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LOS ANGELES Monday, July 6th 2015 12:58

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Washington Misreads California … Again

CALWATCHDOG - If you’ve ever lived in Washington, DC, as I did in 1977 and from 1982 to 1987, you know the place lives under a bubble. They have no idea what’s going on in the rest of the country. But they tell us what to do. That’s sure the case with EJ Dionne, the Washington Post’s top political writer. From a San Francisco dateline,  he asks:

“If the United States were still governed under the Articles of Confederation, might California be in the position of Greece, Spain or Italy?

“After all, California has a major budget crisis and all sorts of difficulties governing itself. Its initiative system allows voters to mandate specific forms of spending and to limit tax increases and also make them harder to enact. Absent a strong federal government with the power to offset the impact of the recession and the banking crisis, how would California fare in a global financial system?”

He doesn’t seem to know that, unlike in those countries, California law mandates that bond payments are the first priority of payment in any budget. So the state’s current $73 billion in general obligation bonds (meaning they must be paid for from the general fund) are quite secure.

It’s true that California vies with Illinois for the state with the worst credit rating. But that’s because, should the national economy begin to implode, it is these state economies that would be hit the hardest, demolishing their state budgets. But so long as the national economy doesn’t implode, that won’t happen.

Bond rating

So the real problem then shifts to Dionne’s beloved federal government, which has taken out $16 trillion in debt in the name of all Americans. If the Articles of Confederation still were in effect, the federal government never could have run up that debt.

Under the Articles, Congress had no power of taxation. The federal government ran only on money given it by the several states. So the federal government never could have grown into the monstrosity it has become, wasting $3.8 trillion a year while running up trillion-dollar annual deficits.

On its own, California’s far-left politics would not be tempered by the more moderate politics of the rest of the United States. So it might resemble Cuba.

Then again, Canada is run by left-wingers — but lefties who figured out about 15 years ago that they could only manipulate society if reasonable tax and regulatory policies keep the economy growing.

Same thing for Australia.


California’s large Latino population also pushes its politics to the left. But as an independent country, California might resemble Mexico; which, as I noted in an earlier article, has less than half America’s national debt (as a percentage of its economy) and has pursued progressively more free-market policies since 1995.

So, by itself, California might develop a hybrid Canadian-Mexican system with lower taxes and less regulation, but maybe a government-run medical system that’s inefficient (as in Canada, where there are long lines and people go to the United States for many operations), but costs half as much.

Dionne’s ‘solution’


Dionne’s “solution” the ongoing economic problems of California and the United States is … the suspense is unbearable … massive new federal government spending! So the deficits and debt now weighing us down would be increased. Dionne:

“First, we are lucky to have a robust federal government, which the European Union lacks. Early in the recession, the feds were able to offset problems in the country’s most troubled regions with a stimulus program (and also with that auto bailout that so many, including Mitt Romney, opposed). The stimulus should have been bigger, and it should have extended over a longer period. But it helped.”

First, the opposite is true. There never was any recovery. Certainly not in California, where unemployment  remains at 10.8 percent.

The bailouts didn’t work. GM would have been better off if its assets had been auctioned off. By now it would be a strong, independent company. Instead, taxpayers lost about $14 billion in the bailouts of GM and Chrysler.

Worse, the GM bondholders were ripped off so that the UAW could get a piece of the action. This set a dangerous precedent and undermined every business bond in the country, disrupting capital formation — and so business and jobs formation. Now, no one’s bonds are secure.

How D.C. looks at California

On California, Dionne naturally likes Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $8.5 billion tax hike:

“Moreover, Gov. Jerry Brown deserves credit for trying to get a handle on the California budget crisis. He’s going to the voters this fall with a referendum to raise about $8 billion in taxes to stave off further cuts. Without the money, Brown says, education spending would have to be slashed beyond the cutbacks that have already taken effect.”

Actually, Brown deserves no credit. The tax increase would chase even more businesses and jobs from the state. He also offered only a paltry reform of the state’s underfunded pension systems. And the problem with California’s education system is not a lack of spending, which is generous, but severe structural and pedagogical defects, with the powerful California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers impeding reforms.

Dionne’s view is important because it gives us Californians a glimpse into what our masters in D.C. are thinking about us — and are preparing to do to us.

Maybe the good old Articles of Confederation weren’t such a bad idea after all.

(John Seiler, an editorial writer with The Orange County Register for 19 years, is the managing editor for CalWatchDog.com where this column was first posted.)

-cw

Tags: California, Washington DC, economy, budget crisis, credit rating, EJ Dionne






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 51
Pub: June 26, 2012

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