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Katy Grimes

Air Resources Board dodges accountability – again

The California Air Resources Board seems to be on everyone’s list of what not to do in state government. Charged with implementing AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB is under increasing scrutiny for operating as a rogue agency, appearing to be accountable to no one.

All attempts to reel in the agency have failed, including another attempt to audit its operations and finances–thanks to Democratic legislators who clearly are getting marching orders from Assembly and Senate leaders.

A Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing on Wednesday brought CARB close to accountability with the threat of the six-month state audit. But the committee chairman, Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, surprised everyone when he nixed the plan after having made the pretense that he was on board.

CARB and AB 32

In 2006, the Legislature promised that AB 32 would help clean the environment while still protecting the economy. Supportive legislators promised that utility and gasoline costs would not increase with the implementation of the climate change law.

The opposite has happened, and businesses are now… Read More

Katy Grimes

100 years of Capitalism and Freedom

I am honored to be a new contributor to the FR blog. My CalWatchdognew stories and columns appear in the FlashReport, and now I will be a blogger as well. Sometimes I will cross post with CalWatchdog, and sometimes the posts will be exclusive to the FR blog – Katy Grimes, 7/31/2012

As free marketeers celebrate famed Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman’s 100 birthday today, revisiting Friedman’s 1979 interview with Phil Donahue, where Friedman schooled Donahue, a 1970′s liberal television talk show host, on capitalism. This is an important reminder of why we fight for the free market.

Friedman, born July 31, 1912, and died November 16, 2006, easily dispelled the common liberal… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Sales Tax Hike Would Cost 23,000 Jobs

Today I released a dynamic analysis by the Board of Equalization showing that the Governor’s proposed sales tax increase will cost California jobs.

According to the analysis, a higher sales tax rate will take money out of the pockets of working Californians, destroying more than 23,000 jobs and $267 million in business investment.

These projected job losses are equivalent to every worker in a medium-sized California city like Glendora or West Sacramento losing their jobs.

When considering tax increases, policymakers often rely on static analyses that ignore behavioral changes by consumers and business owners. A dynamic analysis estimates the likely behavioral changes that could result from a higher tax rate.

The BOE analysis projects that nearly all of the proposed sales tax increase would be passed along to consumers. The state would receive $222 million less in revenues than projected by a static analysis, an 8% loss in potential revenue.

Since July of last year, lower tax rates have enabled Californians to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, and our economy is… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Disaster in Washington

Disaster in Washington: Last week was a disastrous one in Washington, DC. No, there was not a tsunami or a hurricane or another earthquake. But, the effects of last week will be felt much farther, longer and wider than would have been the case in any of those natural disasters. Everyone of every political stripe understands that our debt and deficits stand as the largest threat to the prosperity and hegemony of the United States in the years and decades ahead. But, in spite of this acknowledged reality, actions in Washington last week served to make this situation dramatically worse, not better. However, almost disturbing is how this happened. The same political dynamics that led to these deficits in the first place have been left unchanged and are currently causing the deficit to increase rather than shrink. Let me explain what happened, and more importantly, how and why it happened:

President’s Budget: The President’s campaign slogan of late is an “economy built to last”. Well, this is a “budget built to collapse”. It astoundingly increases spending, taxes and the deficit, both in the coming year and… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Jobs, Not Taxes

Here’s my response to Governor Jerry Brown’s State of the State address:

“I agree with the Governor that we must do more to spur job creation and investment in our state. Unfortunately, by pushing higher taxes, the Governor sends the entirely wrong message. We don’t need higher taxes, we need more private sector jobs.

“Despite some modest job growth, more than two million Californians remain unemployed. Rather than drive more job creators and wage earners away from our state, we should be doing everything in our power to help them stay here and succeed.

“When Californians have jobs, the state always has plenty of revenue. The Governor should be campaigning for jobs, not higher taxes.”… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

The Rest of the Year

Sing again: The last laptop report, entitled “Song of the Shopkeeper”, engendered more positive responses than anything I have written in a couple of years. It wound up being published as a front section editorial in The Washington Times, and received some radio coverage as well. It seems that almost everyone has a “shopkeeper” in their family’s past or present or knows of one. I thank you all for your comments and stories. I am honored to give voice to all you shopkeepers out there. One regular reader of these missives suggested a quote that I should have put in the original tome. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have once derisively described England as, “a nation of shopkeepers”. It was meant as an insult. I wonder if Napoleon remembered these words when his army was later defeated by those very same “shopkeepers” at the Battle of Waterloo?

The Numbers are In: The federal deficit for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012 was $1.298 trillion. That is the second highest deficit ever. Here is a chart of the deficits for the last 5 years, in billions of dollars:… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

The Song of the Shopkeeper

During the August recess, the captivating Mrs. Campbell and I always go to Carmel for the annual car show. Early one morning up there, I watched several shopkeepers sweeping the sidewalk in front of their stores. I got to thinking that shopkeepers must have been doing this for centuries, if not millennia. Several weeks later, I was down in Fredericksburg, Virginia and watched another shopkeeper carefully rearranging a display in the window. It struck me that these acts represented pride in one’s work and one’s place of work. No work rules made them do it. They just did it because those shops were theirs and they take pride in what is theirs. And, I thought, it has ever been thus.

When Mr. Obama talks about the economy and jobs, he invariably mentions teachers and firefighters. Fine. Those are noble professions. But, I can’t help but think that he does so because teachers and firefighters almost always are employees of some government entity and are almost always compelled by law to join a union as a condition of having the job. And, they pay forced union dues, some of which will be involuntarily sent to the campaign… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Conforming Loan Limits

I’m a car guy. Most of you know this. However, I’ve recently become the housing guy in Washington. This is not due to any direct background or experience. I have only bought 3 and sold 2 houses in my life, all of in which the captivating Mrs. Campbell and I have lived. It is partly because I serve on the committee that deals with such issues. But, it is mainly because I know we never go into recessions without housing and cars leading us in, and we never recover without housing and cars leading us out. These two industries are just too big a part of the economy and too important to the psyche of consumers. The car business is doing better of late, but housing is not. There are many reasons our economy stinks, but one of them is certainly because the housing market is still in a decline. The economy will not be strong again until we turn it around.

When you have a sick patient, the first rule is, “Do no harm”. The housing market is sick. Much of what is causing this sickness is the fact that the housing finance system, anchored by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, failed. We have to replace that system. As many of you know, I have a… Read More

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