FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

CA Air Resources Board – No Legislative Oversight, No Rules, and Nothing to Stop It

The California Air Resources Board is a state agency completely out of control. With no oversight by the Legislature, as the California Constitution calls for, Mary Nichols, ARB Chairman, is setting policy on behalf of this regulatory body, for the entire state.

ARB Goes It Alone

The ARB has taken a great deal of liberty, particularly with its interpretation of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. TheARB devised a cap-and-trade system whereby it holds a quarterly auction program “requiring many California employers to bid significant amounts of money for the privilege of continuing to emit carbon dioxide — or be faced with closing their doors in California, laying off their… 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

Katy Grimes

Statists turn to drought for control in California

Sinclair Lewis wrote “It Can’t Happen Here” in 1935, a fictional story about a populist state Senator who is elected President on

campaign promises of economic and social reforms, and a return to patriotism and traditional values. After winning the presidency by appealing to the interests of ordinary Americans, the new President instead takes over the government, imposes totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force. The new President’s government abolishes women’s and minority rights, and eliminates states’ rights by subdividing the country into federal administrative sectors. The new government imposes statist control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation through censorship and terrorism.

All the while, citizens reassure themselves that fascism cannot “happen here.”

If this feels vaguely familiar, it should – especially… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Tax Help for California Seniors

Senior citizens deserve to enjoy the rewards of their life’s work, but rising taxes and inflation leave many feeling squeezed.

California seniors know about discounts at restaurants and the movies, but they may not be familiar with the tax benefits and services available to them. For example, many seniors qualify for property tax exemptions, income tax credits and free income tax preparation.

That’s why I created the new Tax Help for California Seniors webpage. This online resource provides helpful information and links designed to help seniors be aware of important tax tips relating to property tax, sales and use tax and income tax.

Please take a look at this new online resource and consider sharing it with your family and friends who are seniors.… Read More

Katy Grimes

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Statism

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
 – Ben Franklin

On January 1, I posed the question, “What will Liberty look like in 2014?” Six months later, the only honest answer is “less and less.”

Liberty is something we often hear about, but isn’t exactly a topic of discussion at dinner parties. If we don’t really know what liberty is, how will we know when it is taken away, or if it is being taken away? Unfortunately, it often takes tyranny to make liberty more precious.

As government grows, libertyRead More

Katy Grimes

Voice of OC – A Public Employee Union’s “News” Website

The troubling trend towards mono-political news viewpoints is a well funded project. Activist groups masquerading as news outlets have very clear agendas, and big budgets. Any actual journalism happening along the way appears to be more of a byproduct by well-meaning employees.

Many of these groups focus on environmental, economic, and “social justice” issues, and receive commensurate, sizable grants.

Former McClatchy journalist David Westphal posed the question of who will pay for the news with so many newspapers shrinking, in a 2009 story. Westphal suggested “non-news organizations”, trade associations, businesses, governments and labor unions, should step up with funding. “At the recentHarvard session on new business models for news,I offered an off-the-beaten-path idea to the question of who will pay for the news,”Westphal said. “OneRead More

BOE Member George Runner

California’s Tax-Cutting Legislature?

As seen in the Los Angeles Register and Orange County Register

Drop by the California State Capitol at just the right moment and you might be surprised to hear liberal legislators sounding like tax-cutting conservatives.

In support of a multi-million dollar tax cut for business, one liberal lawmaker argues, “We need to send a message to New York… and other states competing for our jobs and say, ‘It stops here.’”

Adds another: “We can’t afford to let any more jobs abandon our state.”

One more chimes in: “Right now we’re getting our lunch handed to us by these other states.”

You’d be right to scratch your head. For years lawmakers have voted for tax hikes and burdensome regulations that drive jobs away from our state. As a consequence, Californians pay some of the highest tax rates in the nation.

Given this grim reality, any sign that tax-and-spend lawmakers might see the error of their ways is cause for hope, if not outright celebration.

A few recent developments are encouraging:

In May, Governor Brown signed legislation to help boost California’s economy … Read More

Katy Grimes

Government Manipulations Create Unemployment Purgatory

Nearly every news outlet in California has been gleefully reporting that the state economy is bouncing back. While recent newsreports show unemployment has slightly dropped, the facts show otherwise — particularly telling is how the Legislature is so focused on increasing the minimum wage, rather than improving the business climate.

Unemployment in the state, and across the country, is worse than is being reported. And, it is far more complicated than a slight economic uptick, or slight “drop” in unemployment.

We’re creating jobs at a slower pace now than at the same time last year. And with the supposed drop in unemployment, the underemployed and those “no longer in the labor force” are issues rarely reported. There is no coincidence between dropping… Read More

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