Can Californian’s say, please tax me? This is the not-so-new plan for the state’s $15-20 billion budget deficit woes. The Golden State’s Governor, Jerry Brown, is crossing his fingers that voters will agree to a sales and income tax hike to solve budget deficit problems.
What the governor doesn’t highlight is the hidden $7 billion increase in its yearly spending expenditures.
One might ask how the Gov. Brown intends to cover his tracks, increase taxes of course.
One liberal-leaning group is riding behind the Kim Kardashian’s success story and asking the reality television star if she can pay more in taxes. A video ad produced by the Courage Campaign targets the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star by comparing the millionaire’s (Kim earned a reported $12 million last year) tax rate to someone earning $47,000 a year. The ad failed to acknowledge that the reality star paid at least 10 percent of her earnings to Uncle Sam in Sacramento, her bill landed somewhere near the $1.2 million mark while the “unnamed” worker paid $3,000. Voters should be questioning which of the two paid their “fair share?”
In the meantime, California residents will be asked to increase their own taxes in order to cover the “out of control” pension funds promised to public-sector union employees, duplicative state agencies, the largest prison population, Medicaid/Medicare and other “free” services for the illegal population that reside in California.
Currently, California is facing monumental billion dollar budget shortfalls and Governor Brown is banking on residents to increase taxes to narrow the budget gap. In June of this year, state legislators voted on a supposed-balance budget, but underestimating expenditures has left a $12.8 billion hole for the state.
The biggest cut Governor Brown proposes is the state’s welfare and child care programs. These entitlement programs will see $1.4 billion less money next year if state legislators agree to the governor’s cuts and reduce spending to the poor.
“I do not see us taking cut action between now and the May (budget revision),” said Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. “We’ve done enough damage on the cuts side. And the cash situation is pretty good. And it isn’t like February of 2009 when we were close to heading over the cliff. I just don’t see the need to make cuts.”
In an effort to stave off budget cuts, Democrats are hoping residents will elect to increase the state sales tax by half-a-cent for the next four years. The tax measure would also levy a 1 percent income tax on income earners who make $250,000, 1.5 percent on income over $300,000 and a 2 percent income tax on those earning more than $500,000. Effectively the state income tax would increase from 10.3 percent to 12.3 percent making California the most expensive state to live. Governor Brown anticipates the increase will raise $7 billion, still shy of the $13 billion budget deficit.
California tax crusader, Richard Rider of San Diego Tax Fighters points out the hard reality for Golden State residents. “If passed, California will advance from the third highest income tax state to numero uno. Any sane rich person HAS to be thinking of moving out of the state.”
Minor cuts await
Californians will also find the Governor has decided to save money by eliminating 3,000 jobs from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Departments. The democratic-run state will shift some of the prison population to the counties and reduce prison sentences.
“The state of California is a very generous, compassionate political jurisdiction,” Brown explained. “When we have to cut spending, that spendingis going to come from programs that aredoing a lot of good.It’snot nice. Wedon’t likeit. But the economy and tax statutes of California make just so much money available.”
Brown has also proposed that 39 state agencies are axed. Some of the agencies on the chopping block include the California Volunteer Agency, California Emergency Management Agency, Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, Rehabilitation Appeals Board and Department of Boating and Wateways.
A scathing report released by Stanford University provided scary details for the Golden State’s promised pension programs. Californians have promised approximately $500 billion, something the “millionaire’s tax” would not cover. (The new tax would raise around $6.9 billion, but that would help block cuts to K-12 education).
However, even if the state successfully abolishes agencies, raises taxes and cuts education departments, California will still operate in the red due to the pension fund promises.
Something else Governor Brown doesn’t address is California’s overly-burdensome regulations (AB32 is California’s own cap & trade law) and it’s these taxes that are driving businesses to other business-friendly states.
Without new revenue streams from businesses, the Golden State is at risk of further austerity measures which could cripple any prospects of a bright future.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Happy New Year Californians; just when you thought the giving season was over state legislators have another gift for you—new laws.
According to the state’s website, Californians need to review 51 pages containing 745 new laws passed and signed by the Democrat-run Assembly, Senate and Governor’s office.
Some highlights include; The California DREAM Act—illegal immigrants will now be allowed to attend college AND are eligible for taxpayer grant money to pay for tuition and books. Once Governor Jerry Brown signed the DREAM Act into law, a rigorous recall effort has ensued. The effort was spearheaded by Republicans who complain that California colleges face a projected $100 million in recessionary cuts and need to assist citizens first.
Another new law concerns gay rights’. All public schools in California, (many rank near the bottom of the list education-wise compared to other states), will have to teach K-12 students about gay history and rights. This is another controversial law that opponents want to repeal on the 2012 ballot.
Some equally onerous laws come at the expense of residents; restaurants will no longer be allowed to serve shark fin soup; minors can no longer head to the tanning salon for a quick fake bake; gun owners will no longer be able to carry their unloaded weapon outside their homes; the state can no longer sell beer that contains caffeine; residents can no longer sell/give live pets (kittens and puppies) on any street or parking lot.
Now it’s a crime to trick senior citizens into voting differently than they intended. (Wasn’t this an ACORN problem?)
With Obamacare requirements ramping up in California, state lawmakers added more rules and regulations for healthcare providers in the Golden State. Some notables include; no parental consent will be required for girls 12-17 seeking preventive sexually transmitted diseases treatment; all insurance companies must include maternity coverage; insurance companies must provide four months of maternity leave; health care providers must offer behavioral treatment; and child care providers can no longer offer any sugary beverages—for example children are allowed only one juice drink per day, only one percent milk and no artificially-sweetened drinks.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP), who is responsible for roadway safety, said drivers should read over the new driving requirements listed here (new CHP driving laws) “Our hope is by educating the public of these new traffic safety laws in advance, more lives will be saved in the new year,” said Commissioner of the CHP, Joe Farrow.
Some highlights include; Children must ride in either a car seat or booster seat until the age of eight. Drivers are required to stop at a sobriety checkpoint. However, peace officers will be prohibited from impounding a vehicle for 30 days if the only offense by the driver is failing to hold a valid driver license (something illegals are caught doing frequently).
Drivers looking to ease their reckless driving restrictions can install of an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle. The CHP added Section 23579 to the Vehicle Code, and authorizes courts to revoke a driver’s license for 10 years if a person is convicted of three or more DUIs.
Californians can now rest knowing their lawmakers recognize exactly how children should be raised, how to shop and what businesses offer only the best for its customers.
Sounds like paradise.
For a list of new laws around the country; http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=23989
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
The latest victim of the California budget crisis will leave Californians besieged with criminals and fewer law enforcement agents.
California’s Democrat Governor Jerry Brown approved a budget earlier this year that calls for reduced DOJ funding. The cuts leave many drug-related investigations in the lurch and force local law enforcement agencies to reorganize manpower and funds.
Senior level federal agents say overreaching budget cuts in the state’s Department of Justice (DOJ) clips 34 of the 52 successful anti-crime task forces.
The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and the Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence (BII) are expected to absorb the lion share of the $71 million in proposed cuts. Also, approximately 170 task-force agents will either receive pink slips or demotions.
“Unless we receive some definite answer or information prior to December 31st of this year, we’re going to have to walk out on approximately 200 people who assist law enforcement on a daily basis,” explained Larry Wallace the DOJ’s director of Law Enforcement. He also warned Californians that these cuts have the potential to increase crime throughout the state.
These draconian-like cuts would all but eliminate the nation’s premier marijuana task force responsible for seizing 72 percent of the nation’s pot plants. The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) is responsible for confiscating more than $70 billion worth of weed in the last seven years.
More political football
California is a bastion for politics, and like Washington D.C., leaders continue to play politics with the state’s future.
“Like most other recipients in the California budget in the past 20 years, DOJ has become a political football. It has become administratively top heavy with appointments to posts by Sacramento as political favors,” according to Police- A Law Enforcement magazine report. “This proposed $71 million in reductions would cut out the working staff but leave many of the political appointments in place. Depending on the political shifting winds in Sacramento, the BNE has been pulled out of its role fighting drug traffickers and organized crime to serving the ‘for show’ politically correct issues such as Department of Recycling (DOR). DOJ agents who are expert in investigating criminal gangs and organized crime have been reassigned to fight recycling fraud and environmental issues.”
This worries Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel who complain they don’t have the necessary resources to combat trans-national cartel organizations.
One program responsible for curtailing cartel activities is the San Diego task force dealing with the Arellano-Felix drug and human trafficking organization. DOJ agents have already been removed from this task force; a decision will cost the DOJ millions in seized proceeds.
In the past, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has taken credit for Justice-led operations that targeted the Sinaloa cartel. A recent seizure netted 18.5 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $1.85 million.
“This operation is an example of the complex and multi-jurisdictional work that Department of Justice agents do every day to keep California safe,” AG Harris said. “I commend these agents for their bravery and professional excellence.”
However, law enforcement officers contend that the proposed cuts from the DOJ task forces would dramatically reduce the multi-agency efforts required to target the transnational gangs that fuel Mexico’s war on drugs.
Officials conclude by saying, the only folks happy with the cuts are criminal gangs and cartel members.
Let’s face it California isn’t just broke, it’s bankrupt.
California’s largest budgetary item remains education and trying to hoodwink the Golden State’s residents into adding more money to the state’s failing schools will be especially tough. While Californians pay one of the nations highest per pupil outlays they are not seeing the return on their investment.
California lags far behind other states and it rests near the bottom of the education ranks in America. It is also home to the highest drop out rates and the gridlock in Sacramento between the teachers unions and legislators remains unsolved. The once prized jewel of California is no more.
With less than two weeks to go in the election, Democrat Jerry Brown inadvertently brought the Dream Act education legislation back into the spotlight.
During a speech at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Brown highlighted what he will do about the undocumented immigrants and their quest to seek a college education.
“We have enough wealth to continue to have a great university and get every kid into this school that can qualify,” Brown says. “Now when I say every young man and young woman, I mean everyone – whether they are documented or not. If they went to school, they ought to be here. And that will be one of the first bills I sign… Of course I’m not going to sign any bills until we get the budget solved and that may take me a couple of months.”
Who knew California’s budget would only take a few months to solve and California was flush with cash.
Brown’s fairytale that California has the money to fund anyone who resides in the state with a higher education is both ludicrous and patently false. Providing undocumented immigrants with financial aid, federal grants and scholarships must also come as news to the hundreds of thousands of middle-class American families who have seen their dreams of college fall by the wayside during the recession.
Even politicians in Washington found enacting the DREAM Act would place an undue burden on Americans who have suffered the most during this economic downturn. Somehow Brown must have missed that vote and is unaware that any DREAM Act enacted in California would be null and void under federal law. The sad part of this obvious pandering to illegal aliens will only result in a more divisive state than ever.
“Yes, to the federal Dream Act which I can’t do anything about, except advocate and yes, to the state Dream Act which I can do something about because our current governor just vetoed a proposal and I would have signed that bill,” Brown said.
His opponent, Meg Whitman (who is no conservative and has been dealing with housekeeper-gate) couldn’t disagree more than her Democratic adversary.
“Jerry Brown and I couldn’t disagree more on this issue. The state of California is in economic meltdown, and one of Jerry Brown’s top priorities is to give financial aid and in-state tuition breaks to undocumented immigrants. He not only supports legislation that would enable that type of state spending, he said it would be ‘one of the first bills’ he’d sign. It’s either reckless mismanagement of taxpayer dollars or political pandering for votes. The truth is the state can’t afford either right now,” Whitman said in a statement. “Not only is Brown’s position wrong, it’s unfair to California taxpayers as well as the families who are here legally.”
During this extreme fiscal crisis and with public colleges and universities under duress Whitman claims California’s priority must be to help kids who are legal residents go to state supported colleges.
“If you play by the rules, you and your kids should be at the front of the line to benefit from the state’s world-class university system,” says Whitman.
California Governor hopeful Jerry Brown slammed his GOP opponent Meg Whitman at a Local UFCW Union 135 member meeting in San Diego. Brown is vying for the state’s top post as a retread. (He served as California’s governor from 1975 to 1983)
Showing up 15 minutes late, Brown received a standing ovation from union employees looking to generate some excitement for the upcoming November election. Brown spoke with his teleprompter in place and took to bashing GOP candidate Whitman right off the bat.
“Whitman’s plans are B.S. and she’ll double the deficit with tax cuts,” Brown said about Whitman’s plan to give Californians $17 billion in tax credits. “California is a rich state…. We need to pull together and make the state great again.”
During the 10- minute pep rally Brown added some levity by reminding the all-union audience that he has already run for president three times and “I’ve got it out of my system. I can level with you this time,” he said about his intentions and age.
Brown pointed out that Whitman plays a great blame game and can offer California no experience, while Democratic candidates still have the ability to pull together and beat Whitman who is spending record amounts of cash to become California’s first female governor.
“This (running for governor) is like collective bargaining, we pull together,” Brown said about running against a candidate who has endless amounts of money.
The 30-year career politician clearly took aim at Whitman’s tremendous wealth. As one of the founders of eBay, Whitman secured large stock options while building the internet-resale business from the bottom up.
While Brown offered no specific plans on how he would close the state’s $20 billion shortfall he did acknowledge he would continue to push for 500,000 new “green jobs” and hold the schools to a higher standard.
California’s current Attorney General, Brown animatedly stated that “some people aren’t 10,000 times better than other people.” He went on to explain that as union workers, they worked just as hard as the so-called rich people and deserved to make a fair wage for their time.
Looking forward Brown said things could still get much worse and “they will if the other side (Republicans) get into office.”
However, in California the state is managed heavily by Democrats as they control both assembly and senate with large majorities. The current Governor, Schwarzenegger, ran as a Republican, but governed like a Democrat.
Brown finished the speech by explaining the evils of capitalism. “We have to protect California from the ravages of predatory capitalism. That’s what it is, they’re (GOP) going to rip you off if you don’t hit back and vote Democrat for the governor.”
Brown received a standing ovation as he left the room.