Via Sacramento Bee.
H/t: Washington Examiner which alerted me to the study in reporting that the top 10 states for business all led by Republican governors.
Via Sacramento Bee.
H/t: Washington Examiner which alerted me to the study in reporting that the top 10 states for business all led by Republican governors.
California Democrats now control every statewide elective office and have veto proof majorities in both chambers of the state legislators. They passed a $6 billion tax hike last November and the state’s carbon cap and trade and renewable electricity mandates are now being implemented. No state that has embraced the progressive policy vision more than California.
There is just one problem: California now leads the nation in unemployment.
I began my holiday shopping yesterday in Westwood Village, the shopping/dining district immediately adjacent to UCLA; was struck by the amount of vacant retail space. On Westwood Blvd itself, I counted five empty storefronts on each side of the street just on one block (between Kinross and Weyburn). And that’s not counting the signs on the second floor.
And I could see signs advertising “Space available” on other buildings beyond this block.
When I mentioned this in one store where I bought some gifts, a clerk commented that someone had just said the same thing about Beverly Hills. He noted that Westwood Blvd had been particularly hard hit, with a Mexican restaurant that had served the area for twenty-five years, recently vacating its Westwood premises.
I believe this the space that restaurant once occupied:
Note these two storefronts, immediately adjacent to one another: (more…)
California was once a trend-setting state.
Today, however, it seems only to cling to ideas long since proved worthless. Businesses are fleeing the state. Storefronts on once bustling commercial thoroughfares sit vacant for want of retail tenants. The unemployment rate remains above 10%.
And our governor doesn’t seem to have much respect for those who build enterprises and create jobs. Contending that the passage of Proposition 30 last week marks “the start of a broader movement to increase taxes on the rich“, Jerry Brown said
Revenue means taxes, and certainly those who have been blessed the most, who have disproportionately extracted, by whatever skill, more and more from the national wealth, they’re going to have to share more of that. . . . And everyone is going to have to realize that building roads is important, investing in schools is important, paying for the national defense is important, biomedical research is important, the space program is an indicator of the world leader – all that takes money.
Ah, but Jerry, before that referendum passed, we were already taxed enough to pay for such things. And other states manage to pay for roads, schools and etc., with much lower tax rates than we had before Prop 30 passed. The issue is not the absence of revenue, but the excess of bureaucracy and the superabundance of benefits for government employees.
But, his suggestion about the state’s (supposed) revenue shortfall is only part of what is troubling in the once and current governor’s statement. By using the verb, “extract,” to explain how wealthy citizens acquired their wealth, he all but dismisses their accomplishment, sounding scornful toward their achievement.
He seems to be suggesting that the “wealthy” extracted income from a fixed pool of national wealth, as if said pool existed in some remote locale — and they were the most conniving in accessing it and “extracting” the wealth already there. They didn’t access the wealth, they created it, generally through their hard work and ingenuity. (more…)
BTW, ordered it through Instapundit. (Does Glenn’s cut include a percentage of the tax?)
UPDATE: It’s not just CA independents. In FL, they split “‘54/38” for Romney and “44/35″ in Ohio, “with 12% still undecided and 9% claiming to vote for ‘other.’” UP-UPDATE: And in MA, it’s 53-40.
“Among Independents,” reports CBS5 out of San Franciso on its latest tracking poll,
Obama led by 14 in September, but now trails by 9 in October, a 23-point right turn among the most coveted voters. One explanation, based on the poll data: The number of Romney supporters who said they were voting “for Mitt Romney” as opposed to “against Barack Obama” is way up, month over month.
Like independents across the country, those in the Golden State are now swinging toward Mitt. Even if this trend continues, it’s unlikely to put the state in play, but is a sign that even where the Romney campaign is not active, these voters are turning away from Barack Obama and toward Mitt Romney.
Indeed, one state considered firm in the Obama campaign, but known for its independent streak (having elected two independents governor in the past forty years), is not looking as good for the Democrat as he might hope. (more…)
Take a gander at this picture from a New York Times article on high gas prices in California:
And do note what I circled above. In the article, Clifford Kruass reports:
California typically has substantially higher gasoline prices than most of the country because of its tough environmental regulations and high taxes. Gasoline supplies are traditionally tight this time of year as refiners do maintenance work to switch from summer to fall gasoline blends mandated by the California pollution-reduction regulations. But this year, energy experts say, the local gasoline market is particularly chaotic because of the refinery shutdowns.
Via Instapundit. Do wonder if this crisis will cause California voters to truly appreciate the cost of state regulations and the burden of increased taxation.
In past posts, I have cited the scores of empty storefronts I see on the once-bustling commercial thoroughfares of Los Angeles. Today, driving along Wilshire from Crescent Heights to Doheny, part of the drive in Beverly Hills, I was struck at the increasing amount of signs I saw advertising office and retail space “for lease” or ”available”.
And at the same time, unemployment in LA County inches closer to 12%.
Are people in this town even aware how federal, state and local taxes and regulations make it difficult for entrepreneurs to stay in business? Or are they just more concerned about social issues?
*Nor are Jerry Brown’s
SOMEWHAT RELATED: Puppies for Obama:
For anecdotal evidence of California’s electoral uncompetitiveness, check out what passes for political advocacy in my Silicon Valley neighborhood. Never mind the 10.7 percent local unemployment rate or the perennially yawning federal budget deficit: The President’s dog wants Obama reelected and, presumably, you should too.
Interestingly, in driving around LA today, I only saw one Obama sticker on a car–the very one in the post linked above.
As I returned home last night, found this story leading the news on Yahoo!’s home page:
San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday citing more than $1 billion of debts and making it the third California city to seek protection from creditors.
The city of about 210,000 residents 65 miles east of Los Angelesdeclared a fiscal crisis last month after a report said local government had tapped out its reserves and projected spending would top revenue by $45 million in the fiscal year that began on July 1.
The filing, made in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central California District, states that the city has “more than $1 billion” in liabilities, and estimated that it has between 10,001 and 25,000 creditors.
The article’s author Tim Reid didn’t mention the name or political affiliation of the Mayor. So I googled “San Bernadino Mayor” to learn that Patrick Joseph “Pat” Morris is “currently the mayor of San Bernardino, California” and “a a member of the Democratic Party.” That information came up right away. Wonder why Mr. Reid left it out.
Oh, and Morris just happens to be an appointee of once and current California Governor Jerry Brown who had tapped his fellow partisan to serve on the “San Bernardino County Superior Court in 1976.”
Yesterday, while (as I mentioned in a prior post, I took a friend to Disneyland to celebrate her birthday and noticed much smaller crowds than I had noticed last summer. I asked a cast member if she had noticed the same thing. She had. And I wondered if it had to do with higher ticket prices. She thought maybe.
Or could it also be the Obama/Jerry Brown California economy?
Drive through some streets in Hollywood and you’ll wonder when was the last time they repaired the potholes. Some of our freeways need resurfacing. And the governor just signed an “$8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction“:
The centerpiece of SB 1029, however, is $6 billion to start building the first tracks in the Central Valley early next year. The remaining $2 billion will beef up transit while laying the groundwork for high-speed rail in the Bay Area and Southern California, including electrification of the existing Caltrain line between San Francisco and San Jose.
. . . .
Despite the governor’s enthusiasm, high-speed rail has become increasingly unpopular around the state, and polls show a majority of voters now oppose the plan largely because of its record costs and uncertain prospects for completion. Brown, who was silent publicly when the Legislature debated his bullet train plan two weeks ago, now needs Californians back on board but said Wednesday he wasn’t concerned by the polls.
Doesn’t seem he’s concerned about the cost either. ”Bay Area Democrats,” we read further in the article, “unions and business leaders applauded Brown for improving a wobbling high-speed rail plan in the last year, helping to reduce the most recent cost estimates by $30 billion . . . ” Reduced cost estimates by $30 billion? Sounds like a huge chunk of change, but that lowers the “projected cost” to just $68 billion. And the state’s budget is $16 billion in the red.
And let’s not forget cost overruns endemic to big-government projects. Particularly in California.
FROM THE COMMENTS: EssEm reminds us that there are also “the maintenance and repair costs over the years…”
Last month, it was Stockton, a California city helmed by a a Democrati-backed Mayor. Earlier today, Yahoo! reported that
The City Council in San Bernardino voted Tuesday night to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, making it the third California city in less than two weeks to make the rare move.
The Southern California city of about 210,000 people will also become the second largest in the nation ever to file for bankruptcy. Stockton, the Northern California city of nearly 300,000, became the biggest when it filed for Chapter 9 on June 28.
. . . .
“We have an immediate cash flow issue,” Interim City Manager Andrea Miller told Mayor Patrick Morris and the seven-memberCity Council, according to the Los Angeles Times.
So wonders the LA Weekly‘s Patrick Range McDonald in his piece on the current contest to represent California Assembly District 50, “one of the wealthiest Democratic districts in California — and the nation“, in Sacramento:
“This district is La La Land,” says Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science geographer Paul Robinson, an expert on social issues in California. “It’s divorced from the reality of what’s happening in other parts of L.A.”
And, given the issues in the campaign, it seems from the real problems of California — and from the real world — as well. This district stretches “from the Pacific Ocean and tony Malibu eastward to the mansions of exclusive Hancock Park, and encompassing such communities as Topanga Canyon, Santa Monica, the Pacific Palisades, Bel-Air, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Larchmont Village and the Hollywood Hills“.
McDonald dubs my candidate, openly gay “Republican Brad Torgan, 50, the truest of outsiders in this race”. Brad finds the battle between the two top Democrats in the race, California Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and former NGLTC Executive Director Torie Osborn “annoying to watch. . . . When I see them at community forums, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of tension. Whether they admit to it or not, the vibes are that they don’t like each other.”
Butler, Osborn and [Santa Monica Mayor Richard] Bloom [a third Democrat in the race] . . . are trying to forge a crunchy coalition of white folks: canyon people in the Santa Monica Mountains, gays and lesbians in West Hollywood and other enclaves, beach people in Santa Monica and Malibu, ex-hippies and neo-hippies, environmentalists, entertainment-industry hotshots, lawyers and academics, feminists, social-justice activists, vegans, animal-rights activists, surfers and rich philanthropists.
The beating heart of the Obama coalition? Read the whole thing; it’s a good read and a great piece of political journalism. (more…)
Earlier this week at the LA Weekly, Patrick Range McDonald blogged about Tuesday’s celebration of “Harvey Milk Day in honor of the slain San Francisco supervisor who was one of the first gay elected officials in the United States”:
Milk was assassinated by former San Francisco supervisor Dan White in 1978. A few months before his death, he gave a stirring speech at the Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco.
Emphasis added. Gay Freedom Day? Freedom? You mean, back then the watchword wasn’t equality? Wonder when it changed — and why.
Freedom means the state leaves us alone to live our lives as we choose. All too often, equality, under its current connotation, means the state attempts to equalize the results. Modern conservatives much prefer the former notion.
Perhaps, the early gay movement had more in common with the conservative movement than today’s gay activists care to acknowledge.
Just shy of a year ago, I posted some pictures I took of empty storefronts on Melrose between Fairfax and La Brea. Today, I chose just one block, this time west of Fairfax and found on the north side of the street (Melrose) between Edinburgh and Highland exactly as many empty storefronts as occupied ones:
If entrepreneurs weren’t vacating these stores, they could be paying taxes to the state of California, helping reduce it’s deficit while providing jobs for aspiring actors — and other Hollywood wannabes.
The very state policies which cause these enterprises to go belly-up account to a large degree for the state’s slumping revenues. California has become one of the nation’s least-friendly states for small business.
As Jennifer Rubin puts it:
. . . unless you understand that California has the worst business climate in the country and its revenue projections turned out to be wildly over-optimistic. Reuters explains: “The deeper deficit forecast reflects the state’s uneven economic recovery: tax collections this year have fallen about $4 billion below projections, though many state legislators and economists had warned that the January revenue estimates were far too optimistic.”
And tax collections will continue to fall unless state legislators act to reduce the regulatory burden and adopt a more business-friendly tax structure. That alas does not seem to be on Governor Brown’s agenda.
Oh, and the south side of that block also has its share of vacant storefronts: (more…)
Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Saturday that the state’s deficit has ballooned to $16 billion, a huge increase over his $9.2-billion estimate in January.
The bigger deficit is a significant setback for California, which has struggled to turn the page on a devastating budget crisis. Brown, who announced the deficit on YouTube, is expected to outline his full budget proposal on Monday in Sacramento.
“This means we will have to go much further, and make cuts far greater, than I asked for at the beginning of the year,” Brown said in the video.
Good. Jerry, you also might want to consider repealing the Dills Act. That could go a long way to cutting the costs of state government.
About 20 minutes ago, received an e-mail from an acquaintance, parroting a liberal talking point, telling me that extremists had taken over the GOP. Not long after that, opened an e-mail providing evidence showing a much more tolerant party.
In the latter, Scott Schmidt reported that “the Republican Party of Los Angeles County and the California Republican Party” had endorsed West Hollywood small business owner Brad Torgan. . . . Torgan is only one of seventeen non-incumbent candidates for the State Assembly to receive the State Party’s nod before the June 5, 2012 election. The endorsement will be published alongside the Candidate’s name on the sample ballot sent to voters before the election.”
Oh, and Brad Torgan is gay.
And he supports the unifying small government principles which bring together most Republicans, heralding the endorsement with these word, “I will fight for limited government, fundamental freedoms and cleaning up Sacramento not because those are Republican values, but because they are what the people of the fiftieth district, and the State of California, are asking for.”
Sounds like the kind of guy I can support. And for whom I will most definitely be voting. (This is my district after all.)
California is going broke. Again. The state controller has estimated that the state will run out of money sometime this month. California will need to find $3 billion in cuts or revenues to keep the state in the black through the rest of this fiscal year.
And next year looks even worse. California’s Legislative Analyst Office projects that, even with billions in one-time revenues from Facebook’s impending IPO, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget will run a $6.5 billion deficit.
Must be George W. Bush’s fault.