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Katy Grimes

Obamacare coming to a politician near you

SACRAMENTO — Californa’s desire to be the first state to do everything has never been more evident now that Obamacare has been signed into law.

And California lawmakers haven’t let any grass grow under their feet since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. In January, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation to convene an extraordinary session of the Legislature to continue the work of implementing the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare cheat sheet

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as federal health care reform, or Obamacare, the state has the option to expand its Medi-Cal Program to cover over one million low–income adults who are currently ineligible.

Unlike some states, which have refused to implement the Obamacare health exchanges, California has embraced the federal health care plan and already began the process of implementation.

This means beginning January 1, 2014, the federal government will pay all of the costs associated with the Medi-Cal expansion, and do this for three years. Beginning January 1, 2017, the federal government will begin to decrease its portion,… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

9 Reasons to Keep the Sequester in Place

The Sequester: I would wager that just a few months ago very few of you knew what the word “sequester” meant. Maybe you didn’t know how to pronounce it either (see-kwes-ter). I can tell you that I had never heard the word before I was elected to Congress. And, it took me a couple of terms on the budget committee to become familiar with it.

But, now we all know. It is a budgeting mechanism by which across-the-board spending reductions are enforced. And, it went into effect on March 1st.

Listening to the president, you would think that the Mayan calendar was off by a couple of months and that the end of the world was really coming as a result of the Sequester. From the dramatic rhetoric in his perpetual campaign swing, it sounds like life as we know it will cease because of a 2% reduction in the growth of planned government spending. What you are not hearing is that even with the Sequester cuts in effect, total federal spending this year will be higher than last year. So, why all the drama? Because it is clear that the president wants to increase spending and increase taxes and he wants you to think that the… Read More

BOE Member George Runner

Retroactive Tax on California Entrepreneurs Unwarranted and Unfair

As an elected official and taxpayer advocate, I cannot remain silent while state tax officials punish California taxpayers who in good faith followed our laws.

That’s why I’m urging the Franchise Tax Board to reverse a controversial staff decision seeking millions in retroactive taxes from California entrepreneurs and small businesses.

In my letter to the three members of the Franchise Tax Board, I call FTB’s December 2012 staff action “unwarranted and unfair to taxpayers.”

I explain that the Second District Court of Appeal’s decision in Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board does not require FTB to take this action. I warn that it “sends entirely the wrong message to investors, entrepreneurs and job creators doing business in our state.”

A growing bi-partisan chorus of California legislators, newspapers and… Read More

Katy Grimes

What I didn’t hear from Republicans this week

While Gov. Jerry Brown announced a balanced budget and the magical economic recovery of California this week, too many Republicans fell all over themselves to praise him for it. It was difficult to see much of a difference between the two parties, yet there is a ideological chasm as wide as the state.

Brown’s State of the State address Thursday was predictable. He’s nothing if not consistent in his ability to give a speech. However, a fantastic opportunity was blown by Republicans to get out their message… any message…

What is evident is Republican lawmakers don’t seem to be on the same page.

There were a few tidbits worth noting, but most of the Republicans, whether newly elected or seasoned, espoused mediocrity. And we all know how that has been working for them.

There’s polite, and there is rolling over. Instead of agreeing with Brown’s “inner Republican,” more should have pointed out that what Brown says and does are often very different. And perhaps noting that Brown’s speech was peppered with Democratic talking points wouldn’t have hurt either.

Instead, statements praising the governor’s address were the apparent… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

This native Californian was all bundled up to keep warm on a chilly Washington morning on Monday to witness the 57th United States Presidential Inaugural and hear President Obama’s second inaugural address.

To be honest, I was inspired by the address….. ….but, not in the way the president might have wanted.

I’m a big football fan. There’s nothing to bring you to your feet quite like the big touchdown pass. And, that is usually what brings accolades in the annals of football lore. But, just as important, and many times more important, is that tenacious defense. When you don’t have the ball, you count on those 11 defensemen to keep you in the game. Oh sure, they can sometimes get a “pick-6” and score a touchdown. But usually, they just hold the line and keep bad things from happening. The undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins were led by what was dubbed the “no name defense”. They held the line and they were a big part of the only undefeated season in NFL history. As Republicans, we don’t have the ball right now. We may control the House, but we are the minority party in Washington since everything… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Debt Ceiling Conditions

The president says that we should just extend the debt limit, or cede the authority to him to expand it as he wishes. I’m sure he probably doesn’t think we even need such a discipline at all. He says he will not negotiate on this issue. He says that Congress has already approved all the spending that led to these deficits.

Like on most things, the president is completely wrong.

If credit cards had no limit on them, a whole lot of people would spend without end. The debt limit is like that. It is a discipline that reminds us – “Oh yeah…we’ve just borrowed $16.4 TRILLION. That’s kind of a lot. Maybe we shouldn’t spend so much.” We’ve borrowed 35% ($5.805 trillion) of that since Obama took office. Maybe we ought to think about it before we try to borrow $7 trillion more, which is an approximation of how much more this president wants to borrow in his second term. And, as I understand him, the president won’t negotiate on this. In fact, he has yet to negotiate on anything. No change here. And, as far as Congress already approving the spending….that’s not correct either, Mr. President. Sixty percent of all… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Why I Voted Against the Fiscal Cliff “Deal”

You may be wondering why you did not hear from me during the last few weeks of the “fiscal cliff” machinations in Washington. For one thing, I figured that many of you were enjoying the holidays with your families and friends and did not want me to interrupt that with depressing news. Additionally, however, things were moving so fast that anything I wrote you would have been obsolete by the time you read it. I had about a dozen “laptops” in my head each day, but, by the time I sat down to write them, the circumstances had already changed.

Well, unless you were abducted by aliens or have just gotten back from your Mayan end-of-the-world worship ceremony in South America, you know about the deal that was passed by the Senate and the House on New Year’s Day. To say I didn’t like the “deal” would be to understate the case. I hated it.

I don’t want to raise taxes. That feeling is not driven by a pledge, as many liberals would like to argue in order to portray we conservatives as the mindless lemmings that some of said liberals are. I think that having the federal government take roughly 20% of all the production of the… Read More

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

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