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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...

Port of San Diego turns permit process into profit center

July 19th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Port of San Diego is breaking crazy new ground. The agency -- which has 500-plus employees and a $97 million annual budget to oversee maritime cargo and cruise ship facilities in a coastal area covering San Diego and four smaller cities -- has turned the permitting process into a way to pad ...

Parallels between Australia, Assembly AB 32 revolt are obvious

July 18th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

One of the most universal findings in the social sciences has been the uniform way that humans at all stages of history have been for something that they think reflects well on them until they perceive that it costs them a dime. This axiom is playing out right now in Australia, where the governme...

CA fossil-fuel foes want to ban more than just fracking

July 17th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California foes of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have been surprised and disappointed at their inability to get Gov. Jerry Brown or the Legislature to ban the practice. Brown's support for a law regulating but permitting the newly improved drilling technique barely seemed to discomfit the oil i...

Board chair’s upbeat take on bullet train at sharp odds with MSM

July 16th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

When James Fallows of The Atlantic came out last week in strong support of the California high-speed rail project, I responded with an unnecessarily snarky piece -- sorry, James -- headlined "7 ways James Fallows is wrong about the CA bullet train." In it, I said the author was judging the project ...

Dan Richard vs. CWD over bullet train, via James Fallows

July 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Wait, there's still more from the suddenly feverish debate over the bullet train. The head of California High-Speed Rail Authority takes on my July 11 CWD post knocking Jim Fallows for his support of the project point by point....

Six Californias?

July 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Today entrepreneur Tim Draper is submitting signatures to put his Six Californias idea onto the 2016 ballot. That will give him two more years to sell his idea that the state -- which by then will be crammed with 40 million incredibly diverse people -- would be better off chopped up. The initiat...

Fallows cites CWD critique of his bullet-train stand

July 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Atlantic's James Fallows, to his credit, followed up on his post last week touting the California bullet train project with another post acknowledging the strong push-back he had received. His respectful, straightforward tone was far different than the norm in CA, where Jerry Brown blames "defea...

Dems back Prop. 45 medical insurance price controls

July 14th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The Democratic Party just backed Proposition 45, which would give the state insurance commissioner vast new powers to regulate medical insurance rates. According to the Bee, the initiative pits "trial lawyers and consumer groups against doctors and hospital groups." According to R Street, "Such ...

CA law promoting school choice, competition barely used

July 14th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Advocates of education choice in California have been fighting the good fight for decades. They've gotten nowhere with school vouchers but have a strong record with charters -- albeit a record that requires a constant struggle to defend against the hostility of teacher unions. The U.S. Education ...

Backdrop to CalPERS’ many debacles: Agency thinks it’s great

July 13th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The giant California Public Employees' Retirement System, as one might suspect from its massive and self-important Sacramento headquarters, thinks it is the bomb -- a flawless organization that should inspire awe in onlookers. Yes, of course, the phenomenon of government agency leaders and their ...

Berkeley: Poor have right to free pot

July 13th, 2014 By John Seiler.

This sounds like a Cheech and Chong routine. The People's Republic of Berkeley has mandated that medical-marijuana dispensaries must give free pot to poor people. As marijuana is legalized in more places, that likely will spread across the country. In modern America, anything banned soon becomes ...

Profiting from stem-cell public-private partnership

July 12th, 2014 By John Seiler.

While governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger loved to tout "public-private partnerships"; another phrase for which is "crony capitalism." One such partnership he backed was Proposition 71 back in 2004, which allocated $3 billion to fund stem-cell research. Except that, with interest, the payback amount ...

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