AB 32 revenue: Some for bullet train, some for pork, none for poor

AB 32 revenue: Some for bullet train, some for pork, none for poor

AB-32Before and after AB 32’s passage in 2006, a whole lot of promises and guarantees were made. Some are remembered. Many aren’t.

One of those was the pledge to use a portion of cap-and-trade funds to directly help poor people make ends meet, since the increase in energy costs resulting from the law would have a regressive effect. (Yes, in the old days, people didn’t actually pretend that AB 32 would make energy cheaper.)

Here’s what I wrote in early 2012:

I remember a discussion with former Schwarzenegger adviser David Crane and other fans of AB 32 about the fact that higher energy costs are going to be much harder on poor people than the middle class or rich. I was told, no, the cap-and-trade fees would be used to insulate them from the economic pain caused by the regressive effects of higher energy costs.

Instead, the governor is claiming a big chunk for his insane bullet-train project. And the rest of the cap-and-trade fees? They’re viewed as just another source of funds for legislative pork, with regional interests duking it out over who gets the earmarks. This is from the L.A. Times:

Bay Area public officials are challenging a state plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight climate change by cleaning the air in some of California’s poorest and most polluted communities, most of which are in Southern California.

The officials say the state’s method of determining which communities are helped is flawed because it would exclude some of their region’s most at-risk residents.

The funds come from the state’s cap-and-trade program, which began in 2012 and requires companies to buy carbon pollution permits at auctions. State law requires at least 25% of the proceeds to go to greenhouse gas-cutting projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. Another 25% is set aside for the high-speed rail project between Los Angeles and San Francisco and the rest can be spent to reduce carbon emissions across the state.

To pinpoint the neediest communities, the California Environmental Protection Agency spent years and about $1.5 million developing a screening tool that uses 19 measures of environmental exposure, health risk and socioeconomic status.

Using that analysis, more than half the funds would go to Los Angeles County communities and most of the rest to other areas of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. Less than 5% would go to the Bay Area.

Projects, to be chosen and administered by about a dozen state agencies, could include tree plantings in urban neighborhoods, financial assistance for low-income residents to install solar panels and more efficient appliances and rebates for zero-emissions cars, trucks and buses aimed at communities near heavy traffic. …

In a letter to Cal/EPA last month, 20 state legislators from the Bay Area said the state’s analysis “overlooks a large number of communities that, by any measure, are some of the most polluted and disadvantaged in the state.”

So much for helping the poor with higher energy costs

Does this sound like a careful attempt to help poor people deal with high energy costs? Or just the really lame reality that cap-and-trade funds are going to pay for the standard liberal agenda — porky stuff which has no track record of actually, yunno, helping poor people deal with the fact that all energy will cost more under AB 32?

Obviously, it’s the latter.

Hey, David Crane: Are tree plantings in urban neighborhoods what you had in mind when you were fretting about how to deal with the regressive cost of AB 32?

24 comments

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  1. Ronald Stein
    Ronald Stein 27 September, 2014, 07:37

    The “vocal” minority continue to keep attacking the petrochemical industry, so the financially challenged can pick up more costs that trickle down to their pocket books.

    Energy from the petrochemical industry and the chemical by-products from that industry are the foundation of EVERY industry that supports our economy and our lifestyle.

    In a state that contributes a mere 1% to the World’s Green House Gases, California continues to do whatever is necessary to reduce that to 0% at the expense of our “silent” 38 million citizens.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 27 September, 2014, 09:01

    The politicans had run out of money sources……tapping big guys only goes so far…..they move/curtail political contributions.

    So……….create a bogeyman……TAX and punish the bad boy energy types.

    Bogeyman him smart and passes on the costs to Pedro the gardner, Horst the tailor, Chad the commuting family man…..to economically survive.

    End result…..politicans deflect blame from their biggest tax increase ever-

    Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 27 September, 2014, 10:18

    I noticed that Brownie vetoed SB1124 that passed unanimously (bi-partisan votes) in the Senate and the Assembly. That was the Medi-Cal Estate Recovery bill that would have protected seniors between the ages of 55 and 65 from having their estates seized by the State after they died TO RECOVER EVERY LAST PENNY THAT THE STATE SPENT ON THEM FOR THEIR MEDICAL CARE UNDER MEDI-CAL.

    For instance, low-income seniors 55-65 might own a house and have some assets. Under ObamaCare if a couple makes less than $16000(?) they cannot join an exchange and are FORCED into Medi-Cal by no choice of their own simply by virtue of their low income. Now if one of them ends up in the hospital and needs a $150,000 heart surgery, after the couple dies the State will SEIZE their home/assets and collect that entire $150,000 before the remaining estate (if there’s any left) goes to their heirs. Brownie could have fixed that by signing SB1124. Instead, he vetoed it. Washington State and Oregon changed their laws to protect those 55-65 seniors. Brownie screwed the old people. Take note, if you fall outside that 55-65 age bracket (ie, from birth to 54) and collect Medi-Cal your estate is not seized when you die. It only applies to 55-65 year olds. HOW FRIGGIN’ UNJUST IS THAT? If estate recovery applies to 55-65 year olds it should apply to EVERYONE collecting Medi-Cal benefits!!! This is BLATANT AGE DISCRIMINATION!!!

    Yet we give free medical care to illegal foreigners, jail inmates, etc… and there is no estate recovery.

    What a screwed up state and country we live in!

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 28 September, 2014, 09:31

      Thanks for the update on this. I wondered what the Brown Buzard was going to do.

      It is so unfair. You can be forced into Medi-Cal even if you don’t want it since now high deductible, catastrophic policies are illegal. Then your estate gets taken from your heirs due to receiving treatment from a policiy you never wanted.

      It gets worse though. If you are hearded into a Medi-Cal managaged care plan your estate can be dinged for the premiums even if you never receive any care.

      Also, I am seeing a number of advertisements from healthcare providers in our local rag stating they do not accept Colliefornia Care (as Ahnode calls it) or Medi-Cal.

      The idiot sheeple wanted Obammie and Brown. They elected these criminals and re-elected them. They wanted Obammie Care and now they’re gonna get it good and hard.

      I guess it’s all for the good since Cass Sunstein wants all dead at 75 or earlier:

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/09/doug-french/time-for-you-to-die/

      It’s amazing how stupid the Amerikan sheeple are when it comes to trusting politicians and bureaucrats.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 12:44

        Bob, the problem with Americans is that they don’t care if the other guy gets unjustly screwed. As long as it doesn’t impact OUR PERSONAL LIVES – we either approve or remain silent. The politicians KNOW THIS and take full advantage of it. I am convinced that if the government started throwing citizens in reeducation camps for speaking out against political injustice that the majority of Americans would be fine with it, as long as none of their family members were affected.

        Brown’s veto of SB1124 won’t get much traction in the press. The media knows how wrong this is too. But I have not read one article about it yet. Brown feels very secure in his election race against Cashkari. What the 55-65 age bracket doesn’t know won’t hurt them, right???

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 13:20

          Oh, another thing, Bob. Both the Senate and Assembly unanimously voted in favor of SB1124. No one in the Senate or Assembly voted against it. But Brown vetoed it anyway.

          This is my opinion. Obviously, with UNANIMOUS support of SB1124 by both houses and BOTH parties it wouldn’t be that difficult for the state legislators to override Brown’s veto. But that will NEVER happen. I’ll tell you why.

          The legislators unanimously supported SB1124 because the 55-65 age group is a strong political force. People in that age bracket vote and are much more politically active than younger people. They are a threat to polticians. The legislators were afraid a “no” vote could threaten their seats of power. So they let Jerry Brown to the dirty work with his veto. And since Brown feels very secure with strong poll numbers going into the November elections he volunteered to take the heat – but it won’t cost him an election.

          But most of the legislators didn’t want SB1124 to get approved either – even though they voted to approve it. They didn’t want to lose the estate recovery revenue that finances all their pork projects. So they counted on Brown to reject what they approved.

          For that reason you WON’T see Brown’s veto of SB1124 challenged. The legislators will not attempt to override it – because they wanted SB1124 to fail from the very start.

          Yes, that’s how corrupted your political system really is.

          Reply this comment
        • bob
          bob 28 September, 2014, 18:57

          Yes, it is outrageous. Personally if I were between 55-65 and lost my job I would buy an affordable high deductible policy to tide me over until I qualified for Medicare and make sure I have enough saved to pay the deductible if the worst happened. But you can’t do that now because high deductible policies have been outlawed by Obammie.

          Instead, if you lose your job and have no income you do not qualify for the Covered Collifornia (as Ahnode calls it) subsidy and you have to go into Medi-Cal.

          And to make matters worse there are many providers around where I live who won’t see Medi-Cal or Covered Collifornia patients.

          And if you are forced into a Medi-Cal managed care plan your estate can get tagged for the premiums even if you never get any care.

          How f’d is all that?

          Reply this comment
          • bob
            bob 28 September, 2014, 19:01

            Where is the media on all this?

            Heck, I don’t see much about some of these aspects of obammie care here on calwatchdog.

          • bob
            bob 28 September, 2014, 19:05

            Maybe I should have changed that. Affordable, high deductible policies have been outlawed. My understanding is you can still get Covered Colliefornia if you have no income but you don’t qualify for the subsidy (because they want you in Medi-Cal) and their shit ty bronze plans have very high deductibles.

          • bob
            bob 28 September, 2014, 19:06

            And of course without the subsidy the shit ty bronze plans are very expensive.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 20:36

            “Where is the media on all this?”

            The media is in on it.

            The media is just another arm of the government.

            Do you see any of the media outlets protesting America’s illegal airstrikes in Syria?

            It’s really f’d up, bob. Really f’d up.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 20:42

            Yes, catastrophic health insurance has gone bye-bye. Now they have us by the short hairs. We have to dance to their music, whether we like it or not.

            Somebody in that 55-65 age bracket on Medi-Cal will sue over this. Or better yet, their heirs will. Medi-Cal estate recovery limited to that age bracket is probably the most unjust law that I have ever heard of. It borders on fascism.

  4. Ulusses Uhaul
    Ulusses Uhaul 27 September, 2014, 14:28

    Gov Brown did the correct thing. If your forgiven of debt why estate plan? Why save for the rainy day? Personal responsibility starts somewhere. You have assets and your bills are unpaid, there needs to be a mechanism to obtain payment. When you drill down urban life leaves too many people in dire financial straights……somehow, you gotta get people into high paying jobs and encourage some thrift in this consumer driven economy!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 27 September, 2014, 17:36

      “Personal responsibility starts somewhere.”

      Oh, stop it. Who else is held personally responsible in this entitlement society? The illegals get free healthcare. So do jail inmates. They don’t have their estates seized after they die to reimburse the state for all their medical expenses. Why unfairly target 55 to 65 year olds? Why not make estate recovery apply to ALL MEDI-CAL RECIPIENTS? Besides, the 55 to 65 years olds are FORCED into Medi-Cal if they are low income. They have no other choice. Due to their income level they cannot join the exchange.

      In fact, those people who pay a piddly amount for an exchange plan should also be subject to estate recovery. Those who go over the income threshold ($16,000)(?) by $10,000 or less pay next to nothing for an exchange plan – yet if they have a $150,000 heart surgery the government doesn’t swoop in and steal their estate.

      This is blatant age discrimination against 55 to 65 year olds. I hope somebody challenges it in court. No doubt they will. It is the most unjust law that I have ever heard about. Someone 53 on Medi-Cal is not subject to estate recovery. But someone 55 is! What a joke.

      Reply this comment
  5. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 27 September, 2014, 17:26

    Gov Brownie sent me an email asking me to support Prop’s 1 and 2 that we will apparently vote on in November. Here is how he described them:

    “Proposition 1 will invest $7.5 billion in our water supply. From funding water storage and modernizing our current system to protecting our rivers and lakes, it’s a lean, smart, and efficient plan to manage our precious water supply. And it’s supported by Democrats, Republicans, unions, farmers, and environmentalists.

    Proposition 2, the Rainy Day Budget Stabilization Fund Act, has a long, fancy name, and a lot of confusing legalese — but it will do something really very simple. When we have a budget surplus, we’ll save some of it for when we have a lean year. It’ll help us smooth out the “boom-bust” budgeting that has damaged our state’s finances over the years.”

    I haven’t taken the time to investigate these props yet, but knowing Brownie there’s a whole lot that he’s not telling me about them.

    “Rainy Day Budget”, eh??? Where have I heard that crap before? lol. 😀

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulusses Uhaul
    Ulusses Uhaul 28 September, 2014, 09:53

    Generational ignorance with no understanding bonds raise overhead forever and inconvenient budgets are for Stepword Wives in Malibu!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 12:32

      The majority of American voters don’t even know what the hell a ‘bond’ is. lol. After years of observation, I think they view it as free money. lol. For the last 30 years I’ve said that we Americans are the most educated ignorant people on the face of the earth. I see them fall for the same scams over and over again. And it makes no difference what the topic is. Matters on finances, social justice or war. We stupid Americans believe anything we’re told if it is repeated enough times. This is the reason we’ll never survive as a nation. We aren’t the first empire that will be destroyed by stupidity. And we won’t be the last.

      Reply this comment
      • Terry
        Terry 28 September, 2014, 12:58

        Henry Ford stated about 60 years ago if the American Public understood the banking system there would be a revolution overnight. And here we still are living with a debt system run my bankers. The lead bank of course is the Private Federal Reserve that most people think is part of the US Govt. And the IRS is their collection agency again not really part of the US Govt.

        Reply this comment
  7. Terry
    Terry 28 September, 2014, 11:28

    This is why 95% of govt at all levels needs to be abolished and let the people take care of themselves. Abolishing the Federal Reserve and their collection agency the IRS would give people more money to take care of themselves instead of bankers buying wars ETC ETC ETC. And did I forget buying politicians and the media too.

    Reply this comment
  8. Queeg
    Queeg 28 September, 2014, 13:56

    There will be less and less choices due to lack of demand. Affordability is becoming a huge concern among the stressed middle class. You cannot not stop ignorance but you certainly can stop discretionary purchasing-

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 14:47

      Yes, Queeg. You can stop spending and supporting the corrupted economy. But your next door neighbor is more than willing to go into deep debt to purchase a Mercedes, iPod, big screen, Euro vaca, and speed boat, with money that he doesn’t have and probably will never have. And he will end up bring you down. And there are MANY MORE OF HIM than there are of YOU.

      And the irony is that when it all collapses the government will save HIM with the money that YOU saved.

      lol.

      You challenge that opinion? What about all the upside down homeowners who the government saved at your expense??? lol.

      Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 28 September, 2014, 18:52

    No one dare save Queeg.

    Queeg listens to PIT BULL for elevator music….Queeg works and sweats in Siraccha designed t-shirts, he doesn’t eat sprouts or drink urban coffee, drives a beater unwashed truck, he is an economic chameleon and goes where others fear to compete.

    Rental yards are not garden spots….you know…we serve the down and out….the ideological fed up doomers, the pansy libs trying to find Utopia…..it’s a wonder we don’t get rashes and open sores dealing with this mobile misery!

    Do I care people get bailed out or if chronyism flourishes……not much……too busy chipping off my share of the high grade dung of so called civilization!

    Reply this comment
  10. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 28 September, 2014, 20:21

    We’re live under a new paradigm today. The rules have changed. Your old school of thinking is obsolete. Forget what your parents taught you. 50% of all Americans collect some form of public assistance. That number will grow until it can’t anymore. You live under the illusion that those who are responsible, save and plan for the future will prosper. Wrong! Those who are responsible, save and plan for the future will get strongarmed to support all the dead-beats and the scofflaws. That is the only means by which they will be able to maintain social order. Good is punished. Bad is rewarded. Alter your life plan accordingly.

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulusses Uhaul
    Ulusses Uhaul 29 September, 2014, 22:54

    It started with Italian Westerns…….glorification of the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

    Followed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    And eventually…….Fast and Furious and The Cincy IRS Rogues-

    Reply this comment

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