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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Congressman John Campbell

“Increasing Income Disparity”

State of the Economy, Part 3 – “Increasing Income Disparity”: Last week, I laid out for you the case that “income inequality” should really be called “increasing income disparity” and suggested that it is a worldwide phenomenon. I also debunked commonly expressed “solutions” for this problem you often hear from leaders in Washington. However, I have not yet presented solutions of my own. Before I do, let’s first examine the factors at work here that I believe are causing this phenomenon.

There were a number of serious recessions during the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one alive today has ever talked to anyone who experienced the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So, with the exception of historians, it doesn’t get as much coverage in contemporary discussion as say, the Great Depression. What you may not know is that the Industrial Revolution caused a large job displacement at first. When the jobs on the farm went away, they were not immediately replaced in a factory. It took time before people figured out what to do with the extra disposable… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Does Income Inequality Exist?

Last year, President Obama started raising the issue of “income inequality” as a new problem in America. He then proposed to fix this problem using the same “solutions” that he and other Democrats have been pushing for 40 years: Raise the minimum wage and increase unemployment insurance payments. He also used it to further advocate for wealth redistribution via the tax code.

Republicans generally responded that the issue was made up or trumped up by Obama and that this problem either doesn’t exist or is not as big a deal as he suggests. A few Republicans acknowledged the issue and proposed we fix it with tax cuts, which of course was the remedy said Republicans have been pushing for 40 years.

In my opinion, both sides are wrong. Obama is clearly using “income inequality” as a new reason to advocate for the same things he wanted long before “income inequality” ever entered the vernacular. In the same way, Republicans using it to advocate for our standard policy choices is equally inappropriate. So, what do I think we should or should not be doing… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

A New Tax Code in 2013?

*NOTE: SPECIAL SURVEY EDITION. This week’s edition includes an interactive survey. After you finish reading, please make sure to assess my plan and tell me what you think!

Taxes: Taxes are always a big issue in politics and public policy. However, right now there is a crescendo of agreement building in Washington that it’s time to make some fundamental change to our tax system.

The debate in Washington of late has been confined to the so-called Bush tax cuts, all of which are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Essentially, should we extend all of them, none of them, or some of them? The erudite readers of these missives (that’s you) have heard all of this before and know the arguments for and against the extension and all about taxing the “rich” and such. So, I won’t repeat them here. Economists are unified in their predictions of recession if we are allowed to go over the “fiscal cliff” on December 31 and allow all of the tax cuts to expire and the sequestered spending cuts… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Democrat Budget A Sham to Keep Legislators’ Paychecks Flowing

Make no mistake, the Democrats’ budget isn’t about solving California’s fiscal problems—it’s only goal is to ensure lawmakers keep their paychecks flowing.

When voters last fall granted Democrats their wish of majority-vote budgets, they demanded lawmakers forfeit their pay if those budgets are not approved on-time. But it was never the voters’ intention for lawmakers to approve a sham budget simply to keep their paychecks coming.

What’s worse is that to protect their own pay, Democrats are poised to sacrifice the paychecks of thousands of California small businesses known as affiliates. Up to 25,000 of these Internet entrepreneurs will lose their affiliate status if Democrats approve a so-called ‘Amazon tax.’ According to the Board of Equalization’s analysis, ‘termination of affiliate programs would have an adverse impact on state employment’ and ‘lead to lower revenues.’

The dumbest idea of all is the Democrats’ plan to sell state buildings for one-time revenue. If lawmakers want real one-time dollars, they should consider my proposals to raise billions in revenue by (1) granting an interest and penalty holiday to spur… Read More