Archives for January 2017

San Francisco sues Trump over his ‘sanctuary city’ order

As reported by the Fresno Bee:

San Francisco sued President Donald Trump on Tuesday, claiming an executive order that cuts funding from immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities” is unconstitutional and a “severe invasion of San Francisco’s sovereignty.”

The federal government cannot “put a gun to the head of localities,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said, arguing that the order violates states’ rights and the law.

The complaint, filed in federal district court, names Trump and his administration and claims the president is trying to coerce local authorities into abandoning sanctuary city policies, which San Francisco has adopted.

“Strong cities like San Francisco must continue to push the nation forward and remind America that we are a city that fights for what is right,” Mayor Ed Lee said.

The president signed an order last week to withdraw funding from sanctuary cities that decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. It did not specify what kind of money could be pulled. …

Click here to read the full article

Taxes, Fees, Charges and Assessments: What Difference Does It Make?

TaxesWhat’s the difference between a tax and fee? There is no easy answer and the political class likes it that way. In fact, they would prefer that the public remain confused to the point of apathy.

The political class, of course, consists of elected officials, bureaucrats and their special interest allies who are to the Capitol what insider traders are to Wall Street. Working in lockstep, their approach to increasing the take from taxpayers was best outlined by Jean Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Finance under Louis XIV of France: The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.

But taxpayers are not defenseless because Proposition 13 – later strengthened by Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act – provides effective weapons against an insatiable government ever in search of more revenue. These include voter approval requirements. At the state level, new or higher taxes require a two-thirds vote of each house and, at the local level, voter or property owner approval requirements allow those who have to pay a government exaction (no matter what it is called) an opportunity to say no.

However, to protect themselves, taxpayers must be knowledgeable, alert and ready to fearlessly protect and exercise their rights.

Therefore, while most taxpayers don’t have a law degree, here are some basics about the difference between a “tax” and a “fee.” There are very few legal limitations on “taxes.” About the only way a tax could be unconstitutional is if it impaired a fundamental right (a “poll” tax on the right to vote) or if it singled out some group for discriminatory purposes. But fees are different. A fee is a charge for something that confers a benefit to the fee-payer that is not available to those who do not pay the fee. A classic example is a charge for entering a state campground.

Until the passage of Proposition 26 in 2010, the Legislature could approve fees with a simple majority vote. But in 2011, the Legislature approved, with a simple majority, charging 850,000 rural homeowners an annual “fire fee” of $150. The “fee” was not accompanied by any additional benefit or service, clearly making it a tax requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. This issue is currently being litigated by taxpayers, but it is a classic example of the dishonest ends to which tax raisers are willing to go to wring ever more money from taxpayers.

Moreover, the political class has a habit of pursuing taxes that are not apparent to the general public. Almost any tax on business fits into this category. As Howard Jarvis liked to say, businesses do not pay taxes, “we do.”

As part of Obamacare, the federal government imposed a tax scheme designed to stop employers from offering top quality health plans. Backers of the Affordable Care Act included a 40 percent tax on providers of what were derisively described as “Cadillac” plans. As these plans disappear, the uninformed will assume that it is their employer who is responsible, when, in fact, it is government.

Here, in California, a major hidden tax is cap-and-trade legislation, not approved with a two-thirds vote, that compels companies to buy carbon credits. Of course, these costs are passed on and drivers feel the impact every time they fill up with gasoline that costs, by the most conservative estimates, an additional 12 cents per gallon with more increases on the horizon. Unaware of the impact of cap-and-trade, many motorists may mistakenly assume that the high cost of gas is entirely due to the petroleum companies.

This is why taxpayers are closely watching a case just argued before the Sacramento appeals court, where opponents argue that cap-and-trade charges amount to an unconstitutional tax. The court is expected to render a decision within 90 days but, regardless of the outcome, the loser is likely to appeal to the California Supreme Court.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

This piece was originally published by HJTA.org

Eber: Beware of Trade Wars

President Trump was clear when running for office—he opposed TPP and wanted to renegotiate NAFTA.  Unlike others, he actually meant that and in his first week in office, took us out of TPP and told Canada and Mexico NAFTA had to be re-done—with America’s interest being the priority.  He believes a strong U.S. makes the rest of the world economically strong.

“Adversely affected would be imports in billions with categories of machinery102, autos 74, medical devices 12, and fuel 14.  Not to be forgotten are 21 billion dollars worth of agricultural commodities which bring everything from lettuce to melons to USA markets 12 months a year. The 20% surcharge on these goods would be eventually paid for by consumers in the USA.  They in effect would be paying to build the wall. The expense to construct a barrier would be the least of the problems created by such a move.

Imagine if Sweet Tomatoes veggie buffet had to raise their prices because the cost of rabbit food had gone up so much. Seriously, if it becomes more expensive to bring in food and other essential items from Mexico, this would likely contribute to inflation. We would end up paying for Trump’s obsession in punitive ways hurting ourselves.”

Negotiations will go forward.  Instead of multi-lateral agreements, they will be bi-lateral—with the U.S. priorities being considered and approved.  No one could do this as needed, other than Donald Trump.  Trade wars always happen, but will the result be good for the United States?

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Beware of Trade Wars By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views  1/31/17

When Donald Trump proposed that a 20% import border tax be imposed on imports of food, medicines, and manufactured goods from Mexico, a major red flag was raised by the American business community.  This was not about paying for the construction of a wall to restrict the flow of traffic on the borders; but rather the impact on their corporate profits.

Currently Mexico is the second leading export market for the United States at 236 billion dollars per year. Import totals are 59 billion more. Most of this disparity comes from manufacturing plants in Mexico finishing USA goods by utilizing discounted labor costs south of the border. This trade imbalance is expected to fall in the future with American car companies recently agreeing to switch production back to the States.

What worries American business and likely the stock market would be that if a 20% tariff on imports from Mexico was imposed by Trump, this traffic could not be easily substituted by vendors in the USA. Imposing protectionist tariffs would likely turn the economies of both countries upside down into shock mode.

Adversely affected would be imports in billions with categories of machinery102, autos 74, medical devices 12, and fuel 14.  Not to be forgotten are 21 billion dollars worth of agricultural commodities which bring everything from lettuce to melons to USA markets 12 months a year. The 20% surcharge on these goods would be eventually paid for by consumers in the USA.  They in effect would be paying to build the wall. The expense to construct a barrier would be the least of the problems created by such a move.

Imagine if Sweet Tomatoes veggie buffet had to raise their prices because the cost of rabbit food had gone up so much. Seriously, if it becomes more expensive to bring in food and other essential items from Mexico, this would likely contribute to inflation. We would end up paying for Trump’s obsession in punitive ways hurting ourselves.

Before panic mode can be further pondered, it should be considered that the US Congress would be involved with imposing new tariff rates on imports. Also in analyzing Donald Trump’s threats to impose a 20% border tax, one must consider that he has a reputation for threatening Draconian measures to gain a better negotiating position.  However, in bringing the philosophy of his book Art of the Deal into the political arena, the stakes are much higher than constructing a hotel. We should all know this

As the impacts of imposing a protectionist tariff structure are much greater than any good that could be gained, perhaps Trump should resort to different tactics in attempting to strengthen his negotiating position with Mexico. These same concerns need to be taken into account with what transpires with the Trump Administration withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement (TPP)

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Critics will likely say the price of imported merchandise will automatically go up if TPP is abandoned.  This is fiction because it does not take into account trade negotiations with China.  All of the other give-a-way items in the 4000 word document are trivial in relationship to whatever transpires in negotiations between the two super powers.

There are numerous bilateral issues to discuss including tariffs and restrictions on imports from the USA. In addition there are political considerations such as the One China Policy and China’s buildup in the South China Seas.  Even policy towards North Korea comes into play as we are dealing with a dictatorship that is very sensitive to all of these subject matters

For the last quarter century the USA has played out the part of Santa Claus with China. We are reminded of the wealthy maiden aunt with whom you are scared not to offend for fear that she might leave you out of her will. There has been minimal negotiating power to protect US interests.  As a result copy right infringement, currency manipulation, stealing industrial secrets and unfair trade practices on China’s part have been largely ignored.

It would appear that what Donald Trump is doing can be compared to the strategy of a labor union bringing a lot of issues to the bargaining table in order to get a better deal from management.  It is difficult for the President to undertake such a strategy when every comment he makes is micro analyzed and taken literally by the press.

One of the questions to be answered is how Trump will be able to pull off the art of the deal in his negotiations with foreign governments when he is always contending with the “art of the debate.” at home.

To deal with this problem President Trump might be better off doing his negotiations on trade matters in private rather than through the court of public opinion.  He may need to take on a similar strategy as was taken by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in their dealings with China almost 50 years ago.

In tackling withdrawal from the TPP, Trump will have to contend with some of the same issues that he is facing with the ridiculous idea of putting in a border tax on goods being imported from Mexico.

 

Any sort of an import tax’s will result in trading partners taking retaliatory steps against the United States.  Depending on their severity, exports of Made in USA items can be adversely affected. All of the tax relief and reduction of environmental regulations will be meaningless for American business if there is no place to export their goods.

This type of scenario is not to be easily dismissed.  Trade wars caused by arbitrary taxation have historically lead not only to financial ruin, but also contributed to the other type of war where armies clash and soldiers die.

Let us not forget that the first blood spilled in our own war of independence was caused by taxation without representation from the British Crown that resulted in the Boston Tea Party.  It could be said that the “Stamp Act” imposed on the Colonists by King George, is alive and well in 2017. It just manifests itself in other ways.

This is why the English monarch’s modern equivalent Donald Trump should follow the axiom of “look before you leap” when it comes to unilaterally withdrawing from trade agreements that are thought to be unfair.  The ramifications on the economy’s of those affected are too great to take a cowboy approach where anything goes.

While a strong argument can be made that the USA has been getting the shaft in trade deals for the last 40 years, especially from China, this does not mean that things can be changed over night

Hopefully, Donald Trump is fully aware of this and is just bluffing to gain a better negotiating position when it’s time to make a deal with Mexico, China, and the rest of the world on trade matters. We shall see.

 

Assembly Leader Chad Mayes Press Release Needs Friendly Clarifications

In a Press Release put on Facebook by GOP Assembly leader Chad Mayes had some comments that were inaccurate.  Allow me to note them.

  1. In the headline he wrote, “Statement on Executive Order Barring Refugees.”  No refugees were barred. All those asking to come to our nation from seven nations President Obama noted were terrorist nations in 2015 are to be extremely vetted.  While Obama passed a bill denoting these nations as terrorists, he did nothing about them—President Trump is acting.
  2. “recent executive order barring refugees from entering the country”.  No one is barred—everyone from the seven nations are extremely vetted”
  3. “Religious liberty is a core value of our nation.” Absolutely. In these seven nations it is a capital offense to be a Christian or Jewish.  They are attempting to export their bigotry and hatred.  I know that Assemblyman Mayes wants to stop that from coming to our shores and State.

4.“when forced to decide between security and liberty, I will always side with liberty.”  Again, absolutely—and to keep our liberty we need to assure we do not import terrorists—again I think Assemblyman Mayes agrees.

Glad to see Assemblyman Mayes speaking out against terrorism, bigotry and in support of liberty.  We are a nation of immigrants and religious freedom is a significant part of our liberties—and to be safe in our communities and homes.

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Statement on Executive Order Barring Refugees from Assembly Republican Leader Mayes

Assemblyman Chad Mayes, 1/30/17

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (Yucca Valley) released the following statement in response to the recent executive order barring refugees from entering the country:

“Religious liberty is a core value of our nation. My ancestors immigrated to America to flee religious persecution. While bolstering our national security is important, when forced to decide between security and liberty, I will always side with liberty.”

Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes serves the 42nd district that includes the Riverside County cities of Banning, Beaumont, Calimesa, Hemet, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and San Jacinto as well as the San Bernardino County cities of Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley.

 

 

 

Illegals Did Vote In November, And Trump Is Right To Investigate

If you say that illegal aliens did not vote in November, not only are you wrong, but are trying to deny what is known to be a fact.  In Virginia for instance, two counties have agreed to do an audit of “how many” (not if) illegal aliens voted.  Some studies claim 800,000 voter, other studies have it higher.  Seriously, how many illegal aliens with California drivers licenses voted?  Shouldn’t we find out?

“As we noted in this space before, there is evidence of ineligible voters casting ballots, citing studies that showed how outdated and slipshod voter registrations make it at least possible for noncitizens, and even illegal aliens, to vote. (A Pew Center study found that one out of every eight voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date or a duplicate.)

We pointed to 2014 study in the online Electoral Studies Journal which found, alarmingly, that “noncitizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”

Were it not for crooked voting Al Franken would still be an unfunny comic, instead of being an unfunny Senator.  Corruption put him into office—how many others?

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Illegals Did Vote In November, And Trump Is Right To Investigate

Investors Business Daily,  1/26/17

Elections: President Trump, refusing to back down from his claim that millions of illegal votes tipped the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, now wants a comprehensive review of voter integrity in the United States. Whatever Trump’s motivation for his claim, it’s the right call.

Shortly after the election, Trump said that he would have won the popular vote — which he lost by nearly 3 million votes — if it weren’t for “millions of illegal voters.”

That sent the mainstream press into a fit of apoplexy, with journalist and left-wing activists denouncing Trump’s claim as pure fabrication from a sore winner.

They went into another rage when Trump restated the claim in a meeting with lawmakers this week. The New York Times, which never called Obama out on his many abject lies, declared in its news pages that “Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers.”

As we noted in this space before, there is evidence of ineligible voters casting ballots, citing studies that showed how outdated and slipshod voter registrations make it at least possible for noncitizens, and even illegal aliens, to vote. (A Pew Center study found that one out of every eight voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date or a duplicate.)

We pointed to 2014 study in the online Electoral Studies Journal which found, alarmingly, that “noncitizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”

The mainstream press has dismissed that study, pointing out that a Harvard Team found flaws in the methodology. But the Harvard team also declared that “the likely percent of noncitizen voters in recent U.S. elections is 0.”

Whatever the flaws of the 2014 study, we know for a fact that the number of noncitizen voters is more than zero.

This week, John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky, who have both tracked voter fraud extensively, detailed multiple specific examples of noncitizens casting ballots in U.S. elections. Among them:

  • Election officials in a Kansas discovered that about a dozen newly sworn citizens had already voted in multiple elections when they offered to register them in 2015.
  • An investigation into a 1996 California House race in which Loretta Sanchez defeated incumbent Rep. Bob Dornan found 624 invalid votes by noncitizens in a race where Sanchez won by fewer than 1,000 votes.
  • A September report from the Public Interest Legal Foundation found more than 1,000 noncitizens on Virginia’s voter rolls, many of whom had cast votes in previous elections.
  • A district-court administrator estimated that up to 3% of the 30,000 people called for jury duty from voter-registration rolls over a two-year period were not U.S. citizens.

These may seem like small potatoes. But as Fund and von Spakovsky point out, “we don’t know how big of a problem voter fraud really is because no systematic effort has ever been made to investigate it.”

That’s a knowledge gap that needs to be filled in, and Democrats should eagerly embrace such an effort.

After all, they are the ones who keep insisting that we have to “count every vote” and “every vote counts.” Well, every single vote cast by an ineligible voter cancels out one legitimate ballot, which means that any level of fraud should be intolerable.

Plus, if Trump is wrong about the scale of voter fraud, a thorough investigation is the only way to prove it.

Somehow, we doubt Democrats will see it this way.

 

Celebrities Prove Themselves Dumber Than a Door Nail—Claim Trump is Banning Muslims

In 2015 President Obama listed seven nations as terrorist nations—but did nothing about it.  In 2017 President Trump issues orders than those trying to come into the United States from these nations must get a real vetting. Celebrities believe that ALL citizens in terrorists countries are Muslim, hence, they should all be allowed in this nation without vetting.

Emmy Rossum

✔ @emmyrossum

Can’t believe he’s actually doing the disgusting unconstitutional things he promised to do. The Muslim ban is awful & will not be tolerated.”

Too bad Emmy can not read or understand English—not a Muslim ban Bu what would this knee jerk wannabee think if she knew the truth—or could recognize the truth.  Kardashian got famous for a sex tape and talking dirty, SIA is afraid to show her face—Rosie O’Donnell is just a hater.  Any wonder Hollywood has lost credibility—now they are DEFENDING to Obama policy of allowing terrorists into this nation.  Sick.

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Kim Kardashian, Sia, and Other Celebs Use Social Media to Resist Trump’s Immigration Ban

By Emmanuel Hapsis, KQED,  1/29/17

On Friday, Trump signed an Executive Order that banned Syrian refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. Travelers, including an elderly disabled couple and a boy celebrating his fifth birthday, were detained at airports for hours over the weekend. Thousands across the country gathered to protest. And celebrities found ways to add their voices to the cause.

Sia promised to match any donations to the ACLU:

Rosie O’Donnell, Judd Apatow, and others followed her lead:

Grimes decided to do something similar with donations to the Council on American–Islamic Relation:

Kal Penn created a fundraiser for Syrian refugees in the name of a racist troll, which has already raised over $300,000:

John Legend used his stage time at the PGA Awards to speak about what America means to him:

“Our America is big, it is free, and it is open to dreamers of all races, all countries, all religions. Our vision of America is directly antithetical to that of President Trump. And I want to specifically reject his vision and affirm that America has to be better than that.”

He also implored the wealthy attendees to do something:

“There’s a lot of money and power in this room, and I hope you all will use it for something good.”

Kim Kardashian let the statistics speak for themselves:

And other celebs like Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and J.K. Rowling used the power of social media to offer support and speak truth to power:

 

California being PUNKED: Scam “Secession” Movement

The guy in charge of the CalExit movement is a California resident, living for years in Russia.  This is not a serious movement, though they did spend $2,000 to put a measure out on the streets for signatures.  Though were it a serious effort, the silly elites and Hollywood celebrities would no longer be voting for U.S. President.  But, even now do you care what Madonna, Cher, Kim Kardashian or Rihanna (doesn’t matter if I misspelled her name) thinks about anything?

“Well, let’s talk about food. Where’s it going to come from? The Central Valley is a remarkably fertile area. All sorts of stuff will grow there – except, it doesn’t anymore because California has decided to stop stockpiling water and has prioritized flushing what water it does have out into the sea for the benefit of bait fish. The California water system was sufficient when we had 20 million folks, but decades ago we stopped building dams and reservoirs because of Gaia or something. So, to eat, California would need to change its priorities from tadpoles to people, or become a net importer of food.

Oh, and that Colorado River water that quenches LA’s thirst? Yeah, the United States is probably going to need that. But you can still get some of that H2O – in the form of food grown in the USA that you now have to import. Except grapes. We have lots of grapes. Can’t make bread with them though.

On a practical note, where will we get our water—Oregon, Arizona or another State.  What if they decide to keep their own water?  Will Washington State sell us hydro-electric power—and at what price?  This appears to be a Saturday Night Live skit, which does not work.

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Why California’s Silly Secession Scheme Can’t Succeed

Kurt Schlichter, Townhall, 1/12/17   |

America’s dopey adolescent California is sulking because Hillary lost, so now it’s talking big about moving out of Mom’s house. According to one local bison, who presumably speaks for much of the proggy herd, the rest of America is unworthy of the Golden State’s glorious presence anyway.

I’m a resident of California, and I say, “Great – pack your crap and get out.” As tempting as it is to keep you in the Union as a cautionary example of what happens when liberals run everything, the pain you would suffer running away from home would be so overwhelming that it might even teach you hapless denizens of this ridiculous state a much-needed lesson. So, go for it.

Now, I’ve previously explored the whole idea of America breaking up both here in Townhall and in my new novel People’s Republic, which features the M4-oriented hero infiltrating blue America and finding Venezuela without the charm (This spring, look for its even more proactive prequel Indian Country). But now that the local nimrods seem to be at least semi-serious about putting the question of whether the Golden State should stay or go on the 2018 ballot, perhaps this is as good a time as any to do something that liberals really, truly hate.

Let’s confront them with facts by walking through how their stupid secession idea would actually work in the real world.

Now, let’s assume the separation would be peaceful. It would have to be – I’m thinking that the declining number of the kind of people who pick up rifles still living here would not be psyched to die so San Franciscans can ensure that illegal alien hobos are able to defecate on the street unmolested and that people who misgender via their pronoun use can be incarcerated. The typical California social justice warrior would make a poor warrior warrior. It would have to be an amicable divorce. So, California is an independent country with about 40,000,000 people. What now?

Well, let’s talk about food. Where’s it going to come from? The Central Valley is a remarkably fertile area. All sorts of stuff will grow there – except, it doesn’t anymore because California has decided to stop stockpiling water and has prioritized flushing what water it does have out into the sea for the benefit of bait fish. The California water system was sufficient when we had 20 million folks, but decades ago we stopped building dams and reservoirs because of Gaia or something. So, to eat, California would need to change its priorities from tadpoles to people, or become a net importer of food.

Oh, and that Colorado River water that quenches LA’s thirst? Yeah, the United States is probably going to need that. But you can still get some of that H2O – in the form of food grown in the USA that you now have to import. Except grapes. We have lots of grapes. Can’t make bread with them though.

And then there’s fossil fuels. We know you want to go green because of your bizarre weather panic religion, but that’s a lot of infrastructure to build (and, as we will see, you’re going to be short on cash), so for now you’re stuck with dino juice. Since you’ve pretty much banned fracking and limited oil production (and I bet you’ll be shutting down those rigs off the Santa Barbara coast because rich libs hate looking at them), you’ll need to import oil. A lot of oil. The good news is the USA will have plenty to sell you.

In fact, the USA will have plenty of everything to sell you since you’ve largely driven manufacturing out of California with your regulations and taxes. Who makes cars in California? Well, Tesla, sort of – except its big new battery plant is in Nevada. And generating power? The USA will be happy to oblige since your climate change scam laws will essentially require you to outsource your greenhouse gas emissions – and the USA will be delighted to let you pay it for the privilege.

But hey, California still has entertainment and technology! Except much of the entertainment industry has already been driven out of SoCal by costs and regulations – wonder why the credits on all the TV shows you watch tell you they are filmed in Vancouver, Georgia, New Mexico, or somewhere other than Hollywood? Even the porn industry is hitting and quitting Cali! But you still have the tech companies that are stubbornly clinging to California; I hear Twitter is doing great. Oh, right. And those companies hire what – a few thousand genderfluids named Kaden? They may make rich punks richer, but other than that, nada. Well, perhaps you can still partially offset your stunning trade deficit with exports of karma and synergy.

Let’s talk spending. Don’t think California gets to just leave behind its >10% share of the $20 trillion dollar Obama-enhanced national debt. Here’s an invoice for $2 trillion. And we already talked about the California military – with >10% of the population, will it pick up 10% of the current $582.7BN defense budget? That’s $58BN on top of the current $167BN budget – ouch. Now, California might be tempted to free ride on the more martial USA, but that is going to engender some bad blood. Do you really want to tick off the people who feed and fuel and defend you?

Now, those 40 million California citizens are also going to be expecting their Social Security and Medicare and government federal pensions and all the rest of the goodies they think they’ve earned. Guess who gets to scratch that itch? Let’s not forget California’s own existing bond and pension debt – the rest of America won’t be around to help you with that. Plus, the all-Democrat legislature is going to be hard-pressed to turn down any deadbeat constituency looking for a handout, and a third of America’s deadbeats live in California now. It’s already well on its way to becoming America’s dead weight.

Not wanting to be oppressive to people who shouldn’t be there in the first place, California is going to want to legalize all the zillions of illegals currently living here. And when it does, since immigration laws are racist or something, more uninvited folks will be showing up as California becomes Mexico’s Spare Bedroom. Even if it keeps all the income taxes its residents pay to the feds now, California is still going to have to come up with a lot more dough. Sure, an independent California can run a deficit, but after Greece, who is going to lend tens of billions to Sacramento – except at crushingly high interest rates?

So taxes get to go up. California’s income tax on the wealthiest (who aren’t actually that wealthy when you realize a shack a couple miles from the beach costs $1 million plus) is something like 11%. The current top federal rate is about 39% (with no state tax deduction anymore!), so assuming that dough goes to Uncle Moonbeam, you are at a 50% rate before local taxes and without considering payroll/self-employment taxes. That’s still not enough to pay for California’s progressive utopia.

Taxes need to rise. Of course, the really rich can suck it up (or, more likely, shelter their income), and the poor don’t pay income taxes anyway. So that leaves the already depleted middle class to pick up the tab. But the few remaining middle class Californians are more likely to pick up and leave – after all, plenty of their pals from California are in Austin already and at least there they can afford a house outside the ghetto. Guys like me – a lawyer who prospers because of the state’s idiotic regulatory regime – will milk this Cal until it’s dry and then take off to sunny, low-tax Florida with our loot. So, California will become, even more than it already is, a place consisting of a few really rich people and a lot of poor ones. Not really a recipe for long term stability and prosperity – sure you want to forgo an army?

And then there are the substantive changes the extreme lefties left in charge would make. Bathroom antics and mandatory cake baking are just the beginning. Does anyone think a California unrestrained by the Constitution will retain unchanged any of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights? Think of an independent California as a giant college campus that is a country – who in Sacramento will resist the inevitable call to criminalize “hate speech” and “racism” and “sexism?” Of course, those words simply mean anything progressives dislike – look for censors in the form of “Bias Review Commissions” and the like scrutinizing every word you utter.

Freedom of religion? Come on. Do you think they won’t legislate the content of religious teachings? You’ve met liberals, right? They’re aching to destroy the alternate pole of power that religion represents. Watch “hate churches” – by which they mean ones that actually follow Jesus’s teachings – get stripped of their tax exemptions. The bankruptcies and tax sales that follow will not be bugs – they will be features.

And as for the Second Amendment – don’t make me laugh. Crime will run rampant (hell, it already is) because the left sees criminality as a valid expression of oppressed peoples, and opposition to it as pure bigotry. But fear not – the rich will still be safe behind their walls and armed guards. Everyone else? Too bad, so sad.

But for all the big talk, California will never try to secede. It’s dumb, but not that dumb. The clowns in Sacramento fully understand that the folly and foolishness that flourishes on the left coast is an indulgence of, and made possible only by, the patience of better Americans in the rest of the country. California is just lucky that Mom has so much patience with its nonsense, and that she will let it keep crashing on the futon down in the basement in the likely vain hope that someday it will get its stuff together and grow the hell up.

 

Trump Medicaid Changes Could Force California to END Free Health Care to Illegal Aliens

In 2015 Guv Brown signed a bill to give free health care to 200,000 illegal aliens, under Medi-Cal.  There was NO method to pay for it.  That is why we had the tobacco tax on the ballot—much of that money is going to finance illegal aliens.  Thought it was for real health care.  President Trump is planning on changing the finance system, giving each State a block grant, instead of paying for individuals on the rolls.

“Edwin Park, vice president for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says block grants reduce federal Medicaid spending and shift costs to states.

“If states exceed their cap, states are responsible for 100 percent of Medicaid cost above that cap, whether it’s a cap on the whole program under a block grant or a cap on a per beneficiary basis, under a per capita cap,” he says.

While proponents of block grants argue that states would have more flexibility to innovate and reduce costs, Park says states would likely have to raise taxes, or make cuts to their budget to offset funding reductions.

He is right—if California wants to continue giving free health care to illegal aliens, we will have to raise taxes, specifically for that purpose.  Would you vote yes?  This is another way Trump has to stop the flood of illegal aliens in California.  Good for him.

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Proposed Medicaid Funding Changes Could Lead To Medi-Cal Cuts

Ja’Nel Johnson, Capitol Public Radio,  1/28/17

President Donald Trump and his administration want to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, which means the federal government would give California a fixed amount of funding for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.

Currently, the federal government covers 50 percent of the state’s Medi-Cal cost and 95 percent for Medi-Cal expansion.

Edwin Park, vice president for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says block grants reduce federal Medicaid spending and shift costs to states.

“If states exceed their cap, states are responsible for 100 percent of Medicaid cost above that cap, whether it’s a cap on the whole program under a block grant or a cap on a per beneficiary basis, under a per capita cap,” he says.

While proponents of block grants argue that states would have more flexibility to innovate and reduce costs, Park says states would likely have to raise taxes, or make cuts to their budget to offset funding reductions.

Park says when costs rise faster than expected, cuts are more likely to occur, which could result in cuts to eligibility, benefits and provider payments.

“On top of repeal of Medicaid expansion, another 14 to 21 million Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide would lose coverage and likely end up uninsured,” Park says.

In California, one-third of residents are enrolled in Medi-Cal.

The $100 billion program receives $66.8 billion from the federal government but under a repeal, the state would lose $17.3 billion for Medi-Cal.

 

Finally: Audit of Illegal Aliens Voting Starts in Virginia

At least the people of Virginia take illegal aliens voting seriously.  A lawsuit was filed to do an audit and it has been withdrawn—because of an agreement to do the audit in two counties.  This is the start of a process that could unravel the corruption of our voting system.  A couple of studies have shown 800,000 illegal aliens voted in the last election.  Pew has a report showing 2.4 million people illegally on the nations voting rolls.

“The agreement was announced Monday by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an Indiana-based organization that litigates to protect election integrity. The group filed two lawsuits against the city of Manassas and Chesterfield County, Virginia, demanding the jurisdictions release the total number of non-citizens registered to vote in the area.

PILF will receive lists with the total number of non-citizens registered to vote in both Manassas and Chesterfield County.

“These are positive steps toward quantifying the true extent of noncitizen voter registration in Virginia,” PILF president and general counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “Washington and Richmond alike are positioned to consider various election integrity reforms and are right to do so. Those discussions deserve precise data like we’ve obtained.”

For those interested, Christian Adams will be speaking in Fresno on March 30—more details later.  Congratulations to Adams and his effort to legitimize American elections.

vote count election

Group to Learn Number of Non-Citizens Registered to Vote in Two VA Locales

‘A way forward for the Trump Administration to study … illegal voting’

BY: Joe Schoffstall, Washington Free Beacon,  1/30/17

A public interest legal group and two Virginia jurisdictions have agreed mutually to dismiss lawsuits stemming from the jurisdictions’ refusal to allow the inspection of voter rolls for non-citizens.

The agreement was announced Monday by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an Indiana-based organization that litigates to protect election integrity. The group filed two lawsuits against the city of Manassas and Chesterfield County, Virginia, demanding the jurisdictions release the total number of non-citizens registered to vote in the area.

PILF will receive lists with the total number of non-citizens registered to vote in both Manassas and Chesterfield County.

“These are positive steps toward quantifying the true extent of noncitizen voter registration in Virginia,” PILF president and general counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “Washington and Richmond alike are positioned to consider various election integrity reforms and are right to do so. Those discussions deserve precise data like we’ve obtained.”

The group said it is preparing new measures for Virginia jurisdictions that still do not allow it to inspect their voter rolls for potential non-citizen voting activity.

Logan Churchwell, communications and research director at PILF, said the developments are a “big win” for transparency of local governments.

“This is a big win for private citizens working to keep their local governments transparent and accountable. Answers to questions like ‘how many non-U.S. citizens registered in my county last year?’ should never be forbidden,” Churchwell told the Washington Free Beacon. “In wrapping these cases, the remainder of the Commonwealth is on notice that it cannot hide these data from the public. They might as well start printing cancellation reports with non-citizens found on their rolls now.”

Churchwell said the cases also show a way forward for the Trump administration as it studies the scope of illegal voting.

“Looking at the larger picture, these cases show a way forward for the Trump Administration to study and quantify the true scope of illegal voting in 2016 and generally. Only the federal government has the tools and legal powers to compare our nation’s voter files to immigration databases. All the information is in the DOJ’s hands—if only it will take charge. PILF was forced to fill a gap that the Obama DOJ left with respect to asking these tough questions—but it can get back to that work again.”

PILF’s efforts previously led to the discovery of a number of non-citizens on voter rolls in the state.

In September 2016, the group released a report detailing the number of illegal immigrants on voter rolls from Virginia jurisdictions that complied with its requests for information.

Of the eight Virginia counties that complied with the group’s requests, PILF discovered 1,046 aliens registered to vote illegally. The group also found that ballots were cast in hundreds of instances prior to discovery.

“The problem is most certainly exponentially worse because we have no data regarding aliens on the registration rolls for the other 125 Virginia localities,” the group said at the time. “Even in this small sample, when the voting history of this small sample of alien registrants is examined, nearly 200 verified ballots were cast before they were removed from the rolls. Each one of them is likely a felony.”

The city of Manassas and Chesterfield County did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Elon Musk Says He’s Building a Tunnel Underneath Los Angeles

In 1960 Walt Disney offered to build a monorail, like he built in Disneyland, to go the whole route of Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, from the ocean in Santa Monica to downtown, 17 miles away—for free!  L.A. turned it down.  Now Elon Musk is willing to build a tunnel under the streets of L.A., to help the traffic issue—and he claims it will start in a month.  Is this a joke?

So far he does not have a permit, an EIR, permission to tunnel, etc. He doesn’t even know where he will start or will build.  Crazy idea—but, maybe he could do it.  We wasted $10 billion on a subway in LA that must be subsidized, maybe a free market tunnel is a better idea?

“Where? How? Is he getting permits for this? No one knows. But because it’s Elon Musk, people are taking it seriously and wondering whether some major project is in the making.

Musk first mentioned the plan back in December.

“Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging,” he tweeted, adding, “it shall be called ‘The Boring Company.'”

Musk is very serious—looks like a lot of fun and soon!

telsa-elon-musk

Elon Musk Says He’s Building a Tunnel Underneath Los Angeles

California County News, 01/29/2017

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is fed up with L.A. traffic. But he says he’s got a solution: digging a tunnel underneath its roads.

“Exciting progress on the tunnel front,” Musk tweeted Wednesday. “Plan to start digging in a month or so.”

Wait, what?

“Yup.”

Where? How? Is he getting permits for this? No one knows. But because it’s Elon Musk, people are taking it seriously and wondering whether some major project is in the making.

Musk first mentioned the plan back in December.

“Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging,” he tweeted, adding, “it shall be called ‘The Boring Company.'”

People thought it was a joke. But Elon says he’s as serious as a five-alarm fire.

Here’s the thing. Many insist digging tunnels underneath Los Angeles won’t improve the gridlock that’s driving Elon crazy. Unless it’s a private tunnel just for Elon. And if that’s the case, please take us with you!