Today officially begins autumn, when leaves should be falling just like Hillary Clinton’s feeble body and poll numbers:
Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
Time for another Texas vs. California update:
After descending into a deep valley during the recession, California’s economy has recently grown at a faster rate than in Texas, where the drop in oil prices and higher value of the dollar have negatively affected the mining and manufacturing sectors. However, during the last decade, the productive, real private sector growth has increased by 13.6 percent in California compared with a robust 29.1 percent in Texas.
This growth translates into output per person in Texas increasing almost four times more than in California in that period, meaning economic output has far outpaced population growth.
Although contemporary economic growth in California has led to a higher annual job creation rate than in Texas since April 2015, this only tells part of the story.
Since December 2007 when the last national recession started, total civilian employment increased in California by 1.2 million while it increased by 1.7 million in Texas, with a labor force two-thirds the size of California’s. This increase in employment in Texas constitutes about one-third of all jobs created nationwide — truly remarkable given recent headwinds!
This phenomenal job creation contributed to Texas’ unemployment rate (4.6 percent) being at or below California’s rate (5.5 percent) for 121 straight months, or since July 2006. But the official unemployment rate only accounts for those actually looking for work, a better gauge of labor force health would be the share of the population employed, which has been higher in Texas than in California since at least 2000.
More economic output and job creation over time in Texas has contributed to less poverty. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ supplemental poverty measure, which accounts for the local cost of living, shows that Texas’ rate matches the national average while California has the nation’s highest poverty rate
Income inequality has also been higher in California than in Texas for years. For example, the average of total income held by the top 10 percent of income earners from 2000 to 2012 was 49.9 percent in California compared with 48.8 percent in Texas.
The results are pretty clear that California’s progressive policies of having the highest marginal personal income tax rate, cumbersome regulations, huge unfunded pension obligations, an out of control lawsuit environment, and other policies reduce economic opportunity.
(Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
For generations, the Golden State developed a reputation as the ultimate destination of choice for millions of Americans. No longer. Since 2000 the state has lost 1.75 million net domestic migrants, according to Census Bureau estimates. And even amid an economic recovery, the pattern of outmigration continued in 2014, with a loss of 57,900 people and an attraction ratio of 88.5, placing the Golden State 13th from the bottom, well behind longtime people exporters Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Louisiana. California was a net loser of domestic migrants in all age categories.
Much of the discussion about millennial migration tends to focus on high-cost, dense urban regions such as those that dominate New York, Massachusetts and, of course, California. Yet the IRS data tells us a very different story about migrants aged 26 to 34. Here it’s Texas in the lead, and by a wide margin, followed by Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Florida and New Hampshire. Once again New York and Illinois stand out as the biggest losers in this age category.
Perhaps more important for the immediate future may be the migration of people at the peak of their careers, those aged 35 to 54. These are also the age cohorts most likely to be raising children. The top four are the same in both cohorts. Among the 35 to 44 age group, it’s Texas, followed by Florida, South Carolina and North Dakota. Among the 45 to 54 cohort, Texas, followed by South Carolina, Florida and North Dakota.
The Governor signed this ag overtime bill in the same year that minimum wage legislation was also passed that will take California to the highest minimum wage as well as legislation forcing California to adopt additional greenhouse gas regulations for businesses in California.
California is the only state in the country subject to such regulations. Today’s signing occurred despite numerous requests by the agricultural industry to meet with the Governor to discuss our concerns. The message is clear. California simply doesn’t care.
More than two-thirds (70 percent) of organizations in California indicated that they have had difficulty recruiting for full-time regular positions in the last 12 months, similar to 68 percent nationally. California organizations were more likely than organizations nationally to report competition from other employers (56 percent), qualified candidates rejecting compensation packages (28 percent), qualified candidates not being able to move to their local area (21 percent), or a relocation or a relocation package not being competitive or not being offered (12 percent) as top reasons for hiring difficulty.
BART officials want voters to trust them with another $3.5 billion of taxpayer money. But they’ve done nothing to earn that trust.
Instead, they have recklessly spent what they have, grossly understated how much their ballot proposal would raise property tax bills and devised plans to use money from the measure, intended for capital projects, to indirectly cover inflated labor costs.
Voters in Alameda County, Contra Costa and San Francisco should say no — hell no. They should reject Measure RR on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Despite the problems facing the transit agency, it makes no sense to approve five decades of extra taxes when Measure RR lacks a logical budget, a timeline for service improvements and provisions ensuring taxpayers and riders get what they’re promised.
The measure would authorize the district to borrow $3.5 billion through bond sales as part of a larger plan to upgrade BART’s infrastructure. The ballot wording conveniently omits that the district would tax property owners for 48 years to pay off the debt.
(Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
Yesterday was devoted to lies about Hillary Clinton’s obvious ill health (and her team’s blatant lying about it). Today is all about Clinton’s corruption.
You mean you’d pick on a sick old woman?
In this case: absolutely!
When Ortel tried to match up the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings with the disclosure reports from its major donors, he said he started to find problems. That includes records from the foundation’s many offshoots—including the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Clinton Global Initiative—as well as its foreign subsidiaries.
“I decided it would be fun to cross-check what their donors thought they did when they donated to the Clinton Foundation, and that’s when I got really irritated,” he said. “There are massive discrepancies between what some of the major donors say they gave to the Clinton Foundation to do, and what the Clinton Foundation said what they got from the donors and what they did with it.”
As previously reported, last year the Clinton Foundation was forced to issue corrected tax filings for several years to correct donation errors. But Ortel said many of the discrepancies remain. “I’m against charity fraud. I think people in both parties are against charity fraud, and this is a charity fraud,” he said.
To be sure, Ortel’s efforts were to be commended: digging through the foundation’s numbers can not have been easy, considering that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put the Clinton Foundation on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits in 2015. Furthermore, the Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid. That’s because the organization spent the vast bulk of its windfall on “administration, travel, salaries and bonuses”, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)
And as a bonus, here are a few more links about Hillary’s obvious ill-health:
So right after I put up two separate posts on Hillary Clinton’s corruption, the FBI drops the full (and by “full” I mean “heavily redacted”) summary report on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. Jim Geraghty summarizes salient points from the FBI report in Monday’s Morning Jolt:
1. The FBI investigation began because of a referral from the U.S. Intelligence Community Inspector General. This is not the vast right-wing conspiracy or one of Hillary Clinton’s partisan foes; the IG’s office is staffed by those whose professional duty is to protect our nation’s secrets. Looking at the evidence, they grew concerned that a crime may have or is likely to have been committed. The inspector general, I. Charles McCullough, III, is career law enforcement: FBI, Department of the Treasury, NSA.
2. The FBI cannot prove conclusively that hostile foreign actors accessed her server; but they did find that “hostile foreign actors successfully gained access to the personal e-mail accounts of individuals with whom Clinton was in regular contact and, in doing so, obtained e-mails sent to or received by Clinton on that personal account.”
3. As we all know, Clinton claimed she used the private server for “convenience” because she only wanted to use one device. The FBI found 13 total mobile devices used to send e-mails; they asked for them and Clinton’s lawyers said they could not locate any of those devices. The FBI identified five iPads used by Clinton; three were turned over to the FBI. Hillary’s Blackberry phones were off-the-shelf from AT&T stores around the Washington, D.C. area. Apparently Clinton didn’t like upgrades; “According to Abedin, it was not uncommon for Clinton to use a new Blackberry for a few days and then immediately switch it out for an older version with which she was more familiar.”
No one knows where the old phones are; in two instances, her phones were destroyed with a hammer. This means there are eleven or so mobile phones with God knows how much classified information on them effectively missing.
4. Clinton was obligated to get permission to use her personal device; at no time did she do so. Everything she has said about her use of the personal device being permitted is completely false.
5. “State employees alleged that John Bentel, [a senior State Department official, handling IT for senior officials] discouraged employees from raising concerns about Clinton’s use of personal e-mail.” When interviewed by the FBI, Bentel denied anyone raising any concerns, that he had discouraged anyone from raising those concerns, or that he was aware she was using a personal account for State business. This seems implausible. As Clinton herself said to the FBI, it was common knowledge among State Department employees.
6. This should be thrown in the face of any Clinton defender who cites Colin Powell as an exculpatory witness:
7. “In 2011, a notice to all State employees was sent on Clinton’s behalf, which recommended employees avoid conducting State business on personal e-mail accounts due to information security concerns.” Clinton said she didn’t recall sending that notice or ever getting any advice on using personal accounts.
Clinton told the FBI she could not recall or not remember 39 times.
Here’s the really galling part, considering the screams of outrage that greet any comment about Clinton’s age or health in this election cycle:
CLINTON stated she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or production of records from State during the transition out of her role as Secretary of State in early 2013. However, in December of 2012, CLINTON suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot. Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received. CLINTON did not have any discussions with aides about turning over her email records, nor did anyone from State request them. She believed her work-related emails were captured by her practice of sending email to the state.gov email address of her staff. CLINTON was unaware of the requirement to turn over printed records at that time. Her physical records were boxed up and handled by aides.
In other Clinton Corruption news:
Another week, another Hillary Clinton corruption roundup. Remember, this is only what I had time to compile among all my other work, blogging, writing, etc. Cataloging Clinton corruption could easily be a full time job…
Texas’s fiscal policy is very good. It is a fiscally decentralized state, with local taxes at about 4.5 percent of personal income, above the national average, and state taxes at about 3.6 percent of income, well below the national average. However, Texans don’t have much choice of local government, with only 0.36 jurisdictions per 100 square miles. State and local debt is above average (with the biggest problem being local debt burdens), at 23.1 percent of income, but it has come down slightly since FY 2011. Government subsidies are below average. Public employment has fallen significantly below average, at 11.8 percent of private employment.
Texas’s land-use freedom keeps housing prices down. It also has a regulatory taking compensation law, but it only applies to state government. The renewable portfolio standard has not been raised in years. Texas is our top state for labor-market freedom. Workers’ compensation coverage is optional for employers; most employees are covered, but not all. The state has a right-to-work law, no minimum wage, and a federally consistent anti-discrimination law. Cable and telecommunications have been liberalized. However, health insurance mandates were quite high as of 2010, the last available date. The extent of occupational licensing is high, but the state recently enacted a sunrise review requirement for new licensure proposals. Time will tell whether it is at all effective. Nurse practitioners enjoy no freedom of independent practice at all. Texas has few cronyist entry and price regulations, but it does have a price-gouging law, and Tesla’s direct sales model is still illegal. The civil liability system used to be terrible, but now it is merely below average. The state abolished joint and several liability in 2003, but it could do more to cap punitive damages and end parties’ role in judicial elections.
Although it has long been significantly freer on personal issues than the national average, California has also long been one of the lowest-scoring states on economic freedom.
Despite Proposition 13, California is one of the highest-taxed states in the country. Excluding severance and motor fuel taxes, California’s combined state and local tax collections were 10.8 percent of personal income. Moreover, because of the infamous Serrano decision on school funding, California is a fiscally centralized state. Local taxes are about average nationally, while state taxes are well above average. Government debt is high, at 22.8 percent of personal income. The state subsidizes business at a high rate (0.16 percent of the state economy). However, government employment is lower than the national average.
Regulatory policy is even more of a problem for the state than fiscal policy. California is one of the worst states on land-use freedom. Some cities have rent control, new housing supply is tightly restricted in the coastal areas, and eminent domain reform has been nugatory. Labor law is anti-employment, with no right-to-work law, high minimum wages, strict workers’ comp mandates, mandated short-term disability insurance, and a stricter-than-federal anti-discrimination law. Occupational licensing is extensive and strict, especially in construction trades. It is tied for worst in nursing practice freedom. The state’s mandatory cancer labeling law (Proposition 65) has significant economic costs. It is one of the worst states for consumer freedom of choice in homeowner’s and automobile insurance.
(Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
California has been bleeding people to other states for more than two decades. Even after the state’s “comeback,” net domestic out-migration since 2010 has exceeded 250,000. Moreover, the latest Internal Revenue Service migration data, for 2013-2014, does not support the view that those who leave are so dominated by the flight of younger and poorer people.
Of course, younger people tend to move more than older people, and people seeking better job opportunities are more likely to move than those who have made it. But, according to the IRS, nearly 60,000 more Californians left the state than moved in between 2013 and 2014. In each of the seven income categories and each of the five age categories, the IRS found that California lost net domestic migrants.
Nor, viewed over the long term, is California getting smarter than its rivals. Since 2000, California’s cache of 25- to 34-year-olds with college, postgraduate and professional degrees grew by 36 percent, below the national average of 42 percent, and Texas’ 47 percent. If we look at metropolitan regions, the growth of 25- to 34-year-olds with college degrees since 2000 has been more than 1.5 to nearly 3 times as fast in Houston and Austin as in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Even New York, with its high costs, is doing better.
(Hat tip: Instapundit, who also notes “I remember talking to the Investor’s Business Daily folks a few years ago — they were headquartered in Marina Del Rey, a lovely place but one where they were constantly visited by inspectors, tax people, etc., all posing problems. When they opened an office in Texas, the state and local government people were all ‘tell us if we can help you.’ Very different experience.”)
Seen as a national leader in the classroom during the 1950s and 1960s, the country’s largest state is today a laggard, competing with the likes of Mississippi and Washington, D.C., at the bottom of national rankings. The Golden State’s education tailspin has been blamed on everything from class sizes to the property-tax restrictions enforced by Proposition 13 to an influx of Spanish-speaking students. But no portrait of the system’s downfall would be complete without a depiction of the CTA, a political behemoth that blocks meaningful education reform, protects failing and even criminal educators, and inflates teacher pay and benefits to unsustainable levels.
According to figures from the California Fair Political Practices Commission (a public institution) in 2010, the CTA had spent more than $210 million over the previous decade on political campaigning—more than any other donor in the state. In fact, the CTA outspent the pharmaceutical industry, the oil industry, and the tobacco industry combined.
California concluded its most recent cap-and-trade program auction last week. Out of 44,268,323 metric tons of carbon dioxide credits offered for sale by the state Air Resources Board, only 660,560 were sold, 1.5 percent of the total, raising a paltry $8.4 million out of a hoped-for $620 million. Last May’s auction was almost as bad, raising $10 million out of an anticipated $500 million.
California’s carbon dioxide cap-and-trade auction program was expected to bring in more than $2 billion in the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2017, a quarter of which is earmarked for the high-speed rail project narrowly approved by voters in a 2008 ballot initiative. As a hedge against uncertainty, a $500 million reserve was built into the cap-and-trade budget. But, with the August auction falling 98.5 percent short, the entire reserve was consumed in the first of four auctions for the fiscal year.
It gets better:
In the meantime, the High-Speed Rail project, currently promised to cost “only” $68 billion to run from the Bay Area some 400 miles south to Los Angeles may be looking at $50 billion in overruns. To fund the costly train, which was sold to voters as not costing a dime in new taxes, the expected revenue stream from cap-and-trade has been securitized, putting the state on the hook to Wall Street for billions in construction money advanced on the promise of future cap-and-trade revenue.