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Katy Grimes

California health exchanges – ‘Mo Money’

The Obama administration has a lot riding on California’s implementation of Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. How the state implements the new insurance exchanges, and whether or not it is done successfully, will be an important test of nationalized health care.

But a state-run health exchange puts the burden onto the state and the expense ultimately on the taxpayers. The state loses the authority and flexibility needed to best meet the needs of its people… Which is why more than 30 states have told the Obama government that they will not… Read More

Katy Grimes

Calif. economy: Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine!

The latest barrage of “news” reports that California is enjoying an economic recovery is evidence that this is most likely being driven by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine.

Given that the California Department of Finance works only for the governor, the pressure is on to provide numbers and information which presents a picture favorable to the governor.

This was never more clear than when a report showing the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell below 8 percent in order to boost to President Obama’s re-election campaign right after his first dismal debate performance with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

It was the numbers from California that gave the boost needed.

Conveniently, the Labor Department reported in Sept. that the nation’s jobless rate improved to 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate had not been that low since Obama took office in January 2009.

The latest monthly jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the first week of October. The unemployment rate miraculously decreased to 7.8 percent in September, the BLS reported.

According to The Associated Press, “the… Read More

Katy Grimes

Right-to-work is a real economic stimulus

In Michigan, game-changing right to work legislation was just passed. The change will make it legal for employers to pay workers who choose not to be union members, and would make paying union dues voluntary.

Currently, Michigan employers are required to fire unionized workers who do not pay dues.

Despite the left claiming that big bad business will stop paying living wages to workers, the opposite will happen. There will be a leveling of the unrealistic, skyrocketing union wages that unions demand, and hopefully, employers can once again be competitive.

When unions and governments demand that business owners and employers pay employees higher wages than the market will bear, ultimately it renders the business non-competitive. But when businesses are allowed to fairly compete, often times everyone wins. If… Read More

Katy Grimes

Legislative fractured fairy tale

The swearing-in of new legislators is usually a party atmosphere. Lawmakers feel celebratory after long campaigns. Yesterday’s swearing-in was not a disappointment however, along with the celebratory mood, there was an air of fantasy and fairy tale.

This is the largest freshman class, with 39 newly elected lawmakers, since 1966.

Perhaps the party mood was because of the new Democratic supermajority. While Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg insists that Democrats will not go hog wild with their unobstructed power, not everyone believes that. “I just don’t think we should come hurtling out of the gates talking about a bunch of new taxes,” Steinberg told media Monday.

“It’s in their DNA,” one Capitol staffer told me, but asked to remain anonymous. “It would go completely against everything they stand for. They can’t help themselves.”

Fractured fairy tales

When it came time to nominate the Assembly Speaker, the Capitol sergeants should have handed out airsick bags.

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Humbolt, nominated current Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles. Chesbro said Perez… Read More

Katy Grimes

Reform for California only a vote away

Anyone who still has the hope of reforming California knows that it must begin with the political system. Far too many politicians in California are so heavily influenced by big money that constituents seem to be nothing more than an afterthought and a group to pander to for political advertisements.

For many years politicians have sought political contributions from corporations and unions, then voted the way those special interests ordered.

And, unfortunately, too many politically ambitious Republicans have gone along with the big-government party plan instead of thwarting the political dominance from unions and big corporations.

The only way to begin real reform in the Golden State is to neuter the money influences. Proposition 32, the “Paycheck Protection” ballot initiative, could begin the reform process.

Big bucksRead More

Katy Grimes

Government ‘investing’ in government

In order to stimulate the inert economy, we now have the government investing in government. The public sector is trading public dollars for public dollars.

“How will you spend your future?” the California State Teachers Retirement System logo asks. I wouldn’t spend it on a solar plant. Nor would I voluntarily spend my future with CalSTRS.

‘Infrastructure investments’

Nearly every time I pick up the newspaper, the headline screams that another solar plant has closed and the business gone under. Yet I see that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is investing $42.8 million in a large solar plant in Sacramento.

“Investing” was… Read More

Katy Grimes

Is CA about to become a sanctuary state?

Immigration issues within states are becoming more prevalent. The usual complaints are that the federal government isn’t doing enough to enforce U.S. policy.

California is different. Earlier this year, it already embarked into uncharted territories, with the state Legislature voting to allow the children of undocumented aliens to attend the state’s public universities and colleges, at estimated costs of $65 million a year in financial aid and scholarships.

California: Sanctuary State

There have been many failed attempts to pass state laws allowing undocumented immigrants to live and work in California without the constant threat of deportation. Many say that this should have sent a clear message to lawmakers. Even a ballot initiative, the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act, failed to get enough signatures to quality for the November ballot.

“But noooooo,” as John Belushi used to say on “Saturday Night Live.”

Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar, together with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, revived the attempt. In one of the most repugnant moves legislators can make, they gutted and… Read 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

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