Govt. Workers in CA Score Top Salaries

new survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found that California government workers pull down among the highest compensation in the nation. Here’s the map:

census compensation

Table 4 shows average earnings, for 2013, in California for a full-time state-and-local employee are $6,190. No other state even breaks the $6,000 barrier. Although Washington, D.C. — not a state, of course, but the recipient of our national tax dollars — came in at $6,391.

Even liberal states were lower:

  • Connecticut: $5,739
  • New York: $5,706
  • Illinois: $5,231
  • Massachusetts: $5,222

The national average was $4,603. That means California’s average earnings for state-and-local workers of $6,190 was 34 percent above the national average.

But doesn’t California have the highest median income per capita? No. It’s only 15th (for 2012), at $44,980. That’s just 5 percent above the national median income of $42,693.

To recapitulate: California’s state-and-local government workers make 34 percent more than the national average; while our people who pay the taxes for the government workers make just 5 percent above the national average.

Sure, the state is incredibly expensive. But it’s incredibly expensive for everybody. It’s just that one class, government functionaries, is living much better, in comparison to their fellow government workers in other states, than everybody else in this state.

And what do these highly paid bureaucrats do?

Mess up our lives.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Biggest solar farm eclipsed

 

 

Solar_eclipse_1999_4_NR wikimediaSolar was supposed to be the key “renewable energy” powering California away from dirty old fossil fuels and into the Radiant Future. A 2011 law Gov. Jerry Brown signed mandated 33 percent renewable energy by 2020, now just a little over five years way. He actually said when signing the law, “I didn’t get my name, Gov. Moonbeam, for nothing. I earned it!”

It’s not turning out that way.

The latest:

“LOS ANGELES (AP) — The largest solar power plant of its type in the world – once promoted as a turning point in green energy – isn’t producing as much energy as planned.

One of the reasons is as basic as it gets: The sun isn’t shining as much as expected.

Sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal desert near the California-Nevada border, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened in February, with operators saying it would produce enough electricity to power a city of 140,000 homes.

So far, however, the plant is producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.

It had been projected to produce its full capacity for 8 hours a day, on average.

The commission cited reasons for the low generation: “Factors such as clouds, jet contrails and weather have had a greater impact on the plant than the owners anticipated.”

That reminded me how the Soviet Union, during its 74 years of existence, every year suffered crop failures for which it blamed “bad weather.” Yet its farms in pre-socialist times, especially the rich earth of Ukraine, had been “the breadbasket of Europe.”

As Wayne Lusvardi has reported on our site, the failure of renewables to generate up to expectations has forced the state to rely on out-of-state fossil fuel power (natural gas and coal) and Warren Buffett’s hydropower.

Shocking costs

All of that, plus a dysfunctional distribution left over from the 2000 Electricity Crisis, means shockingly record high costs for ratepayers. The San Diego Reader reported:

California residential electricity rates are the highest in the nation — by far. A major reason is that the California Public Utilities Commission, the so-called regulator, schmoozes Wall Street, promising to keep the profits of the state’s publicly held utilities — Sempra Energy, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison — higher than utility profits elsewhere. Those profits come out of ratepayers’ pockets.

So Californians have the worst of both capitalism and socialism: crony capitalist (not free market) price structures and socialist generation mandates.

This post was originally published on CalWatchdog.com

CHiPS pass around stolen nude photos of suspects

 

 

chipsCalifornia has come a long way from the innocent days of the “CHiPS” TV series of more than 30 years ago, starring Larry Wilcox and the heartthrob of teenage girls of that time, Eric Estrada, as state motorcycle cops.

Here’s latest, from the Contra-Costa Times:

MARTINEZ — The California Highway Patrol officer accused of stealing nude photos from a DUI suspect’s phone told investigators that he and his fellow officers have been trading such images for years, in a practice that stretches from its Los Angeles office to his own Dublin station, according to court documents obtained by this newspaper Friday.

CHP Officer Sean Harrington, 35, of Martinez, also confessed to stealing explicit photos from the cellphone of a second Contra Costa County DUI suspect in August and forwarding those images to at least two CHP colleagues. The five-year CHP veteran called it a “game” among officers, according to an Oct. 14 search warrant affidavit.

Harrington told investigators he had done the same thing to female arrestees a “half dozen times in the last several years,” according to the court records, which included leering text messages between Harrington and his Dublin CHP colleague, Officer Robert Hazelwood.

Contra Costa County prosecutors are investigating and say the conduct of the officers — none of whom has been charged so far — could compromise any criminal cases in which they are witnesses.

It also makes you wonder about the intelligence of the officers hired nowadays as CHiPS. Didn’t they know that, if they could leer into the digital lives of suspects, somebody eventually also could uncover their digital leering?

This also is another reason to cheer the recent decision by Apple to automatically encrypt all the communications on its devices — and to reject the FBI’s objections about the action supposedly compromising national security. Wired wrote:

At issue is the improved iPhone encryption built into iOS 8. For the first time, all the important data on your phone—photos, messages, contacts, reminders, call history—are encrypted by default. Nobody but you can access the iPhone’s contents, unless your passcode is compromised, something you can make nearly impossible by changing your settings to replace your four-digit PIN with an alphanumeric password.

Rather than welcome this sea change, which makes consumers more secure, top law enforcement officials, including US Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI director James Comey, are leading a charge to maintain the insecure status quo. They warn that without the ability to crack the security on seized smartphones, police will be hamstrung in critical investigations. John Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department, predicts the iPhone will become “the phone of choice for the pedophile.”

But what if the perverts are in the government?

This article was originally published on CalWatchdog.com

CA is NOT the highest taxed state

You’ve probably heard California has the nation’s highest taxes.

Wrong.

We’re only third-worst, behind even worse New York and New Jersey, according to a new survey by the Tax Foundation’s new 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index.

Broken down, California ranks 50th — worst — on the income tax, for which we are gouged not just to the bone, but into the bone and down to the marrow.

Corporate taxes — 34th best — and salex taxes — 42nd best — only are a little better.

We’re somewhat better –14th best for both — on the unemployment insurance tax and the property tax — the latter due to the much-reviled Proposition 13, the 1978 tax cut. I hear rumors Democrats and their government-employee union controllers are going to move big time to gut Prop. 13 in the 2016 election. We’ll see. The defenders of Prop. 13 also have resources to keep California from going all the way to North Korea.

The Index noted:

“Anecdotes about the impact of state tax systems on business investment are plentiful. In Illinois early last decade, hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investments were delayed when then-Governor Rod Blagojevich proposed a hefty gross receipts tax. Only when the legislature resoundingly defeated the bill did the investment resume. In 2005, California-based Intel decided to build a multi-billion dollar chip-making facility in Arizona due to its favorable corporate income tax system. In 2010, Northrup Grumman chose to move its headquarters to Virginia over Maryland, citing the better business tax climate. Anecdotes such as these reinforce what we know from economic theory: taxes matter to businesses, and those places with the most competitive tax systems will reap the benefits of business-friendly tax climates.”

Blagojevich was convicted of extortion and currently is serving time at the Federal Correction Institution in Englewood. At least in that case taxpayers know where their stolen tax money ended up.

This piece was originally published at CalWatchdog.com