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ObamaChoppers to cost $20 billion

May 10th, 2014 By John Seiler.

You would think America didn't have any economic troubles, and the government could waste whatever money it wanted to on anything. President Obama's has ordered a fleet of 23 presidential helicopters -- ObamaChoppers -- that will cost taxpayers an incredible $20 billion. That's $20,000,000,000.0...

Exodus costs CA

May 9th, 2014 By John Seiler.

People and businesses flee California's high taxes and regulations. How much does that cost the state budget? A new book by Travis Brown, "How Money Walks," quantifies it; as does his website, Writing in the Orange County Register, Adam Summers summarized Brown's data: "From 1...

Attempted $1B cover-up can’t even crack Top 5 of bullet-train outrages

May 9th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

With any big public works project, a report that an independent consultant had been pressured by the responsible government agency to hide a nearly $1 billion increase in project cost is absolutely outrageous. Pathetically enough, when it comes to the bullet train and the California High-Speed Rail ...

Mass transit for poor frowned on in Bay Area

May 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

There's plenty of research that shows that bus rapid transit is far the most cost-effective type of mass transit, with a flexibility that's particularly helpful to the less affluent. This is from a Reason Foundation study released in January about the shortfalls of the traditional, rail-centric appr...

$26 minimum wage?

May 8th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California's minimum wage rises to $9 an hour from $8 on July 1. Then in 2015, it rises to $10. That's still pretty low for this expensive state. So Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is proposing $26 an hour. That still seems pretty chintsy. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year. Assuming a 40 ho...

Taxes, regs clog new biz formation in USA, CA

May 7th, 2014 By John Seiler.

An alarming new study by the liberal Brookings Institution shows business dynamism has dropped by half from the Reagan Boom of three decades ago. Look at this graph: "Firm entry" means new startup companies. "Firm exit" means the companies are gone. The two lines crossed about 2008, during t...

Analyzing Neel Kashkari’s flyer

May 6th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Today the first statewide political flyer plopped into my mailbox. It's from Neel Kashkari, running for governor as a Republican. The whole thing is reproduced at the bottom. This is the first gubernatorial election using the Top Two system. The two candidates with the most votes go on to a Novem...

CA governments can open meetings with prayer

May 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

In one of those weird rulings, today the U.S. Supreme Court decided that it's OK for local governments to open meetings with prayer. It's weird because the Court itself opens with the prayer, "God save the United States and this Honorable Court!" -- a quote directly from the Court's own website....

Longevity breakthroughs make gov pensions even more of a gold mine

May 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

On Sunday the Drudge Report sent Twitter abuzz with the report of a hugely significant breakthrough on aging and longevity: "It may seem the stuff of gothic horror novels, but transfusions of young blood could reverse the ageing process and even cure Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists believe. ... ...

Jerry Brown expresses satisfaction with CA’s 24% poverty rate

May 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

If you live in a state that has by far the highest effective poverty rate in the U.S. -- at just under one-quarter of the population -- you would seem unlikely to express satisfaction with the economics status quo. But if you're the governor of that state, and the media think you're a whiz-bang b...

Dems face ethnic Family Feud

May 4th, 2014 By John Seiler.

One thing I've predicted for years is that once Democrats reached supermajority status, fierce intra-party battles would surface. I regerenced the "Solid South," meaning the total dominance Democrats had in the U.S. South from the end of Reconstruction through the 1960s. With Republicans back then ...

Gov. Brown’s 3D chess game leads to timid politics

May 3rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

If you believe Jerry Brown is a governing genius, then forgive me for laughing until I injure myself. What I think is that he's scary shrewd at managing the narrative, at keeping people in the dark about what he's really up to. Sometimes he uses this skill in welcome ways. The gov knows the bulle...

Gov. Brown excuses Toyota move with Schumpeter

May 3rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

It was free-market economist Joseph Schumpeter who coined the phrase, "creative destruction." He meant that a dynamic economy doesn't stand still. That cars replace buggies; trucks replace conestoga wagons; computers replace typewriters; smartphones replace line phones. A dynamic society is differe...

Sen. Lieu is Shocked! — Shocked! — Toyota is leaving Torrance

May 2nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Democratic State Sen. Ted Lieu is Shocked!  -- Shocked! -- that Toyota's U.S. headquarters is splitting Torrance, which he represents, for Texas. He wrote on his website: “I am really angry. Nothing prepared any of us for this surprise announcement by Toyota. The fact is thousands of families in...

Dallas editorial chortles over Toyota departing CA for Texas

May 2nd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Monday's announcement that Toyota is moving its North American headquarters from Torrance to the suburbs of Dallas prompted the usual schizophrenic approach in California:  Some editorial writers and pundits lamented the loss of 3,000 middle-class jobs, but Gov. Jerry Brown could not have cared les...

Fade to red ink: LAO questions tax cuts for films

May 1st, 2014 By John Seiler.

It's always been as funny as a Coen Bros. movie that the Hollywood Left Elite, which backs massive tax increases on the rest of us, favors tax cuts for itself. The excuse is that the cuts create valuable movie-industry jobs. Which is true. But other tax cuts do the same. The Legislative Analy...

Honors belie years of gloom-and-doom talk about UC system

May 1st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

For at least seven years, we've heard University of California officials and Democratic lawmakers describe budget "cuts" at UC as being so devastating they threatened the system's elite reputation. I recall hearing surrogates for Jerry Brown say in 2010 that the choice between his gubernatorial cand...

Today is CA Tax Freedom Day

April 30th, 2014 By John Seiler.

For Californians, today is Tax Freedom Day. That means, if you had to pay all your taxes first before getting any of your earnings for yourself and your family, from Jan. 1 to April 29, every cent would go to government. Only now, on April 30, would you start getting your own money to spend. Assumin...

Alleged CA budget renaissance: Yet another hole in narrative

April 30th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The readiness of the Sacramento and East Coast media to accept the narrative that Gov. Jerry Brown is a genius who has solved California's previously immense budget problems is everywhere. An accountant -- as opposed to a journalist or a partisan, or a journalist/partisan -- would be infinitely m...

Sen. Leland Yee promises to ‘prevent corruption’

April 29th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Especially where federal corruption charges are concerned, we always should presume innocence. That includes with state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who has been indicted for allegedly trading illegal arms for campaign cash. But I just got in the mail Secretary of State Debra Bowen's "Califo...

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