Tue05262015

Last updateMon, 25 May 2015 2pm

LOS ANGELES Tuesday, May 26th 2015 2:33

WAGE RAISE RAGE

  • WHO WE ARE-Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its hourly base pay and join Seattle to hit the magic $15-an-hour demand pushed by labor and community groups nationwide. The City Council…
  • ​City Snookered by Westfield Billionaires

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In March of 2014, the Herb Wesson led City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved a 25 year, $48 million giveaway to help the $28.5 billion Westfield Corporation finance its $250 million development, The Village at Westfield Topanga. (Photo) But this subsidy championed by Councilman Bob Blumenfield was hardly necessary as The Village…
  • Slick With Denial: ‘Self-Regulation’ and the Latest Oil Spill

    Judith Lewis Mernit
    HISTORY LESSONS IGNORED-On Wednesday, May 20, the day after a Santa Barbara County fire inspector discovered a stream of contaminated crude oil flowing onto a pristine segment of the Southern California coast, a group of researchers published a study linking the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to a mass die-off of bottlenose dolphins. The 46…
  • Scaremongering about the Patriot Act Sunset

    Jameel Jaffer
    FALSE CLAIMS EXPOSED-In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly crass example from Senator…
  • Still the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave

    Ken Alpern
    ALPERN AT LARGE-It's been another year and another successful Flag Placement at the West Los Angeles National Cemetery. Crawling out of bed in the morning on a holiday weekend to show up bright and early for a show of American patriotism and respect to our veterans and fallen heroes, the region and nation saw yet again how the Boy Scouts, Girl…
  • Retaliation: VA Police Target Veterans

    Robert L. Rosebrock
    LOS ANGELES – Recently, I was interviewed by John Ismay, an Iraqi War Veteran who is the “Veterans and Military Issues Reporter” for Southern California Public Radio. We met at the Los Angeles VA to discuss the never-ending misappropriation of land at this largest VA in the nation, within our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans. We were…
  • City Controller’s Grandstanding DWP Audit is the Real Waste of Ratepayer Dollars

    Dennis Zine
    JUST THE FACTS-City Controller Ron Galperin’s Grandstanding DWP Audit results were finally released. Unfortunately, the conclusion and political spin that came afterwards from the controller was misleading. Here are the FACTS: The DWP’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute are administered by DWP managers and representatives of the…
  • A Place Where ‘Special Interest’ is NOT a Dirty Word

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We need to have a new word to differentiate the villainous “Special Interest” that everyone is always complaining about and the “Special Interest” that almost all of politicians and civic and social activists have adopted as a cause. It is impossible to have passion about multiple issues. I know I have mentioned this before, but it seems…
  • Alert! America’s Small Businesses are Being Screwed by Big Business

    Robert Reich
    THE ECONOMY-Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big businesses lobbies. (Photo: small businesses in Studio City) They’ve contributed to the same Republican…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




ICYMI-Amy Schumer shows Dave her vagina

Remembering Ann Meara: 1929-2015

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Jerry Brown Pulls a Nixon

CALIFORNIA FINANCIALS - “Only Nixon could go to China” is a political metaphor referring to the ability of a politician with an unassailable reputation among his supporters for staunchly representing and defending their values, to take actions that would draw vicious criticism and fierce opposition if taken by someone without those credentials.
With California’s financial condition in free fall, ultra-union friendly Gov. Jerry Brown demanded public-employee unions cut  compensation by 10 percent.  If the People’s Republic of California is adopting fiscal responsibility, perhaps America can too.

For unions, Jerry Brown has been the governor who always kept on giving.  In 1977, he approved the Dills Act, collective bargaining for California government workers.  Last November, he signed SB 922, protecting “project labor agreements” that force non-union workers to apply for union membership, and pay dues, in order to work on public projects.

While predicting a $9.2 billion budget deficit in January, Brown sought to protect public service union jobs by cajoling private sector retailers to support a voter initiative to raise sales taxes. As state tax revenue had fallen by $4.9 billion in February, Brown focused on raising $630,000 in contributions for his tax increase initiative from unions, Indian tribes and crony capitalists.  As revenue continuing to fall last month, Brown extended union contracts representing tens of thousands of workers that increased the state’s health benefits by 9.5 percent.

Brown’s good-old-boy support for his union brothers and sisters may have come to a screeching halt as California State Controller John Chiang published a devastating April Financial Statement showing monthly income, sales and corporate tax revenue came in 20.2 percent below the governor’s latest projections; and sales tax collections fell by an astounding 61 percent below last year.

Looking closer into the numbers, California missed the national economic recovery.  As U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew by 2.2 percent, California employment grew by only 1.3 percent.  Given that the workforce expands by 1.5 percent annually as more young people begin looking for jobs, this explains why California unemployment rose to 11 percent in March from 10.9 percent in February — as U.S. employment fell to 8 percent.  Chiang ominously stated:

“Without a timely, financeable budget plan, the State will be unable to access the working capital needed to pay its bills later this year.”

This is bureaucratic speak for: We are insolvent, our credit rating should be junk and we will default when we can’t borrow any more money!

Standard & Poor’s, in a new credit report last week, warned that California lawmakers’ resistance to steep cuts in welfare and health care programs is to blame for failure to balance the state budget:

“As the most important month of the year for [income tax] collections, April receipts are not only failing to solve part of the state’s projected problem, they are deepening the estimated budget gap.”

With the state needing to borrow $20 billion in July to finance operations until collecting property payments in mid-December, this is S&P speak for: We will cut your rating.

California rolled over an $8.2 billion deficit from last year’s budget disaster and this year’s growing deficit has forced the state to increase borrow another $7.7 billion.

The state did cut $1.8 billion, or 8 percent, from operations; and school funding was flat this year. But spending on health and human services jumped by a stunning $3.7 billion, or 6.2 percent.

President Richard Nixon had a reputation as the leader of hardcore Republican anti-communists when he announced he was going to improve relations with China by personally visiting the country in 1972.  No Democrat at the time could have absorbed the political blowback of such a spectacular change in America’s foreign policy.  Over the next 40 years, America and China have become each other’s most important trading partners

Just as Richard Nixon was the strongest ally of anti-communists, Jerry Brown has been the strongest ally of public-sector unions.  Chief Executive Magazine’s survey of best and worst states for business ranks California dead last.  According to one CEO:

“The leadership of California has done everything in its power to kill manufacturing jobs in this state. As I stated at our annual meeting, if we could grow our crops in Reno, we’d move our plants tomorrow.”

Given that high taxes and onerous regulatory enforcement were championed by Brown in California and then spread out across the nation, Brown is best positioned to unwind these job killers.  When Jerry Brown told state employee union leaders his next budget would include a 10% cut in state worker compensation, there has been little opposition.  

Perhaps California’s financial distress may require Jerry Brown to be America’s pro-business governor.

(Chriss Street is nationally recognized financial writer. His latest book, “The Third Way,” now is available on  www.amazon.com Read more of Chriss Street and reach him at chrissstreetandcompany.com)

-cw

Tags: Chriss Street, Richard Nixon, Jerry Brown, China, John Chiang






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 39
Pub: May 15, 2012

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