Mark Cabaniss, Chris Reed on Gadfly Radio: Public Employee Pension Costs, and the 50-ton Godzilla in the room

Tuesday Oct 2, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome  Mark Cabaniss, and Chris Reed. 


Mark Cabaniss is an attorney from Kelseyville, CA. He has worked as a prosecutor and public defender. In September he penned two articles for CalWatchDog:

Yes, we can break public-employee pensions
Sept. 20, 2012

Even if politicians’ pensions are contracts protected by the Constitution, they are still breakable. In pretending otherwise, the politicians are lying. In other words, merely noting that pensions are contracts protected by the Constitution is not the end of analysis, but only the beginning, for all contracts are breakable, and all constitutional rights are subject to limits.

Breaking public-employee pensions: The political path
Sept. 27, 2012

The most important of the contract law doctrines that could be used to get out from under current pensions is the doctrine of mistake. According to that doctrine, the current pensions were granted while relying on mistaken assumptions, specifically, unrealistic projected future pension fund investment returns which have turned out to be too high.

The second contract law doctrine which might be used to get out of onerous pensions is that the money simply isn’t there to pay excessive pensions (the current highest in California is, ha-ha, $302,492 per year). The legal arguments, as well as the political arguments, are the strongest for reforming the very highest pensions, those in excess of $100,000 per year.

Chris Reed, Publisher of, Editorial Writer with San Diego Union Tribune, and contributor to, recently penned two articles concerning CA’s Teacher’s Unions and their power in Sacramento.
The sad reason Steinberg’s right about significance of his education bill
Sept. 28, 2012


The ‘nut graph’ you’ll never see in a state government story
Oct. 1, 2012

Here’s a one-paragraph version that should be the basis of what journos call the “nut graph” of most stories about state spending and state priorities:

“The members of the most powerful political force in state politics, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, get far more money from taxpayers than any other single group. The teacher unions’ power derives from the automatic dues deducted from teachers’ paychecks, meaning taxpayers directly fund the lobbying and political operations of Sacramento’s most influential entity.”

Ben Boychuk has a piece recently published in the NY Post:
Jerry Brown’s tax-hike hail mary

“…Brown might just find a way to hike taxes without Prop. 30, if Democrats can pick up those four legislative seats in November. Earlier this month, he told the editors of The San Francisco Chronicle that if Prop. 30 loses, ‘we’re not going to go out to the people again. Because we’ve tried it.'”

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Stephen Downing on Redress for Anaheim, Wayne Lusvardi Outs the Big Ruse–Hidden State Funds? Really? John Seiler on Highway Robbery by Cops

Tuesday, August 7, Retired L.A.P.D. Deputy Chief of Police, Stephen Downing, and Wayne Lusvardi join Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Stephen Downing, Retired Deputy Chief of Police, L.A.P.D. joins us to discuss the issues with Anaheim. Points to consider for redress. How to foster peace officers to serve and protect, and to work with the communities they serve, and not occupy them.

Wayne Lusvardi joins us to talk about the big magic show acts hailing from Sacramento. John Laird, an old life long progressive from Santa Cruz, now a CA State Senator from the region of environmentalist rulers, appears in the middle of a big ruse, a trick to deceive and dissemble to the pubic. What’s the real story behind all the supposedly “hidden funds?”

John Seiler on The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

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Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

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Related Links:
Quiet protest outside Disneyland | police, outside, biggest | The Orange County Register | Aug. 4, 2012 | By Mary Ann Milbourn
Mom to stop marching in weekly Anaheim police protests | The Orange County Register | August 5, 2012 |by Eric Carpenter

Theresa Smith says she appreciates support from peaceful protesters in recent weeks, and she wants to ‘do positive things.’…
…Jaclyn Conroy, of Anaheim Hills, whose nephew Justin Hertl was shot and killed by police in 2003, said she will continue protesting. She marched with other protesters to Disneyland on Sunday.

“It puts a tear in my eye that people from outside the area have come to support us,” she said. “They’ve helped bring a national spotlight and that allows us here locally to talk to people about the problems we’re having with police.”

Anaheim shootings, protests: Anger, politics, power | The Orange County Register | By Doug Irving, Eric Carpenter, Denisse Salazar and Alejandra Molina

In June – a month before the most recent shootings and subsequent protests – three Latino leaders filed suit against the city, demanding changes in city government. Their lawsuit, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, calls for council members to be elected by districts rather than at-large; a change they believe would break up the Anaheim Hills’ political dominance and encourage more people from more neighborhoods to run for office.

One of the leaders who filed suit, Jose Moreno, 42, a trustee of the Anaheim City School District and president of the group Los Amigos, said the city and its Police Department have work to do to improve relations with Latinos.

“Police don’t do their work in a vacuum,” he said. “For them to rebuild relationships in our communities, we need to feel like part of the political system – like we are sharing in the resources of this city.

“In the same way, kids don’t decide to join gangs in a vacuum. Those city resources aren’t coming to us.”

Police estimate that 2,500 documented gang members claim turf in Anaheim. They belong to some 35 active gangs – all, police say, are Latino except for one African American gang.

By comparison, the police force arrayed against them is overwhelmingly white. The department has 363 officers; 82 are Hispanic and 249 are white. [ Ethnic make up of the police aside–the City Council can be responsible for police practices, policies and community relations.]

The relationship between Anaheim’s police force and its Latino communities has long been strained.

Mayor takes on Anaheim violence | CalWatchDog | August 6, 2012 | by Steven Greenhut

Unfortunately, in my view, the city’s Police Department has embraced the wrong kind of policing methods — ones that are unkind and tend to undermine people’s freedom. I don’t see police officials there using their brains to handle a situation resulting, in part, from overly aggressive policing tactics and insufficient police accountability and transparency.

Clearly, the cultural changes the mayor is trying to implement in the city bureaucracy need to filter into the police department — a point Tait also makes.

Steven Greenhut: Mayor on right path in Anaheim | Opinion – The Orange County Register | August 3, 2012

In Anaheim, voting by district could alter the power dynamic | Los Angeles Times | August 4, 2012 | Nicole Santa Cruz, Doug Smith and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times

Anaheim is now under growing pressure to switch to district voting, which usually makes it easier for minority groups to win council seats.

Fund transfers are purging earmarks from state budget | CalWatchDog | August 1, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Park fund scandal a ruse to grab gas tax funds from off-roaders | CalWatchDog| August 6, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Stockton police chief rips off $204K pension | CalWatchDog | by John Seiler | August 6, 2012

Police Chief’s $204,000 Pension Shows How Cities Crashed | Bloomberg | By Alison Vekshin, James Nash and Rodney Yap | Jul 31, 2012

Tax Initiative gets approved, but what’s the hold up on Reform Initiative that was submitted earlier?

In California Forward Waits and Waits, Joel Fox writes:

Is today the day the Secretary of State will announce if the California Forward governance reform initiative has the signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot? Time is running out. The constitutional deadline for achieving ballot status is Thursday. Supporters of the measure are demanding to know why the count is not done yet.

They have good reason to be curious. Even though the end date for a random sample verification of signatures for the California Forward measure is July 2 – after the constitutional deadline to make the ballot – the recent approval of the governor’s tax measure raises questions.

Click to read the story

What is Jerry Brown saying to Ed reformers in the Democratic Party base? He wants their support for the tax increases first. Keep talking, he says “we” hear you.

How bold are the reformers?  How firm do they stand? Or are they waiting, hoping, and prodding, but do not want to upset the establishment? Do they support the tax increases as necessary for real education reform?

Jerry Brown is the Great Dissembler

Steven Greenhut | More Gimmicks, Less Honesty | California continues to play budget games | 17 May 2012

As the Sacramento Bee reports, “The state budget deficit had grown by a remarkable 70 percent since January, but fiscal experts said the economy had little to do with it.” If not the economy, then what could possibly explain the shortfall? The answer: Brown and his administration embraced overly optimistic budget projections—what the Legislative Analyst’s Office described as “an aggressive forecast.” In January, Brown had claimed a budget deficit of $9 billion; today, it stands at $16 billion.

Click here to read the article.

This Week on Gadfly Radio: Troy Senik on the “Worst Union in America”; Plus: Jerry Brown and California’s Greek Ways

Join us live on Tuesday, 10 a.m. PDT, on, CRN1, for another lively edition of Gadfly Radio!

Troy Senik, has a dynamite article in the Spring issue of City Journal: “The Worst Union in America: How the California Teachers Association betrayed the schools and crippled the state.” Really? The worst? Worse than the SEIU? Worse than the NEA? Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. But we’ll have Senik make his case, which will be excerpted in the Los Angeles Times in the next few days. And editor-in-chief Brian Calle opines in his latest column at the Orange County Register.

We’ll also discuss Governor Jerry Brown’s May budget revision, which was released officially Monday but previewed over the weekend. Anyone not paying attention would have been shocked to learn that California’s current budget deficit is several billion dollars higher than Brown’s office reported in January—$16 billion, as opposed to around $9 billion at the beginning of the year. Anyone else wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised.

“This means we will have to go much farther and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year,” Brown said. “But we can’t fill this hole with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools. That’s why I’m bypassing the gridlock and asking you, the people of California, to approve a plan that avoids cuts to schools and public safety.”

Brown delivered the “news” on YouTube, where he doubled down on his pitch to voters to approve a tax increase in November.

“Please increase taxes on the most affluent,” Brown urged. “It’s reasonable and fair.”

”By the time I leave here, California’s budget will be balanced and the state will be back on road to prosperity,” Brown added. ”I am a buoyant optimist.”

It’s phony-baloney. All of it.

Katy Grimes at CalWatchDog: “Jerry Brown twists out ‘pretzel palace’ budget,” which reports legislative Republicans’ reaction to the governor’s news.

“Tax revenue is up two years in a row, but not enough to satisfy the spending demands of Sacramento Democrats,” retorted Assembly Republicans. “It will be interesting to see if the liberal majority in the Legislature accept the Governor’s cuts, or reject them as they did earlier this year when they blocked the Governor’s health and welfare reforms and grew spending by $1 billion,” wrote Assembly Minority leader Connie Conway, R-Visalia, and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Biggs.

Tom Del Beccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party: “Amazingly, a year and a half into Brown’s Governorship and we still hear nothing of the unemployed. California will continue to face chronic budget deficits because so many people remain out of work; the conversation about revenues should always begin with how to restore jobs. So many people are wondering when Brown will offer plans to make California competitive, so that business will return to this state and bring jobs with them.”

Calle at CalWatchDog: “If nothing else, the budget situation points to the power teachers’ unions have within the Brown administration and California government in general. This is particularly true of the juggernaut CTA, which was recently dubbed by City Journal as the ‘Worst union in America’ because of the lopsided influence it has on public policy in California. Education spending is perhaps the Holy Grail of politics in the Golden State. So it is no surprise Brown’s administration is using education as a justification for increasing taxes. Improving education is popular with voters. But money is not the major problem facing California’s education. Instead, the state is in need of structural reform.”

Robert Wenzel at Economic Policy Journal: “California is fast becoming the new Greece.” And Brown’s proposal to reduce the work week of many state workers—a move that would need to be bargained with the unions because the Democratic-controlled Legislature isn’t about to impose that change unilaterally—would be equivalent to a 5 percent pay cut.

Bill McGurn at the Wall Street Journal (subscription required): “Jerry Brown vs. Chris Christie.”

Hard economic times bring their own lessons. Though few have been spared the ravages of the last recession and the sluggish recovery, those in states where taxes are light, government lives within its means, and the climate is friendly to investment have learned the value of the arrangement they have. They are not likely to give it up.

Meanwhile, leaders in some struggling states have taken notice. They know the road to fiscal hell is paved with progressive intentions. The question regarding the sensible ones is whether they have the will and wherewithal to impose the reforms they know their states need on the interest groups whose political and economic clout is so closely tied with the public purse.

Mr. Brown’s remarks Monday suggest the answer to this question is no.

McGurn’s column follows on the Journal‘s editorial fusillade Monday:

Among the biggest surprises is a 21.5% or nearly $2 billion decline in personal income tax payments from what Governor Jerry Brown had anticipated. This reinforces the point that when states rely too heavily on the top 1% of taxpayers to pay the bills, fiscal policy is a roller coaster ride.

California is suffering this tax drought even as most other states enjoy a revenue rebound. State tax collections were up nationally by 8.9% last year, according to the Census Bureau, and this year revenues are up by double digits in many states. The state comptroller reports that Texas is enjoying 10.9% growth in its sales taxes (it has no income tax), while California can’t seem to keep up despite one of the highest tax rates in the land.

This would seem to suggest that California should try cutting tax rates to keep more people and business in the state, but Sacramento is intent on raising them again. Governor Brown and the public-employee unions are sponsoring a ballot initiative in November to raise the state sales tax by a quarter point to 7.5% and to raise the top marginal income-tax rate to 13.3% from 10.3%. This will make the state even more reliant on the fickle revenue streams provided by the rich.

The Orange County Register: “More bad news ahead of Brown’s revised budget”:

This is a man for all intents and purposes bought by, and in the pocket of, government employee unions. Likewise, so is the Democratic-controlled Assembly and state Senate, which all but precludes a legislative fix.

Sadly, California deserves better than it has gotten for more than a decade in Sacramento. An unwillingness to properly adjust government spending and an insistence on draining even more billions from the private sector is symptomatic of the runaway fiscal catastrophe under way in Europe.

Bottom line, courtesy of Reason‘s Tim Cavanaugh: “Where are the devastating cuts of the austerity of bare-bones of the starving beast in a state that will increase spending by six percent — from $86.5 billion in outlays last year to $91.4 billion this year?” Mighty good question.



RDAs Hoisted On Own Petard | CalWatchDog

Some of my favorite quotes from this op-ed by Steven Greenhut:

“The CRA, the League of California Cities and the foolhardy Republicans, such as Sen. Bob Huff were outsmarted. They were so arrogant that they tripped over their own clever plans. They passed Prop. 22, which then forbade the one mechanism that would have saved redevelopment from the ash bin of history.”

“Philanthropist Howard Ahmanson is best known in the liberal media for funding religious-right causes, but one of Ahmanson’s biggest interests for years was fighting redevelopment, for reasons of faith and justice. He supported two other heroes, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines and her husband, Sen. Ted Gaines, who both defied their parties and voted with the Democrats to end redevelopment.”

It takes a big man or woman to give credit where it is due, regardless of how much you would normally disagree with the man or woman you are acknowledging. Here’s a quote that does just that:

I can’t end without tipping my hat to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic Legislature. I almost never agree with anything they do, of course. And I don’t for one minute argue that the state’s Democrats ended redevelopment because of any concern for property owners or property rights. But they did indeed do the right thing. They stuck with it. I don’t believe that we would have this great victory had the eminent-domain-supporting Meg Whitman become governor. Brown’s analysis of redevelopment did indeed show a remarkable understanding of more than the fiscal problems with it. This victory makes many of his other bad policies almost tolerable.

To read the post, go to: RDAs Hoisted On Own Petard | CalWatchDog

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler. Steve Greenhut, maybe, and Oscar Cruz of Families in Schools

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Dec 6, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of  Steven Greenhut, the Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog, may be joining us to discuss his latest posted commentary at CalWatchDog, addressing Gov. Brown’s open letter to the CA Voters issued on Monday, Dec 5th, what Brown says and Steve’s interpretation of what it says and means to all of us.   

We’ll welcome Oscar E. Cruz, the President and CEO of Families in Schools, a partner with other groups such as 4Teaching Excellence in Los Angeles, committed to causing reform and transformation in what is known today as public education.  He’ll give us a brief sharing of who they are, what they cause, who is impacted, how they measure their results and how can  listeners learn more about them.

Related link: 
The Small Business Action Committee joined with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California Taxpayers Association to file the initiative, which will re-establish the Gann Spending Limit of 1979. Although still in effect, the Gann Limit, named after proponent Paul Gann, was made ineffective by subsequent measures. Since that time, dramatic increases in spending have constantly put the state budget under water. The updated spending limit will stop the problem of unbalanced budgets.

 We’ll talk with our listeners and panel about the future of Gadfly Radio, moving forward, what we stand for, and what we want to be accountable for in our communication.

Last time Steven was with us, I wrote the following about who Steve is, as he occurs for me, and it’s so spot on, I want to repeat it, in case you missed it.  Steve Greenhut writes about policy on various news and think tank websites, on various issues, and they are all related and stem from a unifying set of core values and unwavering principles through which he analyzes and communicates.   His work is instrumental to help raise public awareness and consciousness of truths v how the public is manipulated by slick and effective media campaigns and public relations by those in positions of power over our “free” society.   His bias is for championing the individual, the underdog, the entrepreneur who respects others’ rights as well as his own.   A truthsayer and a truth teller with a lot of heart, soul, wit and irony, he is self described curmudgeon.    He is a lover of liberty and I feel lucky to have him on our side.  

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.


I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.

Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog’s team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha and CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut and John Seiler: Gov Brown’s Yawner Budget, Suicide by Public Employee makes Costa Mesa Ground Zero in the Battles Over Public Pensions

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Gadfly Radio, with me and  CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler on some of the latest and hottest stories up at

Brown’s Pension Reform A Yawner
 Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Proposal for California Is a Yawner and today is the first Costa Mesa City Council meeting since Huy Pham, 29year old maintenance worker’s suicide in Costa Mesa, after he was called in to receive his notice of termination?   Bloomberg News reported today, Costa Mesa, California Is ‘Ground Zero’ for Pension Battle After Worker Suicide (Christopher Palmeri / Bloomberg)

Sky Not ‘Falling’ on School Budgets
What’s the story behind these  “cuts” in education we have been hearing about on radio ads 24/7?  CalWatchDog’s reporter, Wayne Lusvardi refutes the “sky is falling” claims we’ve been bombarded with on the airwaves.  We’ll discuss his report and tell the side the mainstream media is not telling you.

Card Check Bill Passes CA Senate, reported by Katy Grimes on March 31: The “card check” bill, SB 104, authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, passed the Senate this morning 24-14, after a heated debate.  “This bill would permit agricultural employees, as an alternative procedure, to select their labor representatives by submitting a petition to the board accompanied by representation cards signed by a majority of the bargaining unit,” reads the bill.  “On the Waterfront” anybody?  And to do this the most vulnerable workers in the name of protecting them is doubly immoral.

Dependency Bill is a bill that if passed would put government powers back in check where parents and children were safe from abuse by social workers’ powers to remove children from their parents and put children into foster care without due process, or merit, or accountability.  Will it survive the next phase?

 Show Us Your Papers Please!
“Republican legislators gathered on the north steps of the state Capitol today to pitch AB26, which would clamp down on illegal immigration. Modeled after Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal-immigration law, the bill would “beef up enforcement of immigration laws against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and make being in California illegally punishable as a misdemeanor,” according to the Victor Valley Daily Press. “It aims to end so-called sanctuary cities by enabling residents to sue the government over lax enforcement.” Members of the Service Employees International Union were on the sidewalks making catcalls as various officials and crime victims addressed a crowd that seemed dominated by Tea Party members.”

“The bill certainly expands government powers.   Steve Greenhut’s “main concern is summed up by a sign holder who was an official participant at the event, someone who was standing in the group surrounding the Assembly members: ‘I would be happy to show you my papers any time. Yes AB26.’
Is this right? Are self-styled supporters of freedom and the Constitution really willing and happy to show government agents their papers at any time?
American citizens of Latino heritage know that they will be the ones repeatedly asked to show their papers in any such scenario. This explains the opposition to it from so many people. Once again, we see Republicans who are advocating laws that are in direct conflict with their stated goals of promoting liberty.”

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.”

It’s my privilege to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can manage to get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

Shout out to Reason for this post: Farewell, My Lovely How public pensions killed progressive California

by Tim Cavanaugh from the March 2011 issue

…“This year we’re spending 10 percent less on higher education than we did 10 years ago, parks and recreation 40 percent less, environmental protection 80 percent less,” Crane told me in the fall of 2010, “while spending on pensions is up 2,500 percent. So when Democrats realize what is happening and act in the interest of the people they represent, they will address the pension problem in California.” Like so many other reformers, Crane is a registered Democrat who supported Jerry Brown.

The Democratic Party has folded Sacramento into one of the tightest one-party grips in contemporary American politics. In November, bucking the national trend, Democrats in California won not just the governorship but 51 Assembly seats to Republicans’ 29, 24 state Senate seats to Republicans’ 14, and every statewide office. With the passage of a referendum lowering the number of legislative votes required to approve a state budget (from a two-thirds majority to a simple majority), California is that rarest of land masses for the 2011 Democratic Party: conquered territory. State Democrats have freedom to rule virtually unchallenged by the scattered, rusticated Republicans. Click here to read more.

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Brown Impounds Cell Phones!

How about cars and gas cards, and laundry services, and retirement at 52? Now that would be something to talk about, on a landline of course.
Brown Impounds Cell Phones!

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Newsflash: “Dems Prepping State For Tax Hikes” Say whaaa? No… Say it ain’t so!

DEC. 22, 2010

“The governor needs to add a third (or perhaps fourth) voter option to his false ‘either-or’ choice,” explains Richard Rider, chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters association. “It’s not just less services or more taxes—the issue he’s dodging is how best to deliver desired public services.”

They should listen to Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters, who wrote, “We should, for instance, find out why, with 12 percent of the nation’s population, we have 32 percent of its welfare cases, and why we’re spending three times as much on prisons as Texas, which has almost as many inmates.”

And Californians should ask why there are more than 15,000 members (and growing) of the $100,000 pension club (in all California retirement systems), and why lists of state salaries are filled with police and fire officials and city managers earning $250,000 or more.

We are asked to choose between fewer services or higher taxes. Yet no one wants to look at the inefficiencies in the current system, at the way the state misspends its resources. Where’s the talk of privatization? Or pension reform? Or reduction of public sector salaries?
As the year ends, let’s review where Californians stand with its busted budget. This piece was published in PublicSectorInc.

California’s Democratic leaders would have you believe that our state’s budget has been cut to the bone. They contend that the state’s never-ending budget deficit—currently estimated at more than $28 billion over 18 months—is the inevitable result of an unusually bad economy, and that more revenue is needed to avoid devastating service cuts. This is a false choice—there remains fat to cut in California’s budget, if politicians are willing to overcome union objections to doing so.

Governor-elect Jerry Brown (D) held a budget briefing earlier this month and fiscal conservatives took heart that the new governor was dealing forthrightly with dismal budget realities.Click here to read more

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The Obvious Message of Jerry Brown’s Pension: He’s up to his armpits in the cookie jar, and that’s being conservative!

A kerfuffle surrounding a clandestine Jerry Brown pension is generating a lot of Drudge action on this lazy August Friday. Servers at the Watchdog blog (Click here to read the story) of the Orange Country Register that broke the story are bogging down. Keep clicking on it. The report is amusing. In fact, it’s a bit more than that….

It seems California’s one-time and now aspiring governor Jerry Brown has been drawing down a healthy pension from the state — perhaps double-dipping — causing a mild embarrassment to Jerry that could grow into something more than mild. At the moment he is locked in a tight race with Meg Whitman.

(This is just the tip of the iceberg, and yes, CA is the Titanic–but we’re not sunk–yet.)
Click here to read more of this article by Roger Simon at Pajama TV

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