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Archive for the ‘Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters’ Category

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.
 http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm

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 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).

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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!

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by Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
 Updated 1 September, 2013

Phone: 858-530-3027
Blog: www.RiderRants.BlogSpot.com

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.

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m giving the Democratic Party its due.

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.

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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:

Ten years after disastrous San Diego County “Cedar” brush fire, major reforms STILL not implemented

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.).

For most individuals, California’s expensive home prices are a far bigger problem than our highly progressive tax structure. For the really well-to-do who carry most of the CA income tax load, housing costs are a secondary problem.  But for the middle class, it can be a dream killer.

Below is a link to a current, informative article comparing the affordability of homes for the middle class in 100 national markets — recently summarized in a U-T article I can’t replicate here.  Not surprisingly, California ranks poorly.  We have the worst local market in the nation by far (San Francisco).  But we also have the second (Orange County), third (Los Angeles), fifth (my San Diego), sixth (San Jose), and seventh (Ventura County) worst housing markets.

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San Diego Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher served honorably in the military. Of that there is no doubt.  He deserves full credit for his military service.

But what I find interesting is that his published bios seldom if ever mention his military rate or rank.  If you read his Wikipedia bio (doubtless controlled by Nathan’s campaign handlers — the whole piece reads like a campaign ad), it discusses his military schools and accomplishments, but never mentions his rate or rank – a rather fundamental aspect of one’s military experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Fletcher

Similarly his near-identical write-up on his mayoral candidacy website omits the same info.

Sadly, this is no surprise. But it’s it’s still news worth considering (every year, apparently).

In its annually updated study released today, the Tax Foundation STILL ranks California the third worst “business tax climate” state in the U.S. Thank Goodness for New Jersey and anchor-clanker New York.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/2014-state-business-tax-climate-index

San Diego’s beleaguered Mayor Bob “Headlock” Filner refuses to resign.  This intransigence baffles and enrages many San Diegans.

Aside from the fact that Bob Filner is an arrogant, power-mad, sex-crazed, narcissistic megalomaniac, there are three practical reasons why he may well want to stay in office as long as possible.  Two are fairly well known — but one is not.  The article below details that third reason.

Here’s the three reasons as I see it:

1.  The first reason is so obvious it’s seldom mentioned.  Each month he remains in office, he grosses $7,839.50 as mayor.  When he quits, is recalled or is convicted of a felony, that cash flow ends. Meanwhile Gloria Allred will be coming after everything he has.

I wrote about this topic before on 27 June.  Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (nominally ‘R’) is pushing a new subsidy for CA state college students, freezing the tuition for a new student for up to six years.

Aside from it being a bad idea, he’s using incorrect numbers to justify this new giveaway, AB 159. Specifically, he claimed that CSU tuition has risen 217% in 5 years — the correct figure is 117%, the result of  a common math error involving percentages above 100%.  Here’s the link my article:

http://riderrants.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-rocky-chavez-its-for-children-mantra.html

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I suspect a surprising number of people have misunderstood the Filner “sexual harassment” charges. Too many people (certainly the mayor’s dwindling cadre of remaining supporters) have been assuming that he is guilty of nothing more than ill-advised boorish behavior — insulting and demeaning women verbally. But finally women are coming forward to describe how Filner has PHYSICALLY gone after them.

http://www.10news.com/news/investigations/woman-tells-team-10-mayor-bob-filner-inappropriately-touched-her

Woman tells Team 10 Mayor Bob Filner inappropriately touched her
Second woman sends email account

10News Related Links

Mayor Filner blocks homeowner’s approved project.  A favor owed?  Pay-to-play”?

VERY fishy.  Most important, it’s another incredible abuse of mayoral power.  Make it stop!!

http://www.10news.com/news/la-jolla-couple-blames-mayor-bob-filner-for-home-project-delay-071113

La Jolla couple blames Mayor Bob Filner for home project delay
Project was approved 30 months ago

SAN DIEGO – A La Jolla family said San Diego Mayor Bob Filner abused his power when he took an unusual interest in their home.

Jack and Karen Visin told Team 10 the mayor is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly their dream home.

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