Archive for the ‘Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters’ Category
by Richard Rider, Chairman
San Diego Tax Fighters
I sent out the following as a press release the same day (4/24/13) that the American Lung Association released its annual “the sky is poison” press release. The press regurgitated the ALA story (such scares make for improved ratings and great teaser ads), and ignored my caveats. I’ve edited my release since then – to add a bit.
Today the American Lung Association (ALA) releases its annual nationwide “study” that gives San Diego County an “F” for air quality — as it does EVERY year. Seems to me this annual press release is tied more to their fundraising efforts than to science.
You’re gonna love this. Turns out, the goofy process of the first CA HSR construction contract favors the husband of U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein! The final contract has not been issued, as further negotiations with bidders are still to be completed. But the Feinstein group has won the “leading candidate” designation — which makes them the odds-on favorite to land the contract.
The California High Speed Rail Authority changed the bidding criteria midstream to lower the importance of HSR expertise — otherwise the Feinstein bid would not have made it past the first cut. Of course, objections have been raised to this “on the fly” modification. And rightly so.
The story is out that the FAA is INTENTIONALLY causing massive airline flight delays to coerce the public into voting for tax increases. See the WALL ST JOURNAL editorial below.
Never have we seen a more stark difference between President Reagan and President Obama. Does ANYONE believe for an instant that the FAA brass would have organized such a work stoppage if Reagan were in office? Remember what happened to the air traffic controllers who decided to go on strike. Reagan fired ‘em.
AB 13 – my bill to grant #Veterans in-state tuition – just passed out of Asm. Vets Affairs Committee! Next stop, Assembly Approps
— Rocky Chavez (@AsmRocky) April 16, 2013
I found this Tweet rather unsettling. As I see it, this Rocky Chavez bill is a bad start for our new San Diego County GOP Assemblyman.
If one is a Republican in the CA state legislature, it’s hard to get any bill passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature. New Republican State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez was quick to discover the secret to legislative “success” — submit a bill for a new or expanded subsidy.
For your edification, here’s your media bias story of the day. For instance, NPR did a story on the “counterweight to the Tea Party” staging a protest outside the White House. Backed by numerous heavyweight leftist groups such as the AFL-CIO, Move-on, NOW, etc., the story got great media play, as all such political mega-rallies in DC deserve.
But there were only 100 people at this heavily sponsored rally. And that’s the “counterweight to the Tea Party”????
I wrote the following letter to the editor in response to an article gushing with praise for the insane farm bill — and the resulting farm subsidies. It was published by VOICE OF SAN DIEGO. To give it wider circulation, I’m including it here and on other blogs and social media.
Regarding VOICE OF SAN DIEGO article “Why the Farm Bill Matters to San Diego”
Funny. This booster article (is it an op-ed or an article?) touting the joys of farm subsidies never mentions the cost of the “farm bill.” It neglects to mention that not only taxpayers but consumers end up paying more for these subsidies — disbursed primarily to wealthy agri-businesses. In essence, we are borrowing from our offspring (via deficit spending) to pay for this largess.
I write about and compare California with other states. While I cover many aspects, most have to do with monetary issues — taxes, regulation, litigation, utility costs, education funding, etc.
But we should also look at a broader index that includes not only the issues I highlight, but also compares the personal freedom factors among states. For years the Mercatus Center has done exactly that — comparing states on a more fundamental “freedom” level. They incorporate most of my concerns, while factoring in personal freedoms.
The new rankings are now out. Not good for the Golden State.
RIDER COMMENT: This is an unusually long post prepared by an ally — but most of it is in easily grasped graph form. And that’s what I love about it.
“Soquel-by-the-creek” tracks many of the same California factors as I, but he excels (perhaps a pun — not sure) at putting out his info in more useful form — graphs. He has some stuff I don’t, and my fact sheet has items that don’t translate well into his graph format.
Recall time, anyone?
Well, no. Not yet. Legally and politically, it’s premature to start the effort to remove the screwball we’ve elected mayor of San Diego.
That being said, 2014 seems a reasonable year to look forward to. IF Filner continues to alienate folks with his bizarre behavior and awesome arrogance without bounds, HE will be the one making the case for his own removal.
Will his hubris override his political acumen? Frankly, I’m not convinced. Yet. But I can hope.
More dismal CA economic rankings – 48th worst credit card debt, 49th in home ownership, worst poverty rate in U.S.
RIDER COMMENT: Recently Jonathan Horn, the (apparently delusional) director of Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, had the gall to assert the following: “We’ve proven that you can have a successful economy and still preserve the environment and look after workers and protect consumers and look after the public health.”
In 2013, the confluence of four major factors gives California investors the second highest capital gains tax in the WORLD.
But, of course, that doesn’t matter.
Only the weather matters.
Only the weather matters.
Only the weather matters.
You are getting sleepy. So VERY sleepy . . . .
In the article below, my friend Joel Fox expresses disappointment (but NOT surprise) that the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce has voted to support yet another sales tax increase – in exchange for establishing a toothless commission to make government work better (and we all know how that’s gonna work out). Joel and I would have been surprised only if they had OPPOSED such a tax increase.
We should always remember that the major city Chamber of Commerce outfits are NOT controlled by businesses – nor are they run for the benefit of businesses involved in commerce. Nonprofit officials, government bureaucrats and even labor union reps sit on the boards — not to mention attorneys, lobbyists, government contractors and heavy construction firms.
Here’s a paid column I wrote for City Journal on the Phil Mickelson brouhaha. Included is a short discussion of the harmful effects of Prop 30 on our California pro sports teams. Already one team is being relocated to a tax-free state.
Taking One for the Team
Phil Mickelson points the way for rich folks: get out of California, quietly.
25 January 2013
Breaking Bad: California vs. the Other States
by Richard Rider – Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
Revised: 18 January, 2013
Updated version online at: http://www.tinyurl.com/CA-vs-other-states
Rider Blog: www.RiderRants.BlogSpot.com
Facebook “blog” page: http://www.facebook.com/Richard.Rider
Here’s a depressing but documented comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (at least twice a month, I update crucial data on this fact sheet):
Prior to Prop 30 passing, CA already had the second worst state income tax rate in the nation. Our 9.3% tax bracket started at $48,029 for people filing as individuals. 10.3% starting at $1 million.
RIDER COMMENT: The story below has prompted me to add an unpleasant fact to my “California vs. the Other 49 States” fact sheet. As is my policy, I had to drop another telling fact, trying to keep the piece to two printed pages.
The new fact is based on a more sophisticated measure of poverty, now used by the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s called the “Supplemental Poverty Measure,” and better reflects the cost of living in a state or region. The old poverty figure used the same dollar threshold regardless of where one resided. This one adjusts for costs — first and foremost housing costs.
Allow me to summarize the article below. It exemplifies all too well the three stages of CA government thrift:
1. In the 2009 recession, CA state workers lost two holidays that no one honors in the private sector.
2. Shortly thereafter the state gave them back the two paid holidays, with the added benefit that they could use them anytime they wished.
3. Now the state legislature will consider restoring one of the two fixed-date holidays “eliminated” (Native American Day), but will continue to give workers their two floating holidays off.
It’s 2013! To celebrate, below is a list of 873 NEW California laws that (in most cases) took effect on 1 January. Good luck not violating any of these.
According to one pundit, nationwide, in 2012 about 40,000 new state laws were put in place…
Imagine you are a nationwide business — try to get your arms around that. And remember, these are only the NEW laws.
How many TOTAL California state laws are there? No clue. Google was no help. I suspect no one knows — as many laws modify (and often expand) previous laws.
NOTE: To read my other political posts, visit my blog at www.RiderRants.BlogSpot.com
RIDER COMMENT: Below is an insightful column from my HJTA friend Jon Coupal. Two points stand out:
1. The recent happy talk about the recovering jobs picture in CA was based on the lower state unemployment percentage. But a closer look shows that this reduction is simply a drop in people looking for work — more and more have stopped looking. Indeed, in the last “improving” CA jobs report, the actual NUMBER of California jobs DROPPED 3,800.
Today the U-T reports that the San Diego proposed 11 mile long “Mid-Coast” trolley line is going to run a bit over its projections.
Instead of costing “only” $1.24 billion (over $110 million PER MILE), it’s now projected to cost $1.7 billion — a $460 million increase from two years ago. Among things omitted from the original projection were such luxury items as sufficient train stations, bridges and trolley cars.If this were an isolated transit cost overrun, this would be an “oops.” But it’s no “oops.”
I hate being a Cassandra, always reporting bad news. Well, I’m SUPPOSED to hate being a Cassandra. I’m a little weird about it, actually.
But no matter. Today I have a bit of GOOD news for California taxpayers. In a significant 3-0 ruling by a California appeals court, a wrongly structured Alameda school district parcel tax was struck down, and the money collected has to be refunded to taxpayers.
The state law concerning parcel taxes is clear. The parcel tax has to be a uniform dollar amount, regardless of the value of the property. I suppose the theory is that such a tax benefits each taxpayer equally, so the tax has to reflect that. Exceptions are made for seniors and the disabled, but NOT for commercial property.
Here’s a story suitable for the Bizarro comic strip. The U.S. government has spent $368 million on a lavish new federal courthouse addition in San Diego, largely to increase the number of courtrooms to handle the increasing workload. But the geniuses in DC decided that the spending was too lavish (it was), so they deduced that the solution was to require FEWER courtrooms than BEFORE the project was built.
Moreover, the resulting operational mishmash and empty space makes the courts incredibly inefficient, with people running between buildings when the space IS available WITHIN the (now empty) buildings to improve operations.
RIDER COMMENT: California’s first AB32 “Cap-and-trade” auction raised only a fraction of the revenue Democrats projected the auction would bring in for the state (see SAC BEE article below).
This story didn’t make any waves. It should have. The billions that CA Democrats hope to gain from cap-and-trade auctions are largely illusionary dollars.
This “disappointing” auction result is a classic demonstration of the law of supply and demand. Many businesses have little use for such CA “pollution” credits if they are leaving the state — or at least have no plans to further expand in the state.
Okay, my headline may not be a true average for all California cities. But for the three cities that have been analyzed in detail below, it IS true.
Yet if you believe our state’s highly respected (respected by the MSM, at least) elected Controller, Democrat John Chiang, you’d think many public employees are one paycheck away from going Dempsey Dumpster diving. That fiction is ably rebutted in the article below. As the cliché says, this is a must read piece.
Here’s a quick comparison between the “average wages” used by Chiang and the more honest “average total compensation” cost to taxpayers.
Anaheim: “average wages” = $53,927.
Anaheim: “average total compensation” = $146,551.
One lesson from the election I HOPE “my side” now understands and should support — we need to CONTINUE to use the proposition system against the labor unions and the left. Hit ‘em with propositions they must fight, or else these unions risk dying from the passage of such reform measures.
After all, the left doesn’t hesitate to hit US with the same propositions over and over — putting tax increases on the state ballots year after year. Even when these tax props fail miserably, next election they are back with the same thing in somewhat different packaging.
Salient excerpt from my post-election CA fact sheet:
Prior to Prop 30 passing, CA already had the second worst state income tax in the nation. Currently our 9.3% tax bracket starts at $48,029 for people filing as individuals. Now our “millionaires’ tax” rate is 13.3% – including capital gains. Increased taxes now start at $250K.
CA now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate. We are 21% higher than the second highest state (Hawaii), 34% higher than the third highest (Oregon), and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest – including 7 states with zerostate income tax.