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Posts Tagged ‘California’

California Taxing and Regulating Itself into Bankruptcy

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 26, 2015

Victor Davis Hanson published a piece in the nationalreview.com titled “Can California be Saved?”.  This article offers a clear indication that California is a canary in the mine for the social and economic decay in America.  Hanson shares the following facts for the State:

  • Los Angeles’s violent crime is up nearly 21% for the first half of 2015 with an 11% increase in property crimes. One cause is California’s Proposition 47 passed in 2014 that released thousands of prisoners.  Proposition 47 was an attempt by California to its costs for the prison system.  Costs may be down, but crime is skyrocketing.
  • California is in the fifth year of a significant drought. This could be alleviated had the State followed through with a new reservoir system approved under California Water Project.  Lack of funding caused projects to be unfinished.
  • California’s traffic accidents have increased by 13% during in last three years. A significant cause is deteriorating roads that are not properly maintained.  It is hard to imagine why a state that includes some of the highest taxes in the country cannot repair its own roads.
  • California is awash with natural resources, yet its gasoline and electricity costs are amongst the highest in the country. Progressive policies inflicted by wealthy liberals who can bear these expenses are the cause.  However, these high costs devastate lower income brackets, a typical unintended consequence of Progressive policies.
  • Approximately 33% of America’s welfare recipients reside in California with nearly 25% of the State’s residents falling below the poverty line. This is unconscionable considering where that state was economically just a few decades ago.

Who is responsible for this sad state of California’s economics?  It is politically expedient to blame the wealthy or nasty conservatives.  However, given that many of the wealthy in California are liberals and all major government offices in the State are controlled by Democrats, this dog just doesn’t hunt.

California can be considered one of the great experiments for American Progressives.  Liberal politicians promised to fix societal ills with all sorts of interventions.  The fact that these ills are larger today than when the liberals started their experimentation and have spent trillions implementing the policies is proof they failed.  In addition, a significant portion of these poorly spent funds were but a form of crony capitalism, benefiting the social services, education and other industries

Adding insult to injury, Progressive policies distorted the economic diversity of the State.  Those considering starting businesses are likely to leave California in search of more business friendly environments.  Those wanting to build wealth for their families moved to states with less aggressive tax policies.  In addition, immigrants found California’s easy to obtain social benefits and naturally matriculated to this environment.  The result; California is top-heavy with those who being pulled in the cart then those pulling it.  The cart is now being bogged down in a quagmire.

California needs to change its political and economic ways if it is to remain solvent.  Before a plan can be created to implement change, it is necessary that the State become introspective and ask why and how California has deteriorated so much over the past five decades.  The answer will be painful for many.


Posted in Debt, Deficits | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 23, 2014

California Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu made a ruling with broad implications for the education system, teachers and society.  The ruling found that teacher tenure violated the State Constitutional civil rights by not offering poor inner-city students equal opportunity for a quality education.  In essence, the Judge found that tenure protected teachers at the expense of damaging the quality of education in inner-cities stating:

Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students.”

“The evidence is compelling.  Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”

Judge Treu specifically criticized California’s inability to fire incompetent teachers stating:  “All sides to this litigation agree that competent teachers are a critical, if not the most important, component of success of a child’s in-school educational experience,” and “there is also no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms.”

The negative reaction from teachers’ unions was immediate with California Federation of Teachers president saying:  “We believe the judge fell victim to the anti-union, anti-teacher rhetoric and one of America’s finest corporate law firms that set out to scapegoat teachers for the real problems that exist in public education.  There are real problems in our schools, but this decision in no way helps us move the ball forward.”

This is a typical unionists/leftist response, attacking the opposition’s integrity.  To accept that there are “real problems” in America’s schools and exonerating teachers unions and their parochial interests from any part of the problem defies logic.  The union’s real intent is clear; protect its members irrespective of the needs of greater society.

Tenure in the educational field came into existence to protect teachers with dissenting views from being harassed or fired.  Tenure was therefore not for the protection of teachers, who currently in California received ten-year after 18 months of service, but instead for the protection of freely expressed knowledge and its related discourse.  The result of tenure, however, has been much different.  Not only has it helped incompetent teachers retain jobs, but it has not broaden political views within educational institutions with teaching positions, especially in universities, controlled by the Progressives.

With the decline of many American schools and the poor results graduates have performed in standardized test, the debate about tenure will continue to grow.  There can be no more of a justification for teachers’ tenure for job protection than for any other American worker.

In recent decades the judicial system has become activist, inflicting Progressive dogma on society.  That activism is now coming full circle with more conservative judges becoming willing to use judicial power to change society.  The implications of this activist court are no more dangerous today than they were decades ago.  To my friends on the Left, I say what goes around comes around.

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Stumbles Without Teleprompter Help

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 12, 2013

One skill Barack Obama has shown a penchant for has been in the oratory area.  His speeches are often eloquent, which have mesmerized some into believing such skills make for good leadership.

At other times President Obama has looked clumsy, especially when he has had to speak without the assistance of a Teleprompter.  Such was the case last week in California.  When his prepared remarks were not available at the podium the President began stuttering and obviously took offense towards his staff’s preparation, as shown in the video below.

When Republican presidents have shown clumsiness, from Gerald Ford tripping to George W. Bush’s less than eloquent use of the English language, the press has been happy to put the errors front and center.  However, when it comes to Barack Obama, that’s considered bad form.  So the mainstream media continues its love affair with a President who has also shown a penchant for trampling on the Constitution.


Posted in President Obama | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Claims 170 Million Jobs Will Be Lost Through Sequestration

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 2, 2013

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat from California, spoke for a group of congressional women on sequestration.  It was a sad example of just how ignorant our Washington politicians are.

Typical of the Left’s sky is falling claims concerning sequestration, she ran off a litany of negative consequences, especially focused on women, single mothers and the poor.  For this group, she said: “All of the gains we have made will be lost through sequestration.”  Well Ms. Waters, given the sad plight single mothers and the poor in this country, with friends like you who needs enemies.

In a demonstration of Ms. Waters’ ignorance and how bogus the Left’s claims are she said in the video below: “If sequestration takes place, that’s going to be a great setback.  We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these job losses — over 170 million jobs that could be lost”.  This is a remarkable claim given that there are only about 130 million working people in the United States.  Even scarier, Waters is the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee.  Just imagine if Sarah Palin or any woman on the Right had made such a stupid statement.

Sequestration involves only $85 billion in cuts for a federal budget that is over $3 trillion.  Give such a trivial requirement to anyone who has run a business and the problem would be resolved in a matter of hours.  The fact that in over a year the government has not been able to reach a resolution is proof of just how dysfunctional it is.  Given their inability to govern, radical actions to attack Washington’s spending problem including sequestration are required.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LA Killer Publishes Left-Wing Rants

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 7, 2013

The killer on the loose in California does not fit the profile included in the false narrative created by the Left concerning guns and violence in the United States.  This reality has affected the amount of press the issue receives and the manner in which this tragedy is being portrayed.

christopher-dornerThe suspected in the California killings is former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner who was fired from the department in 2008.  Dorner’s first victim last weekend was the daughter of a former police officer who represented him during a disciplinary hearing that led to his firing.  Early today in two separate incidents, police came under fire east of Los Angeles and Dorner is believed to be the perpetrator.  There is currently a massive manhunt ongoing for the killer.

Dorner published a 22 page manifesto sharing some of his social/political views.  The website weaselzippers.us posted a few of these rants that include:

Anti-NRA – “Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhumane piece of shit.  You never even showed 30 seconds of empathy for the children, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook.”

Pro Piers Morgan – “…give Piers Morgan an indefinite resident alien and Visa card.  Mr. Morgan, the problem that many American gun owners have with you and your continuous discussion of gun control is that you are not an American citizen and have an accent that is distinct and clarifies that you are a foreigner.  I want you to know that I agree with you 100% on enacting stricter firearm laws.”

Pro Obama – “You disrespect the office of the POTUS/Presidency and Commander in Chief.  You call him Kenyan, mongroid, halfrican, muslim, and FBHO when in essence you are to address him as simply, President.  The same as you did to President George W. Bush and all those in the highest ranking position of our land before him.  Just as I always have.  You question his birth certificate, his educational and professional accomplishments, and his judeo-christian beliefs.  You make disparaging remarks about his dead parents. …..”

Pro-Gun Control – “Who in there right mind needs a f_____g silencer!!! who needs a freaking SBR AR15?  No one.  No more Virginia Tech, Columbine HS, Wisconsin temple, Aurora theatre, Portland malls, Tucson rally,  Newtown Sandy Hook.  Whether by executive order or thru a bi-partisan congress an assault weapons ban needs to be re-instituted.  Period!!!  Mia Farrow said it best. “Gun control is no longer debatable, it’s not a conversation, its a moral mandate.”

If Dorner happened to be a right-winger, the mainstream media would be up-fronting this part of his biography.  Leftist politicians in Washington would be yelling for more gun control and the need for civility in our political discourse.  There double standard will be evident in their silence.

The fact that Dorner happens to hold Leftist political views is totally irrelevant.  He is but another individual with psychological defects similar to those of other mass killers.  It is likely that as more information services concerning Dorner, that just like the Sandy Hook murder, others knew of his psychological issues.  The fact that he was allowed have access to guns and freely roam the streets are the real problems facing our society faces.

Removing every so-called “assault rifle” from our society would not have saved one of the Dorner’s victims.  Many politicians, including Sen. Feinstein of California, who focus their angst on the assault rifle understand this.  Their focus on an inanimate object is a deflection that allows them to avoid discussions on the degradation of society caused by their Progressive social agenda.


Posted in Gun Control, Violence | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California School Shooting; No Assault Rifle no Coverage

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 11, 2013

Kern County, California was the site of yet another school shooting yesterday.  This occurrence involved a 16-year-old student with a beef against some fellow students.  The perpetrator went to the school with a 12 gauge shotgun and critically wounded one student before being talked into surrendering up by a teacher.  Given the classroom had 20 students and the shooter brought 20 shotgun shells, it was fortunate that more carnage did not occur.

The publicity given yesterday’s California incident has been miniscule compared to that which followed last month’s Connecticut shooting.  Only part of this discrepancy is reasonably explained by the difference in the carnage.  Another factor was the weapons used.  In Connecticut the shooter used in assault rifle, the current target of gun controllers.  In the California incident, a shotgun was used, a weapon that can be just as deadly as an assault rifle, but not currently on the gun controller’s hit list.  In fact, those that advocate gun control are purposely staying clear of raising the issue of shotguns since this would expose their greater plan, disarming American citizens.

Yesterday’s shooting in California helps demonstrate that attempts to ban anyone tool of violence is unproductive.  Ban the assault rifle and those intent on killing will use other types of rifles or pistols to kill.  Ban all guns and these killers will find other weapons.  While some such as knives are more difficult to inflict mass violence, others such as bombs and suicide vests are even more dangerous.

Posted in Gun Control | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California Handing Out Free Cell Phones

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 9, 2013

One of the many US federal government handout programs is “Lifeline Assistance”.  Through this program, the government offers cellular phones, landlines and Internet services to lower income individuals.  In 2012 the cost of this program exceeded $8 billion with the telephone giveaway portion being about $1.75 billion, double what it was only four years ago.  Nationwide, the program now offers assistance to 17 million households.

cell-phoneThe cell phone handouts are accomplished through private telecom companies.  They subsidize services for recipients deemed eligible by the government and are compensated via a surcharge the companies are allowed to add to the bills of paying customers.  This is yet another grotesque example of crony capitalism with one of the benefited providers being Tracfone owned by the Mexican telecom magnet Carlos Slim, one of the world’s wealthiest citizens.

California is the latest state to join the federal government’s cell phone handout program.  It is estimated that over 4.5 million of the state’s residents will be eligible for the cell phones.  This will eventually cost taxpayers over $450 million annually.

The cell phone handouts are troubling on many levels.  First, it is hard to understand by what authority the government takes funds from some Americans to pay for the convenience of others.  In addition, like many government initiatives, this program is right for abuses.  In fact a critic of the program, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, was outraged when she received a solicitation from a company indicating her eligibility for a free cell phone.  In addition, all that is required to be eligible for the program is proof of receipt of some other federal assistances.  Not required is proof of US citizenship.

Lifeline Assistance is an outgrowth of a program started by the Federal Communications Commission during the administration of Ronald Reagan.  Government handouts often start out with the best of intentions, but are corrupted as they are implemented and grow.  As we ask taxpaying Americans to pay their “fair share”, i.e. more taxes, it is reasonable to ask recipients of handouts to give up some of the free conveniences.

Posted in Government Handouts | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ed Asner and California Teachers Union Take Class Warfare to New heights

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 7, 2012

The California teachers union has produced a disgusting piece of propaganda in cartoon form.  It includes a vicious attack on Americans with wealth.  During one point the video shows a wealthy person actually peeing on a less well-to-do person.  The intent of the message is clear; the only way to become wealthy in America is by taking unfair advantage of others.  Further, any person who has not obtained wealth or security in the United States is in this predicament due to the devious actions of others.

The California teachers’ union video is reminiscent of propaganda used in repressive regimes of the past such as the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.  In addition to being divisive for American society, being promoted by those that are supposed to be responsible for teaching young Americans is downright frightening.

When questioned by a reporter concerning his role in the propaganda video, Asner was unrepentant.  First, he indicated that he can recall what was in the video.  Then, after asking the reporter if he had any money, Asner responded: “Can I piss on you?”

The fact that the Ed Asner’s and Michael Moore’s of the world are so wealthy themselves shows just how disingenuous and greedy the elitist Hollywood leftists have become.

Posted in Class Warfare, Unions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California is Broke: It’s the Spending Stupid

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 19, 2012

John, formerly from the West Coast, sent in the list below of California state agencies and offices.  This Blog spot checked the list and found it accurate.  The sheer number is incredible.

President Obama and others on the Left proffer the view that the Country’s deficit and debt problems should be resolved by increasing revenues, i.e. raising taxes.  Any attempt to cut spending is met with claims that they would inflict fatal harm on the needy.  In fact, such cuts would inflict the greatest harm on the organizations are dependent on the government spending.

California’s deficit this year is estimated to be approximately $16 billion.  A significant portion of that money is wasted on the organizations and agencies listed below.

California Academic Performance Index (API) * California Access for Infants and Mothers * California Acupuncture Board * California Administrative Office of the Courts * California Adoptions Branch * California African American Museum * California Agricultural Export Program * California Agricultural Labor Relations Board * California Agricultural Statistics Service * California Air Resources Board (CARB) * California Allocation Board * California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority * California Animal Health and Food Safety Services * California Anti-Terrorism Information Center * California Apprenticeship Council * California Arbitration Certification Program * California Architects Board * California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board * California Arts Council * California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus * California Assembly Democratic Caucus * California Assembly Republican Caucus * California Athletic Commission * California Attorney General * California Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California Bay-Delta Authority * California Bay-Delta Office * California Bio Diversity Council * California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists * California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors * California Board of Accountancy * California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology * California Board of Behavioral Sciences * California Board of Chiropractic Examiners * California Board of Equalization (BOE) * California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection * California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind * California Board of Occupational Therapy * California Board of Optometry * California Board of Pharmacy * California Board of Podiatric Medicine * California Board of Prison Terms * California Board of Psychology * California Board of Registered Nursing * California Board of Trustees * California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians * California Braille and Talking Book Library * California Building Standards Commission * California Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education * California Bureau of Automotive Repair * California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair * California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation * California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine * California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services * California Bureau of State Audits * California Business Agency * California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) * California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD) * California Business Portal * California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency * California Cal Grants * California CalJOBS * California Cal-Learn Program * California CalVet Home Loan Program * California Career Resource Network * California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau * California Center for Analytical Chemistry * California Center for Distributed Learning * California Center for Teaching Careers (Teach California) * California Chancellors Office * California Charter Schools * California Children and Families Commission * California Children and Family Services Division * California Citizens Compensation Commission * California Civil Rights Bureau * California Coastal Commission * California Coastal Conservancy * California Code of Regulations * California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis * California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth * California Commission on Aging * California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation * California Commission on Judicial Performance * California Commission on State Mandates * California Commission on Status of Women * California Commission on Teacher Credentialing * California Commission on the Status of Women * California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges * California Community Colleges Chancellors Office * California Complaint Mediation Program * California Conservation Corps * California Constitution Revision Commission * California Consumer Hotline * California Consumer Information Center * California Consumer Information * California Consumer Services Division * California Consumers and Families Agency * California Contractors State License Board * California Corrections Standards Authority * California Council for the Humanities * California Council on Criminal Justice * California Council on Developmental Disabilities * California Court Reporters Board * California Courts of Appeal * California Crime and Violence Prevention Center * California Criminal Justice Statistics Center * California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library * California CSGnet Network Management * California Cultural and Historical Endowment * California Cultural Resources Division * California Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Branch * California Data Exchange Center * California Data Management Division * California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission * California Delta Protection Commission * California Democratic Caucus * California Demographic Research Unit * California Dental Auxiliaries * California Department of Aging * California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board * California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control * California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) * California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS) * California Department of Community Services and Development * California Department of Conservation * California Department of Consumer Affairs * California Department of Corporations * California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation * California Department of Developmental Services * California Department of Education * California Department of Fair Employment and Housing * California Department of Finance * California Department of Financial Institutions * California Department of Fish and Game * California Department of Food and Agriculture * California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) * California Department of General Services * California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing * California Department of Health Care Services * California Department of Housing and Community Development * California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) * California Department of Insurance * California Department of Justice Firearms Division * California Department of Justice Opinion Unit * California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit * California Department of Justice * California Department of Managed Health Care * California Department of Mental Health * California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) * California Department of Personnel Administration * California Department of Pesticide Regulation * California Department of Public Health * California Department of Real Estate * California Department of Rehabilitation * California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch * California Department of Social Services * California Department of Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC) * California Department of Technology Services (DTS) * California Department of Toxic Substances Control * California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) * California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) * California Department of Water Resources * California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados * California Digital Library * California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Division of Apprenticeship Standards * California Division of Codes and Standards * California Division of Communicable Disease Control * California Division of Engineering * California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control * California Division of Gambling Control * California Division of Housing Policy Development * California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement * California Division of Labor Statistics and Research * California Division of Land and Right of Way * California Division of Land Resource Protection * California Division of Law Enforcement General Library * California Division of Measurement Standards * California Division of Mines and Geology * California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) * California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources * California Division of Planning and Local Assistance * California Division of Recycling * California Division of Safety of Dams * California Division of the State Architect * California Division of Tourism * California Division of Workers Compensation Medical Unit * California Division of Workers Compensation * California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources * California Economic Strategy Panel * California Education and Training Agency * California Education Audit Appeals Panel * California Educational Facilities Authority * California Elections Division * California Electricity Oversight Board * California Emergency Management Agency * California Emergency Medical Services Authority * California Employment Development Department (EDD) * California Employment Information State Jobs * California Employment Training Panel * California Energy Commission * California Environment and Natural Resources Agency * California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) * California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) * California Executive Office * California Export Laboratory Services * California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo) * California Fair Political Practices Commission * California Fairs and Expositions Division * California Film Commission * California Fire and Resource Assessment Program * California Firearms Division * California Fiscal Services * California Fish and Game Commission * California Fisheries Program Branch * California Floodplain Management * California Foster Youth Help * California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) * California Fraud Division * California Gambling Control Commission * California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS) * California Geological Survey * California Government Claims and Victim Compensation Board * California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons * California Governors Mentoring Partnership * California Governors Office of Emergency Services * California Governors Office of Homeland Security * California Governors Office of Planning and Research * California Governors Office * California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan * California Health and Human Services Agency * California Health and Safety Agency * California Healthy Families Program * California Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau * California High-Speed Rail Authority * California Highway Patrol (CHP) * California History and Culture Agency * California Horse Racing Board * California Housing Finance Agency * California Indoor Air Quality Program * California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission * California Industrial Welfare Commission * California InFoPeople * California Information Center for the Environment * California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) * California Inspection Services * California Institute for County Government * California Institute for Education Reform * California Integrated Waste Management Board * California Interagency Ecological Program * California Job Service * California Junta Estatal de Personal * California Labor and Employment Agency * California Labor and Workforce Development Agency * California Labor Market Information Division * California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) * California Lands Commission * California Landscape Architects Technical Committee * California Latino Legislative Caucus * California Law Enforcement Branch * California Law Enforcement General Library * California Law Revision Commission * California Legislative Analyst’s Office * California Legislative Black Caucus * California Legislative Counsel * California Legislative Division * California Legislative Information * California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus * California Legislature Internet Caucus * California Library De velopment Services * California License and Revenue Branch * California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program * California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board * California Maritime Academy * California Marketing Services * California Measurement Standards * California Medical Assistance Commission * California Medical Care Services * California Military Department * California Mining and Geology Board * California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts * California Museum Resource Center * California National Guard * California Native American Heritage Commission * California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program * California New Motor Vehicle Board * California Nursing Home Administrator Program * California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board * California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board * California Ocean Resources Management Program * California Office of Administrative Hearings * California Office of Administrative Law * California Office of AIDS * California Office of Binational Border Health * California Office of Child Abuse Prevention * California Office of Deaf Access * California Office of Emergency Services (OES) * California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment * California Office of Fiscal Services * California Office of Fleet Administration * California Office of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation (CalOHI) * California Office of Historic Preservation * California Office of Homeland Security * California Office of Human Resources * California Office of Legal Services * California Office of Legislation * California Office of Lieutenant Governor * California Office of Military and Aerospace Support * California Office of Mine Reclamation * California Office of Natural Resource Education * California Office of Privacy Protection * California Office of Public School Construction * California Office of Real Estate Appraisers * California Office of Risk and Insurance Management * California Office of Services to the Blind * California Office of Spill Prevention and Response * California Office of State Publishing (OSP) * California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development * California Office of Systems Integration * California Office of the Inspector General * California Office of the Ombudsman * California Office of the Patient Advocate * California Office of the President * California Office of the Secretary for Education * California Office of the State Fire Marshal * California Office of the State Public Defender * California Office of Traffic Safety * California Office of Vital Records * California Online Directory * California Operations Control Office * California Opinion Unit * California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) * California Park and Recreation Commission * California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) * California Performance Review (CPR) * California Permit Information for Business (CalGOLD) * California Physical Therapy Board * California Physician Assistant Committee * California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services * California Policy and Evaluation Division * California Political Reform Division * California Pollution Control Financing Authority * California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo * California Postsecondary Education Commission * California Prevention Services * California Primary Care and Family Health * California Prison Industry Authority * California Procurement Division * California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) * California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) * California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) * California Real Estate Services Division * California Refugee Programs Branch * California Regional Water Quality Control Boards * California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee * California Registrar of Charitable Trusts * California Republican Caucus * California Research and Development Division * California Research Bureau * California Resources Agency * California Respiratory Care Board * California Rivers Assessment * California Rural Health Policy Council * California Safe Schools * California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission * California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy * California San Joaquin River Conservancy * California School to Career * California Science Center * California Scripps Institution of Oceanography * California Secretary of State Business Portal * California Secretary of State * California Seismic Safety Commission * California Self Insurance Plans (SIP) * California Senate Office of Research * California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program * California Small Business Development Center Program * California Smart Growth Caucus * California Smog Check Information Center * California Spatial Information Library * California Special Education Division * California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board * California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) * California Standards and Assessment Division * California State Administrative Manual (SAM) * California State Allocation Board * California State and Consumer Services Agency * California State Architect * California State Archives * California State Assembly * California State Association of Counties (CSAC) * California State Board of Education * California State Board of Food and Agriculture *California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) * California State Children’s Trust Fund * California State Compensation Insurance Fund * California State Contracts Register Program * California State Contracts Register * California State Controller * California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) * California State Disability Insurance (SDI) * California State Fair (Cal Expo) * California State Jobs Employment Information * California State Lands Commission * California State Legislative Portal * California State Legislature * California State Library Catalog * California State Library Services Bureau * California State Library * California State Lottery * California State Mediation and Conciliation Service * California State Mining and Geology Board * California State Park and Recreation Commission * California State Parks * California State Personnel Board * California State Polytechnic University, Pomona * California State Railroad Museum * California State Science Fair * California State Senate * California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) * California State Summer School for the Arts * California State Superintendent of Public Instruction * California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) * California State Treasurer * California State University Center for Distributed Learning * California State University, Bakersfield * California State University, Channel Islands * California State University, Chico * California State University, Dominguez Hills * California State University, East Bay * California State University, Fresno * California State University, Fullerton * California State University, Long Beach * California State University, Los Angeles * California State University, Monterey Bay * California State University, Northridge * California State University, Sacramento * California State University, San Bernardino * California State University, San Marcos * California State University, Stanislaus * California State University (CSU) * California State Water Project Analysis Office * California State Water Project * California State Water Resources Control Board * California Structural Pest Control Board * California Student Aid Commission * California Superintendent of Public Instruction * California Superior Courts * California Tahoe Conservancy * California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists * California Tax Information Center * California Technology and Administration Branch Finance * California Telecommunications Division * California Telephone Medical Advice Services (TAMS) * California Transportation Commission * California Travel and Transportation Agency * California Unclaimed Property Program * California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board * California Unemployment Insurance Program * California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission * California Veterans Board * California Veterans Memorial * California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician Examining Committee * California Veterinary Medical Board * California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board * California Volunteers * California Voter Registration * California Water Commission * California Water Environment Association (COWPEA) * California Water Resources Control Board * California Welfare to Work Division * California Wetlands Information System * California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch * California Wildlife Conservation Board * California Wildlife Programs Branch * California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) * California Workers Compensation Appeals Board * California Workforce and Labor Development Agency * California Workforce Investment Board * California Youth Authority (CYA) * Central Valley Flood Protection Board * Center for California Studies * Colorado River Board of California * Counting California * Dental Board of California * Health Insurance Plan of California (PacAdvantage) * Humboldt State University * Jobs with the State of California * Judicial Council of California * Learn California * Library of California * Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California * Little Hoover Commission (on 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San Diego and San Jose Vote to Cut Pensions

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 7, 2012

The results of Tuesday’s elections were ominous for public employee unions.  The election with the most publicity was the failed recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.  However, two elections in California may be of even more significance for unions.

The cities of San Diego and San Jose voted to cut pension benefits for their public employees.  The margins indicate significant voter anger with San Diego passing the measure by two thirds and San Jose by approximately 70%.  Adding significance to these results is that they occurred in California, a liberal state that traditionally votes Democratic.

The problems that San Diego, San Jose and many other municipalities and states face are bloated and unsustainable benefits going to public employees.  These benefits were substantially increased during the bubble years by politicians who are no longer in office.  Now the chickens have come home to roost and the governments have been forced to cut services and layoff workers to pay for the benefits.

The problems cities and municipalities face caused by the excessive benefits for their employees are examples as to why public employees should not be allowed to organize.  Not only do they negotiate with people who do not have to pay the bills, but often these same politicians offer the employees benefits in exchange for union votes.  This perverse reality has resulted in public employees being paid far in excess of private employee counterparts.  For example, police officers and firefighters in San Jose have the ability to retire after only 30 years with pensions worth 90% of their salaries.

The high cost of public employees has created a dilemma for Democratic politicians who run many of America’s large municipalities.  As examples, San Jose’s mayor is a Democrat and even Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago is attempting to cut public employee pension costs.  This reality places Democrats at odds with one of their most important supporters, public employee unions.  It will make a special interest group less enthused about voting.

Posted in Public Employees, Unions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »