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San Onofre decommissioning: $4.4 billion wasted

August 4th, 2014 By John Seiler.

According to the U-T, the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear powerplant will cost $4.4 billion. The money, of course, will be paid by ratepayers. It is owned mainly by Southern California Edison and SGD&E. Even if stockholders are hit with the bill, that only would cut the stock prices...

Behind push against truancy/absenteeism: unions’ money hunt

August 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

What is by far the single most important factor in how California government functions? I stand by my theory that I wrote up last year for Cal Watchdog: Like Neo figuring out how life was coded to work in “The Matrix,” everything about California politics is much easier to understand once you r...

Gov. Christie: Not all pensions will be paid

August 3rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Chris Cristie is the governor of New Jersey. But he has given a wake-up call to all states with public pension problems, including California. The latest: BELMAR, N.J. — Pension reform is going to involve breaking some promises, including reducing benefits that public employees were counting on ...

Associated Press blows coverage of bullet-train ruling

August 3rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Led by the Associated Press, the mainstream media coverage of the state appellate court ruling overturning two anti-bullet train trial court rulings is somewhat peculiar in that it depicts the ruling as monumental. Read the 49-page decision, and it seems procedural. I wrote about this for the U-T...

Median household income crashed 1/3

August 2nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Wonder why you feel so poor? Because you are. According to a new study by the Russell Sage Foundation, in the last decade median household income crashed by 1/3, from $87,992 in 2003 to $56,335 in 2013. The crash started during the Republican Bush administration, but has not been made better by...

Kings County attorney: Don’t overreact to pro-bullet train ruling

August 1st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

A state appellate court ruling announced Thursday overturning Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny's 2013 decisions saying the state rail authority didn't have a legal financing plan or adequate environmental reviews to proceed with construction of the initial segment of the state bullet-tr...

Mitch Albom, CWD contributor talk about Silicon Valley, diversity

July 31st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Jesse Jackson's on-again, off-again campaign against Silicon Valley for the lack of blacks, Latinos and women in its tech workforce is revving up. This is from a USA Today story this week: "There's no talent shortage. There's an opportunity shortage," he said, calling Silicon Valley "far worse" tha...

Big blow to bullet train: Fresno County supes now oppose project

July 30th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Fresno has long been a hotbed of bipartisan support for the California High-Speed Rail Authority's plans to build a bullet-train network linking Northern and Southern California. The county Board of Supervisors endorsed the project five years ago, the Fresno Bee's liberal editorial page has long bee...

In L.A., Obama attacks corporations

July 28th, 2014 By John Seiler.

During his recent trip to Los Angeles, in which his motorcade blocked a pregnant woman's path to the maternity ward, President Obama attacked U.S. corporations that flee the massively high taxes he imposes. The corporations merge with foreign corporations, thus paying the more reasonable tax rates...

Bullet-train officials praise judge they called a threat to CA

July 28th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority got some good news from the courts last week. The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento upheld a lower court ruling rejecting legal challenges to the routing of the bullet train in the Gilroy-Las Banos area, specifically the Pacheco Pass. That ruling won...

David Cay Johnston replies to my tax blog

July 27th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Due to some technical problems, David Cay Johnston's reply to my blog, "Tax increases boost jobs?," was delayed two days till this morning. So I'm calling special attention to it here. Check it out and add replies if you wish....

Chiro settlement a reminder of board crony problem

July 26th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

This week, we got a fresh reminder of the problems created by the practice of allowing governors to appoint cronies and campaign contributors to cushy, well-paying jobs on the oversight boards of many state agencies. This is from the Sac Bee: Four years after a Sacramento jury found a Board of Chir...

CA taxes have DROPPED $6 billion

July 24th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Let me elaborate on something I mentioned in a blog yesterday: California taxes have dropped $6 billion in the last two years. That's because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's record, $13 billion tax increase of 2009 expired and was replaced in 2012 by Gov. Jerry Brown's $7 billion tax increase of Prop...

McClintock: Border mess shows government can’t be trusted

July 24th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The current influx of illegal immigrants along the Texas border has ramped up the immigration debate and sharply increased media coverage of the issue. But that coverage has mostly been on human interest angles relating to the kids coming from Central America and on the protests in Murrieta. I do...

Tax increases boost jobs?

July 23rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Do tax increases boost jobs? Or kill jobs? Here's the take of David Cay Johnston in the Bee: Dire predictions about jobs being destroyed spread across California in 2012 as voters debated whether to enact the sales and, for those near the top of the income ladder, stiff income tax increases in P...

State peddles idea that bullet train contractors are investors

July 23rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

On Jan. 11, 2010, the Legislative Analyst's Office issued a report on the latest iteration of the business plan for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. It contained a game-changing conclusion -- a predictable conclusion but still a crucial one. Here's what I wrote in a Union-Tribune editorial ...

Apollo 11 after 45 years

July 22nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

I still remember in wonderment watching the Apollo 11 moon landing on TV 45 years ago this week. Here's what we saw, as Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the lunar surface: A great deal of the Apollo 11 program was made right here in California. The second stage of the giant Saturn V rocket was ma...

Pension bigger than salary?

July 21st, 2014 By John Seiler.

Most people understand that your pension will be less than your salary. You don't have to commute any more, so your car expenses are down. You can downsize your house because your kids moved out -- or at least that used to be the case before high housing costs and bad job prospects kept kids around....

In Silicon Valley, liberal pols look to drive up cost of housing

July 21st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The emergence of Silicon Valley as one of the wealthiest places in the world has led to plenty of media coverage that points out how it has become a poster child for income inequality. This is from a March Associated Press story: SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Silicon Valley is entering a fifth year of unfett...

Speed promises for bullet train? CA says ‘never mind’

July 20th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In 2008, California voters narrowly approved $9.95 billion in funds for a statewide high-speed rail network. When they voted for Proposition 1A, they didn't think there was much doubt about what they were getting -- a "safe, reliable, high-speed passenger train" was the mantra of Gov. Schwarzene...

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