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Sequestration Shrinks Unemployment Benefits For 400,000 Californians

According to this link, the current maximum time one receives unemployment benefits is 73 weeks. That's one year, five months!

People sometimes say that government doesn't work. But it does. Pay people not to work, and too many will choose remain unemployed.

April 29, 2013 at 4:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sequestration Shrinks Unemployment Benefits For 400,000 Californians

Pay people to be unemployed, and you'll get more unemployment. It's amazing how many people find a job (often not their IDEAL job) the day their unemployment runs out.

And let's not forget the folks working "off the books" in the underground economy. For them, reporting their income often is the same has having a 100% income tax bracket. So they have a strong incentive to not work for a conventional salary.

Unemployment in several states is under 5%, but paying people not to work reduces labor mobility. No one should be surprised.

April 29, 2013 at 4:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

California Leads Nation In Creation Of Green Jobs

Now now, JeanMarc -- let's not use all those numbers. That's just plain MEAN.

I might note that you grossly UNDERSTATED the scenario -- you budgeted ZERO for the operating costs, and ZERO for the interest on the bonds. And then there are those pesky, inevitable SURPRISE! cost overruns to consider.

Finally there's the fiction (the REQUIREMENT in the prop that was passed) that the train make the run in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Not gonna happen. Not even close.

But trust me. HSR fans are undeterred by such trifling details. Forward!!!!!!

March 7, 2013 at 6 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

California Leads Nation In Creation Of Green Jobs

Mass transit jobs are NOT necessarily green jobs. Often such trains pollute more per passenger mile than modern cars and buses. That's because most of the time the trains are sparsely used, yet cost essentially the same to run whether full or empty.

And then there is the total cost per passenger mile of rail to consider, but we don't care about costs in California.

March 7, 2013 at 8:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rail Authority Wants Private Sector To Connect San Diego

Hilarious. Some business model!

Are the PROPONENTS -- who often make fine salaries to promote, or hope to make billions off the project as vendors -- investing THEIR money into HSR?

Of course not. They may be HSR enthusiasts, but they aren't dumb.

April 2, 2012 at 4:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

S.D. Council Members Have Large Budgets, Short Stays In Office

There's a misconception in this story. The "2.7 years" is supposed to be the AVERAGE experience of the city council at a POINT IN TIME. Most city council members stay for two full terms -- eight years.

Many wrongly will assume this figure means the average time each city council critter STAYS in office is 2.7 years.

That being said, clearly we need more experience in office -- "institutional memory" and all that. For proof, simply look at how well this has worked in Congress.

Never mind.

February 7, 2011 at 9:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego Unified To Push For A Parcel Tax

(concluding segment of "Breaking Bad")

California, a destitute state, still gives away college education at fire sale prices. Our community college tuition is by far the lowest in the nation. How low? Nationwide, the average community college tuition is 4.5 times higher than California CC’s. This ridiculously low tuition devalues education to students – resulting in a 30+% drop rate for class completion. In addition, 2/3 of California CC students pay no tuition at all – filling out a simple unverified “hardship” form that exempts them from any tuition payment, or receiving grants and tax credits for their full tuition. and

On top of that, California offers thousands of absolutely free adult continuing education classes – a sop to the upper middle class. In San Diego, over 1,400 classes for everything from baking pastries to ballroom dancing are offered totally at taxpayer expense.

Protests about increased UC student fees ignore one crucial point -- all poor and most middle class students don't pay the “fees” (our state’s euphemism for tuition)! There are no fees for California families with under $70K income. Moreover, Pell Grants and federal tuition tax credits cover the total 2009-10 fee increases for nearly 3/4 of all undergraduates with household incomes below $180K. and

California residential electricity costs an average of 37.2% more than the national average (far higher in San Diego County). For industrial use, CA electricity is 44.6% higher than the national average (December, 2009).

Consider California’s net domestic migration (migration between states). From April, 2000 through June, 2008 (8 years, 2 months) California has lost a NET 1.4 million people. The departures slowed in 2008 only because people couldn’t sell their homes.
These are not welfare kings and queens departing. They are the young, the educated, the productive, the ambitious, the wealthy (such as Tiger Woods), and retirees seeking to make their pensions provide more bang for the buck. The irony is that a disproportionate number of these seniors are retired state and local government employees fleeing the state that provides them with their opulent pensions – in order to avoid the high taxes that these same employees pushed so hard through their unions.

As taxes rise and jobs disappear, we lose our tax base, continuing California’s state and local fiscal death spiral. This downward spiral must stop NOW.

NOTE: To see the latest version of this “Breaking Bad” column, plus other goodies, go to my blog at

March 25, 2010 at 10:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego Unified To Push For A Parcel Tax


Fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation. (January, 2010) 12.5%. National unemployment rate 9.7%.

California needlessly licenses more occupations than any state – 177. Second worst state is Connecticut at 155. The average for the states is 92.

1 in 5 in LA County receiving public aid.

California has 12% of the nation’s population, but 36% of the country’s TANF (“Temporary” Assistance for Needy Families) welfare recipients – more than the next 7 states combined. Unlike other states, this “temporary” assistance becomes much more permanent in CA.

California prison guards highest paid in the nation.

CA teachers the highest paid in the nation – their 2008 $64,424 average salary is over $2,000 higher than 2nd place NY. 2008 salaries (CA has the second lowest student test scores)

California is the worst ranked state for tax administration – another anti-business factor.

California now has the lowest bond ratings of any state, edging out Louisiana.

California ranks 44th worst in “2008 lawsuit climate.”

America’s top CEO’s rank California “the worst place in which to do business” for the fourth straight year (3/2009). But here’s the interesting part – they think California is a great state to live (primarily for the great climate) – they just won’t bring their businesses here because of the oppressive tax and regulatory climate.
Consider this quote from the survey (a conclusion reflected in the rankings of the characteristics of the state): “California has huge advantages with its size, quality of work force, particularly in high tech, as well as the quality of life and climate advantages of the state. However, it is an absolute regulatory and tax disaster.”

March 25, 2010 at 10:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego Unified To Push For A Parcel Tax

Think we Californians are undertaxed? Consider this factsheet:

Breaking Bad: California vs. the Other States
by Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
Version 1.61 Revised 16 March, 2010
Updated online at:

Here’s a depressing comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (I keep updating this article):

California has the 3rd worst state income tax in the nation. 9.55% tax bracket at $46,349. 10.55% at $1,000,000

By far the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 8.25%. 7% is next highest (does not include local sales taxes) Table #15

California corporate income tax rate is the highest in the West (our economic competitors). 8.84% Table #8 -- we are 9th highest nationwide.

2010 Business Tax Climate ranks 48th in the nation.

Fourth highest capital gains tax 9.55%

Highest gasoline tax (averaging 65.0 cents/gallon) in the nation (January, 2010). When gas hits $3.00/gallon, we are numero uno – because unlike many states, we charge sales tax on gasoline purchases (built into the price). (also usually highest diesel tax)

California is ranked 27th worst in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only area where we are not in the worst ten states. But CA property taxes per home were the 10th highest in the nation in 2008. and

One of the highest state vehicle license car taxes. 1.15% per year on value of vehicle, up from 0.65% in 2008.

California’s 2009 “Tax Freedom Day” (the day the average taxpayer stops working for government and start working for oneself) is again the 4th worst date in the nation – up from 28th worst in 1994.

March 25, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego Unified To Push For A Parcel Tax

Larry Remer's bogus "push poll" claiming that at least 64% will vote for this parcel tax measure is typical consultant poppycock.

It may indeed get a 2/3 vote -- as did the recent county parcel tax -- which got two thirds AGAINST.

But at least consultant Remer will still get paid.

Remember, the county parcel tax vote was for fire protection -- more popular than more money for schools.

The SDUSD first wastes potentiallly hundreds of millions (over time) of taxpayer money on a union-vote-buying PLA agreement driving up construction costs for the district, and then comes to us claiming money problems.

I hope the board members DO put it on the ballot. We taxpayer advocates will slaughter this measure -- with little funding or effort.

Anyone expecting otherwise, consider contacting me for a wager on whether or not it passes. Since the wager must be done legally and publicly, at least $5,000 must be bet by each side to make the trouble of following the law worthwhile.

And yes, I'm serious.

March 25, 2010 at 10:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )