UPDATE: Channel 10 News reporter Joe Little is interviewing me today at 11:30 am for a report on a California education expenditure — hiring a consultant to figure out how to tax citizens more. I will provide details as I have them. (Broadcast will be on Channel 10 at the 6 pm hour; a written report is available HERE.)
Dear Readers: I have been California resident, since I moved out to San Diego in 1985 to obtain a graduate-level chemistry degree at the University of California in San Diego. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some news and views on my state that may be of interest to my compatriots planning to attend the July 11th and July 17th Tea Party events.
To lead this discussion, I offer this quote from Edward Abby, an American writer whose works are set mainly in the Southwest.
“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.”
The first is a news update on the harbors seal situation at the La Jolla Children’s pool (original story HERE). It seems that the California Assembly has passed a bill that amended the original designation of the Children’s Pool in the trust, giving jurisdiction over it to the San Diego City.
If you recall, I take the stance that I would prefer the Children’s Pool be returned back to the area’s children, for whom it was originally intended. This image, sent to me by Anthony Porrello, my friend and Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition Compatriot, was taken this July 4th. It clearly shows the Children’s Pool being used in the manner originally envisioned by Ellen Browning Scripps.
The bill must still be signed by Governor Schwarzenegger to become law. However, interested citizens may wish to contact the San Diego City Council to express their opinions direction. Detailed contact information can be found HERE; email addresses are presented below.
District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner
District 2 Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer
District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria
District 4 Councilmember Tony Young
District 5 Councilmember Carl DeMaio
District 6 Councilmember Donna Frye
District 7 Councilmember Marti Emerald
District 8 Council President Ben Hueso
I will have further updates on this story as they are available.
For those keeping an eye on our city’s expenditure, there is this article from the San Diego Union Tribune:
San Diego is in a constant financial crisis. Why did it pay its city employees millions more last year?: San Diego’s payroll shot up $41 million last year, even as the mayor confronted a budget shortfall and pledged to rein in spending.
Kim Dvorak of the San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner used of few of my quotes in her discussion of Cap and Trade matters. Her wonderful post, Obama, Gingrich talk cap-and-trade, can be read by clicking HERE.
My friend Rodney Murdock shares this piece by Rick Newcombe: Why We’ll Leave L.A. — The business climate is worse than the air quality. It details the struggles Newcombe has had maintaining his business designation; the classification dictates the level of corporate tax paid by the city. The more money going to taxes, the less that a business has for conducting business.
Everything was fine until the city started running out of money in 2007. Suddenly, the city announced that it was going to ignore its own ruling and reclassify us in the higher tax category. Even more incredible is the fact that the new classification was to be imposed retroactively to 2004 with interest and penalties. No explanation was given for the new classification, or for the city’s decision to ignore its 1994 ruling.
Their official position is that the city is not bound by past rulings — only taxpayers are. This is why we have been forced to file a lawsuit. We will let the courts decide whether it is legal for adverse rulings to apply only to taxpayers and not to the city.
We work with hundreds of outside agents, consultants, independent contractors and support services — many of whom pay taxes to the city of Los Angeles. This spurs a job-creating ripple effect on the city’s economy. Yet I suspect many companies like ours already have quietly left town in the face of the city’s taxes and regulations. This would help explain the erosion of jobs.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has a good analysis HERE.
Then there is this story from Forbes: Who Killed California’s Economy, by Joel Kotkin. Kotkin names five culprits:
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. The Public Sector
3. The Environment
4. The Business Community
I think it is worthwhile considering the citizen contribution to this situation. Per Kotkin:
At some point Californians–the ones paying the bills and getting little in return–need to rouse themselves. The problem could be demographic. Over the past few years much of our middle class has fled the state, including a growing number to “dust bowl” states like Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas from which so many Californians trace their roots.
The last hope lies with those of us still enamored with California. We have allowed ourselves to be ruled by a motley alliance of self-righteous zealots, fools and cowards; now we must do something. Some think the solution is reining in citizens’ power by using the jury pool to staff a state convention, as proposed by the Bay Area Council, or finding ways to undermine the initiative system, which would remove critical checks on legislative power.
We should, however, be very cautious about handing more power to the state’s leaders. With our acquiescence, they have led this most blessed state toward utter ruin. Structural reforms alone, however necessary, won’t turn around the economy’s fundamental problems and help California reclaim its role as a productive driver of the American dream.
I fled Michigan in 1985, as the state’s economy was extremely weak and the prosperity was in California. Michigan is still struggling. Sadly, California seems posed to join it.
(Speaking of Hollywood and entertainment, it may shock readers to learn Levi Johnston, the former fiance of Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, is writing fiction and honing acting skills. Maybe getting lessons from Tina Fey?)