Archive for the ‘Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters’ Category
The article below on the KNSD TV San Diego website recently was presumably presented as a major TV news story by our local NBC affiliate. It claims that CA teachers are woefully underpaid compared to educators in other states — the truth is that CA teachers are the second/third highest paid teachers of all the states. The story is based on a biased progressive source (a bias not mentioned in the story — a bias that WOULD have been mentioned if it were a CONSERVATIVE source), but — even more important — it demonstrates the remarkable inability of this reporter to even copy numbers down correctly — let alone understand what they represent — or analyze them.
There was one taxpayer victory in the June 2014 primary that I SHOULD have reported, but didn’t. A tiny, unfunded but determined pro-taxpayer group in Coronado CRUSHED a Ponzi-scheme school bond measure. It’s perhaps a textbook example of how to defeat the Establishment and the special interests that back such measures. Representing San Diego Tax Fighters, I provided some expertise (at the request of the bond opponents), but the truth is that the locals made it happen — not me. Note particularly the quality opposition website — one that added to the professionalism of the rag-tag band of opponents.
Three years ago, California lost its #1 status as the state with the most new private business funding — Texas took over the top spot. Since then the disparity between the two states has grown dramatically. In 2013, $87.4 billion was invested in Texas by private equity funds. California businesses received $54 billion.
This spread is more important when one considers the population of these two mega-states:
Hence even with California having a population 44.9% bigger than Texas, Texas businesses scored 61.8% more private investment dollars.
When the feds ran their “cash-for-clunkers” program, the pathetic results, unintended consequences and attendant ridicule should have put an end to this madness. I wrote a column on this federal folly in 2012. Here’s the link — and I’ve included the column at the bottom of this post.
The federal madness ended with the Obama administration lamely claiming “mission accomplished,” and the results have largely been forgotten. But in Left Coast California, no lesson was learned. Our state-grown version of this clunker boondoggle lurches on. Not surprisingly, the results are far worse than the disastrous federal program!
Here is an incredibly deceptive U-T story, topped only by the even more deceptive headline “WAGE PUSH GETS BUSINESS BACKING.” The story is about a handful of businesses that recently held a press conference advocating that the city of San Diego adopt a dramatically higher minimum wage ($13 is the one currently proposed by progressives for our city).
Nowhere in the U-T story does the reporter try to quantify the NUMBER or PERCENTAGE of businesses calling for a higher minimum wage at the press conference. He doesn’t tell us how many business owners showed up for the event. At the VERY least, he should point out the obvious – that a few businesses supporting such a policy tells us nothing about the breadth or depth of such business support.
This week the San Diego media is focused on ONE story — the dozen or more brush fires that have popped up around the county, thanks to EXTREMELY dry conditions, high winds (Santa Ana) and likely arson.
If this fire story were not happening, perhaps we’d all know more about ANOTHER tragedy that hit San Diego this week: Defense contractor Pratt & Whitney is abandoning its San Diego operation — fleeing for other states. This closure will cost our city 530 high paying jobs.
San Diego Tax Fighters
San Diego Tax Fighters is primarily interested in fiscal issues. Thus we have a natural tendency to pick Republicans over Democrats – especially since no third party candidates will be on the November ballot (thanks to the “top two” bogus reform).
Some candidates we endorse by name – indicating we have enough confidence that they will be fairly good (to VERY good) on tax and spend issues. Some races we make no endorsement for one or more of these three reasons:
The SAN DIEGO U-T story (below) concerning San Diego’s improving employment numbers (higher than just prior to the start of the 2007 national recession) offers good information to consider, but leaves some aspects unanswered — and some information appears to be outright misleading. Consider:
1. How many of our employed are part-time in 2014 vs. 2007? Remember, to be counted as “employed” by the government, you need work only one hour a week. If two full-time employees are replaced by three part-time employees (thanks, Obamacare), is that an improvement?
What’s missed in the “minimum wage” brouhaha is that a large segment of those who stay at the minimum wage level actually make $12-$30+ an hour. That’s because — in states such as CA — a full minimum wage must be paid to ALL employees — including “tip” employees. Waiters, busboys, valets, hotel room cleaners, casino employees, etc. make much — often MOST — of their living off tips.
In some other states, these job categories often can be paid a reduced minimum wage — understanding that their total compensation includes tips. Not so in California.
By now most have heard about the remarkable court ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, declaring that the right of “self defense” is a sufficient reason to issue concealed weapon permits in San Diego County (assuming a person is otherwise eligible). Yes, the ruling could still be overturned (I’m not optimistic), but it DOES have the saving grace that it supports (and is supported by) the U.S. Constitution.
Perhaps that 2nd Amendment thingy might be considered in any further court deliberations. Hope springs eternal!
In stunning ruling, 9th Circuit affirms right to carry a firearm for self defense in San Diego County
In a stunning/seemingly bizarre ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to (for once) enforce the Constitution. The court actually ruled that one has the right to receive a gun (carry) permit for self defense in San Diego County (and potentially in all of California). AMAZING!!!
San Diego is losing a(nother) good employer to Texas. Websense is leaving, moving to Austin. See the article below (and the many comments after — many of my comments are also posted on my Facebook copy blog on this).
445 San Diego jobs — GOOD jobs — are about to disappear into the Lone Star State. 445 of our local friends and neighbors are about to join the ranks of the unemployed — unless they move to Texas with Websense, which I suspect a fair number will.
This Associated Press “story” about the California bill to overturn Prop 209 (the anti-”affirmative action” prop passed by the voters in 1996) is essentially the “cut and paste” version of the dishonest press release put out by proponents. The AP is no longer a press organization — it’s become largely a government “information” distribution channel. No fact checking allowed — and sadly some papers (including the SAN DIEGO U-T) too often run AP stories without even a cursory review.
California wins yet another “superlative” from the business community. The 100,000 member national Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) again ranked California the worst state in their Small Business Policy Index. I’m not sure how many years we’ve held our ground in this survey, but I know we were the same in 2012. We currently maintain a comfortable (though admittedly not insurmountable) lead over our fellow anti-business states.
It appears that the bottom 11 states are all controlled by the Democrat Party. And most of the best states are controlled by Republicans. But, of course, correlation doesn’t prove causation — yada, yada, yada. Still, one MIGHT start to wonder . . . .
For the 3rd straight year, 24/7 WALL ST ranks California the “worst run state” in the U.S. The comparison uses a variety of criteria to measure how a well a state is managed, which results in some otherwise attractive states scoring low. Nevada, South Carolina and Arizona are also listed among the bottom ten states.
Apparently the analysis does not give weight to the cost of living. If it did, California would probably be ranked 57th or so.
Seems that no matter what economic criteria one uses, California consistently scores in the worst five — often numero bottomo.
Here’s a widespread California scandal that’s flown beneath the (police) radar for decades. An astonishing 1.5 million vehicles in California have “confidential” license plates — supposedly to keep the bad guys from knowing who the driver is. Initially the program proposed in 1978 was sold as necessary to protect primarily undercover police officers. But like any government program, this privileged group quickly metastasized and grew, as additional protected groups (including their families) were added.
Why is that a problem, you ask? It can put the drivers above the law.
A common justification for California’s sky-high state and local public employee pay and pensions is our state’s high cost of living. This is a valid point — sorta. California DOES have a higher cost of living and higher pay, but it doesn’t come close to justifying most of the dramatic disparity between public and private total compensation.
The real comparison is the difference in average household income among states (CA is the 10th highest state — 13.4% higher than the national average) or per capita income ranking (CA is the 12th highest — 6.7% higher than the national average).
What’s killing local California governments is the huge cost of overpaying and over-pensioning public employees. ESPECIALLY our public safety employees (mostly police and firefighters). Some cities have declared bankruptcy, with many others bankrupt but so far refusing to acknowledging their plight.
I here offer two database tools. The first let’s you find out how your California town stacks up against other cities in the state. The second tells how your state stacks up against the other states.
Will Rogers delivered what is my favorite wry comment about government: “Thank God we don’t get all the government we pay for.” Certainly such is the case deep within our 13 story San Diego city hall.
The U-T SAN DIEGO reports that the city needs an average of 280 days to fill a vacancy. That’s just over nine months to hire someone to do a job.
With the exception of police and a few niche high skill slots, this makes no sense at all. No private sector company would take two months to fill most slots. Often not two WEEKS. Yet San Diego needs over nine months. Awesome!
by Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
Updated 1 September, 2013
When it comes to gathering sufficient property taxes, Prop 13 is no problem at all – except for profligate spenders. Look at the history of my San Diego County – a history which pretty much reflects the history of property taxes in the urban/suburban counties that hold over 85% of California’s population.
Many are analyzing the surprisingly close Virginia gubernatorial race results, but I’m struck by a citizen vote in liberal Colorado that CRUSHED an increase in that state’s income tax.
Well over $10 million (the equivalent of spending about $75 million on a CA proposition) was spent by the unions and wealthy liberals to pass Amendment 66. That campaign spending included a million dollars EACH by Bloomberg, Bill Gates and the NEA. The governor and the establishment press fervently supported the tax. After all, it was “for the children” — the tax was supposedly for education.
Today there’s a good news story on the front page of the U-T San Diego about Denny Sanford, a philanthropist who just gave $100 MILLION to UCSD for medical research. A genuinely generous man with a vacation home in La Jolla, his avowed goal is to give away his billion+ dollar fortune during his lifetime.
Such generosity is not at all uncommon among the truly rich, though many wait until they die to dispense such gifts. Frankly I think Sanford has the right idea — why not get the heartfelt thanks for such generosity while still alive, and live to see the good that such donations do? He’s EARNED it!
On 25 October I posted the following item on my blog:
RICHARD RIDER COMMENT: Shortly after the disastrous 2007 “Witch” brush fire in (primarily) San Diego County, the LOS ANGELES TIMES paid me to debate fire issues with a local UCSD professor in print. What followed was a civil five day written exchange where good points were raised – mostly by me, of course. In essence, it’s ten linked, point-counterpoint op-eds — included below.
According to a couple people I talked to who actually watched the Monday evening mayoral debate (during the CHARGERS game — that’s just not RIGHT!), 3 of the 4 candidates pledged to put any Chargers stadium deal that involved taxpayer subsidies up for a public vote. But Nathan Fletcher did not — and apparently has not stated whether or not as mayor he would require (or even favors) such a vote.
Since he “works” for Qualcomm, a company which owns the sweetheart stadium naming rights, perhaps there is some conflict of interest. Or maybe it’s simpler — he is pandering to special interests with big bucks to spend on his campaign (construction unions, Spanos family, downtown business subsidy advocates, etc.).