservative counter-point to the New Majority, the FAP has long worked hard to elect conservatives to office at the state and local levels.

FR readers know that during this latest state budget debate, there was a lot of controversy within GOP ranks over whether to support legislation that would abolish RDA’s — this legislation was tied to other legislation that would allow RDA’s to continue to exist if they paid money from their plush bank accounts into the state’s needy coffers.

It was clear to me and many other conservatives that any solid legislation that would impair, hamper, or abolish RDAs — is a welcome idea. As I have said, Redevelopment Agencies may have started with a good idea in mind, but they have become a good old boys network of redistributing money through taxes into local development projects, typically being awarded to friends and political contributors of local city council members (who conveniently are the members of the city redevelopment… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Let the People Decide Amazon Tax

Democrat lawmakers are protesting a proposed referendum on California’s new “Amazon Tax” law. But keep in mind that this issue isn’t about Amazon. It’s about the thousands of California jobs the “Amazon Tax” places in jeopardy.

The lawmakers who authored the ‘Amazon Tax’ should be ashamed to appear in public. Their law has failed to achieve their goals. Instead it is punishing thousands of California small business affiliates who are losing income and may even be forced to leave the state.

The Legislature should admit its mistake and repeal the Amazon Tax. But short of that, the fastest way to save California jobs is through a referendum rather than years of costly litigation. Let the people engage in the debate and decide the issue for themselves.… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Silos

I don’t fit neatly into a box. I am a conservative Republican who doesn’t raise taxes and votes to cut nearly every bit of government spending I can find. But, I am against the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, think we should cut defense spending, support legalizing internet gambling, sponsor a lot of bills to prevent abuse of animals, want pristine, clean oceans and believe we need some government support of home mortgages. No, that is not a box.

For those of you who don’t know my background, I am a native Californian raised by two very conservative and politically active parents. “We were Taft Republicans”, my mother often told me to make sure I understood that Dwight Eisenhower was way too moderate for them. The last Democrat I voted for was Sam Yorty for Mayor of Los Angeles in the 1970s. I think he later changed parties. I’m about as Republican as you get.

But, my ideology guides my thinking. It does not replace it. I believe that this job is about solving problems. And, there is never only one prescription to right every wrong. Napoleon Bonaparte was certainly the most brilliant military strategist of the 19th century and… Read More

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