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CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

Internet taxes could slam California

January 7th, 2015 By John Seiler.

California benefits from the Internet currently being largely tax-free. Generally, the only taxes are for signing up for a local Internet service provider. It's a flat fee no matter if you hog the Internet by watching continuous Netflix videos, or more profitably use your time reading everything on ...

Brown increases power over UC

January 7th, 2015 By John Seiler.

With NFL playoffs and BCS championship here, on whom would you bet? The four-term governor of California, who learned politics at his father's knee 70 years ago? Or the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security? So the odds are Gov. Jerry Brown, in the end, will best University of ...

Brown budget drops Friday

January 6th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Inaugural Address, delivered yesterday, promised frugality while advancing ambitious goals on climate change, health care, education and the high-speed rail program. Rhetoric aside, the rubber hits the road on Friday with the numbers in his budget proposal for fiscal year 2015-16...

Can GOP stop FCC attack on the Internet?

January 6th, 2015 By John Seiler.

The Federal Communications Commission, controlled by Obama Democrats, is poised to impose a 1930s telephone-regulation model on the Internet. It makes no sense in a time when Internet costs drop by half every year to 18 months. They call it "net neutrality," but it should be called "government ta...

Message for CA: France dumps 75% income tax

January 5th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Back two years ago when France jacked up its top income tax rate to 75 Percent, it was compared to California's almost 52 percent rate (combined federal and state). The pro-tax New York Times said high-taxes didn't drive away the wealthy. Except famed French actor Gerard Depardieu decamped for Russ...

Brown’s 4th Inaugural looks to CA past, future

January 5th, 2015 By John Seiler.

Gov. Jerry Brown's unprecedent fourth, and final, inaugural address had an aura of "Back to the Future" about it. Given at 10 a.m. this morning before the assembled Legislature, he looked back to his first inaugural address 40 years ago; and to the gubernatorial inaugural in 1959 of his father, Pat...

New category of CA employees tries to sandbag pension fixes

January 5th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

When elected officials participate even very indirectly in a process that improves their compensation, the public goes wild. It's powerful attack-ad fodder for candidates seeking to unseat such politicians. But when powerful bureaucrats engage in such in a maneuver -- even in much more direct fas...

Will ferrets finally be free?

January 4th, 2015 By John Seiler.

"Ah, nice marmot," the Dude says in "The Big Lebowski" just before the nihilists dump it into the tub while he's taking a bath. Actually, it's probably really a ferret. And as Walter says later on, it's not legal. To which the Dude replies, "What are you, a ... park ranger now?" Ferrets ...

Report may force CA media to admit Obama backs fracking safety

January 4th, 2015 By Chris Reed.

As Cal Watchdog has repeatedly noted over the past two years, the California print media -- with the exception of the U-T San Diego editorial page (my edits) and a San Francisco Chronicle reporter -- never note the Obama administration's support of fracking in its coverage of the energy-extraction t...

Seniors join ‘new’ homeless

January 3rd, 2015 By John Seiler.

I'm gettin' up there in years myself -- 60 in June. So I'm sympathetic. The latest crisis to hit California is that its massively high cost of living is pushing seniors out onto the streets. Social Security checks, small pensions and food stamps might cut it in Michigan, but not in California. ...

CHP’s probe of CalFire yielded leads — unlike DA’s probe of CHP

January 3rd, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The reports that suggest the California Highway Patrol did a solid job in handling the investigation of a prostitution scandal at CalFire's training acadmy in Ione have a rich subtext. CHP gathered enough strong evidence that 16 CalFire employees were suspended and placed on administrative leave....

Retirement will be painful for most

January 2nd, 2015 By John Seiler.

In an excellent column in the U-T San Diego, Dan McSwain paints a grim retirement picture for almost everybody: For most Americans, it’s tempting to live in denial or outright fantasyland when it comes to paying for retirement. That’s because doing the math evokes less-pleasant emotions like f...

Harsh impact of CalSTRS bailout begins to emerge

January 2nd, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The deal struck in spring 2014 to bail out the underfunded California State Teachers' Retirement System will lead school districts, the state and teachers to increase their annual contributions to CalSTRS from $5.9 billion in 2014 to at least $10.9 billion in fiscal 2020-21, with 70 percent of the e...

Pension reformer Chuck Reed will fight on

January 1st, 2015 By John Seiler.

San Jose is in the center of the world's economic pulse, Silicon Valley. By all rights, its city treasury ought to be overflowing with digital wealth. Instead it has flirted with bankruptcy because of its burgeoning pension problem -- a problem that already was the major cause of the bankruptcie...

CA initiative reform: Lawmakers ignore the elephant in the room

January 1st, 2015 By Chris Reed.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on initiative reforms that take effect today. After more than a century in California’s political spotlight, the state’s initiative process will be getting a major revise next year. Even more surprising, both Democrats and Republicans in the famou...

Mary Nichols the ‘rock star’ bureaucrat

December 31st, 2014 By John Seiler.

America is supposed to be a democracy ruled by "We, the people." Actually it's rule by bureaucracy. The vast bureaus of federal, state and local governments run our lives, and there's not much that can be done about it until the whole shebang goes bankrupt. Presidents, governors and mayors can...

Thieves rip $800,000 in computers from San Jose State

December 31st, 2014 By John Seiler.

Can't blame this one on Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Thieves ripped off $800,000 of computer equipment from San Jose State. The Contra Costa Times reported: Without a central warehouse or reliable system for keeping track of the valuables arriving on campus, hundreds of wireless-access devices co...

Humorous new attack on Prop. 13

December 30th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Lenny Bruce was funnier But Lenny Goldberg is pretty funny, too. Because he's wasted 40 years attacking Proposition 13, the landmark 1978 property-tax limitation initiative. The Times just ran a puff piece on him. There's no hint that, in a state with an incredibly incompetent and wasteful go...

CA gas tax jumps 10 cents in Jan.

December 29th, 2014 By John Seiler.

New year. New tax on gas. It's AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 finally gouging drivers at the pump. Although industry spokesmen have said the new gas tax could be as much as 70 cents a gallon, it looks like it could be around an FDR dime. According to the Mercury-News: A U...

CARB draws sharp fire on AB 32 — from the left

December 29th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

David Roberts -- a Grist.org journalist who has an easy command of energy issues that makes his NRDC-style environmentalism easier to take -- has written a sharp piece about AB 32. Roberts details what he calls an "avoidable mess" in the implementation of the law by the California Air Resources Boa...

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