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Bruce Bialosky

It is Not a Mansion Tax

Much has been discussed nationally about what is commonly called the “Mansion” tax. It went into effect March 31, 2023, after passing last November. But calling it a “Mansion” tax is a misnomer as that is just part of it. The measure was sponsored by a litany of unions and left-wing organizations. They formed a group called “Unite to House LA.” They sponsored an initiative that was signed by nearly 100,000 Los Angelenos who were sold a bill of goods (if you go to their website). Just calling it a “Mansion” tax gave voters the impression that the extremely well-to-do were being taxed. A couple of points. One of their primary selling points was the initiative was written by homeless and housing experts and not politicians. Yet if you look at the track record of these groups, they have been abject failures. Los Angeles City and County have been spending billions of dollars confronting the homeless issue. The plans of so-called “experts” have resulted in homelessness growing; not shrinking. As for the affordable housing people, they too have failed in their mission. When Los Angeles is building units for the homeless costing $500,000 each,… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Dodgers, What Are You Thinking?

An organization that has stood for everything right in sports has brought controversy upon itself. It is not the first time it has occurred. This is the team that broke the color barrier in professional sports and that was not a good thing – it was a great thing. This is a team that left its beloved borough and moved across the country to nationalize professional sports. That was not a good thing – it was a great thing. This time though the move they made has tarnished their reputation. The question is for how long? The Dodgers are having their 10th Pride Night on June 16th. Though there may be a question about some aspects of the celebration, the night has never had much controversy to it. Last year’s celebration righteously honored the first major leaguer to come out as being gay – Glenn Burke. Glenn started his career as a Dodger. Times have changed. People are not just gay anymore. They are part of an alphabet soup that encourages recognition of community members who often display behavior on the outer edges of society. A great many of us can be a supporter of the Gay community, but apparently that is now not enough. If you don’t support the… Read More

Congressman Tom McClintock

Why I Support the Fiscal Responsibility Act

In 2011, Congress faced an impasse on raising the debt limit. It was the first year of a new Republican House majority and the third year of a spendthrift Obama administration. It’s a myth that the impasse caused Standard and Poors to downgrade the nation’s Triple-A credit rating. S&P had warned explicitly for months that Congress had to reduce its projected deficit by $4 trillion over ten years, or face a credit downgrade. Congress responded with the Budget Control Act, which suspended the debt limit and cut the projected deficit by less than half that amount. Standard and Poors promptly made good on its threat. I voted against the Budget Control Act because it failed to preserve the nation’s triple-A credit rating. It seemed clear at the time. Nevertheless, the BCA turned out to be the most meaningful – indeed, the only – true constraint on federal spending in the years that immediately followed. Although it made disappointingly small cuts in current spending, it included an across-the-board sequestration mechanism that kicked in automatically when Congress failed to enact the targeted deficit reductions. In the years… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Visiting Japan and More

As always, I know it is vacation because my cell phone is locked up in a safe, there’s no TV watching, and I have no keys in my pocket. We began this year’s journey with a short visit to one of our closest allies, Japan – specifically in Tokyo. Tokyo is a city of 14 million, but it works. It is well organized, with unfailingly polite people. It makes you wonder if any of them get neck problems from all the head bowing. One spends a lot of time saying arigato (thank you). It is nice to walk around a major city where the streets are spotless and safe. The world-famous Ginza district is so inviting to visitors. No one is breaking any rules. Even before we get to the Ginza District there are colorful flowers lining the streets. Pansies, Johnny Jump-ups, and tulips brightening our walk and our day. You don’t think of jaywalking in Japan. Everything is orderly. You notice walking the streets that everyone is Japanese. In fact, the population is 97.8% Japanese. Though they learn English in school very few speak the language. It is not a very diverse country, and it really works.

Which brought to mind a current saying amongst… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

We Are Becoming Venezuela

Those who regularly read my column know that The Beautiful Wife and I are experienced world travelers. We have been to 80 countries together and love to travel to all corners of the world. One of the countries I would really like to go to is Venezuela. At one point not to long ago, Venezuela had the best economy in Latin America and was in the top 20 economies in the world. It has the largest oil reserves in the world. In the last two decades of the 20th century, the economy started to decline. It was still a country with which many people I knew did business and visited regularly. I wanted to vacation there. I heard wonderful things about Caracas, the capital. Then Hugo Chavez became president promising a Bolivian (socialist) revolution. He indeed provided a revolution until he died. A revolution of despair. The current leader, Nicolas Maduro, took over the country and finished destroying any semblance of civilized life. Human Rights Watch has reported there is a full-blown humanitarian crisis lacking safe water, basic nutrition, and healthcare. Whoever can get out has gotten out. We missed our opportunity to visit Venezuela and likely will never be able… Read More

Ron Nehring

Republicans should lead on combating racism and anti-Semitism

When President Biden and the Democrats raise the subject of white nationalism and white supremacy, many conservatives immediately lurch for the “pivot” — a technique of bridging to another topic.

That’s a mistake.

While many on the left have made it a habit of painting anyone and anything they don’t like as racist, it’s a mistake for conservatives to fall into the trap of conceding leadership on issues of racism to the Democrats.

True conservatives can — and should — be bold and clear on this subject, not reach for the escape hatch.

White supremacy, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of racism are fundamentally incompatible with conservatism.Someone who is a racist cannot be a conservative.The former disqualifies one from being the later.

Conservatism holds each person should be judged on their own conduct, behavior, and character.This is what we mean when we talk about “personal responsibility” — people should be responsible for their own actions, and judged on their own character as an… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Receiving Found Money

During my morning routine prior to work, I was taking a break when the phone rang. At the other end was a gentleman telling me he had found money for me. From there my day changed. I sat up and listened. Who wouldn’t? I am getting free legal money not handed out by a loathsome politician acting like it was theirs in the first place. Of course, it was my money, but it was still a find. The call was from Bernstein, a private wealth management firm. I left there about five years ago when my financial advisor departed unannounced. I promptly moved my accounts elsewhere. It certainly was possible that some earnings/dividends might have been transferred to them after my departure. At any rate, it was nice to hear they had some of my moola. The young man then proudly told me they were sending me a check for 11 cents. Yes, you read that correctly. They had contacted me because they were holding 11 cents of my money to be deposited into my IRA account. He wanted to know if he should send it to me or to my new investment advisor. Then I started to harangue him. “You didn’t really contact me about 11 cents, did you? No, you… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Rampell Strikes Again

As a rule, columnists generally do not like to riff on other people’s product but rather create one’s own. Sometimes one is just forced to do so because of the message put out by others that have a significant position in the journalistic world. Those people do a disservice by providing misleading information on a subject with which you are well versed, and they must be countered. Catherine Rampell is a staff opinion writer for the Washington Post who is syndicated. She has the same economic background as Jared Bernstein who has been a spokesperson for President Biden and now is the nominee for Chair of Council of Economic Advisers – that is none. Her degree from Princeton was in Anthropology. I don’t know why she is considered an economics “expert.” I don’t know whether she has read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith or Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Freedom. Yet she regularly opines on financial subjects and this time she has hit on the IRS and whether we are overtaxed. In her column, Sorry Democrats You Cannot Pay for Everything by Soaking the Rich… Read More

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