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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Congressman John Campbell

A Final Note

Well, this day came much faster than I expected.

After penning hundreds of these missives, I find myself now sitting down to write what will be my last “Laptop Report” to all of you as a Member of Congress.

For the last decade and through several sessions of Congress, you’ve given me the opportunity to share my thoughts on a myriad of issues facing this nation and our world. This has truly been a privilege and honor that I never took lightly.

These reports have been a way for me to talk to you directly and to engage with you on complicated issues that weren’t always easy to solve with a polished quote or quick sound bite. In turn, many of you responded with thoughtful feedback each time. I want you to know that I read and appreciated those replies.

For those who asked to be added to my “Post-Congress” list, this will not be the last time you hear from me. We will continue our discussion sometime next year.

However, I want to take this last chance to just say thank you. I enjoyed writing these reports and I hope they offered you a perspective that you were not getting from the usual… Read More

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

Kevin Dayton

Pugnacious Defense of Economic Freedom in Orange County Can Inspire California’s Free-Market Activists

Californians whowant fiscally responsible governments and freedom of choicefor government contractors and their employees have another reason for dismay.

Construction union lobbyists are once again advancing their costlyagenda for local governmentsbeyond the corrupt and mismanaged urban centers of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In their latest move, union officials and their elected sycophantsare nowpushing formonopoly control of almost $1 billion in planned construction at Coast Community College District in Orange County (California).

This is not the firstinfiltration of government-mandatedProject Labor Agreementsinto Orange County. About a dozen years ago, union lobbyists managed to get control of the taxpayer-funded construction programs of three local governments: Orange County, Santa Ana Unified School District, and Rancho Santiago Community College District. In the case of Orange County, three Republican supervisors voted for it andaRepublican state legislatordefended it.

But California’s supporters of economic and personal freedom shouldnot be discouraged! This… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Update from the “Cliff”

Given Thursday evening’s events in the House, it looks more and more like we may be going over the “fiscal cliff”. Therefore, I wanted to give you an update on what that could potentially mean for you. I also wanted to clarify the total impact of the income tax rate changes that we will face should we go over. These figures, which appeared in my previous “Laptop Report”, have been updated.

The total impact of all the income tax rate changes is estimated to raise revenue of roughly $4.5 trillion over 10 years. The total effect of all of this would be to reduce the deficit by approximately $7.7 trillion over the next ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That means CBO projects an “average” annual deficit of roughly $230 billion if we are over the “cliff” vs. a deficit of about $1 trillion a year if everything is extended.

Again, these projections are based on “static modeling”. That means they do not take into account the economic impacts and the behavioral changes that will occur as a result of what I’ve outlined above. When these tax hikes take place, people will most certainly take actions to… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Taxes and Culture

Taxes and Culture: Being a CPA and all, I often opine in these pages about things fiscal, financial and economic. Today, in the mainstream, establishment press, all you hear about is the “fiscal cliff” and taxes and such. I care a great deal about taxes and the deficit, as you regular readers well know. And, you will hear much from me about these issues in the coming months. But, the underlying issue before us right now with the so-called “fiscal cliff” is, in my opinion, not actually fiscal or financial. It is cultural.

As you may not be aware, I have always believed that the culture of an organization is the biggest single attribute that will determine the success or failure of said organization. In my 25 year business career, I was obsessed with the culture of our company and with that of companies we might acquire or with which we might do business. A business with a strong culture of customer service will empower people with service skills and will change or weed out those people who don’t care how they treat others. If a company has a culture of dishonesty, even an honest person will cheat now and then because… Read More