Stmarie’s Weblog

2012 Election Information

An Open Letter to Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) January 13, 2011

I hope you all enjoy this.

Gov Brown.

First things first.
1. I did not vote for you

2. What you allowed the Nurses Union to do to Meg Whitman was the the iconic show of how low a politician will go to get a vote.

OK now on to the the budget.  Read this sentence over and over again.

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to spend millions of tax payer dollars on a special vote to ask taxpayers for millions of dollars.

Let me repeat that.

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to spend millions of tax payer dollars on a special vote to ask taxpayers for millions of dollars.

That my friend is absolutely the dumbest thing I ever heard of. Especially when the taxpayers already told Sacramento NO in 2009.
The Tax and Spend Liberal Marxist Socialists in power in Sacramento now have all but destroyed the business climate in California.

I’ll save you the millions of dollars on a special election for a tax extension.  THE ANSWER IS NO TO THE TAX EXTENSION.

OK then what should you do? A lot of people always complain about what the politicians are doing wrong but never offer a solution as to what they should be doing.
Eliminating Cell Phones and getting rid of unnecessary state vehicles…….Nice bandages. But the those motions are only short term and will be over and done by the next fiscal budget expiration date.
Here are my suggestions:

1. There are going to be thousands of California State Workers that are in line to get huge golden parachutes in the form of pension payments for the rest of their lives and free or heavily subsidized health care for the retirees and their families for the rest of their lives. These entitlement programs are unsustainable as by shear statics of there not being enough taxpayers in the future to fund this future financial train wreck.
What should be done in the future?  Simple. All new Employees of the state starting July 1 will not get a pension, instead they will get a matching fund 401K just like any other company.  When a state employee not longer works for the state either by early choice or retirement, they get their 401K at the end of employment and the state owes the ex employees no more money after termination date.
So now you are saying But what about all the pensions that are intact now.  This is easy, well sort of. The state Comptroller will have to figure out a formula for what each pension is worth today for every state employee.  That is the hard part…or maybe not.
Then by let’s say January 1 2013 all employees will have their pension rolled into a 401K. Again the long term fix is elimination the legacy costs for ex state employees or retirees. This is the long term fix. Not a bandaid like cell phones or state vehicles.

2. SEIU cannot hold a gun to the State Government for future entitlement programs. The same solution above applies to all State Union Workers.

The problem with Government entitlement programs is that it give a false sense of hope to the employees by eliminating the responsibility for the employee to be responsible and save for their own future retirement.
In addition to a Government matching 401K the government should also promote that the employees contribute to a personal IRA in addition to the 401K. No they cannot take the IRA contributions as a tax deduction as long as they are contributing to a 401K, But in the end they will have a comfortable savings so they they will not have to depend on tax payer dollars for the rest of their lives to live on.
The same condition with baby boomers will also apply to Social Security and Medicare. There simply will not be enough people to subsidize those entitlement programs in future years with payroll taxes.
Keep in mind when FDR came up with the entitlement program of Social Security People were only living to maybe 65 or 70. So FDR was betting that after a life time of contributions to Social Security an individual would not live long enough to drain the Social Security System. Social Security turned into a Huge Ponzi Scheme that now when people want to get paid for their investments there will not be the money there to pay back the people that are part of it when they live to 80 or 90 years old.

3. Illegal immigrants.  I know the unions and illegal immigrants voted you in.  What do you think that not one illegal immigrant voted for you?  LOL they either did with false documents or highly influence legal voters to vote for you. The State of California has to stop funding people that enter this country from all over the world illegally.
The state of California has to discourage more people from entering the US Illegally. The State of California can no longer be safe harbor for people that disregard the laws of the United States.  You really need to follow in the foot steps of AZ Gov. Jan Brewer.

4. Lower sales tax to 5% so people can start to spend money again on goods and service. More jobs will be created in the PRIVATE SECTOR.

5. Lower Corporate taxes by at least 20% to entice companies to expand or even start in California to create jobs.

6. Lower the maximum personal income tax bracket to 6%.  Again if more people spend then more jobs will be created.

7. Here is the most important role you can play to get California financially stable again.   You have to become California’s Business Ambassador to the world. Your job it to entice companies to start or expand businesses here in California to create jobs with generous, permanent tax break incentives.

Jerry, if you want to fix the financial condition of California you have to get the unemployment rate down to 5% or less.  If you continue the bad business attitude that Sacramento has had over the years then everything you do, all the bandaids that you put on the wound will not help the wound heal.

8. Finally it is sad that the majority of people that voted you in either were not born yet or did not even live in this country during your last time wrecking the economy in the State Of California.

If you don’t do the things mentioned above then you will be as ineffective as Arnold, Gray and Pete were.  I hope you do not want that reputation to follow you.

I wish you the best in these hard decisions.
RJ
PS incase you are wondering.
I am a Libertarian and I follow the small government, personal freedom, and the opportunity to be everything good that I can be without big government intervention creed.
RJ

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Socialism: A Failed Social Economic Business Model. January 11, 2011

December 11, 2011

It is now time to pay the piper as they say.  California and Illinois have the worst credit ratings than any other state in the Union.

Both of these states have been dominated by Liberal/Socialist/Democrats for years that are pro union and anti-business.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D. CA) has announced draconian cuts to welfare related entitlement programs through out the state (I. E. Greece and Ireland).

This will affect the poorest of the poorest in the state that the  Liberal/Socialist/Democrats proudly tout in campaign speeches to represent and protect so that these economically challenged people will vote them back into office year after year.

Even though Jerry Brown is proposing these draconian cuts he is not planning on cutting the HUGE Government/SEIU entitlement/retirement costs that at least California suffers from.

Here is a hardcore fact. There are thousands and thousands of “Baby Boomers” that work for the State of California as well as other states.  Starting this year (2011) Baby Boomers turn 65 and are starting to retire.  When they retire they are going to collect sometimes up to 80% of their salary for the rest of their lives along with health coverage that is 100% funded by tax payer dollars.

This is unsustainable going into the future. Simple math. A growing number of “Baby Boomers” retiring and a dwindling number of people paying taxes compared to people collection pension money and healthcare from the state.  Keep in mind this same scenario that exists at the federal level.


This employee pension time bomb. is going to force two things.

1. California declares bankruptcy that will make all government and Government Union contracts Null and Void.

2. The Fed starts to print money (Inflation that will not lead to new jobs subsequently not generating a new tax base.) to prop up California’s economy.

This will put California’s financial burden on the US tax payer.  That means that someone in Vermont,
Massachusetts etc. are paying to bail out California and maybe Illinois.

The poor get massive cuts and the government employees and government unions are allowed to be paid the crippling entitlement programs that are the biggest costs in running California Government.

Here is Jerry Brown’s Plan, Ready for this?: Jerry Brown wants to spend millions of dollars for a special vote in June to ask taxpayers for millions of dollars in tax increases.

Does that make sense to you?

Jerry Brown has been Governor before for two terms.  The majority people that re-elected him were not even born then or did not even live in this country during his last term of Governor.

So they have no idea of the damage that he did the last time.

Here in California we have a very unusual proposition that was passed on June 6, 1978.  Proposition 13 helps home owners to able to afford and keep their homes.

Jerry Brown states that he has no intention of dismantling Prop 13, however he wants to attack the subsequent affects of Prop 13 to allow local counties and cities to collect additional taxes to shift the tax burden from the state to county and local municipalities. What exactly does that mean?

People are losing their homes and could be subject to additional property taxes that will further exacerbate the rate of home foreclosures in the state of California.

So instead of being an ambassador to business and courting businesses to start and expand businesses with tax incentives in California creating jobs to increase the tax base,

Jerry Brown has decided to punish poor people with entitlement cuts and even worse punish the responsible working class with tax hikes to pay the unions and fund the state pension train wreck.


The bond rating for California has dropped significantly,  Reason? You need taxpayer dollars to payback municipal bonds. When a municipal bond is issued it has to be backed by tax payer dollars to repay the bond when it is due. If the state is broke it can either raise taxes, issue municipal bonds or cut government spending. Those are the choices. There are only bandaids in the interim  to temporarily patch the fiscal budgets of the state of California.

Stay tuned to what happens in California. As they say “As California goes, so goes the rest of the country.”

ST Marie.

 

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 August 19, 2010

I want to talk about the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009.

In my travels I came across this project in Pismo Beach, California

Ok so let me start by saying that I am all for improvements for local municipalities. It is really nice to see improvements that are about safety and are visually and ergonomically pleasing.

However I do not want these improvements to be paid for by federal tax payer dollars.  This project being built is using money from a tax payer in Detroit, Michigan or Beloit, Wis or what ever other town or city that federal tax payer dollars come from. I want local projects to come from either local county, city tax payer dollars or local bond measures.

Ok so why federal tax payer dollars and not local taxes or bonds?  Well as you know California just like so many other states is broke. We have a liberal government that has run this state for years that believes in high taxes, and very strict EPA restrictions. In other words California is not necessarily business friendly. As our economy fails in California so does the tax base from which projects like this are funded locally. To make matters worse the state of California’s credit rating is very very poor.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2009/02/california-cred.html

So what does this mean?  Well if California’s credit rating is bad then investing in any local or municipal bonds would be a very bad investment.  Why? There is not enough tax revenue to pay back the bond to the bond holders.

Why is there not enough tax revenue? Because there is high unemployment, upwards of 12.3%

http://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/urate201007.pdf

OK so you read this and say, Well the EDD says the number of unemployed is down, Isn’t that good?  Well no.  The problem is that the EDD can only count the people that are actively collecting unemployment. The EDD cannot count the people that have dropped from the EDD system and have given up on looking for a job. So the real unemployment rate is more like 15-18%. If you count those that have dropped out from the system.

Ok so where am I going with this?

Did this grant money from the ARRA create jobs.  Yes it did. It created temporary union construction jobs that will end when this project is done.

Did the grant money create any full time sustainable jobs?  Sort of.

Notice in the plans above there are no provisions for any private owned businesses on the  pier.  Bait Shop, Restaurant, Souvenir Shop etc. Something that will employ people and generate sales tax income for the city of  Pismo Beach.

So what jobs did this create?  Well someone has to maintain this facility, paint, bathroom cleaning etc.  So maybe it will create a few CITY GOVERNMENT jobs to be paid with either state, county or city taxes to maintain this facility.  But where is that money going to come from?  Another hand out from the federal government?

There is always the possibility that the City of Pismo Beach could hire an outside contractor to maintain this facility.  That would create jobs in the private sector……but that maintenance contractor would still have to be paid with local or state taxpayer dollars.

If there was an outside contractor hired to do the maintenance on this new facility, how would they get the contract?  How much would they charge and who is the contractor? Will this be another SEIU involved organization that will continue to rape and pillage the local and state governments? Is there any Nepotism involved here?

Why would I even think of Nepotism?  LOL I was born and raised in Chicago and I have been surrounded by corrupt, usually Democratic politics my who life and now we have it running rampant in Washington DC.

Again I love the idea of new and improved public facilities funded by local tax dollars.  I just have to ask the person that is reading this that lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut how are they going to enjoy the fruits of their federal tax payer dollars being spent in Pismo Beach, CA?

ST Marie

 

California Sales Tax Reaches 9.75% in LA County. (Updated 7/3/09) July 2, 2009

As California’s Economy Collapses, This presents a preview of what will happen in other states and eventually in the Federal Government if Barack Obama’s out of control spending does not stop.

As you have been reading, California is on the brink of financial collapse. The Democrats are more concerned in giving away social benefits than making California business friendly, opening up businesses, and creating jobs. The greater population will not need free or reduced government, social benefits if new businesses are created, existing businesses are kept from closing, and current businesses are allowed to expand with new job creations. Not only will people not need government social benefits, the tax revenues will dramatically increase with the decrease in unemployment.

Lack of jobs, Businesses forced to leave the state because of strict EPA rules and regulations, enormous income, corporate, sales, and DMV Taxes are just creating a business vacuum in this state. So now Measure R kicks in today 7/1/09. This couldn’t have come at a worse time. Governor  Arnold Schwarzenegger has tried time and time again to stop the runaway businesses, but he is a good Republican Governor that is being made to look bad by incompetent, inept, disconnected Democrats that are running this state into the ground by spending money that does not exist.  Wow does this sound familiar? Well they say. “As California goes so does the rest of the nation.  There is only one difference. The State of California Can’t Print Worthless Money Like Washington DC Can !!!!

California’s desperation along with other states are willing to destroy on line or “E-commerce” businesses by requiring Amazon and other E-Commerce businesses to collect state sales tax on items sold by California companies that are shipped outside of the state of California.  This is an enormous expense and a huge burden to companies like Amazon.com, Barns and Noble etc. Again further eroding the business climate in the State of California.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124579383785943841.html

Here is the breakdown for sales tax in California:

http://www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/pdf/Pending_Rates.pdf

From the LA Times 7/1/09

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-measure-r1-2009jul01,0,183782.story?track=rss

california_tax_hike_7-1-09

Here is a quote from that article:

“Officials for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that the worst recession since World War II would probably reduce the revenue collected under Measure R from about $40 billion to roughly $38.2 billion during the next 30 years.”

So this is saying that Los Angeles County is stuck with this looser tax from “Measure R” that the Democrats sold to the public for 30 years.  If you are not from California then I’ll explain how this works.

The people in California do not like to have taxes forced on us so we get to vote on whether we pay taxes on certain projects or not. I voted against Measure R because it would be money wasted as usual. Los Angles does need light rail improvements and expansions to reduce freeway traffic. However if  the light rail project becomes a pork barrel project and only goes to the areas in Los Angeles County where the politicians want it to go rather than where it NEEDS to go, it will be a complete waste of money.

Next item is that the County of Los Angeles is also in poor economic state.  I can’t prove this fact to be true, but I would speculate that this last tax increase will end up in the “General Fund” and will not be applied to transportation projects for some years to come until the economy improves.

Yes, there are some very good intentions in Measure R. Let’s face it auto/truck traffic is horrible in Los Angeles and everyone wants it to improve.  But will people use it enough to pay for it?

http://www.metro.net/measurer/default.asp

My point here is that the Democrats have just destroyed the economy here in Los Angeles and California.  People are loosing jobs, businesses are closing. People with money are leaving the state to move to states that have no income tax like Nevada.

The state of California has reached a point of no return. The State of California has a budget deficit of 24.3 billion dollars.  These are the points of no return:

1. The Democrats are forcing businesses to close with high sales, income and businesses taxes. This problem is exacerbated by heavy EPA rules and regulations to even open a business here in California.

2. As jobs are lost, the tax base shrinks as there are less people to pay sales tax (people cut back on buying things), Income tax withholding from checks decreases, people drive less paying less in local gasoline taxes.

3. The democrats think the only way to balance the budget is by punishing the people that are still lucky enough to have jobs with even more taxes across the board.  The budget will never be balanced with this approach.

4. The Democrats have created a “State of Entitlement.” A state where  people can receive public assistace for everything from free education, section 8 housing (http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=ca&topic=renting) to free health care at County Hospitals.

5. California has one of if not the largest population of undocumented immigrants from all over the world.  By law these people are not allowed to get Social Security Numbers so they are usually paid in cash and pay no income taxes at all.  If they do pay income taxes it is usually with a fraudulent Social Security number.

6. The EPA requirements for everything from Exhaust Emissions, handling of industrial chemicals to building material content have a crippling effect on profitability, growth, employee hiring and just keeping the business doors open.  I am concerned about the environment just like anyone else, but the government has to much control over these laws that are overkill.

7. Finally the fact that there are just to many people in this state is the major contribution to air, water and ground pollution.

So what can be done?

1. The state has to become 100% more business friendly.

2. Reduce Income taxes so people will have money to go out and spend and build the economy.

3. Reduce Corporate taxes and make it profitable to open and run a business in the state of California.

4. Reduce (not eliminate) the number of “Entitlement Programs.” These are free or low cost programs for people that do not have the incentive to get a job (any job.)

5. Decrease education fees in public colleges so more people can attend thus increasing the cash flow for maintaining the education venues.  Administer some kind of tax reward or benefit to new graduates for the first 2 years as they start in their new careers.

6. This is the tough one.  Make sure that undocumented immigrants from all over the world not just Mexico are not eligible for any state benefits including non emergency medical care, education, welfare, and child welfare.

7. Very, very heavy fines for employers that hire undocumented immigrants.

8. A minimum of a 10 year corporate tax incentive for any company that has been in existence more than 5 years in another state or country to move  to or open another facility in California. Why 10 years? It is an incentive for the companies to stay in California and create jobs here.

9.  There has to be legislation that will limit the power of the SEIU (http://www.seiu.org/splash/) I believe in good wages for talented people. But this Union is very corrupt and rewards incompetent people with high wages. Originally being from Chicago, I grew up with corrupt Democratic “Pay to Play.” The SEIU payed Barack Obama $60.7 Million dollars to play.  This is a common corrupt Union/Politician relationship.

10. This is the most important of all of these ideas.  Create a minimal corporate tax bracket for companies with 100 or less employees. We all know that the most important element in any successful  economy is “Small Business.”

The only way this will ever happen is if the Democrats are voted out of office and the State of California is run by Republicans and Libertarians. Both of these parties understand the importance of small business.

As I have said before time and time again.  As long as the Democrats can keep people uneducated, unemployed, poor and desperate they will always have a voter base.

ST Marie

 

California, The Unions, Education and The Democratic Party: Catalyst for Tea Parties on July 4th 2009. May 23, 2009

The events that are unfolding in California today (5/23/09) are unprecedented and will affect every state in The United States of America. The people have spoken and they have said “NO MORE NEW TAXES” A catalyst for a perfect storm on Tea Party Day July 4th, 2009.

What has transpired over the years in California that I have been in here (1980) is nothing less than tragic.

I moved to a state that was relatively easy to get a job if you really wanted one. If you didn’t want to work and wanted to be on welfare it was a lot more difficult to accomplish that goal.

California was led by the Democratic party from a land of sunshine, plenty of work and an occasional earthquake to a land of excruciating high taxes, huge numbers of illegal immigrants, easy welfare accommodations for anyone, strong control by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District) and radically powerful, strong unions that have crippled the work force with a total disregard or understanding of how the economy works.  Every day now there are protests in the streets by these unions demanding that their particular financial interests should be continually supported by the California government that is fiscally broken. They fail to see that the economy in California has completely collapsed.

Due to the Democratic mantra of  “Tax and Spend” California has become the most unfriendly environment for both small and large businesses to flourish in. Consequently a lot of businesses have closed or have left California for other states and more than likely other countries.

An example of this is when Lockeed closed down it’s Burbank facilities instantly putting 15,000 people out of work.  That is the figure just for Lockeed. It doesn’t address all the subcontractors for small parts and materials that went into the building of the aircraft in that facility.

Another example of that is the General Motors Plant in Van Nuys, CA.  Built in 1947 and closed in 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Nuys_Assembly

This plant towards the end built some of the worst cars ever assembled by General Motors. The Chevrolet Corvair, Camaro, Nova and Firebird.

While it is true that the plant was old, the property and the location were ideal for GM to build cars specifically for the California market.  With some effort the palnt could have been rebuilt and modified for newer assembly line could have been built. How ever the decision was made to move this assembly plant to Sainte-Thérèse Assembly in Quebec, Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Therese_Assembly

So the issue at hand is jobs. As I have written about in the past, government does not create jobs. private enterprise creates jobs. The Democrats have completely damaged the business environment here in California. In the process of damaging the business environment the Democrats have diminished the tax base dramatically at the same time they have tried to make up for the lack jobs by huge tax rates for the people that still have jobs and businesses that are still open. The squeeze has to end somewhere or sometime and that somewhere and sometime is now.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090522/ap_on_re_us/us_california_day_of_reckoning

I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) hoping that he could get the job done.  In the beginning he was doing a great job.  But the Democrats saw his power and popularity as a threat and stone walled his every move and he finally capitulated to the Democrats and agreed to raise State Income Taxes, DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) taxes, and State Sales Tax which is the most destructive tax a legislator could ever raise.  This has exacerbated the crumbling economy here in California.

As long as California is a Democratically controlled state it will never ever regain the grand status that has left us in the late 70’s and the 80’s. The Democratic stranglehold on the State of California will be very hard to break because of two simple facts. 1. The number of business owners that would lobby against the Democrats is dwindling. The number of employees that expect their employers to provide all kind of services for free greatly out number the employers. 2. The number of people that expect the California Government to provide everything for free is in control of who is put in office.

In fact California is so damaged that there is serious discussion about rewriting the California Constitution.  The California Constitution is not broken, the Democratic party that is interpreting the California Constitution is broken.

How is rewriting the California Constitution going to help the people of California get new jobs created by new companies that start and flourish and old companies that expand and grow and hire people?

I’m sure that with the state of California being run by Democrats, the “New and Improved” version of the California Constitution will be so severely flawed and skewed towards the Democratic mantra of “Tax & Spend” that the State of California will just continue to deteriorate at a much greatly increased speed.

Here is the next thing to think about. California has always been on the leading edge of trends that eventually move through out the rest of the states. If the California Constitution gets re-written will the following happen?

1. Will the Democrats in the other 49 states try to rewrite their own states constituion?

2. Will Barack Obama and the Obama Administration try to rewrite the US Constitution making the United States an even greater ‘Land of Entitlement”? Thus creating a land that contains a plethora of welfare available to anyone from the United States or any other country just by asking for it and not proving that an individual really needs welfare funds to begin with?

For some reason in past years there has been a fairly complex and sometimes efficient system of checks and balances between the Democrats and the Republicans.  But all that has changed with the deteriorating economy.

I have a comment about education in California.  I understand and I am in sympathy of what is happening in the schools with the cutbacks and overcrowding.  But here is a question. Do you remember what John Kennedy said” “Ask not what your country can do for you, Rather ask what you can do for your country!” I have to admit for a Democrat he was connected to reality more than any other Democrat or Republican for that matter by saying this.

So here is my point.  When some one decides to have a child, the responsibility of education should be partially funded by the individuals that have children that are being taught in the primarily the K-12 education system.  Junior Colleges and State colleges are already paying tuition. To believe that education can be completely funded by state and local property taxes is absurd.  I believe that the parents of these children should pay something towards enrollment for students.  This tuition payed can only be used in that school that the tuition was payed to.  Not to all the schools in the district. Maybe it is a small amount to subsidize, but it is something that that will help ease the financial burden of the California educational system. Which leads to why I brought up John Kennedy’s famous statement. Not all property tax payers have children in the educational system especially older citizens. Why should the burden of funding people that have children in the system be places on people that are not using the system.  This is not to say that people that do not have children in the education system should not pay anything. That is not what I am saying.  What I’m saying is that the people that do have children in the education system have to pay some kind of a tuition to offset the shrinking tax revenue do to loss of jobs, poorer paying jobs that does not generate high volumes of income tax and of course the number of foreclosure on homes that is diminishing property taxes.  I do not know the numbers exactly but the logic is that the greater majority of people with children are renters and do not pay any property tax yet their children are in the schools.  The amount of property tax on a commercial apartment building doesn’t even come close to paying for all the kids in that building. OK so you ask why doesn’t the landlord pay higher taxes? Well the local county could raise taxes…..but guess what?  You are right.  Rent would go through the roof and people would not be able to afford the apartment that they are renting nor would they have a big enough deposit to move to a different building. In general raising taxes is always a bad thing.

It all goes back to what I believe.

If the Democrats can keep people poor, uneducated, unemployed and desperate they will always have a voter base.

STMARIE