California government gone wild

Sept. 4, 2012

By Katy Grimes

SACRAMENTO — California, you’ve gotta love it. But beautiful weather and majestic landscape can’t fix what ails us. California now has the third highest unemployment and the highest foreclosure rate in the country, highest income taxes if Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase passes, a record annual debt and the most cities teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

California has shifted from being a jobs magnet, to being run for the ueber wealthy, the welfare recipients and the public employees on the backs of the middle class and small business.

All of this devastation is brought to us by the policies of the new progressive California Democratic Party. With four decades of control, and no one to tell them no, California is largely unrecognizable.

But wait … they have more tricks up their sleeves.

As the Legislature ended the two-year session on Friday, we can expect more economic stagnation, a poor work ethic, subsidies, entitlements, green government, nanny government and enviro-dominance. As these progressive policies drive away the middle-class moderates and conservatives, California’s politics will become even more left-wing.

However, left-wing policies are never sustainable. Just ask Greece.

550 new bills

The final week in the Legislature began with a stern warning from Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, to keep the floor speeches short in order to keep the bills moving, since they had 550 bills to pass by Friday, midnight.

Audible groans were heard; it was going to be a long week.

There was the bill to ban the use of styrofoam food containers… the swimming pool safety bill… bills requiring publicly traded corporate board members to disclose their financial information… another bill assaulting Proposition 13 by increasing property taxes… a bill attacking the ballot initiative process… bills protecting illegal immigrants… bills allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a drivers license… and lots of bills benefiting trial lawyers.

It was a good week for labor unions, trial lawyers and illegal immigrants; it was a bad week for taxpayers, legal citizens and liberty.

Pension reform or more harm?

California Democrats have had an entire year to finely tune their pension reform bill, AB 340. The bill should have gone through the committee process and been publicly vetted during that time. It did not.

There were no committee hearings, and there was no Republican input.

Instead, AB 340 was just passed out of conference committee Tueday night, last week. On Wednesday, Republicans received the 80-page bill.

Friday, the last day of the session until after the November election, AB 340 was debated and voted on.

Republicans had about 48 hours to learn what was inside of the bill. Staff pulled all-nighters, and kept discovering strange things in the bill.

But most important to note, pension savings will not be realized for 30 years. It’s a short-term political fix for Democrats, but it won’t fix the state’s pension system’s long-term $500 billion debt.

The big problem

Democrats are faced with a big problem this November: they are asking for more taxpayer money, but have grossly mismanaged what they are currently charged with. Hidden funds, agency overspending, legislative raises and no accountability have led voters and taxpayers to a place of total distrust.

Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase measure on the November ballot, will raise taxes on incomes of $250,000 and higher, and will increase the state sales tax–all supposedly to balance the budget. Should the measure fail, Brown and Democrats say they will make slash public education funding and social services. Promises, promises.

This pension reform bill is merely window dressing, and just a convenient campaign tool. Passing AB 340 on Friday was intended only to lull voters into voting for Prop 30 to increase taxes.

The pension reform plan would provide only about $20 billion in cost savings out of the $500 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, according to Scott Shackford of the Reason Public Policy Institute.

They passed the illusionary pension reform bill to goad voters into believing that Brown and the Democrats were serious. What really needs reform is the gross employee compensation that California government employees enjoy.

A July UC Berkeley Field Poll of California voters found there is majority support for two specific pension reform proposals. “By a large 67 percent to 25 percent margin, voters support the establishment of an upper limit or salary cap when calculating pension benefits.  In addition, a nearly two to one majority (60 percent to 32 percent) supports increasing the minimum age at which public employees can receive pension benefits.”

The poll also found that 52 percent approve of giving state and local governments legal authority to modify existing pension agreements with their current workers.

Fifty-four percent of likely voters in the November general election say that legislative approval of pension reform would have no effect on their vote for Brown’s tax increase initiative, the Field Poll reports. “Legislative action on the issue of pension reform does not appear to have a great effect on how voters feel about Governor Jerry Brown’s initiative to increase taxes that will appear on the November 2012 election ballot.”

Voters will soon recognize the political calculation made by Democrats on pension reform, particularly as the layers are peeled back and the deals are exposed.

This is a Democratic-controlled Legislature gone wild, drunk with power and with the impulse control of toddlers. They have demonstrated that they are incapable of leading justly, and instead have chosen to enrich themselves and reward their union masters at the expense of a great state.



Write a comment
    JKEYES 4 September, 2012, 09:32

    Stop the nonsense;vote Republican.

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 4 September, 2012, 09:45

    Yeah vote for the guys who have taken globalism and exploitation of labor to an art form!

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 September, 2012, 10:24

    We need nanny protection 😉

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondo
    Hondo 4 September, 2012, 12:11

    How many labor unions and public pension funds and liberal democrats own Bain capitol. Lots, count um up.
    How many liberals, democrats and public pension funds own Apple, who farms out all their manufacturing to slave labor in China. Why doesn’t Apple open a iphone plant in Kali? Do you own Apple or do any of your friends?
    How bout Facebook, whose IPO looks to be one gigantic fraud. Ain’t no republicans in that woodpile.
    Kali passed a huge tax increase in 09 and they are back for more. Illinois passed a huge tax increase last year and have huge deficits this year.
    While the rest of the country is in recovory, including many states run by reasonable dems(colorado), Kalifornia and Illinois are holding back the rest of the country.

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 4 September, 2012, 12:18

    Not a waterboy for politicans. They all suck!

    Your all so brain washed on CWD… spew a delusional mantra…what good does it do? Is it baby crib soothing…ah! I get it now….

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 September, 2012, 12:43

    Tax hikes are DOA- listen to me, I am right 99% of the time.

    Reply this comment
  7. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 4 September, 2012, 13:42

    The poodle has been 0 for 9 ™ on these boards in the last 3 years.

    My particular fav was when he predicted the cops in OC would lose the lawsuit and THEN predictied the Supremes would step in to salvage the unlawful plaintiff’s case! He, of course was wrong on both! LOL—-delusional still!!

    Reply this comment
  8. us citizen
    us citizen 4 September, 2012, 13:48

    Screw the illegals, screw the unions, screw the pensions………lets get back to basics. If ya dont have the money, then ya cant buy it.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 4 September, 2012, 16:03

    Teddy-I was never wrong, I said Moorlach had a good CHANCE of winning, not that he would actually win lil budy-thanks for playing!!

    Reply this comment
  10. David in Irvine
    David in Irvine 4 September, 2012, 17:00

    “The Californians are an idle, thriftless people, and can make nothing for themselves.” Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast, 1840

    Reply this comment
  11. Gerald Caskey
    Gerald Caskey 4 September, 2012, 17:42

    Vote them allout of office, till we can find someone who cares about the state.

    Reply this comment
  12. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 September, 2012, 20:50

    Two million more Dems. Your cooked get over it!

    Reply this comment
  13. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 09:08

    Pension reform is good– looks like the Gov did it the lawful way.

    It’s cheaper this way….millions out of the lawyers hands….

    See, the poodle predicted the OC Cops would lose the case and that after that the Supremes would back the play.As the poodle learned (the hard way of course) the law is the law and well, he lost his first 2 infamous predictions———-now….0 for 9 ™

    Reply this comment
  14. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 09:49

    Remember this infamous Poodle prediction from the 2010 archives over at another blog?

    Once again, benefits that were granted retroactively, for work already performed, is not “well earned”. It is in fact not valid.

    The ones who gifted that largess did not have the legal authority to gift it-hence it is void. ……………and unenforceable…..

    Oooops— 0 for 9 ™

    Reply this comment
  15. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 September, 2012, 11:19

    10-0, 11-0 on Nov 6 when the pension tax fails ;_

    Reply this comment
  16. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 11:26

    LOL Poodle– If the temp tax fails I will give you full credit! You’ll be 1 for 10 ™ !!!

    Reply this comment
  17. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 5 September, 2012, 11:34

    Read and learn:

    GOP’s cheap shots at state off base

    By Thomas D.

    Back in years like 1936 and 1972, when California was in the midst of serious recessions, no Republican presidential candidate or surrogate would have dared bash California the way Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Peggy Noonan and others lately have.

    Back then, this state was pretty safely Republican in presidential voting and no GOP bigwig would do anything to risk changing that.

    But times have changed; California has become pretty safely Democratic in presidential and U.S. Senate votes, so the GOP has nothing to lose in making all manner of false and misleading claims about it.

    We see this regularly here from a determined corps of right-leaning bloggers who almost never say anything positive about the state they call home, trashing it at every opportunity. Their constant tide of belittling commentary moved Gov. Jerry Brown to coin a new term – “declinists” – for them. Nevertheless, it has caused national pundits and television commentators to take a negative view of the state.

    But was there merit in Romney’s likening California to financially troubled nations of similar size like Spain, Italy and Greece? Was Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, correct to call California “a cautionary tale” for the rest of America? Was former presidential speechwriter Noonan on target while blasting California on national television?

    The left-leaning magazine The Atlantic quickly responded with a series of graphs and some expert quotes that among other things called comparisons between California and troubled European countries “superficial” and “silly.”

    One thing for sure: The very same Republicans who blast California come here at every opportunity to fatten their personal pocketbooks and campaign funds. Romney, for one, has milked Californians for about one-fifth of his campaign dollars, mostly via a series of high-priced dinners and receptions in the foremost California hotels and in mansions of the ultra-rich who have somehow survived this state’s supposedly disastrous decline.

    The Atlantic’s graphs show California not only has a higher gross domestic product than any of the three European countries to which Republicans compared it, it has had far higher economic growth, lower unemployment, a far lower debt-to-gross domestic product ratio and far lower budget deficits.

    In fact, California surpasses many other states, large and small (like Illinois and New York and Nevada to name three) in all those categories, and scores of others (yes, including Texas) in some of those departments. But the state is a convenient target because the numbers here are always far higher than in other states since this is by far the largest.

    What’s more, a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based International Trade Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, shows California exports growing rapidly, with first-half 2012 sales to foreign countries at $82 billion, a 6 percent increase over last year. And California continues to lead the nation in charitable contributions, kicking in about one-eighth of the national total, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

    Where Palin claimed California is “hostile” to small business, suffers “permanent high unemployment” and an “abysmal real estate market,” in fact exponentially more small businesses start up each year in California than any other state, said 2010 U.S. Census figures. Private sector employment here grew over the past year by a higher percentage than in any other state, reports the California Budget Project. Severe cuts in public employees keep unemployment numbers up, that report said last month.

    The real estate market, down for the past three years because of the foreclosure crisis, ticked upward significantly this spring and summer and July figures showed unemployment down almost

    2 percent here since the same time in 2011, with more than 300,000 new jobs added in California over the last year, despite all the public employee cuts.

    That’s not to say this state has no problems. It certainly does.

    Roads are far more potholed than 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago. Several cities have sought bankruptcy over the past two years, in large part because of diminished property taxes caused by the foreclosure crisis combined with higher expenses including public employee pensions.

    The reason for all the public employee cuts is also clear: lower property taxes caused by the housing foreclosure crisis. That crisis has also led to massive construction job losses.

    Fix the housing problems brought on by large national investment banks (read: Lehman Bros., Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and others), none headquartered in California, whose disastrous lending and mortgage bundling practices were spurred by changes in federal – not state – law and you will solve most of California’s problems.

    But exaggerations like Palin’s (“a $100 billion bullet train,” when the latest cost estimate is just two-thirds of that) and digs like Romney’s are no help, especially when neither Romney nor running mate Paul Ryan propose any fixes.

    All of which means California has become a convenient target for cheap and inaccurate shots, in part because of the politically motivated efforts of some Californians. This may aid Palin, Noonan and others who don’t know the facts, but is no help at all to California or its citizens.

    Reply this comment
  18. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 11:46

    LOL and then remember after losing the Moorloch case the Poodle kept trying to re litigate it over on another blog?

    Rex The Wonder Dog! says:
    November 22, 2010 at 7:29 pm to support the well earned pension benefits

    Once again, benefits that were granted retroactively, for work already performed, is not “well earned”. It is in fact not valid.

    The ones who gifted that largess did not have the legal authority to gift it-hence it is void. ……………and unenforceable…..

    LOL Oh if the court had only seen it the way the Poodle saw it!

    That’s right folks– he remains 0 for 9 ™ !!!

    Reply this comment
  19. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 11:51

    YIKES— and then after Poodle lost the Superior Court prediction he doubled down and predicted the App Court would bail him out, then the Cal Supremes. Yikes, it’s how he lost 3 predictions in one case! He is awesome!! Below is an exchange between the Poodle and Ken Coop. It’s kinda fun.

    KenCoop says:
    November 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm Sadly for you, the law states otherwise. Superior Court didn’t support the your bogus legal theory, and the Appellate Court will rule the same early next year.

    Good luck with your eternal quest to find GED level employment.

    Rex The Wonder Dog! says:
    November 23, 2010 at 10:22 am KenDupe living up to his name.

    The court case is not over Johnny Cochrane III, or didn’t your GED brain figure that one out yet???

    Maybe in 5 more years you might realize that

    Spanking kennyDupe-my favortie past time!

    Yes– it’s true— The Poodle remains 0 for 9 ™ !

    Reply this comment
  20. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 September, 2012, 12:41

    Teddy-where do I send my rent check for living in your pea sized brain??? 🙂

    Reply this comment
  21. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 September, 2012, 12:42

    I knew you were KennY!

    Reply this comment
  22. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 12:48

    0 for 9 baby ™ lol

    Reply this comment
  23. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 12:53

    Then– after Poodle lost in the Supreme Court (0 for 9) he said this!

    Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    April 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm
    Now it is time for the local muni’s-and the taxpayers-to sue CalTRDS for fraud over their fraudulent claism in SB400. They withheld vital, material information-namely the downside- while claiming it would “pay for itself”, to INDUCE the legislature and local muni’s and taxpayers to accept it.

    Classic fraud. Time to sue.

    Hey Poodle— How’d THAT lawsuit work out for ya! “Classic Fraud” !!
    LOL—– geeeeezo this is easy!

    Reply this comment
  24. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 14:00

    Of course before the Cal Supremes shot down Poodle’s prediction #3 he posted this little bit of legal schaolarship which was roundly ignored by the court!

    Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    August 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    A new League of California Cities pension reform plan proposes a “detailed legal review” of whether pensions promised current workers can be reduced, a cost-cutting move widely believed to be prohibited by court rulings.

    it is not prohibited at all.

    How many times must I school the trough feeding public employee piglets that the pensions for years NOT WORKED can be reduced with the next contract. Nothign to stop that from happening right now, today.

    The employee does not obtain, prior to retirement, any absolute right to fixed or specific benefits, but only to a “substantial or reasonable pension.” (Wallace v. City of Fresno (1954) 42 Cal.2d 180, 183 [265 P.2d 884].) Moreover, the employee’s eligibility for benefits can, of course, be defeated “upon the occurrence of a condition subsequent.” (Kern, supra, at p. 853.) 864*864 (3) However, there is a strict limitation on the conditions which may modify the pension system in effect during employment. We have described the applicable principles as follows: ( “An employee’s vested contractual pension rights may be modified prior to retirement for the purpose of keeping a pension system flexible to permit adjustments in accord with changing conditions and at the same time maintain the integrity of the system. ( [Citations.] Such modifications must be reasonable, and it is for the courts to determine upon the facts of each case what constitutes a permissible change. To be sustained as reasonable, alterations of employees’ pension rights must bear some material relation to the theory of a pension system and its successful operation, and changes in a pension plan which result in disadvantage to employees should be accompanied by comparable new advantages.

    And so he of course earned his 0 for 9 ™ designation!

    Hey Poodle– Can I just call ya zero for short?

    Reply this comment
  25. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 September, 2012, 14:50

    Teddy, we’re not reading your book long post-sumarize.

    Call me 11-0, since the pension tax is DOA nov 6- I take credit now 🙂

    Reply this comment
  26. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 5 September, 2012, 14:58

    I knew you wouldn’t like to admit you were wrong.


    0 for 9 ™

    Reply this comment
  27. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 September, 2012, 16:42

    Where is your book post??? 🙁

    Reply this comment
  28. Paul
    Paul 5 September, 2012, 18:31

    I bet Thomas D. is a liberal base news organization too!

    Reply this comment
  29. Yorkymama
    Yorkymama 9 September, 2012, 21:04

    Our only hope is to divide the state. There is a state senator I believe in San Bernardino who has put this idea forward, it’s our only hope.

    Reply this comment
  30. Kathy
    Kathy 9 September, 2012, 21:56

    “What really needs reform is the gross employee compensation that California government employees enjoy.”

    WHAT? I’m a state employee….one who does NOT receive compensation anywhere near the level of ‘gross’. Unless you consider $19/hour *grossly underpaid*. I would bet 2/3 of the state university employees are paid well below their counterparts in private industry.

    Reply this comment

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