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Title: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 17, 2010, 05:31:30 AM
City has saved nothing towards $4.36 billion health care bill



 .Got a spare $5,500 lying around that you want to get rid of? If every single San Franciscan coughed up that amount, we could pay City Hall's retiree health care bill - for now anyway.

A new report from the controller's office shows the city has an unfunded retiree health care liability of $4.36 billion. That means it'll cost that much to pay the promised health care benefits for every current employee and retiree - and that number will keep growing as health care costs rise. By 2033, the tab will be a whopping $9.7 billion.

Guess how much the city has saved to pay down the costs so far? You guessed it. Nuthin'.

Controller Ben Rosenfield pointed out that cities up and down the state are in the same quandary and that there is a solution. Rather than just paying current year health care costs, the city could set up a system similar to the way it pays pensions, paying into a trust fund that accumulates interest.

But to solve the problem, the city would have to start paying 15.4 percent of its salary costs towards health care every year. With a salary base of $2.4 billion annually, that would mean contributing $370 million a year. Remember, the city already has a deficit of nearly $400 million for next year.

And actually, this bleak scenario could have been a lot worse if voters didn't pass Prop. B in 2008 which raised the vesting schedule for new employees to 20 years rather than five and required them to contribute two percent of their salaries into a health care fund.

Guess it's time for the mayor and supervisors to write some really nice, pleading letters to Santa.

Posted By: Heather Knight (Email) | December 16 2010 at 03:00 PM

Listed Under: Budget crisis




Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?entry_id=79244#ixzz18N5vKSon



________________________ _____________________


Nice.   Can one of you libs tell me how this paid off?  


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 17, 2010, 05:38:11 AM
LA Times: California air regulators approve carbon-trading plan
Los Angeles Times ^ | December 17, 2010 | By Margot Roosevelt





California regulators Thursday voted to cap the greenhouse gas emissions of the state's major industries and establish the nation's first broad-based carbon trading program.

The move marks another bellwether moment for a state that has led in environmental policy, coming as national climate legislation to regulate greenhouse gases and curb climate change has stalled in Congress.

"This is an historic venture," said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board.  

Under the plan, the state would cap each industrial plant's emissions in 2012, gradually lowering the cap over the next eight years. Firms would be granted allowances for each ton of carbon dioxide they could emit.


(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


________________________ ____________________

These are going to be the first jackasses complaining abut gas prices, electric bills, and everything wildly going up in price. 


Morons. 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: dario73 on December 17, 2010, 06:49:40 AM
Couldn't have happened to a better group of idiots. The same idiots who reelected Boxer and the failure known as Jerry Brown.

California is the canary in a coalmine.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 18, 2010, 12:54:07 PM
Printer Friendly

December 16, 2010
Two Californias
by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online


________________________ ________________________ _


The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming — to such an extent that the 20- to-100-acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas — which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment — have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself — from almonds to raisins — has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators’ defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebagos are on former small farms — the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from  the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don’t think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly — with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world’s richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here — composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children’s plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a “counter business.” I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no “facilities” such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.

At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.

In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when “food stamps” were embarrassing bulky coupons). But I did not see any relationship between the use of the card and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the user and the car into which the groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class.

By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camrys, Accords, or Tauruses, had iPhones, Bluetooths, or BlackBerries, and bought everything in the store with public-assistance credit. This seemed a world apart from the trailers I had just ridden by the day before. I don’t editorialize here on the logic or morality of any of this, but I note only that there are vast numbers of people who apparently are not working, are on public food assistance, and enjoy the technological veneer of the middle class. California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income. Does the $40 million a day supplement to unemployment benefits from Washington explain some of this?

Do diversity concerns, as in lack of diversity, work both ways? Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic — there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of “diversity,” but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become near-apartheid societies, where Spanish is the first language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal and state governments are either the main employers or at least the chief sources of income — whether through emergency rooms, rural health clinics, public schools, or social-service offices. An observer from Mars might conclude that our elites and masses have given up on the ideal of integration and assimilation, perhaps in the wake of the arrival of 11 to 15 million illegal aliens.

Again, I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the paradoxical wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California’s entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from many of these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas of California.

Fresno’s California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president’s announcing that he is an illegal alien, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won’t comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program’s sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts.

I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.

So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, “Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate.” I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.

Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California — and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder.

©2010 Victor Davis Hanson


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: MuscleMcMannus on December 18, 2010, 01:19:45 PM
Haah I live in California and I can tell you one thing...........minoriti es are fucking killing this state and I'll tell you why.  I work with A LOT of minorities.  Fillipinos, blacks, asians, persians, and mexicans.  THEY ALL VOTE PARTY LINES regardless of the fucking issues and guess which party line they vote?  DEMOCRAT!!!!  I know this first hand because I'm a good looking, successful white "pogie" boy as the Fillipinos refer to me and so they all assume I'm some sort of conservative republican WHICH I AM NOT!  Most of these dumbshit minorities have no clue how the fucking Federal Reserve works or who Ron Paul is.  So that is why Jerry Brown and Boxer and the tide in CA is majority liberal democrats.  The fucking minorities keep voting them into office...........and the public sector employees like the prison guards and big unions who are made up of plenty of white idiots as well.  I've been point blank told by hispanics that they vote democrat regardless and always have and always will.  Same thing with a lot of blacks. 

California is fucked but I can't say Meg Whitman would have been a better choice than Jerry Brown.  I mean they both sucked/suck.  CA is a fucking disaster and the biggest reason is all the different cultures vying for their special interests.  I mean it's symbolic of what is happening in the rest of the country for the most part.  There are TOO different cultures living in America now.  It will never survive.  The hispanics want one thing, the blacks another, the muslims, etc.  Living in CA it's the fucking hispancis that piss me off the most.  It's funny......the Fillipinios are the ones that make up most of the nursing staff where I work and its the mexicans that make up most of the environmental staff......i.e.e the ones that clean the rooms, empty the trash etc.  Meahwhiel the Indians, Asians, and Persians are making up all the doctor staff.  Kind of interesting but kind of scary as well.  Out of al the  neurosurgeons I work with one is white, one is asian, one is african, and one is persian.  Not one is mexican. 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 18, 2010, 01:24:11 PM
What isamazing t me is that mst minorities who come here flee hell holes tey came from, and then vote people in ho pomise to put into place the policies that will esult in the same ends as he mess they fled.


 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: MuscleMcMannus on December 18, 2010, 01:31:36 PM
What isamazing t me is that mst minorities who come here flee hell holes tey came from, and then vote people in ho pomise to put into place the policies that will esult in the same ends as he mess they fled.


  

Yep there is some truth to that statement.  I have this one idiot fucking Indonesian I work with who can barely speak english and makes 1/3 of what I do as a nurse yet got approved for a $600K home which he is now upside down on.  He swears Obama is the messiah and will vote any democrat into office.  I keep explaining to him about Ron Paul and libertarians but he is fucking clueless.  These are the idiots that are now flocking to America................t hey might work hard......he does.......but it doesn't matter.  They will still vote this country into the ground with party line thinking.  


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: MuscleMcMannus on December 18, 2010, 01:32:49 PM
I do have to say that lots of the Fillipinos I work with are on fucking work visas and can't vote.  But again that is another issue.  I have AMERICAN BORN nursing students that can't find fucking jobs and we are letting foreigners come here to work on visas.  What a joke! 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 18, 2010, 01:36:07 PM
One doc I know said with ObamaCare, they are going to imprt massive thrd world people in to the medical system to compensate for those leaving an those refusing tobe part o this ponzi scheme.

He told me: Learn spanish (Cuban Docs) or pakistani.   


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 19, 2010, 04:57:31 PM
Missing the California of My Youth
Pajamas Media ^ | December 19, 2010 | Tim Daniel




California has been fundamentally transformed. The results stand as a warning to the rest of America.

 I am a California native, born and raised here. I’m only in my early thirties but can remember a time when my Golden State was a completely different place.

Twenty, fifteen, even ten years ago California was a bountiful land of opportunity that beckoned all — Midwesterners to foreigners – to come here and make a fresh start, to take a shot at the middle class and beyond that the Golden State exclusively offered. California was one of the few places where one would not find judgment waiting for decisions in life or how one ended up here. Multiple-pierced tattoo artist/bartender starting a disco club/tattoo parlor business? No problem. Bearded, beaded, dreadlocked, thick-accented Rastafarian looking to set up shop? That’s just fine too, we welcome you with open arms.

Most cities and neighborhoods were clean, urban, and welcoming, not unlike typical suburban areas and cities across America. The San Diego area (and much of Orange County) had an almost Midwestern feel; values passed from that area of the country to new generations that had emigrated here wove a strong fabric into the population. The Central Valley was the same.

Looking back some 60 years ago, my grandparents came here from the economically downtrodden Texas Dust Bowl in search of the American Dream. Stories of the venture were told at the dinner table, seemingly pulled straight from the pages of a Steinbeck novel. My grandfather started out here performing menial tasks and odd jobs before landing his “dream job” — a full-time custodial position with benefits. This career was only interrupted once, as he was called for duty in the ‘40s. Since he was not physically fit to serve overseas, he was enlisted to serve in another way — by performing welding work on U.S. ships being built in Long Beach harbor. Sheets of steel touched and hewn by his own hand helped win the war. He and my grandmother later went on to raise six children and retire in the High Desert.


My grandparents on the other side came here from Missouri to find a better life, They found it in Redlands, California. The family worked an orchard and every “hand” in the family had a part to play. I think back to the vivid stories that my grandfather would tell of the family farm, at least when he felt particularly chatty – which was rare and special when it happened. A particular photograph of my grandfather as a small child that he showed me once comes to mind. He was sitting in the back of a Model T, “halfway to California from Missoura on the Tin-Lizzy Express,” he said. As a young man in his teens he was shipped off to India, enlisted and stationed to the U.S. base there. He never saw combat and came back home to raise four children. The man loved California and rests in peace with military honors at March Air Force Base near Los Angeles.

As I grew up in California, there were indications of what was to come — the creeping issue of illegal immigration, for instance, that, despite the will of California residents, continued to bleed state resources and slowly morph inland neighborhoods into veritable Third World mini-nations, linguistically and culturally cut off from the America we all know. The state’s body politic was a circus act, yet political clowns mostly left to their unnoticed devices due to the amazing wealth creation of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, world-class ports, industry-leading small businesses, and large corporations that found a welcome home here. Taxes, in most cases, were much lower than what they are today but rising. The education system was in decline but we were still not at the bottom of the list.

There were areas in Los Angeles and the Bay Area that featured neo-socialist zoning laws, mandates, urban sprawl, crime, and moral decay, but again, such was mostly off the public radar at the time and not part of the “typical” California experience, like that which I lived.

Today when I happen upon a city left unexplored since my youth, California’s incredible decline is like a splash of icy-cold water early in the morning. Save for the highly sought after and prohibitively costly coastal areas and affluent inland neighborhoods, the California transformation into a socialist, Third World underworld is breathtaking. Once brimming and shiny urban areas from the Oregon border to south San Diego are wrought with crime and decomposition, bearing no visual difference to the myriad slums of Mexico. Businesses are shuttered or replaced with marijuana dispensaries. Foreclosure signs continue to litter middle-class streets everywhere. The collective mood is near-depression and the near-depression 22% unemployment rate is left unabated.


Much of the acceleration of this decline is due to the financial crisis of 2008 and the heavy blow dealt to the state as Sacramento central planners in the past looked forward to continual prosperity and left rainy day planning for another day. The depth and severity of this economic downturn makes it much different than the dot-com blowup of the 2000s and in fact a structural crisis — especially pertaining to the state’s pension system — that the state may never recover from.

State parks have been shuttered or put on the auction block to stave bankruptcy. A recent San Diego example of this situation points to this – the world famous Del Mar Fairgrounds, owned by the state of California, was under tentative discussion to be sold to the city of Del Mar for $120 million, an effort to raise cash for the bleeding state coffers. Conservative independent estimates of the land put the value at five times that and some estimates are close to a billion dollars. But California, like a homeowner in foreclosure, has no choice but to sell off this prized state land at a fire sale price.

With my own eyes in California I have witnessed the perils of socialism and top-down collectivist government, the havoc wreaked by a blind eye turned to the rule of law, and what creeping and crippling regulations and taxes do to a once-thriving middle class. Neo-Bolshevik state lawmakers beholden to radical special interests joined hands with a neutered opposition party to fleece the world’s 8th largest economy, and my state reminds us of the moral destruction that the entitlement mentality and unfettered entitlements create.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, Barack Obama promised to fundamentally transform the nation. California is what a truly progressive government transformation looks like. Thus, in a sensible America, the decline of California would be the canary call in a coal mine for the nation. How can we let the progressive nightmare continue to happen to the nation when a state of almost 40 million (nearly a nation unto itself) has already experienced the disaster first?


Atlas has shrugged and California has changed – government has ruined this place and I will never forget it.

– Inspiration for this piece comes from Victor Davis Hanson’s National Review article, “Two Californias.”




Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: big L dawg on December 19, 2010, 05:07:03 PM
thread saved

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgbEYSbyepM


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 20, 2010, 07:06:28 AM
By Hugh Hewitt
Created Dec 19 2010 - 8:05pm
Hugh Hewitt: California's economic suicide now includes cap-and-trade



Comments (0) .One of the first opportunities facing Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., as he takes up the gavel as chairman of the House

Committee on Energy and Commerce will be to schedule hearings on the adoption last week by the California Air Resources Board of a Golden State-wide regime of cap-and-trade rules.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger departs Sacramento with approval ratings near the bottom of the barrel and clutching one so-called achievement -- this cap-and-trade regime that regulates the emissions of 260 businesses operating 600 facilities. The Terminator leaves a legacy that is, in essence, a script for a very expensive comedy.

The absurdity of a single state attempting to tackle climate control via the imposition of regulations on 600 facilities is wildly amusing. No one can argue that all the effort and all the costs, all the bureaucrats and all the rules will have any impact whatsoever on the climate.

(The proponents of this and related schemes are usually among the first to proclaim that fences along the border with Mexico won't deter any significant number of illegal immigrants -- thus putting the left solidly on the side of the impossible and adamantly opposed to the doable, again.)

Voters in the United States have come to the recognition that, even if the Earth is warming, there is nothing the United States can do to stop that rise in temperature as long as India and China remain committed to their development futures.

Thus no Democrat last year or in the coming year will run on the demand for a national cap-and-tax scheme. The demand for de-industrialization is a political death wish, and the departure of the Pelosi House buries cap-and-tax at the national level for as long as the GOP holds the House.

Sacramento's political elite knows this, of course, and no reputable scientist will aver that this new single-state scheme will have any impact on global temperature at all. But the theater of California politics required that something be done after all.

So for the purpose of a pose -- Hollywood's influence on California's politics is never insignificant -- the country's most important state economy is taking on a massive productivity-killing burden.

The new CARB regulations benefit lawyers like me who have served on a body like the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board, and consultants with friends in the pollution bureaucracies who can navigate the hallways to the right office where a friendly face can provide a permission slip of some sort for the right fee.

They also empower the business development arms of the various states now led by Republican legislative majorities and energetic, business-friendly governors like Ohio's John Kasich, Florida's Rick Scott, Texas' Rick Perry, Michigan's Rick Snyder, Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett, among others.

The job-seeking professionals accompanied by their smiling, just-elected governors will be happy to set up appointments with the governor so that a side-by-side comparison of life under California's new rules contrasts with life in, say, the Buckeye State.

Arnold's "legacy" is thus a job-killing, metastasizing bureaucracy that accomplishes only the destruction of jobs without even a miniscule impact on the world's climate.

Real estate agents across the Midwest, Texas and Florida will cheer Arnold as the best friend they ever had, and the once-great California economy will slip further into stories on Greece, Ireland and Spain.

Chairman Upton's hearings might serve the high purpose of exploring how California's economic suicide collides with the country's best interests and the Constitution's Commerce Clause, while also providing an opportunity to showcase his home state's business-friendly new government. Watch that space.

Examiner Columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.
.Columnistshugh hewittNEP

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Source URL: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2010/12/hugh-hewitt-californias-economic-suicide-now-includes-cap-and-trade



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: MB on December 20, 2010, 12:56:57 PM
Quote
California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income.

This is spot on.  Presence of wealth on the outside, but a rotting core on the inside.   


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Emmortal on December 20, 2010, 01:24:28 PM
This is spot on.  Presence of wealth on the outside, but a rotting core on the inside.   

You see this all the time all over this city.  Guys running around driving Porsches, Aston Martin's, Lambo's, and they are leased.  Most of the guys couldn't get a loan for a Honda, let alone actually buy the car they are leasing.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: The Showstoppa on December 20, 2010, 01:28:00 PM
Haah I live in California and I can tell you one thing...........minoriti es are fucking killing this state and I'll tell you why.  I work with A LOT of minorities.  Fillipinos, blacks, asians, persians, and mexicans.  THEY ALL VOTE PARTY LINES regardless of the fucking issues and guess which party line they vote?  DEMOCRAT!!!!  I know this first hand because I'm a good looking, successful white "pogie" boy as the Fillipinos refer to me and so they all assume I'm some sort of conservative republican WHICH I AM NOT!  Most of these dumbshit minorities have no clue how the fucking Federal Reserve works or who Ron Paul is.  So that is why Jerry Brown and Boxer and the tide in CA is majority liberal democrats.  The fucking minorities keep voting them into office...........and the public sector employees like the prison guards and big unions who are made up of plenty of white idiots as well.  I've been point blank told by hispanics that they vote democrat regardless and always have and always will.  Same thing with a lot of blacks. 

California is fucked but I can't say Meg Whitman would have been a better choice than Jerry Brown.  I mean they both sucked/suck.  CA is a fucking disaster and the biggest reason is all the different cultures vying for their special interests.  I mean it's symbolic of what is happening in the rest of the country for the most part.  There are TOO different cultures living in America now.  It will never survive.  The hispanics want one thing, the blacks another, the muslims, etc.  Living in CA it's the fucking hispancis that piss me off the most.  It's funny......the Fillipinios are the ones that make up most of the nursing staff where I work and its the mexicans that make up most of the environmental staff......i.e.e the ones that clean the rooms, empty the trash etc.  Meahwhiel the Indians, Asians, and Persians are making up all the doctor staff.  Kind of interesting but kind of scary as well.  Out of al the  neurosurgeons I work with one is white, one is asian, one is african, and one is persian.  Not one is mexican. 

Great post McManus.  Exactly why my brother and his family bailed on Cali a couple of yrs ago.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 20, 2010, 01:38:34 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSOoUnjh_iM


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 20, 2010, 02:27:49 PM
CA: State to phase out energy-sucking light bulbs
California Watch ^ | 12/20/10 | Susanne Rust




Say goodbye to your 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. On Jan. 1, it’ll become increasingly challenging to find one on a store shelf in California.

That’s because the state has ordered a phaseout of the high energy-consuming light bulb.

The state is pressing to have the old incandescents replaced with newer, more efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescents, halogens and light-emitting diode light bulbs, or LEDs.

And beginning in 2012, 100-watt incandescents will be off the shelves completely.

As is typical, California is getting a jump-start on a trend that will begin nationwide in a few years. Three years ago, the federal government enacted legislation to phase out the old bulbs. National phaseout will begin in 2014. Other countries, such as Australia, Ireland and Cuba have already banned them.

There are drawbacks to the new bulbs, however.

Fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, contain mercury, which can be harmful to the environment and to human health. Therefore, the bulbs must be handled differently than other household waste.

Local hazardous waste centers, and some hardware stores, will take spent fluorescent bulbs for recycling. The other bulbs contain chemicals such as bromine and iodine. These do not require special recycling.

Consumers looking to find a replacement for the old 100-watt bulb will likely choose the energy-efficient 72-watt bulb, which will provide an equal amount of light but uses less power.

"The consumer will still be able to use the product and have the same results to light an office, a desk lamp, a hallway. A 72-watt light bulb will still provide the same service as the old 100-watt bulb," Adam Gottlieb, a spokesman for the California Energy Commission, told the Scripps Howard news service. "Consumers really need to know they won't see any difference. The difference they'll see is a more energy-efficient bulb."



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 31, 2010, 08:15:53 AM
California's Brown planning to take tax hike to voters 
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Source: McClatchy


California's Brown planning to take tax hike to voters
By David Siders | Sacramento Bee

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown will propose a ballot measure to extend temporary tax hikes set to expire next year, while pressuring fellow Democrats to consent to billions of dollars in spending cuts in virtually every area of state government, sources said.

The tax package, planned for the June ballot, would extend higher vehicle, sales and income tax rates. It likely won't include additional new taxes, such as an oil severance tax.

Voters in May 2009 rejected Proposition 1A, a measure that similarly sought to extend the higher tax rates. To make the June proposal more palatable to voters, Brown's proposal would direct a significant part of revenue to local governments, while also shifting to local agencies responsibility for some services the state now provides.

While observers have for months expected Brown to propose a tax measure once he takes office next week, this is the first definitive indication that he will. The budget deficit is estimated to be as much as $28 billion over 18 months.



Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/30/106010/california...
 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 31, 2010, 09:18:27 AM
Government Killed California
CNS News ^ | December 29, 2010 | Terrance P Jeffrey


________________________ ________________________ _______________



Growing up in California in the 1960s, it was impossible not to believe you lived in the greatest place on earth.

California had spectacular coastlines and mountains, luxuriant valleys and stretches of perfect weather that carried on unbroken for months at a time. Natives who ventured from the state -- to other parts of the country or the world -- invariably returned to say it was a mistake to ever leave.

In that not-so-long-ago era, a pioneering culture still gripped the Golden State. People came to California not take things from government, but to make things of themselves.

The first European settlers to arrive in California were Franciscan priests from Spain, who traveled to the far edge of the world as they knew it, not to enslave native peoples, but to bring them Christianity. They were followed by hardy souls who crossed an entire continent to reach the Pacific. When these pioneers arrived, they built magnificent things. The Franciscans built churches. The gold-seekers ended up building the city of San Francisco around one of those churches.

Because it almost never rained during the growing season in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, where the soil would grow almost anything, the people built massive dams in the Sierras and directed water from there to channels that crossed and irrigated farmlands that otherwise would have been summertime deserts.

A group of California counties collaborated in raising private money to build a bridge across the Golden Gate -- and they did not build just any bridge, they built the most beautiful bridge in the world. Then they paid off its construction costs with tolls assessed only on people who crossed the bridge.

Not a single taxpayer in Massachusetts or Montana every paid a penny for the Golden Gate Bridge -- unless he freely crossed it and paid the fare.

As America's population grew and prospered in the 20th century, California outpaced its sister states.

From 1900 to 1910, her population grew by an astounding 60.1 percent, according to the Census Bureau. In the remaining decades of the 20th century, it grew by 44.1 percent, 65.7 percent, 21.7 percent, 53.3 percent, 48.5 percent. 27.0 percent, 18.6 percent, 25.7 percent and 13.8 percent.

After each Census, California won additional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and gained greater influence over the nation's political destiny.

Then came the population count of 2010. Last week, the Census Bureau announced that for the first time since California became a state in 1850, it would gain no additional seats in the House.

Over the past decade, it turns out, next-door Nevada enjoyed the largest percentage population gain of any state, growing by 35 percent -- perhaps because it is the nearest place Californians can flee.

Who killed the California dream? Politicians did -- specifically, politicians who pushed a vision of big government that called for redistributing wealth and rewarding indigence while penalizing the hard work and calculated risk-taking that marked Californians of generations past.

In October, the Tax Foundation rated all 50 states by how their tax climate treated business. California ranked 49th. Only New York rated worst. The foundation also judged that California had the 48th worst individual income tax system and the 49th worst sales tax system.

With established businesses fleeing and new entrepreneurs choosing to go elsewhere, unemployment has been trending up in California for four straight years. It is now at 12.4 percent -- tied with Rust Belt Michigan for the second highest unemployment rate of any state.

The Census Bureau's 2010 Statistical Abstract says that from 2000 to 2008, 1,378,706 "domestic" migrants left California for other parts of the country. That was balanced by 1,825,697 "international" migrants (the Census Bureau does not distinguish between legal and illegal) who moved to California from other countries.

The Pew Hispanic Center, meanwhile, reported in September that 23 percent of the illegal immigrants in the United States -- or about 2,550,000 illegal aliens -- live in California and make up 9.3 percent of the state's workforce.

Unlike previous generations that migrated to California, these immigrants are not coming to a frontier, but to a welfare state. Whether they replace indigenous workers by taking their jobs or increase the burden of government on those workers by going on the dole, the illegal immigrant population is helping to build California's welfare state -- as are pensioned state-government employees and native-born Americans who have grown accustomed to government dependency.

In November, California's state Legislative Analyst's Office issued a budget report estimating that the state's government will face a deficit of about $20 billion per year for the next six years.

At the same time, it estimates that Medi-Cal (the state's version of Medicaid) will cost an average of about $20 billion per year (rising from $17.6 billion next year to about $24 billion in 2016). Currently, 7 million of California's 37 million people are enrolled in Medi-Cal.

There are now only 11 states, according to the 2010 Census, that are populated by more people than California has populating its socialized medicine system.

California's Legislative Analyst's Office assumed in its budget report that in the coming years California will continue to have a net outflow of "domestic" migrants. That was wise.



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: MuscleMcMannus on January 03, 2011, 01:09:07 PM
The fucking Dept of Agriculuture and FDA allow our meat to be shot up with ammonia and used in the school lunch programs and sold to fast food chains, our national parks are being overrun by mexican pot growers, our fucking kid's toys are riddled with heavy metals from china, our lakes, rivers and infrastructure is dying and decaying, the Gulf is an oil polluted mess and all the fuking government can worry about now is fucking 100 watt incandescent light bulbs?  Geezus fack! 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Hereford on January 03, 2011, 03:17:13 PM
The fucking Dept of Agriculuture and FDA allow our meat to be shot up with ammonia and used in the school lunch programs and sold to fast food chains, our national parks are being overrun by mexican pot growers, our fucking kid's toys are riddled with heavy metals from china, our lakes, rivers and infrastructure is dying and decaying, the Gulf is an oil polluted mess and all the fuking government can worry about now is fucking 100 watt incandescent light bulbs?  Geezus fack! 

Where did you get this little bit of info? LoL.

The rest of the post is good stuff.

I think Cali is unsalvagable... because of all the minorities and welfare types here nothing non-radical liberal is going to get voted in. Hell, we just voted for a train system that is projected to cost a trillion dollars and never even break even. Trouble for the rest of the country is that the federal government will never let CA suffer. It's just a matter of time before a leftist administration in DC begins the bailouts for the state.

CA gets the dems into office on the federal level, so the Obama types are not going to let it fail.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Option D on January 03, 2011, 04:35:40 PM
Haah I live in California and I can tell you one thing...........minoriti es are fucking killing this state and I'll tell you why.  I work with A LOT of minorities.  Fillipinos, blacks, asians, persians, and mexicans.  THEY ALL VOTE PARTY LINES regardless of the fucking issues and guess which party line they vote?  DEMOCRAT!!!!  I know this first hand because I'm a good looking, successful white "pogie" boy as the Fillipinos refer to me and so they all assume I'm some sort of conservative republican WHICH I AM NOT!  Most of these dumbshit minorities have no clue how the fucking Federal Reserve works or who Ron Paul is.  So that is why Jerry Brown and Boxer and the tide in CA is majority liberal democrats.  The fucking minorities keep voting them into office...........and the public sector employees like the prison guards and big unions who are made up of plenty of white idiots as well.  I've been point blank told by hispanics that they vote democrat regardless and always have and always will.  Same thing with a lot of blacks. 
California is fucked but I can't say Meg Whitman would have been a better choice than Jerry Brown.  I mean they both sucked/suck.  CA is a fucking disaster and the biggest reason is all the different cultures vying for their special interests.  I mean it's symbolic of what is happening in the rest of the country for the most part.  There are TOO different cultures living in America now.  It will never survive.  The hispanics want one thing, the blacks another, the muslims, etc.  Living in CA it's the fucking hispancis that piss me off the most.  It's funny......the Fillipinios are the ones that make up most of the nursing staff where I work and its the mexicans that make up most of the environmental staff......i.e.e the ones that clean the rooms, empty the trash etc.  Meahwhiel the Indians, Asians, and Persians are making up all the doctor staff.  Kind of interesting but kind of scary as well.  Out of al the  neurosurgeons I work with one is white, one is asian, one is african, and one is persian.  Not one is mexican. 
What facility are you working at. Are you in southern Cali


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 04, 2011, 02:40:45 PM
CA: Brown Blows Off Labor
eastbayexpress.com ^ | Jan 4, 2011 | Robert Gammon




Public-employee unions spent tens of millions getting Jerry Brown elected, but the new governor gave them the cold shoulder yesterday after his inauguration.

The Chron reports that the 18,000-member Orange County Employees Association had expected Brown to speak at its free hot-dog fest at the capitol, dubbed “The People’s Inauguration Party,” but the new governor only showed up for a few moments, grabbed some dogs, and scurried off.


During his inaugural speech, Brown told unions not to expect any favors and referred to a “philosophy of loyalty” that calls for a “devotion to California above and beyond our narrow perspectives.”



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: MB on January 04, 2011, 03:49:16 PM
If we bail out CA, there needs to be something in return.  Maybe force CA to make enough cuts to balance it's budget and repay the federal government within a given time frame.  There is so much hatred for CA and their irresponsible spending that it would be a difficult sell to the American people.     


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 04, 2011, 03:51:41 PM
California is the textbook example of WHAT NOT TO DO.   


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 04, 2011, 09:33:47 PM
California Democrats seek approval from voters to grant amnesty
Examiner ^ | January 4th, 2011 | Kimberly Dvorak



While the DREAM Act failed on a national stage, California State Democrats would like to skirt federal law and provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are illegally residing in the Golden State.

State Assembly Bill 78, written by Tony Mendoza (D-Arcadia) seeks to put an advisory measure on the state ballot asking California voters if they think the United States is responsible to grant amnesty to longtime illegal aliens currently living unlawfully inside America.

The Democrat’s proposed “pathway to citizenship bill” would give illegal aliens who have worked in the U.S. for five years, have no felony convictions, speak English and are current with all their taxes a chance to legalize their status.

The bill’s author, Mendoza claims the illegal immigration debate is front-page news across the country and says the nation's "broken immigration system" requires an overhaul that "rewards work, reunites families, restores the rule of law, reinforces immigrant workers and redeems the 'American Dream.'"


(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Hereford on January 04, 2011, 09:40:50 PM
Well what do you all think we SHOULD do? Like I said, nothing is going to get done at the voting booths. Too much special interest and people who contribute nothing getting a say in spending decisions.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 09, 2011, 07:31:58 AM
S.E.C. Investigating CalPERS on Disclosures
The New York Times ^ | Jan 7, 2011 | Mary Williams Walsh



Federal regulators are investigating whether California violated securities laws and failed to provide adequate disclosure about its giant public pension fund, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission normally polices companies, but last year it brought its first enforcement action ever against a state, accusing New Jersey of securities fraud for misleading bond investors about the condition of its pension fund. The commission signaled, in its settlement with New Jersey, that it was going to look more broadly at the pension disclosures of states and cities.

The fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as Calpers, lost about a quarter of its total investment portfolio during the financial crisis, leaving the state responsible for replacing billions of dollars each year and contributing to its huge deficit. The question is whether California adequately disclosed in the preceding years how risky the pension investments were and how much money it might need to cover any shortfall.

But it is unclear whether investigators are focusing on those risks or on possible conflicts of interest in steering investments to related parties, the subject of a separate investigation by the attorney general of California.....

...If federal investigators are able to make a case that California misled investors about the risk in its pension fund, it would send a powerful signal to other public funds, which almost without exception base their financial reporting on average annual investment returns of about 8 percent a year, something hard to defend in today’s markets, no matter what the investment mix.


(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 09, 2011, 09:58:15 AM
Will California Tax Itself to Prosperity?
Townhall.com ^ | January 9, 2011 | Austin Hill


“It’s a matter of ideology trumping reality…”

That assessment came from Syndicated Columnist Tony Blankley. It was Christmas Eve morning, December 24th, and we were each guest hosting local shows at Washington, DC’s 630 WMAL talk radio.

I was in to cover for vacationing host (and former Congressman) Fred Grandy in the early morning “drive time” hours, while Blankley was filling-in for DC favorite Chris Plante during the late morning (9a-12n Eastern) show.

I had asked Blankley to join me in-studio for a segment on my program, and to talk about a place we have both known and loved, California. While I was born and raised there, Blankley, a native of the U.K., spent some of his youth and young adult years in the Golden State. And we were both marveling – in a “troubled” sort of way – at the amazing ability of California leadership to ignore its very serious problems.

As if the $6 billion budget shortfall that he presided over didn’t really exist – a deficit that is expected to expand to a whopping $24.5 billion over the next eighteen months - outgoing Governor Arnold Governor Schwarzenegger had just called the legislature in to a “special session,” but then had called a press conference to announce his “really big plan.” For a second and final time before leaving office, he was going to try and legislate a state-wide ban on plastic grocery bags. This, he explained, would help save the planet, but would also help create so-called “green jobs.”

Indeed, this was a matter of “ideology trumping reality.” And never mind that Rome is burning -California will “be green.”

But that was last month. Now, a guy who was Governor for eight of my elementary, junior high and high school years is Governor yet again. A perennial government employee, Jerry Brown is back in Sacramento, and it looks like his third term is going to be as ideological as ever.

To be fair, I must admit my tremendous respect and admiration for our “new” Governor. At age 72, Brown is (amazingly) just as articulate and energetic and erudite as he ever was. In many ways he seems like he’s more at the “top of his game” now than when I was a kid. But his energy and mental sharpness aside, Jerry Brown is a big-government liberal – and right now, California desperately needs to move in the direction of New Jersey (especially given current Governor Chris Christie’s success at cutting government spending), and not in the direction of Greece.

But ideology still trumps reality in California, even in this new, “post Arnold” era. And so it was that, less than twenty-four hours after his inauguration, Governor Jerry Brown began laying the groundwork for raising taxes in California, rather than cutting government spending.

The problem with the state budget, so the Governor reasoned, was not that politicians had spent too much or that government agencies are wasteful. No, no, Californians aren’t taxed enough – they’ve been given an “unfair” break on their property taxes via the state’s famous, 32-year-old “Proposition 13,” and if that could be undone, then the state budget would be fixed.

Proposition 13, in case you’ve forgotten, was a landmark ballot proposition that drew a record number of voters to the precincts in 1978. The law passed in a landslide, and imposed a statewide limit on the rate at which local counties and cities could levy property taxes.

I remember the fight over Proposition 13 quite well. I recall the night my father and I attended a special “informational meeting” at my elementary school, presented by my school’s Principal. “If Proposition 13 passes,” the Principal reasoned, “we won’t have enough money to afford textbooks and classroom supplies…some schools in our district might even have to close down..”

“Ma’am, with all due respect, you don’t have enough text books now,” my father replied, “and property taxes have been escalating in our county for twenty-five years. The problem is not a lack of funds, it’s a mismanagement of funds…”

My late father, whether he knew it or not, was creating a “teachable moment,” and it was an economics lesson that I never forgot. My school’s Principal, of course, was doing what government employees typically do, and arguing for higher taxes and more government spending. And she was using the same “talking points” that Governor Brown had been using at the time, as he traveled up and down the state begging for a “no” vote on Proposition 13.

Yet after the proposition’s landslide victory on June 6 of 1978, Brown changed his tune, agreed to realign California government in such a way as to comply with the property tax limitations, and thus won re-election handily in November of that year.

Today, Governor Brown oversees a state debt that is more than twice the size of California’s annual operating budget back in the late 70’s. And it seems that the “early 1978” version of Jerry Brown is about to re-emerge.




Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 12, 2011, 02:56:38 PM
San Francisco Pension Deficit Deepens
KCBS ^ | 1/12/11 | Barbara Taylor - KCBS





SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s pension fund for retired city workers is even worse off than projected. The city will have to contribute around $600 million next year to pay for pension costs.

Last year, the Civil Grand Jury caught flack from city workers’ unions for predicting that San Francisco would have to contribute 17 percent of retirees pensions. As it turns out, it’s even higher – 18 percent, according to Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who sits on the City’s Retirement Board. That’s 4.5 percent higher than last year, and it’s now projected to rise to 26 percent in three years.

”It will be the equivalent of having two San Francisco General Hospital budgets, about $650 to $700 million on the books, whereas just five years ago it was zero,” said Elsbernd.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose pension reform measure was narrowly defeated by voters last year, said that it confirms what he’s been saying.

”It’s going to bankrupt the city, there’s no question,” said Adachi. “And what’s scary is that it’s going to happen within the next four or five years.”

...


(Excerpt) Read more at sanfrancisco.cbslocal.co m ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: muscleforlife on January 12, 2011, 04:57:18 PM
This is similar to what is happening in NJ.
When Christie Todd Whitman was Gov, she put money in the stock market(advised by her husband who had a job in the market)
Lost Billions of public employees money.
Couldn't pay into the retirement funds that we the people are taxed for.  Now the state is in the hole like many other states.

Chris Christie hasn't paid into the public funds either.
So when he is on the national scene touting how great he is, ask a employee of NJ.
No, he didn't start the fire. Just stop pretending that there is no fire.
Sandra


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 14, 2011, 09:13:21 AM
California overpays for immigrant welfare
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | January 12, 2011 | Ivan Light




California carries more than twice its share of the nation's burden for the support of needy immigrants. This is a problem of American federalism, not a problem of tax evasion by immigrants.

If immigrants were evenly distributed among the 50 states, California's share of the national immigrant welfare bill would be 6 percent. Instead, it pays 13 percent, according researchers.

In the United States, welfare is a shared federal and state responsibility. Fifty states share financial responsibility for Temporary Aid to Needy Families and Medicaid with the federal government, which contributes half of each state's cost of these programs. It is unfair to share welfare responsibility with states when 45 states have few immigrants, and only five have large populations of immigrants.


(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...

________________________ ________________________ _-


How about immgrants get no welare at all?   


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 14, 2011, 12:56:02 PM
California may have the highest costs for charging electric vehicles, study says
La Times ^ | 1/14/11 | Tiffany Hsu


________________________ _____________


Californians may end up paying the highest electricity rates in the country to charge their electric vehicles, a new study says.

The state's tiered rate system, in which customers are charged higher rates as they use more electricity, could make plug-in hybrid and battery-powered vehicles more costly to own, according to a Purdue University study.

The study was unveiled as the first of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are reaching consumers. Two vehicles, the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, started being delivered to their first customers last month.

Electric-car makers and utilities said most owners will probably charge their vehicles at night when the rates are lower. But because of the tiered rate system, their electricity bills will still probably be high.

California households pay steeper rates for their electricity compared with other states — about 35% more than the national average, according to the study.

"The tiered system was put in because California wanted to be green and discourage electricity consumption," said Wally Tyner, an energy economist and lead researcher on the study. "The unintended consequence is that it also discourages electric vehicles."

A plug-in hybrid Volt would increase the average household's electrical usage 60%, the study said. Although the study didn't explicitly examine all-electric vehicles such as the Leaf, "the same principle would apply," Tyner said.


(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 17, 2011, 06:24:42 AM
Steven Malanga
State Budget Bunk
A taxonomy of fiscal gimmicks, evasions, and ploys



In a 2009 segment on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart told viewers that many recession-hammered states had turned to unusual methods to raise money. “Are any of these ideas actually stupid?” Stewart wondered. Cut to Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones, who described Arizona’s plans to sell its state government buildings for $735 million, lease them back, and keep on using them. Quickly discerning the problem with such a maneuver, Jones confronted Arizona state senator Linda Lopez: “So you’ve got $735 million for this year. What happens next year, when you don’t have that and you’ve got to pay rent?” Lopez’s awkward response: “That’s always the problem, but we gotta get through this year.”


Arizona is hardly alone in straining budget credibility to the breaking point. Facing scary revenue drops that left their budgets dangerously unbalanced after years of runaway spending, states have employed an unprecedented number of fiscal gimmicks over the last two years to try to make up the difference. They have swiped revenues dedicated to maintaining roads or enhancing emergency medical systems; sold future lottery proceeds for cash today; grabbed unclaimed money in personal bank accounts; and redefined taxes as fees to get around constitutional limits on tax hikes. And they’ve justified these moves by claiming that voters are in no mood for the spending cuts or explicit tax hikes necessary to shrink deficits legitimately—even though the tricks often circumvent budget restrictions that the voters themselves enacted.

These deceptions may be fodder for TV comedians, but they are likely to have very serious consequences. Indeed, some of the fiscal problems now plaguing states result from budget ploys that legislators and governors created during earlier downturns and then failed to reverse when times got better. The ploys now support programs so generous that they’ve become unsustainable except through fiscal shenanigans. These never-ending budget tricks undermine democracy, mortgage the future for junkie-like quick fixes in the present, and are a bigger part of states’ current fiscal nightmare than most taxpayers know.

Budget gimmicks have become more prevalent in recent years, but they’re nothing new; rather, they’re one side of an ongoing tug-of-war between politicians trying to keep the spending spigot open and voters trying to impose fiscal discipline on them. The tug-of-war dates from the 1920s, when New York State embraced constitutional reforms that, among other things, prohibited it from borrowing money, except to build long-term projects. The restriction paid dividends: within just a few years, investors deemed New York so creditworthy that the interest rate on its bonds was only slightly higher than that on the U.S. government’s obligations. Other states soon followed with their own budget restrictions.

Sure enough, politicians quickly began trying to find ways around the limits without actually repealing them. In the mid-1930s, for instance, Pennsylvania lawmakers exempted “government-owned corporations” from state borrowing restrictions. The result was the creation of dozens of government bodies that started issuing bonds to do things once financed out of the state’s general budget.

Another key moment was New York governor Nelson Rockefeller’s introduction in the early sixties of “moral-obligation” borrowing. To circumvent requirements that voters approve borrowing, which until that point had always been repaid by taxes, Rockefeller started issuing bonds technically backed not by taxes but by a state promise. Rockefeller relied on the dubious concept to give state authorities a green light to raise billions of dollars for a host of pharaonic building schemes; state debt tripled in a decade, a state agency collapsed, and investors soon rejected moral-obligation debt.

The tug-of-war intensified in the 1970s, an era of tax revolts that saw activists successfully promoting spending caps to curtail fiscal irresponsibility—or so they hoped. Though California’s Proposition 13, passed by voters in 1978 to constrain property-tax increases, is the most famous of these laws, the Golden State actually came late to the party: bills in Indiana, Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and elsewhere preceded Prop. 13 by several years.

But as with earlier reforms, politicians found inventive ways to skirt them. A 1982 study published by James Bennett and Thomas DiLorenzo in Public Choice found that budget restrictions enacted in 32 states in the 1970s did little to reduce public spending because state and local pols simply moved billions of dollars off-budget into quasi-governmental entities, largely controlled by political appointees. “The principal reason for the establishment of OBEs [off-budget enterprises] in the U.S. has been to bypass the wishes of the electorate whenever the voters express a demand for fiscal restraint,” the authors noted in their groundbreaking paper. Today, only about half of all state government revenues makes it into states’ main accounts and is subject to budget mandates. The rest flows into the off-budget enterprises, where voter-imposed fiscal restrictions don’t apply.

And over the last couple of years, states have grown more dependent than ever on budget tomfoolery as they have faced record deficits. From 2004 through 2008, the states jacked up spending by nearly 35 percent, or about double the rate of inflation plus population growth. Then came the post-2008 economic downturn, and tax revenues plunged. Since late 2008, therefore, states have faced accumulated budget deficits of some $300 billion. Federal stimulus money helped cover about two-thirds of that yawning gap, but legislators have had to close the rest themselves. Many have resorted to methods that New York State’s comptroller calls a “fiscal shell game.”


One of the most common maneuvers is to fill budget holes with borrowed money. Arizona is a prime case. Since the housing bubble burst in 2007 and its economy began to contract, Arizona has borrowed approximately $2 billion, relying on new debt to close 17 percent of its budget deficits, reports the Arizona Capitol Times. Among the loans: $450 million that the state plans to pay back with future revenues from its lottery. The cost to the state over the next two decades will be about $680 million in principal and interest—and to make its payments, Arizona has already extended the life of the lottery, which must be renewed every few years, and added more games. This may turn out to be an economic deal with the devil. According to 2002 research by economist Melissa Schettini Kearney, an associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, state lotteries suck money out of the private economy, reducing household spending by nearly as much as the lotteries take in. If the projected revenue increases don’t materialize, Arizona will have to pay off its debt with lottery proceeds that now fund transportation and social services.

When Arizona claimed to be selling its government buildings, it was engaging in a far more deceptive kind of borrowing—a gimmick known as “tax-exempt certificates of participation” and even more preposterous than the Daily Show correspondent realized. There was no new owner in this so-called sale. Rather, the state floated more than $1 billion of notes, promising to repay bondholders with the “rent” that it would pay to lease the buildings. Since rent, not tax revenues, technically would repay the certificates, Arizona could borrow the money, even though it exceeded the state’s constitutional debt limit. Yet Arizona will pay the rent on the buildings with tax revenues, so the impact on taxpayers is exactly the same as more borrowing would have been: in this case, $1.5 billion in future taxes. “The Arizona legislature has done everything it can to pretend that life hasn’t changed since the housing market collapsed, and borrowing to close its budget gaps is one good example of that,” says Byron Schlomach, a fiscal analyst with the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix.

States are employing an array of other techniques that amount to borrowing without issuing debt. One strategy is simply to stop paying the bills. In Illinois, unpaid bills have reached a jaw-dropping $4.4 billion, according to the state’s comptroller. California, meanwhile, famously issued nearly 450,000 IOUs, totaling $2.6 billion, in 2009. Creditors kept waiting for months included staffing firms that supplied the state with temp workers and businesses that provided technology services. Even neighboring Nevada got stuck with an IOU (for $33,383) after sending firefighters to battle California wildfires. Nationwide, states’ unpaid bills have soared by nearly $100 billion, or 18 percent, since the end of 2007.

California also extracted what was essentially an interest-free loan from its taxpayers. It increased withholding rates for the state income tax for the last two months of 2009, collected about $1.7 billion, and held on to the funds (without, of course, paying any interest to the taxpayers to whom they belonged) until the next spring’s tax refunds. But that move worsened California’s budget problems in fiscal year 2010 because the state paid the 2009 refunds with 2010 tax revenues, leaving less to pay current bills.

Some state constitutions permit undisguised borrowing to patch budget gaps, provided the debt is quickly paid back. The problem is that it often isn’t. Connecticut, for example, will close its current budget deficit with $646 million in borrowing through “economic recovery bonds,” which will cost the budget an additional $131 million in interest payments. The state also borrowed money during the 2003 downturn and in the early 1990s. All this borrowing has added up: today, Connecticut’s debt per capita is the nation’s second-highest, and the fourth-highest as a percentage of household income.

More and more, states pay their bills with borrowed money even in good times. Take Illinois, which doesn’t collect enough in taxes to finance public employees’ retirements. In 2003, Illinois floated $10 billion in bonds to pay for the pensions. But then the state failed to contribute adequately to its pension funds in the subsequent boom years. Soon, it had to borrow again for the same reason: $3.5 billion in 2009 (and that adds up to $4.5 billion in future principal and interest payments). Last year, it took out yet another $4 billion loan. Meantime, Illinois is still paying off the original 2003 bond offering by diverting tax revenue from other uses. “In Illinois, politicians don’t even pretend that their deficit borrowing is to preserve essential programs, like for the needy,” says Jim Tobin, head of the National Taxpayers Union of Illinois. “The money is to keep paying union benefits that the state can’t afford.”

But untrammeled state borrowing becomes most apparent during economic downturns and the big deficits that accompany them. From 2008 through the second quarter of 2010, state and local financial liabilities, including debt outstanding and unpaid bills, swelled by some $290 billion.


Not all of the state budget trickery involves borrowing; some of it simply betrays pledges to taxpayers. One common example is “sweeps,” a term that refers to shifting money from adequately funded accounts into depleted ones. In some cases, the revenues that get “swept” come from taxes and fees that politicians had promised would pay for specific tasks—maintaining roads, say, or improving emergency services, or even paying for unemployment insurance. With the transfers, however, the money gets used for something entirely different.

One tempting area for sweeps is taxes designated for upgrading 911 emergency responses. An August survey by the Federal Communications Commission reported that states redirected $135 million in these taxes last year to spending for other purposes. New York is a serial abuser: shortly after enacting a cell-phone tax to fund an emergency-services upgrade in 1991, a Buffalo News investigation found, the state began diverting the revenues, and it has been diverting them ever since. So far, New York has collected an estimated $600 million from the tax and sent just $84 million to local officials for upgrading emergency services. Today, out of every $1.20 in 911 taxes, New York uses $1 for other purposes. Many of the state’s counties have been forced to levy their own 911 taxes to pay for actual upgrades.

Other states have followed New York’s lead. Wisconsin finished upgrades on its 911 system, diverted $25 million of surplus funds from an emergency-services tax that was supposed to phase out when the necessary work was finished, and extended the tax. In Oregon, the state’s attorney general determined that a sweep of 911 funds ran afoul of federal law; undeterred, Oregon’s legislature swiped the money anyway.

Fees from expanding industries are a popular sweeps target. In Colorado, for instance, the medical-marijuana business has been growing rapidly since voters legalized it in 2000. The $90 registration fee for users is supposed to finance legal enforcement of the industry. But in 2010, then-governor Bill Ritter siphoned $9 million out of the fund to help close the state’s budget gap, leaving just $1 million behind.

Fund transfers have grown so common that some states must now do “reverse sweeps”—that is, send money from their general funds back into accounts so depleted by previous sweeps that they can no longer meet their obligations. In 1991, New York created a fund to finance bridge and road construction and maintenance but quickly began transferring money out of it and borrowing to replace what had been transferred. About a third of the fund’s resources now go toward debt service, a figure projected to rise to 70 percent by 2014. So New York is shifting tax dollars from its hard-pressed general fund to help pay off the transportation account’s debt. No wonder a state comptroller’s report labeled such maneuvers “fiscal manipulations” intended to give taxpayers a “distorted view of the State’s finances.”

As states have tried to get their hands on more and more dedicated funds, they’ve provoked intensifying opposition, including expensive legal challenges—especially in cases where states take money from accounts that aren’t taxpayer-funded. New Hampshire, for instance, lost a lawsuit when it tried to seize $110 million in surpluses from a state-operated medical-malpractice insurance fund financed by doctors. In Arizona—where sweeps provoked 18 lawsuits in 2008 and 2009 alone—a judge ruled that the state broke the law when it took $160,000 from accounts intended to pay for agricultural research and financed by private donations.

Now states are even eyeing citizens’ private bank accounts. If the post office repeatedly isn’t able to deliver your bank statement or if your account is otherwise idle, states have long been able to grab the funds in it. But they’re starting to shorten the amount of time that must pass before they do. Last year, Michigan shrank the required period from as long as 15 years to just three; the state believes that the move will yield a one-time bonanza of more than $200 million. New York, New Jersey, and other states have likewise shortened the time that money can remain unclaimed.

States have also evaded constitutional and legal limitations on tax hikes by magically redefining some taxes as “fees.” In Washington State, raising taxes requires a two-thirds majority in the legislature, but raising fees requires only a simple majority. So the legislature, lacking the necessary votes to increase the tax on tickets to boxing and martial-arts events, simply renamed it a fee. “These forms of revenue boosting are covert and less likely to be noticed or to incite voter outrage,” note Amber Gunn and Brett Davis, two analysts with Washington’s Evergreen Freedom Foundation.

In California, however—which gets about 17 percent of its revenues from fees—voters did notice. In November, they approved Proposition 26, a ballot measure that supporters dubbed the “Stop Hidden Taxes” initiative, which requires that in the future, many kinds of items that the state has called fees will be called taxes and thus be subject to the state’s constitutional requirement of a two-thirds legislative vote for approval.

During the current recession, voters have expressed outrage at public employees’ rising numbers, plush salaries, and lavish benefits. States have accordingly enacted reforms to counter the power of government workers—but even these have been twisted into budget gimmicks by politicians. Illinois, to take one example, passed modest pension reforms last year that apply only to new workers, meaning that the savings from the measure won’t show up for years. But the legislation also included language that let the state apply up to $300 million of those future savings toward closing this year’s budget gap. The deal leaves Illinois right where it was—with a pension system only about 40 percent funded and in danger of running out of money within the next decade.

Early-retirement plans have become another vehicle for fiscal trickery. At first, the plans may seem an attractive way to downsize the government workforce. Michigan, for instance, recently passed a retirement plan to provide generous additional benefits for up to 6,400 retirees, who can step down at 59. The plan supposedly will save the state’s general fund about $80 million in its first year.

Or will it? Consider some recent experiences with early retirement. Back in 2003, Connecticut embraced an early-retirement plan to reduce the state workforce by several thousand, booking the savings straightaway. But then the state rehired some 1,000 of its early retirees as temporary workers who collected salaries in addition to their pensions. By 2008, some of those “temporary” employees were still working for the state and collecting pensions, a Hartford Courant investigation discovered.

Or look at Illinois, which launched a massive early-retirement plan during the last recession, in 2002. The state originally estimated that it would cost only about $80,000 extra per retiree, but after legislators added all the union-demanded sweeteners, that price tag ballooned to $200,000. Approximately 10,000 employees rushed to take advantage of the plan, further shaking an already tottering pension system. The system’s payouts to retirees rocketed in one year from $640 million to an estimated $1.6 billion. The same thing happened in New Jersey, according to a study performed by the legislature: some 4,000 workers took a 2002 early-retirement plan, which saved the state $314 million in compensation costs, but at a long-term cost of $645.4 million to the pension system. The drain of early retirements is one reason the state’s pension funds are running out of money.

Politicians have figured out that these schemes aren’t fiscal winners but merely another version of savings today at a steep price tomorrow. That’s probably why they rarely bother to estimate the true cost of early retirements. A study by the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center found that New York State used ten different early-retirement programs between 1983 and 2002, but noted that the state had never done a cost-benefit analysis of any of them. Last year, New York offered another early-retirement plan: it ostensibly trimmed payrolls by 3,600 workers, but within a few months, a New York Post investigation found, hundreds of those workers were already on the payroll again in temp jobs while collecting retirement wages. “The ‘savings’ from early retirement are seldom real savings in the long run,” observed Gerard Miller, a strategist with PFM Group, a public finance consulting firm, in Governing. “Ultimately, taxpayers will pay a higher bill for those early pension benefits and retiree medical benefits.”

Budget gimmicks may be one-shot revenue enhancers, but their harmful effects reverberate down the years, undermining states’ long-term fiscal stability. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than California’s recent history. Back in 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised that the state could fix its woeful finances if voters would just approve deficit borrowing in the form of “economic recovery bonds.” The voters, who had just removed Governor Gray Davis over his mismanagement of the budget, approved the bonds; the state borrowed $10.9 billion, increasing California’s general debt by 31 percent. Relieved by the loans of its immediate financial squeeze, Sacramento then discarded (again) fiscal discipline, hiking spending by nearly a third, or $34 billion, over the next four years. The state found itself in another deep hole by 2008.

But California is only the most obvious example. New Jersey’s current inability to pay for infrastructure improvements out of its depleted transportation fund is the result of sweeps that drained the fund to close budget gaps. Illinois’ dire pension shortfalls didn’t occur overnight, but worsened over years of budget tricks that the state never made right. It has been 20 years since New York, to close a budget deficit, bought Attica Prison from itself with money raised from a bond issue; today, the state is still using current tax dollars to pay off the interest.

Reformers should use the current downturn as a starting point to demand new measures that end many of these abuses. Though reforms will differ from state to state, several sensible principles should govern change. One is for states to switch from yearly budgets to balanced multiyear plans, so that legislators won’t be able to employ tricks one year and ignore their consequences the next. Another is for states to tighten restrictions on borrowing to include debt issued by quasi-governmental entities and authorities. States can also increase the amount of money that their reserve accounts must hold during good economic times, which would both restrain the growth of government during the good times and provide a cushion against severe revenue falloffs in recessions. Such reforms would represent the next stage in taxpayers’ never-ending battle against budget gimmicks.

Steven Malanga is the senior editor of City Journal and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 17, 2011, 03:20:16 PM
Ha a ha ha ha ha       LLLMMFFFFAAAOOOO

-_________________________________________________________________-



January 17, 2011
Costly 'green jobs' solar plant sued by greenies
Thomas Lifson


A costly proposed solar power plant in Ivanpah, California, touted by President Obama as a "green jobs" initiative, is being sued by environmentalists. Nichola Groom of Reuters reports:


According to court papers, the non-profit Western Watersheds Project alleged U.S. regulators approved Brightsource Energy's 370-megawatt Ivanpah solar energy plant without conducting adequate environmental reviews, and asked the court to order the defendants to withdraw their approvals.


The complaint names the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the agencies' heads and other staffers, as defendants. None was immediately available for comment.


"In an ill-conceived rush to accommodate massive renewable energy projects ... the federal defendants precipitously approved unnecessarily destructive energy development of the California Desert Conservation Area without first conducting adequate environmental reviews."


The complaint said the project's approval process failed to analyze and mitigate the Ivanpah plant's impact on migratory birds, the desert tortoise, which is a threatened species under federal law, desert bighorn sheep, groundwater resources and rare plants.


As Peter Wilson reported to AT readers last October, President Obama claimed that Ivanpah  "is going to put about a thousand people to work," a very misleading figure. There will be an average of 650 people working to construct the plant, but once it is completed, there will be only 86 permanent workers, mostly performing maintenance.  The cost to taxpayers: a $1.37 billion loan guarantee for Ivanpah. There have been a series of bankruptcies and closures of green power schemes lavishly subsidized with public funds. Wilson wrote then:


Brightsource investors include Google.org (a member of Van Jones's Apollo Alliance) and the California State Teachers Retirement System.  Billions in federal financing, billions every year for the next thirty years in taxpayer subsidies for above-market priced electricity, with profits going to Obama insiders like the Apollo Alliance and a teachers' union?  Should we really call this "clean" energy?


If the Western Watersheds Project derails this poorly conceived, rushed-through scheme, for whatever reason, they will save American taxpayers and California electricity consumers a pile of money.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/costly_green_jobs_solar_plant.html at January 17, 2011 - 04:15:28 PM CST


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 18, 2011, 08:49:05 AM
California taxpayers pay record amount in benefits to children of illegal aliens
Examiner. ^ | January 17th, 2011 | Dave Gibson




California taxpayers pay record amount in benefits to children of illegal aliens

Los Angeles Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has just released data from the Department of Public Social Services which shows that in November 2010, $53 million in welfare benefits ($22 million CalWORKs and $31 million in Food Stamps) were given issued to illegal aliens for their U.S.-born children in Los Angeles County.

The record amount is an increase of almost $3 million from November 2009, and represents 22 percent of all CalWORKs and Food Stamp issuances in L.A. county.

In 2009, CalWORKs and Food Stamp benefits given to illegal aliens totaled almost $570 million. The total amount issued to illegal aliens cost in 2010, is estimated to be well over $600 million.

On Monday, Supervisor Antonovich told reporters: “When you add this to $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year -- not including the hundreds of millions of dollars for education.”

In August 2009, Antonovich made public the-then staggering amount which the taxpayers spent on illegal aliens, living in L.A. County. In June 2009 alone, the county paid out $48 million to the children of illegal aliens, an increase of $10 million over June 2007.


(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 18, 2011, 02:40:27 PM
Pension reform or else


The unfunded pension liabilities of California's state and local governments exceed $700 billion. We can't fix the budget without reducing public employee retirement benefits.
 
Illustration by Lou Beach / For The Times
January 18, 2011


________________________ ________________---




Just since Christmas, we've learned that San Francisco's retiree health plan is $4.4 billion in the red, that Santa Clara County's fire chief will collect a hefty government paycheck on top of his $200,000 annual government pension, and that UC's latest tuition increase will go mostly to pension debt even as UC's highest-paid executives are threatening to sue for more benefits. Retirement scandals are as common as weather reports, and voters are fed up.

Gov. Jerry Brown's commitment to make the tough decisions required for the long-term health of California presents the perfect opportunity to reform the state's public pension systems, but his proposed budget solutions do not include any significant changes in this crucial area.

With the unfunded pension liabilities of California's state and local governments exceeding $700 billion, some state leaders now admit we cannot fix our budgets without reducing public employee retirement benefits. Near the end of his inaugural remarks, the governor said, "We will also have to look at our system of pensions and how to ensure that they are transparent, actuarially sound and fair — fair to the workers and fair to the taxpayers."



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During the last decade, California state government payments for retirement benefits have grown at an alarming and unsustainable rate, exceeding $5 billion a year, more than state support for the entire UC system. These huge and growing slices of the budget pie are needed to pay for average state retirement packages now valued at more than $1.2 million. The taxpayers who pay for those retirement benefits have an average of $60,000 saved for their own retirement.

Local governments are facing pension bills that are starving vital services. Faced with mounting long-term budget deficits, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently told labor leaders, "The days of unsustainable pensions are over." In 2002, Los Angeles taxpayers contributed just under $100 million to the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System, and it was fully funded. Today, that taxpayer contribution is more than $400 million, and the system is underfunded by more than $2.3 billion.

Dozens of cities are struggling to find solutions to growing retirement costs. The most sensible approach is a state constitutional framework for public retirement plans that is economically sustainable and meets Brown's test of fairness to workers and taxpayers.

Solving the crisis will take an ongoing public discussion of what voters in the state think is fair. Our organization has started asking Californians to consider a series of questions as we begin the work of fixing a broken system. Should public employees have different retirement plans than those available to employees of private companies? Should they pay half the cost of their benefits? Should public safety employees have different retirement plans than other government employees? Should retired public employees receive healthcare for life? These are all questions that need to be answered before the state tackles comprehensive pension reform.

Californians also need to familiarize themselves with the system that exists. Taxpayers are often shocked to learn that they are paying 100% of the cost of pension and retiree healthcare benefits for many public employees. When employees must contribute their own money toward their retirement, they generally opt for benefits they can afford, and if workers are given the opportunity to opt out of retiree healthcare benefits, many will continue to work until they are covered by Medicare. Delaying retirement just five years would, on average, cut pension costs in half.

Retirement plans can be structured to offer choices that fit the needs of public employees at all income levels. Pension benefits should be a safety net for those who need them the most, not an opportunity for the highest earners in the public sector to strike it rich. Capping public pensions at California's average household income would provide a sustainable plan that, combined with Social Security, would provide about 90% of the pay received during the final year of employment for employees whose wages are in the lowest quartile. Workers should also be given the option to participate in a plan similar to the 401(k) plans common in the private sector.

It's obvious that we need to change the kind of benefits we give to the next generation of public employees in the state. But that alone won't be enough. Changing current employee benefits too is crucial to avoiding the service reductions, pay cuts, layoffs and furloughs that would be necessary to keep public retirement plans afloat at their current levels. The California Constitution should be amended to allow the state's generous benefit formulas to be temporarily suspended for current employees and replaced with more modest formulas until depleted government pension funds fully recover.

Under any scenario, pension plan abuses must end. Pensions inflated by using overtime, car allowances, uniform costs and unused vacation and sick leave to increase salaries must stop. Double-dipping with both government pension checks and government paychecks must stop. Buying additional service credits at a steep discount to boost pension checks must stop. And taxpayers should be represented on public pension retirement boards by experts who operate independently, transparently and free of conflicts of interest.

Although the public employee union bosses will fight to retain them, financially unsustainable pension benefits must end. If the politicians do not address statewide pension reform in the months ahead, California voters must take action.

California's fiscal crisis demands that taxpayers protect themselves from unsustainable public employee pension benefits. If the Legislature won't respect Brown's leadership and find a fair and effective solution, he may find himself presiding over yet another taxpayer revolt.

Marcia Fritz is a certified public accountant and president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing pension reform in the state.


________________________ _______________________-


Public employees are nothing more than madoffs and scammers against the taxpayers with all this crap.       


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 19, 2011, 04:08:45 PM
Harbinger Of Muni Bloodbath: Vallejo Offers Unsecured Creditors 5 - 20 Cent Recovery
ZeroHedge ^ | 1/19/2011 | Tyler Durden


________________________ ________________________ ___-


But, but, munis always pay back almost 100 cents on the dollar, even in bankruptcy, right? Wrong. Bankrupt Vallejo just filed a POR to pay back unsecured creditors between 5 and 20 cents. "The city regrets that it cannot pay a higher percentage,” Vallejo officials said in the court filings. “The city lacks the revenues to do so while maintaining an adequate level of municipal services, such as the provision of fire and police protection and the repairing of the city’s streets." Just wait for the reaction when holders of unsecured debt all those other (hundreds of) insolvent cities, towns, and states realize that a 5 cent recovery is all too possible...

And now for the bad news, from Bond Buyer:

Unsecured creditors will receive 5 cents to 20 cents on the dollar for their claims under a reorganization plan Vallejo, Calif., filed Tuesday in federal court.

The plan to exit bankruptcy outlines the reorganization of debt the city owes its largest creditors, Union Bank and National Public Finance Guarantee. It also sets aside a pool of $6 million to pay unsecured creditors about 5% to 20% of their claims over two years, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District in Sacramento.

The formal legal plan is based on a five-year road map City Council members approved at the end of November, tackling $195 million in unfunded city pension obligations, cutting payments for retiree health care, reducing pension benefits for new employees, raising pension contributions for current workers, and creating a rainy-day fund.

Union Bank, the largest creditor, is owed $50 million after holding letters of credit on four series of defaulted COPs. The filing indicates Union Bank will get a new “lease-leaseback” obligation in exchange for canceling the COP series. It will also get $6 million of unspent proceeds from the COPs held under trust agreements.

Union Bank is slated to get 40% less than what it would have received from the original COP scheduled payments, according to the Vallejo filing.

Vallejo’s exit strategy includes restructuring the debt owed to unsecured creditors, many of which are employees and retirees, by creating a $6 million pool of cash that will be paid out over two years. They will still be able to pursue one of the city’s insurance pools to settle the liabilities, according to the documents.

Vallejo is certainly not the last to file a plan of reorg that attributes its GUCs nuisance value. We wonder when these same GUCs realize they are nothing but a nuisance: today the MUB actually closed up.



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 19, 2011, 08:58:20 PM
How much does California owe?
Joe Nation

Wednesday, January 19, 2011



 As the national discussion continues on raising the U.S. debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, Californians also should ask: How much is the Golden State in the red?

We've grown numb to annual budget meltdowns - shortfalls of $20 billion have become the norm. But what is our state's total debt? Would you believe at least $265 billion?

California's debt sorts into three buckets:

Budget deferrals, required reimbursements and related debt now total nearly $40 billion. How did "kicking the can down the road" get the state to such a large number? Budget gimmicks to achieve a balanced budget for one year (borrowing from local government, required repayments to public schools and other one-time actions) have added up. As Gov. Jerry Brown highlighted in his budget proposal, most of the budget "solutions" over the past three years "were temporary or failed because of court decisions or faulty assumptions."

General obligation borrowing is authorized by voters for school buildings, clean water, housing, stem cell research and other expenditures. According to the state treasurer, the total outstanding is $77 billion, the majority of which is for long-term infrastructure investments.

How does this debt compare with those of other large states? On a debt per capita basis, we rank second highest at $2,362, with New York at $3,135. (Texas is the lowest at $520; Michigan follows at $748.)

Debt on general obligation borrowing does offer a bright spot, with debt service peaking in fiscal year 2011, remaining flat through 2016, and then trending consistently downward. That trend could be short lived, however. Voters have already given the state the authority to issue an additional $43 billion in bonds, mostly for transportation, clean air and clean water. And voters can add more debt in upcoming elections.

Pensions and retiree health promises for state workers are an unfunded pension liability (i.e., the amount by which pension promises exceed pension assets) of $96 billion as of June 2009.

However, that figure assumes that those pension funds will increase their assets faster than U.S. investment assets grew in the past century. So, if they earned at the past century's rate, (which itself was very high historically), the unfunded liability is $256 billion. Using the method employed by Alicia H. Munnell of the Center for Retirement Research and formerly of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, the liability is $568 billion.

So how much is the Golden State in the red? At least $265 billion, and perhaps $737 billion, both greater than official state reports suggest.

For perspective, the proposed California general fund budget for next year is $84 billion. In a best-case scenario, per capita indebtedness is more than $7,400. In a worst-case scenario, it is $19,800, nearly one-half the U.S. figure of $45,600. Given those dismal numbers, Californians would be served well by focusing on state finances as much as on federal finances.


Joe Nation, a Democrat, is a former member of the state Assembly, and a professor of public policy at Stanford University.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/19/EDED1HA111.DTL

This article appeared on page A - 10 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 21, 2011, 11:16:48 AM
The Bay Citizen
Bonus Payments to City Retirees Are Drawing Ire
By ELIZABETH LESLY STEVENS
Published: January 20, 2011
www.nyt.com



 As San Francisco struggles under ballooning pension and health care costs, the city’s retirees will receive unexpected cost-of-living bonuses totaling $170 million. The city’s anticipated budget deficit for the coming year is $360 million.

 
A nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization providing local coverage of the San Francisco Bay Area for The New York Times. To join the conversation about this article, go to baycitizen.org.
.A political battle has raged over the city’s growing retirement obligations. In November, Proposition B, which would have required city workers to contribute more toward their pensions and benefits, was soundly defeated. The measure’s opponents — every major elected official and energetic public-employee unions — said fears about the pension fund were overblown.

Meanwhile, the fund’s fundamentals deteriorated as it gradually accounted for its huge losses in the stock market crash. It took in $414 million in contributions in 2010 but paid out $819 million.

On Jan. 4, an actuarial firm reported that the $13.1 billion San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System now had an unfunded liability of $1.6 billion — triple its shortfall a year earlier. Gary A. Amelio, the system’s chief since January 2010, did not respond to questions.

In spite of the shortfall, Mr. Amelio and the system’s board quietly decreed in mid-December that “excess” earnings on investments in 2010 entitled retirees to an unexpected cost-of-living increase of as much as 3.5 percent this year. The special $170 million bonus is in excess of regular cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs.

“The irony of issuing bonus payments to retirees at a time the pension fund is a billion dollars down is insane. It really is,” said Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s public defender and the chief proponent of Proposition B, which he says would have saved the city $120 million this year. “It’s like a bankrupt corporation paying dividends to its shareholders.”

Until 2005, the city paid nothing into the pension fund because the fund had more assets than long-term liabilities and the excess investment income more than covered its expenses. During those flush years, the benefits were made increasingly generous, especially to the police and fire departments. But the system has posted investment losses for 4 of the last 10 years.

The city is required to inject cash if necessary to pay its retirees. This year, it will pay $325 million, or 13.6 percent of the total payroll of $2.4 billion. In the coming fiscal year, it will pay 18.1 percent — about $434 million. Three years from now, according to the actuarial report, the city will be paying 28.8 percent of payroll, or about $691 million.

The city’s estimated budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year is $360 million. If not for its growing pension-fund contributions, the city might not face a budget crisis at all.

“No one foresaw this event, with the pension fund going down and all of a sudden a 3.5 percent raise to retired people,” said Thomas J. O’Connor, head of the powerful firefighters’ union and a participant in a group of city leaders and union officials trying to come up with a more palatable proposal to trim the city’s employee costs.

The $170 million arose from a provision in a 2008 ballot initiative that required newly hired employees to contribute more toward benefit costs. To win support, the initiative contained a promise of increased bonus payments to retirees if the pension fund’s performance exceeded its target. The pension system posted a huge loss in the 2008-9 fiscal year, so it was unsurprising that it exceeded its 7.75 percent target return the following year when the market improved.

Mr. O’Connor seems open to compromise. “In these times, with the overall health of the fund, we could see COLAs being deferred for a time until the fund is solvent again,” he said. “No one imagined we’d be at this point giving a raise to people.”


estevens@baycitizen.org


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 21, 2011, 11:58:49 AM
California Declares Fiscal Emergency
Published: Friday, 21 Jan 2011 | 8:28 AM ET Text Size By: Reuters



Jerry Brown, California’s governor, declared a state of fiscal emergency on Thursday for the government of the most populous US state to press lawmakers to tackle its $25.4 billion budget gap.

 
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Democrat Brown’s declaration follows a similar one made last month by his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Republican governor.

Democrats who control the legislature declined to act on Schwarzenegger’s declaration, saying they would instead wait to work on budget matters with Brown, who served two terms as California’s governor in the 1970s and 1980s.

Brown was sworn in to his third term early this month and has presented lawmakers with a plan to balance the state’s books with $12.5 billion in spending cuts and revenue from tax extensions that voters must first approve.

Brown has said he wants lawmakers to act on his plan by March.

His fiscal emergency declaration is meant to underscore that target, an official said.

Brown’s declaration, which is largely procedural, says it affirms Schwarzenegger’s December declaration, giving lawmakers 45 days to address the state’s fiscal troubles.

Surprising Cities With Job Openings

The 72-year-old governor also wants the legislature to back a ballot measure for a special election in June that would ask voters to extend tax increases expiring this year to help fill the state budget’s shortfall.

Brown needs a handful of Republican votes to put the measure to voters.

Republican leaders in the legislature have said they doubt those votes will come.

By contrast, Darrell Steinberg, the state senate president pro tem, told Reuters on Thursday he is backing Brown’s budget plan and that he would press other lawmakers to do so as well: “I think the Brown framework is the right framework ...We intend to meet the March deadline.”


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 21, 2011, 01:50:25 PM
California’s unemployment rate increases to 12.5 percent
Central Valley Business Times ^ | 1/21/2011 | staff




• Jumps in Central Valley • Six counties now have at least 20 percent unemployment

California’s unemployment rate increased to 12.5 percent in December, although nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 4,900 during the month, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department from two separate surveys.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased in December to 9.4 percent.

In December 2009, the unemployment rate in California was 12.3 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

The jobless rate jumped in all but one Central Valley county last month. The only county to see a decrease was Sacramento. Merced County topped the 20 percent mark for jobless adults.


(Excerpt) Read more at centralvalleybusinesstim es.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: big L dawg on January 21, 2011, 01:57:10 PM
still talking to urself I see....


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 21, 2011, 02:01:26 PM
still talking to urself I see....

As opposed to what?   Being dumber than dirt like you are?   


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: big L dawg on January 21, 2011, 02:03:07 PM
and still responding in 2.5 seconds....oh what a life....





or lack thereof i should say....


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on January 27, 2011, 07:54:02 PM


Bleak future for California, says new report
Examiner.com ^ | 1/27/2011 | Joe Alfieri




A report by the University of the Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center says that California can expect to see little change in the economic climate for the next three years.

The Stockton, California based university’s forecast, released this week, concentrates on Northern and Central California, though it projects a statewide unemployment rate above 10 percent for the next three years.

Currently at 12.4 percent, the rate is not expected to dip below double digits until 2014, when the school sees the number at 9.6, currently the national average. California has lost approximately 1.3 million jobs since the summer of 2007, when 15.2 million were employed. The San Francisco Bay Area remains weak, with unemployment ranging from 9.4 percent in the city to over 12 percent in Santa Cruz to the south and Vallejo north of the city. The East Bay, which lost what the report calls “a staggering 11.4% of its jobs over the past 3 years” is expected to show modest growth. Sacramento and the Central Valley will continue to bleed jobs in 2011, although at a lesser rate than in 2010. Unemployment in Merced is pegged at 19.2 percent.


(Excerpt) Read more at exm.nr ...


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Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on March 18, 2011, 09:48:29 AM
Field Poll: Quality of life plunges in California
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/18/11 | Justin Berton, Chronicle Staff Writer




Californians are bummed out.

The Golden State's residents rated their quality of life at its lowest mark in almost 20 years, citing the economic downturn and stagnant personal finances, according to a joint UC Berkeley and Field Poll.

"Residents are reconsidering the image of the Golden State and showing more ambivalence toward it," said Jack Citrin, a Berkeley political science professor who co-wrote the report. "The changes going on - socially, culturally, economic - have made people here less Pollyannaish about the reality of life here."

The poll, based on a telephone survey of 898 registered voters in February, showed that only 39 percent considered the state "one of the best places to live," compared with the glory days of 1985, when 78 percent gave the state the highest rating.

Californians' self-assessment has gradually declined since then, with occasional spurts of optimism, until the appraisal rock-bottomed in 1992 at the tail end of a national recession.

Jon Christensen, the executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, said while the poll reflected personal financial woes. Californians are also bothered by a dysfunctional state government mired in a budget crisis.


(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 09, 2011, 08:48:47 AM
California: Judge Upholds Racial Quotas for Highway Contracts
www.thenewspaper.com ^ | 04/08/2011 | n/a

Posted on Saturday, April 09, 2011 10:35:42 AM by Ken H

Federal judge approves set asides and racial quotas for transportation contracts in California.



A federal judge last week granted the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) the right to discriminate against white business owners and men when awarding contracts. The Pacific Legal Foundation had filed suit against the department on behalf of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of San Diego, insisting that its racial quota program violated the voter-approved Proposition 209 prohibition on race- and sex-based preferences in public contracting, employment and education. US District Court Judge John Mendez weighed the arguments, denied the Pacific Legal Foundation's motion and granted summary judgment in favor of Caltrans.



"This decision affirms that Caltrans' efforts to level the playing field are constitutionally sound and will ensure that billions of dollars in federal transportation funds continue flowing to California," Caltrans Director Cindy McKim said in a statement Wednesday. "We will continue to reach out to disadvantaged businesses and hope our program serves as a model for other states to follow."



In March 2009, Caltrans announced it would implement a "mandatory race conscious Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program" that set aside 6.75 percent of federal-aid project contracts for blacks, Asians and Indians -- but not Hispanics or "subcontinent Asian males." AGC member companies -- the San Diego chapter represents 1300 firms -- complained that under the program, they lost out on business despite offering higher quality services at better prices. A similar program had been struck down as illegal in 2006, but Caltrans officials worked with the Obama administration looking for a way around the law. The US Department of Transportation issued a letter stating that California would lose federal highway funds if it did not implement a quota system. This triggered an escape clause in Proposition 209 that allows discrimination to avoid losing federal money.



Caltrans argued it was remedying discrimination against minorities and women with the DBE program because these groups only received three percent of the contracts under race-neutral policies. The Pacific Legal Foundation was outraged by the decision and is considering an appeal.



"What makes the judge's decision particularly disappointing is that briefing had only been completed seven days before the date set for oral argument, making it unlikely that the court thoroughly examined the complete record under the exacting requirements of strict scrutiny -- which is the court's duty in such cases," the foundation explained.



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Freeborn126 on April 09, 2011, 09:02:11 AM
They care about the important stuff in California, balancing the budget comes secondary to enforcing the use of low-flush toilets that cause massive sewer backups, compact florescent light bulbs that dump mercury into the environment, and saving a three inch long fish in order to put farmers out of business. 

Jesus, they already have a 10% sales tax and high state income tax, how can they be that broke? 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on August 29, 2011, 10:08:12 AM
Tab on ramp for SF supervisors' chamber adding up
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnists

Monday, August 29, 2011

What costs more: a home in San Francisco's Sunset District, or a wheelchair ramp in the Board of Supervisors' chambers?

If you picked the house, you're wrong.

By the time the final tab comes in, the cost of designing and installing a ramp to the president's chair at the Board of Supervisors - a project now under way - is expected to top out at $699,413.

That is about $50,000 more than the median cost of a home in the Sunset.

Why so much for a 10-foot ramp?

First, it took two companies, at a total cost of $132,205, to come up with a design that passed architectural muster for a designated historic landmark. The cost in city staff time to oversee the planning hit $38,434. That's $170,639.

Then came the job itself.

To install the ramp, the board's majestic podium is being taken apart, raised five steps above the chamber's floor, then put back together.

Costs include $25,200 for materials, $201,678 for labor and $49,000 for a set of historically accurate brass handrails. Outside historic experts to keep an eye on the work are getting $48,824.

Miscellaneous costs bring the construction job's total to $477,000 and change.

Also, because the job could take 10 weeks, the supervisors have set aside $51,042 to pay for relocating board meetings.

Supervisor John Avalos - the lone "no" vote on the project when the board approved it in February- said the political math just doesn't add up.

"This is a tremendous amount of money being spent on something in City Hall that rarely or may never even get used," Avalos said.

"Meanwhile, there are so many other needs for handicapped access that are really needed that are going unfunded," Avalos said.

Board President David Chiu defended the project, saying that "San Francisco has been at the forefront of access issues, and it's important the board reflect that."

Chiu also said the cost is "significantly" lower than the $1.1 million original plan.

Job play: Even before he announced it, Gov. Jerry Brown knew his call for corporate tax reform for more jobs stood a snowball's chance of getting the needed four Republican votes in the Legislature for passage.

But as one Brown staffer explained, by doing nothing, the governor would be criticized for inaction on the biggest issue in the state.

Besides, the real play will be in 2012, when Brown will either go to the ballot with a tax overhaul or use reform as the main issue in the 2012 legislative races when the open primary and the newly drawn districts come into play.

Republican Assembly leader Connie Conway of Tulare promptly said GOP lawmakers would fight the governor's tax reform plan "every step of the way."

However, Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo said that although Brown appeared to be "obsessed" with raising taxes, he was still open to working with the governor.

And with good reason. Brown carried Blakeslee's newly reapportioned district in 2010 by 16 points.

Odds-on favorites: A new citywide poll commissioned by the San Francisco Police Officers Association, in preparation of their election endorsements, backs what other polls are showing - stand-in Mayor Ed Lee will be very tough to unseat.

And so will appointed District Attorney George Gascón.

Both political newcomers are on track to receive 30 percent-plus of first-round votes in the ranked-choice balloting, more than twice what their nearest rivals are polling.

And even after second- and third-place votes are added to the mix, the two maintain healthy leads.

Plus, according to the poll of 502 likely city voters - conducted from Aug. 14 to 17 by the firm of Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates - 64 percent of those surveyed had a "generally favorable" opinion of Lee, with only 11 percent unfavorable. The remaining 25 percent had no opinion.

Thirty-nine percent viewed Gascón favorably and just 8 percent unfavorably, while 54 percent had no opinion.

Interesting to note, when the pollsters brought up Lee's tax breaks to keep Twitter in town, his turnabout on his promise not to run and his close ties to "powerbrokers" Willie Brown and Rose Pak, Lee's favorables actually went up 2 percentage points.

Bike break: Good news for the spandex crowd. It looks like Golden Gate Bridge officials will be able to reopen the span's west sidewalk a bit early.

The sidewalk repair work began at the end of May and forced bicyclists to mix with walkers on the east sidewalk. It is now expected to be completed in mid-September, about two weeks ahead of schedule.

EXTRA! Catch our blog at www.sfgate.com/matierandross.



Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Matier can be seen on the KPIX-TV morning and evening news. He can also be heard on KCBS radio Monday through Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Got a tip? Call (415) 777-8815, or e-mail matierandross@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/29/BA7I1KMRO0.DTL

This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 07, 2011, 02:41:46 PM
No Paper Or Plastic? LA Shoppers Wary Of Proposed ‘Nightmare’ Ban
September 7, 2011 9:37 AM

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/09/07/no-paper-or-plastic-la-shoppers-wary-of-proposed-nightmare-ban




LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An effort to allow only reusable bags at Los Angeles grocery stores may sound like a political long-shot, but one city councilman thinks the public will eventually warm up to the initiative.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports just the suggestion of such a ban raised the eyebrows of several Southland shoppers.




The measure introduced by City Councilman Paul Koretz would prohibit all single-use plastic and paper bags in L.A. supermarkets and would require stores to sell or provide complimentary reusable or fiber bags only or risk a fine.

Koretz said that while banning plastic bags helps reduce land and ocean pollution, the single-use paper bag still contributes significantly to the local waste stream.

Some local shoppers, however, were less than enthused about the proposal.

“I think they can find a different way to make improvements to the city,” one man said.

“It’d probably be good for the planet in the long run, but short-term I could see it being a nightmare,” another shopper said.

The measure still has to clear the Energy and Environment Committee, but proponents believe the waste reduction aspect of the bill will be a strong selling point that would leapfrog L.A. ahead of cities like San Francisco and Santa Monica in the battle against bag pollution.

 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2011, 06:19:11 PM
September 18, 2011
The California Corridor
Some Lessons on Government Largesse From the New Frontier
by Victor Davis Hanson
Pajamas Media

The Great Warpath

This summer it has been a softer, modern version of living in a cabin on the Great Warpath circa 1740 near Albany or Montreal (in this regard, take a look at Eliot Cohen’s new book Conquered into Liberty on the origins of the American way of war), readying oneself for the next break-in — so our inland “California Corridor” has become from Bakersfield to Sacramento.

More specifically, I have been on the lookout around my farm for a predatory, nearly new, grey/silver Toyota truck that drives in and then speeds out — always a day or so before the nocturnal theft. He’s clever, this caser — and audacious too, like a wily Sherman tank prowling through the hedgerows. (Why, if poor, is he not home growing a tomato garden or scouring the roadside for the ubiquitous tossed aluminum cans and plastic bottles?)

On three separate occasions from June to August, I have had copper wire stripped out of pumps, the barn ransacked, and the two locks pried off the shop and various things stolen. (Why did they steal buckets of 1900 antique bolts and square nails and leave alone a drill press and grinder? Ease of recycling? Ignorance?)

When Metal Grows Legs

One of the stranger things in the California Corridor is to periodically walk around a barnyard and notice: “Hmm, that set of rusted furrowers is gone? Hmmm, what happened to those sections of 2-inch pipe? Hmmm, didn’t I have an old compressor next to the shed? Have I got dementia, or wasn’t there once upon a time three metal ladders leaning against the shop?” It is as if they became animate, grew legs, and quietly walked off in the sunset.

Hippo Regius

Twice I ran into the barnyard to see the truck, with its two gangbanger youths, peel off in clouds of dust. (And, yes, as a CSU ex-professor, I know the party line: the dominant culture neglects/exploits/oppresses/fill in the blanks the “other” to such a degree that he sometimes must lash out, or, on occasion, to find validation, might just do something illegal like steal buckets of antique nails, or illogical, like in poverty buying a new truck, and thus so disturbs/finally wins the attention of those with privilege and their self-constructed norms. Been there and heard that for thirty years).

The Toyota is always around when theft occurs, and always speeding off when anyone spots it. Rural California is also like North Africa circa 420 AD: the few family farms left are mostly fenced or walled, the dogs large, the owners armed — trying to survive against organized Vandal attacks. All we need are mosaics in the courtyard portraying happier times as a testament to future archeologists. Maybe a “Cave Canem!” on the doorstep.

I know of no neighboring farm that has not been broken into or fought/scared off such intruders. (The urban counterpart in our town are a few municipal workers stealing their own city manhole covers; two ex-policemen, like rogue legionaries, now up on felony charges; or Gothic-like gangs, prying off all the bronze dedicatory plaques from the hallowed buildings. Perhaps they are similar to the bullet-hungry occupying Ottomans in 16th-century Greece, destroying classical temples and shrines to find and melt down the lead seals over metal block clamps — on the theory that someone 2,000 years earlier knew a lot more about making lead than did they, or maybe impoverished Greeks around 1850 finishing up the destruction of antiquity by fracting and melting down the scattered marble blocks for lime whitewash.)

Then and Now

So it is that in 1935 poor people scraped and saved to cast a bronze plaque for their Depression-era new city hall, and in 2011 rather more affluent people ripped it off to melt it down for a layaway payment on some chrome rims or another round of meth.

Civilization ends when the pampered beneficiaries of the hard work of the now dead have the luxury of ignoring how hard it was — and is — to build shelter from the elements, to erect public buildings from scrub, to grow food and sprout farms from sage. Our contemporary criminals are protected from the elemental struggle and so have the indulgence to gnaw away at civilization’s veneer — and we, in our conspiratorial silence about them, likewise forgot that to keep still about the destruction of the work of others is to be complicit in it.

Jaws on Wheels

Seven days ago, I left to teach here at Hillsdale for my month vacation. My son, back home on the farm — he often rushes out armed when trucks come into the driveway at night — called. He mentioned in passing that the Toyota was back, Jaws-like circling around the farm in short bursts of speed to see if anyone was there. (The modus operandi in the rural California hinterlands is to drive into a farm, check if anyone comes out, if so, either peel out or even stay put to “inquire” about a “rental” or “work.” If no one comes out, then break a window, grab a TV or computer and speed off. Also: Please do not suggest, “call the sheriff”; I have and even “filled out a report” over the phone, no less. Enough said. And yes, I probably should sell the 140-year-old farm and move away, but also probably won’t. Why leave and give in to barbarism? There are still far more good than lawless people in the valley.)

Stealing Up For a Truck?

My point in this long excursus? Note the description “late-model Toyota.” I think it is a Tacoma, maybe 2009-11, so not a cheap truck by any means.

Earlier another youth drove in without seeing me mowing the lawn. I ran up; startled he stammered, “Hey, mister, I’m only looking for scrap metal to buy.” (What is it with the national epidemic with good wire or scrap metal?)

I’ll pass on his shoulder to finger sleeve tattoos, the ink drops under the eyes, the shaved head, wife-beater T-shirt, the inked-in but impressive religious icon tattooed on the neck, and the whole nine yards. As I wrote earlier, I immediately noticed brand new hot-water tanks, still in their labeled cardboard containers, in the bed of his truck. They seemed very “metal” to me, but not very “scrap.” Words were exchanged and he backed out.

Here’s the point: he too drove a brand new truck, this one a custom-painted fire-engine red Dodge, hopped up, with an expensive stereo blaring.

Chrome-rimmed Poverty?

Where are we going with this?

Yes, I confess once more to the same destination as the flash mobs and the London riots. What we think in the West now as too little is far too much. Both these thieves could trade in their multi-thousand-dollar trucks for cash to buy food, rather than steal the property of others and cause mayhem to make their payments. Heck, the rims alone are worth $1000.

(Thieves and gangbangers create a climate of general fear; they ruin the sense of tranquility, and they betray 150 years of collective labor of the now dead to create civilization from near nothing. Shame on them. Americans should not need to have armored rural mail boxes.) To suggest that they could do without the trucks or go without the dole, is not — channeling the president’s most recent speech warning against anti-government zealots — the same as wanting children to suffer from mercury poisoning or to render us helpless against the healthcare industry or to destroy government and want to start over from scratch.

More Federal Cash to the Rescue

So it is too with the federal government. In 2008 the housing market collapsed due to Wall Street speculation in sub-prime paper, dishonest banks, and real estate agents pushing mortgages and houses, and to be fair, either stupid or greedy unqualified house buyers who, late to a doomed game of musical chairs, thought even they, as the music ended, could find cheap loans, buy a home, earn thousands in instant “equity,” borrow against it, and get “free” cash.

But the glue that held the entire amorphous mess together were federally-guaranteed loans backed by Freddie and Fannie, agencies that were guided by congressional politics and not market worries — and themselves skimmed by incompetent bureaucrats who ended up millionaires. Take away those multibillion-dollar guarantors, and the market would have precluded the unqualified, the Wall Street roguery would have been neutered, and the inevitable housing bust would have been serious rather than catastrophic.

They Borrowed All For Us

Then there was George Bush’s 2008 multitrillion-dollar “stimulus” that “saved” the country, but destroyed the real progress he had made from 2006 to 2008 in addressing mounting debt. Then there was Barack Obama’s “second” $800 million “shovel-ready” stimulus. Now, of course, discredited Keynesians post facto decry its timid minuteness — but go back to January 2009 and read the op-eds. Then there was ebullition that Obama had taken the big dare and gone “big.” Only spending of that magnitude, we were lectured, would save us — as in funding “millions of green jobs” and “investments” and “infrastructure.” It was a weird time of Van Jones’ fakery, and preachy assurances/warnings from Geithner, Goolsbee, Orszag, Romer, and Summers. Pelosi et al. were even bragging that there was no need to read the vast borrowing bills before they were passed.

Money, Money Everywhere — and Not a Drop of Prosperity

We know that, like the first stimulus, the second went into the hands of those who were pretty well off; if banks and Wall Street profited the first time from conservative largesse, the second left-wing version enriched pseudo-green soon-to-be-bankrupt companies, pension funds, municipal and state employees, unions, and environmental bureaucracies.

Now we are supposed to be saved by Stimulus III. At nearly $500 billion in a single year, it may prove the largest single year payout in history. And we are assured it will not go to Wall Street, big banks, green companies, broke city and state governments, and “shovel ready” projects, but instead be “invested” in “work” programs fixing “infrastructure.” (Note the president no longer can use words and phrases like “shovel ready,” “green jobs,” or “stimulus”; they have all gone the way of sermons on “civility.”)

But does anyone dare imagine that what got us into this mess in 2008 and kept us stuck through 2011 are these huge federal programs that distort market forces while piling up trillions of dollars in debt, destroying rather than enhancing personal initiative? Both employers and workers are losing incentives, the former better off are ossified in fear of losing something, the latter worse off calcified in assurances of getting something.

Subsidizing Stasis

Maybe it is a fine and noble thing that the Obama administration vastly extended unemployment insurance. And, bravo, that nearly 50 million are now on food stamps. But a tragic voice from the past warns us that the more we diminish human incentives and guarantee a sort of cushioned permanent poverty, two things result: one, fewer people scramble to find productive work; and, two, envy sharpens as they begin to turn on their benefactors as being cheap, or mean-spirited in never giving quite enough to ensure parity with “them.” A cherry-red new truck or silver Toyota is never quite what others might have.

Epitaph

The problem with those who invaded my farm this summer was not poverty, but too much — at least in the sense of driving late-model trucks as they sought to destroy the lives and tranquility of others to get things that, by the very fact of their mode of transportation, they did not need. For the last two years, I have witnessed two constants: late-model cars in the valley shopping centers, an epidemic of obesity apparent to the naked eye, majorities on plastic food stamp debt cards, without apparent work in mid-morning, and a general unhappiness in the check-out lines that the government, state, city, etc. is not doing enough for them. All that is coupled with a media message of a cruel, heartless society that needs to do more for its oppressed — and a popular culture that damns any so witless and heartless for pointing the contradictions out.

Welfare on Top and Bottom

The welfare state, aside from being broke, is eroding initiative and warping reality — both for the elite at the top, like the executives who just milked a half-trillion dollars in sweetheart loans from some idiotic “green” bureaucrat, to the late-model truck drivers robbing productive farms to pay for their stereos and hydraulic-lifters.

So when the president speaks of “millions of green jobs” and “bringing jobs home,” I worry.

You see, I wish it were true, but I have doubts. I can imagine an employer offering to open a new state-of-the-art plant, but I fear only for millions in guaranteed federal loans, to be justified on some faddish green or “put people first” con.

Then I see someone like “sons of bitches” Jimmy Hoffa, or the Seattle longshoremen, or an NLRB plant-shutting academic nincompoop entering the picture to “have labor do its part.” And I don’t know what we are going to do to get those working, like the late-model truck-driving thieves — would such idle promise to be innovative, show up on time, be honest and disciplined, be familiar with written blueprints and warnings about their lathes and grinders, and be more productive than their competitors overseas?

And so I ask myself: “Is all this more efficient, more productive than what the Chinese offer?” “Will our solar panel or drill press be better built and at a cheaper cost and more durable?” “Have we justified our standard of living that allows us to slack while others toil?” “Is there a limit to the borrowed subsidies?” “How many engineers, brain surgeons, and savvy mechanics is California — near last in its high school test scores — producing that are better than those found elsewhere?”

Reality Cannot Be Reinvented

The tragic voice now shouts, not whispers: “Of course, this is not sustainable, you idiot! You must put real hope of profit and greater fear of loss into the employer who is freed to sink or swim on his own, a sense of challenge in the heart of the scrambling workers, and end the subsidies that allow someone to steal as a pastime to custom paint his truck cherry red and lift his truck bed up and down with a button, while the government gives him cash for his food and shelter.”

We are in a weird predicament where too much is not enough and the medicine is worse than the malady — and saying just that earns one ridicule.

It is not Barack Obama’s fault; he is a mere totem, just the overdue dividend of our long ago collective investment.

Again, if he didn’t exist, we would have to invent him.

Announcements

On this topic of decline or slogging through: Rome collapsed in the West in the latter fifth century AD, although the series of Gothic invasions posed no more of a threat than what both the republic and empire had thwarted many times over the prior 700 years of Roman history. In contrast, in the East, Constantinople fought off invasions from the north, east, and south and persevered for another millennium. That contrast raises the question about the nature of external threats and internal inability to meet them — when and why do unlikely civilizations survive and likely ones no survive? I’ll talk about that on Monday, October 3, in Boston at 6 p.m. at a convention sponsored by the Retirement Income Industry Association [1]. On another note, be sure to look into a counter-commemoration conference [2] protesting the “anti-racism” so-called “Durban III” symposium, to be held across the street from the UN in New York on September 22. If one collates the new axis of Iran, Hezbollah, Turkey, Hamas, and perhaps revolutionary Egypt, then Israel is back to 1967, but this time with enemies energized not by sclerotic Sovietism, but radical Islamism. What is eerie is that Israel remains a constitutional state, while its neighbors turn to theocracy — while the West, and increasingly the US, blames it for these metamorphoses.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 18, 2011, 06:45:48 PM
CA School District Spends $23M on Solar Panels, Won't Break Even for 16 Years (ever?)
Daily Tech ^ | September 18, 2011 | Brandon Hill
Posted on September 18, 2011 4:41:55 PM EDT by decimon

San Ramon Valley Unified School District installs 10k photovoltaic panels at five schools

In a move that is proving to be controversial with some, some California school districts are looking to a high-tech way to save money, even if the payback won't be achieved until well over a decade later. CNN is reporting that some California school districts are looking to low-interest federal loans to install solar panels on schools.

CNN singled out the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, which has installed roughly 10,000 photovoltaic panels at five of its 35 total schools at a cost of $23 million. Under the most optimistic projections, the photovoltaic panels would offset energy usage at the schools by 67 to 75 percent.

According to spokesman Terry Koehne, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District will pay back the loans courtesy of the energy savings from using the solar installations. However, this won't be a quick payback for the school system -- it will take roughly 16 years to break even on the photovoltaic panels.

Koehne, however, points to the upside of embarking on this expensive venture; "It's pure profit after that. And following that, we're going to start realizing savings of $2 (million), $3 (million), $4 million a year."

(Excerpt) Read more at dailytech.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 20, 2011, 07:53:23 AM
Another California company moves away
Orange County Register ^ | 9-20-11 | Jan Norman




Legacy Electronics, a high-tech contract manufacturer, has opened its new 40,000-square-foot headquarters in Canton, S.D., closing its San Clemente facility. Engle earlier explained the move: “California, unfortunately has become … a more difficult place to do business, a more costly place to do business, especially for manufacturers.


(Excerpt) Read more at jan.ocregister.com ...


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Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on September 21, 2011, 11:13:43 AM
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Controversially Made in China (Union Cost too high)
FOX News ^ | 9/20/2011 | Claudia Cowan




When it was built in 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was a Depression-era project that put scores of Americans to work. When its $6.3 billion replacement opens in two years, it will be an international affair from the bottom up, an example of massive outsourcing that has drawn both praise and criticism.

Half a dozen countries contributed expertise or materials, none more so than China.

"China was immensely helpful to getting this project built," says California Department of Transportation spokesman Bart Ney. "They were able to turn the steel around and work directly with our own inspectors to make sure we met the specifications of what this bridge required."


(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 03, 2011, 03:22:48 AM
http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/11/michael-lewis-201111



Even some libs are waking up.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Emmortal on October 03, 2011, 05:43:04 AM
California is a cesspool of disgusting liberal pansies.  I do love the weather though.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 04, 2011, 08:53:16 PM
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California's – New Law.. Warrantless Searches
cbs47 ^ | 10-4-11 | cakid1
Posted on October 4, 2011 10:36:39 PM EDT by cakid1

California – New Law.. Warrantless Searches

Starting next year police here in California will have power to search without a warrant. The circumstances are limited, but the principle isen’t. Thanks to a bill signed by Governor Brown, police can search for pirated copies of movies and compact discs. The idea is to cut down on stolen ‘intellectual property.’ The warrantless searches will be allowed at 'plants' that make ‘commercial copies’ of CD’s and DVDs.

Some wonder if that violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution dealing with Search and Seizure.

Others wonder if one day the law will expand.. beyond just 'plants.'


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 16, 2011, 06:47:30 AM
California schools scrambling to add lessons on LGBT Americans
Los Angeles Times ^ | October 16, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe
Posted on October 16, 2011 9:34:10 AM EDT by Oldeconomybuyer

At Wonderland Avenue Elementary School in Laurel Canyon, there are lesson plans on diverse families — including those with two mommies or daddies — books on homosexual authors in the library and a principal who is openly gay.

But even at this school, teachers and administrators are flummoxed about how to carry out a new law requiring California public schools to teach all students — from kindergartners to 12th graders — about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in history classes.

"At this point, I wouldn't even know where to begin," Principal Don Wilson said.

Educators across the state don't have much time to figure it out. In January, they're expected to begin teaching about LGBT Americans under California's landmark law, the first of its kind in the nation.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 16, 2011, 08:52:57 PM
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New California law bars E-Verify requirement for employers
Los Angeles Times ^ | 16 Oct 2011 | Paloma Esquivel,
Posted on October 16, 2011 11:53:01 PM EDT by Meet the New Boss

For years, activists against illegal immigration pushed cities across California to adopt ordinances ordering businesses to verify that their employees were eligible to work in the U.S.

snip

But those victories appear to have been wiped out this month with legislation signed into law that prohibits the state, cities and counties from mandating that private employers use E-Verify.

snip

Those who sought the state law in reaction to the growing number of localities adopting mandatory E-Verify rules said such moves were a distraction from a larger problem.

"As a nation, we are in such desperate need of immigration reform," said Sara Sadhwani, strategy director for the California Immigrant Policy Center. "While a handful of cities in California and a handful of states across the country have moved to mandate the use of this kind of program, it's very misguided."

The state ban received broad support, including the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Farm Bureau Federation, which questioned the accuracy of the databases used by the federal system.

Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Sunnyvale), who introduced the bill, said he felt that mandatory E-Verify was an unnecessary burden on businesses.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 20, 2011, 07:03:23 PM
California Adopts 'Cap-and-Trade' Plan to Cut Back On Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Fox News ^ | Oct 20, 2011 | AP via Fox News
Posted on October 20, 2011 10:03:59 PM EDT by I still care

California formally adopted the nation's most comprehensive so-called "cap-and-trade" system Thursday, an experiment by the world's eighth-largest economy that is designed to provide financial incentives for polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

State officials said they hoped other states and Washington, D.C., would follow suit, calling the plan a "capstone" among the suite of tools California can use to reduce the pollution linked to climate change and cut dependence on foreign oil.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Fury on October 20, 2011, 07:29:10 PM
California Adopts 'Cap-and-Trade' Plan to Cut Back On Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Fox News ^ | Oct 20, 2011 | AP via Fox News
Posted on October 20, 2011 10:03:59 PM EDT by I still care

California formally adopted the nation's most comprehensive so-called "cap-and-trade" system Thursday, an experiment by the world's eighth-largest economy that is designed to provide financial incentives for polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

State officials said they hoped other states and Washington, D.C., would follow suit, calling the plan a "capstone" among the suite of tools California can use to reduce the pollution linked to climate change and cut dependence on foreign oil.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


Of course they want other states to follow suit. That way business won't have anywhere to run to.

They really do seem intent on turning Cali into a third-world shithole. Good luck paying down the debt with more taxes and regulations, geniuses.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 26, 2011, 05:57:58 AM
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/government-323678-companies-california.html


I'm sure Straw approved of this insanity.   


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on October 26, 2011, 07:40:09 AM
California's Economic Suicide
IBD Editorials ^ | October 25, 2011 | Editor


The Weather: Regulations finalized by the California Air Resources Board establish the nation's first state-run cap-and-trade regime. Despite Solyndra, the state will gather solar panels while it may.

The 262 pages of regulations implementing California's 2006 global warming legislation, Assembly Bill 32, approved by CARB last Thursday, will probably reduce employment more than it reduces emissions. The only thing it will cap is economic growth by bleeding a patient that is already hemorrhaging red ink.

Signed into law in 2006 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the cap-and-trade regulations are intended to force California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

By 2015, some 85% of the state's businesses and power sources will be under its mandates. Businesses that exceed 90% of their current greenhouse gas emissions will be forced to buy carbon credits as penance.

The question is why — in the face of evidence that the prospect of imminent doom from man-caused weather danger is on overhyped scam based on doctored data — California risks repeating the sad experience of Spain. There, subsidized windmills and solar panels dotted the landscape, only to wind up with a collapsed economy that lost 2.2 jobs for every "green job" created.

A 2009 study by economists at the California State University, Sacramento, commissioned by the California Small Business Roundtable, found the legislation would result in "a total loss of (economic) output of $182.649 billion annually," with an estimated impact on small businesses alone of 1.1 million jobs. This in a state with a 12.1% unemployment rate.


(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...


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Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on November 02, 2011, 08:24:47 PM
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National test puts California students on bottom
Mercury News ^ | 11/1/11 | Sharon Noguchi
Posted on November 1, 2011 9:48:25 PM EDT by NormsRevenge

On the nation's report card, California schools have advanced from failing to -- failing a teensy bit less.

Despite posting minute gains this year, California students scored at nearly the bottom of the nation in reading and math, test results show. In reading, California performed worse than all other states and only outscored Washington, D.C. In math, state fourth-graders ranked above only D.C. and Mississippi; eighth-graders did a notch better, also outscoring Alabama.

The National Assessment of Education Progress is administered every other year to a sampling of students across the country. It is the only nationally standardized test for public schools. California students have typically performed poorly, both overall and in comparison to other children.

Education reformers reacted with dismay.

"Slow, incremental improvement is not enough for our kids," said Arun Ramanathan, executive director of the Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based advocacy group. Further, he said, "These results show just how far out of the mainstream, of the national education reform conversation, that California is right now."

Other large diverse states, like Texas, Florida and New York, performed better.

California schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson gave a more nuanced reaction. "Asked to do more with less, students, teachers, school employees and administrators have delivered. Imagine how much more they could accomplish," he said in a prepared statement, "with the resources they deserve."

For several years, California has steadily cut public education budgets and laid off teachers.

(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 30, 2011, 01:17:01 PM
Will the Last Job Creator to Leave California Please Turn Off the Lights?
Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell





I’ve written before about whether California is the Greece of America, in part because of crazy policies such as overpaid bureaucrats and expensive forms of political correctness,

And we all know that California has one of the nation’s greediest governments, imposing confiscatory tax rates on a shrinking pool of productive citizens.

So it is hardly surprising that the Golden State is falling behind, losing jobs and investment to more sensible states such as Texas.

But not everybody is learning the right lessons from California’s fiscal and economic mess.

There’s a group of crazies who want to increase the top tax rate by five percentage points, an increase of about 50 percent. And they have made Kim Kardashian the poster child for their proposed ballot initiative.

I’m relatively clueless about popular culture, but even I’m aware that there is a group of people know as the Kardashian sisters. I don’t know who they are or what they do, but I gather they are famous in sort of the same way Paris Hilton was briefly famous.

And they have cashed in on their popularity, which may not reflect well on the tastes of the American people, but it’s not my job to tell other people how to spend their money.

But not everybody share this live-and-let-live attitude, which is why the pro-tax crowd in California produced this video.


I suppose I could criticize the petty dishonesty of the proponents, since they deliberately blurred of the difference between “tax rates” and “taxes paid.”

Or I could expose their economic illiteracy by pointing out that higher tax rates would accelerate the emigration of investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other rich taxpayers to zero-tax states such as Nevada.

But I won’t do those things. Instead, like the Nevada Realtors Association and Arizona Business Relocation Department, I’m going to support this ballot initiative.

Not because I overdid the rum and eggnog at Christmas, but because it’s good to have negative role models, whether they are countries like Greece, cities such as Detroit, or states like California.

So here’s my challenge to the looters and moochers of the Golden State. Don’t just boost the top tax rate by five-percentage points. That’s not nearly enough. Go for a 20 percent top tax rate. Or 25 percent. After all, think of all the special interests that could use the money more than Ms. Kardashian.

And if somebody tells you that she will move to South Beach or Las Vegas, or that the other rich people will move to Texas, Wyoming, or Tennessee, just ignore them. Remember, it’s good intentions that count.

In closing, I apologize to the dwindling crowd of productive people in California. It’s rather unfortunate that you’re part of this statist experiment. But you know what they say about eggs and omelets.

By the way, here’s some humor about the Golden State, including a joke about the bloated bureaucracy and a comparison with Texas.



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on March 13, 2012, 07:54:19 PM
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Exodus: California Tax Revenue Plunges by 22%
Breitbart ^ | 3/13/12 | Chriss W. Street
Posted on March 13, 2012 10:41:31 PM EDT by Nachum

State Controller John Chaing continues to uphold the California Great Seal Motto of “Eureka”, i.e., 'I have found it'. But what Chaing is finding as Controller is that California’s economy as measured by tax revenues is still tanking. Compared to last year, State tax collections for February shriveled by $1.2 billion or 22%. The deterioration is more than double the shocking $535 million reported decline for last month. The cumulative fiscal year decline is $6.1 billion or down 11% versus this period in 2011. (snip) California politicians seem delusional in their continued delusion that high taxes have not savaged

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on March 13, 2012, 08:06:38 PM
California bill would ban violent fans from attending professional sports games
foxnews.com ^ | 3/13/12 | AP
Posted on March 13, 2012 11:00:17 PM EDT by ColdOne

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A bill has been proposed in the California state Assembly in an effort to prevent violence such as last year's near-fatal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium.

The proposal would call for the nation's first sports "ban list" and would block unruly fans from attending professional games anywhere in the state for up to five years.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the ban would apply to those convicted of felonies, such as assault.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 11, 2012, 07:31:59 AM
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Californias-Population-Moving-Out-182914961.html


Go east young man, go east. 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Emmortal on December 11, 2012, 01:04:42 PM
Or go West, work for the state and earn $822,000 a year, more than the POTUS =)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-11/go-west-young-man-new-normal-dream-job-california-state-workers


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 11, 2012, 01:09:07 PM
Or go West, work for the state and earn $822,000 a year, more than the POTUS =)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-11/go-west-young-man-new-normal-dream-job-california-state-workers

The more these glorified welfare cases plunder the state for, the more private sector companies will leave. 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Emmortal on December 11, 2012, 03:02:14 PM
Not just companies, but the people are leaving as well.  A $1+ billion shortfall in the budget due to people leaving the state because of retardedly high taxes.  All this despite Prop 30 passing increasing taxes on the wealthy.  I've been saying this for years, you keep taxing the shit out of people and they will just leave.

Quote
California State Controller John Chiang just announced that total State revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget.  Democrats thought they could hammer “the rich” by convincing voters to pass Proposition 30 to create the highest state income tax in the nation.  But it now appears that high income earners have already “voted-with-their-feet” by moving themselves and their businesses out of state, resulting in over $1 billion shortfall in corporate and income taxes last month and the beginning of a new financial crisis.

http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2012/12/9/californias-budget-goes-off-the-cliff.html


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: tbombz on December 11, 2012, 05:46:38 PM
Still the envy of the other 49.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Emmortal on December 11, 2012, 07:17:40 PM
Still the envy of the other 49.

Maybe 20 years ago, not so much anymore.  We still have nice weather though.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Shockwave on December 11, 2012, 07:21:23 PM
Still the envy of the other 49.
Not anymore bro. Definitely used to be, thats for sure. But not today. Everyone I know today avoids California like the plague, unless they're vacationing.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: magikusar on December 11, 2012, 08:15:51 PM
endgame for CA is liek obama

overspend

then cry for bailouts or yank social secuirty n pensions n public school

gov shoulda have this much spending

gota stop the spending

it all goes to crony owned land and corps that go outa biz after being looted

crony crony crony


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: tbombz on December 11, 2012, 09:42:59 PM

California has everything and it has the best of everything. Tallest mountain in the connected 48 states. World class ski and snowboard parks. Big wave surfing. World class universities, restaurants, golf courses, amusement parks, professional sports teams, etc.. All world class all in abundance.    Then there's our economy, which if it was its own country would be one of the 10 most wealthiest on the country. Then you have the Yosemite national park. Mount shasta. Golden gate park. The beaches of southern California.  Then we have Hollywood. And Disneyland. and......  The list goes on 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Shockwave on December 11, 2012, 10:43:24 PM
California has everything and it has the best of everything. Tallest mountain in the connected 48 states. World class ski and snowboard parks. Big wave surfing. World class universities, restaurants, golf courses, amusement parks, professional sports teams, etc.. All world class all in abundance.    Then there's our economy, which if it was its own country would be one of the 10 most wealthiest on the country. Then you have the Yosemite national park. Mount shasta. Golden gate park. The beaches of southern California.  Then we have Hollywood. And Disneyland. and......  The list goes on 
Exactly, you guys are a prime vacation spot, but no one I know wants to move there, and plenty of Californians are fleeing there in droves.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: tbombz on December 11, 2012, 10:49:58 PM
some people are leaving but others are investing. Facebook and the silicon valley are all booming. Entertainment industry is still wildly successful. Were always an agricultural powerhouse. 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 13, 2012, 08:20:05 PM
Skip to comments.

Undocumented immigrants could get jobless benefits
Sacramento Bee ^ | Dec. 12, 2012 | Sacramento Bee
Posted on December 12, 2012 9:00:41 AM EST by moonshinner_09

Legislation introduced Tuesday would give about 400,000 undocumented immigrants in California the same rights as citizens to unemployment benefits and various other government services.

(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: magikusar on December 16, 2012, 03:00:59 PM
fed should not give states $$

then they can bleed red state and gve lots to blue and dems win

sickening



Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Mr.1derful on December 16, 2012, 07:29:38 PM
When the dollar tanks, California will be a very bad place to be due to the extensive wealth and racial divisions that exist.  The civil unrest will be massive.


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on December 17, 2012, 09:27:35 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-17/highest-paid-california-trooper-is-chief-banking-484-000.html




Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 24, 2013, 07:53:11 AM
http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/04/updated-homeless-bill-of-rights-passes-committee.html



LOL - Homeless Bill of Rights. 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: MCWAY on April 24, 2013, 08:05:55 AM
California has everything and it has the best of everything. Tallest mountain in the connected 48 states. World class ski and snowboard parks. Big wave surfing. World class universities, restaurants, golf courses, amusement parks, professional sports teams, etc.. All world class all in abundance.    Then there's our economy, which if it was its own country would be one of the 10 most wealthiest on the country. Then you have the Yosemite national park. Mount shasta. Golden gate park. The beaches of southern California.  Then we have Hollywood. And Disneyland. and......  The list goes on  

Florida has just about all of those things, xcept for the mountains and the snow (which I don't like anyway).

And, I have it on good authority that DisneyWORLD beats the pants of Disneyland.  ;D




Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread (Land of the Lunatics)
Post by: Soul Crusher on April 26, 2013, 05:21:42 AM


Calif. bill would let non-citizens serve on juries

By JUDY LIN
Associated Press
 









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SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- The California Assembly passed a bill on Thursday that would make the state the first in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.
 
Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said his bill, AB1401, would help California widen the pool of prospective jurors and help integrate immigrants into the community.
 
It does not change other criteria for being eligible to serve on a jury, such as being at least 18, living in the county that is making the summons, and being proficient in English.
 
The bill passed 45-25 largely on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled Assembly and will move on to the Senate. One Democrat - Assemblyman Adam Gray, of Merced - voted no, while some other Democrats did not vote.
 
Democratic lawmakers who voted for the bill said there is no correlation between being a citizen and a juror, and they noted that there is no citizenship requirement to be an attorney or a judge. Republican lawmakers who opposed Wieckowski's bill called it misguided and premature.
 
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, said there is no shortage of jurors.
 
"Jury selection is not the problem. The problem is trial court funding," Harkey said before the vote. "I hope we can focus on that. Let's not break something; it's not broken now. Let's not whittle away at what is reserved for U.S. citizens. There's a reason for it."
 
Wieckowski's office said the bill is the first of its kind in the nation and suggested that courts regularly struggle to find enough prospective jurors because jury duty is often seen as an inconvenience, if not a burden. His office did not cite any statistics but pointed to a 2003 legislative report that said numerous articles have noted high rates of non-participation.
 
A 2007 survey by the Center for Jury Studies said 20 percent of courts across the country reported a failure to respond or failure to appear rate of 15 percent or higher. The center is run by the National Center for State Courts, a Virginia-based nonprofit dedicated to improving court systems.
 
It's not clear, however, if that rate translates to a shortage of jurors in California.
 
Noting that women were once kept off juries, Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said the judicial system should be changed to allow a person to be judged by their peers.
 
"This isn't about affording someone who would come in as a juror something," Perez said. "But rather understanding that the importance of the jury selection process of affording justice to the person in that courtroom."
 
An estimated 10 million Californians are summoned for jury duty each year and about 4 million are eligible and available to serve, according to the Judicial Council, which administers the state's court system. About 3.2 million complete the service, meaning they waited in a courthouse assembly room or were placed on call.
 
In 2010-2011, the most recent year available, only about 165,000 people were sworn in as jurors.
 
The judicial branch has not taken a position on AB 1401.
 
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
 


Title: Re: Financial Collapse of California Thread
Post by: Option D on May 10, 2013, 09:47:34 PM
California is the textbook example of WHAT NOT TO DO.   

hey show a ranking of californias economy?