Some other stuff bubbling up, so here’s a Texas vs. California update to tide you over for a while:
Archive for the ‘Waste and Fraud’ Category
More news from inside the handbasket, including the dust-up in Gaza and the illegal alien surge at the border:
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) July 10, 2014
— YCT-UT (@YCT_UT) July 10, 2014
Believe it or not, there seem to be a few actual glimmers of sanity in California in the latest roundup:
- Stockton: How does the Police Chief of bankrupt Stockton manage to earn $241,776 in additional pay above and beyond his $172,060 base salary?
- In Vallejo, how did one police lieutenant rack up 382,206 in total pay and benefits?
- In San Bernardino, how did a single police captain earn $331,617 in total benefits, including $243,312 in “other pay?”
There’s so much news going on in the world that it’s hard to sit down and focus on one story to get a single blog post out of it when there’s another huge story coming down the pike. Iraq, Ukraine, the VA Scandal, the dog eating Lois Lerner’s emails (“Barack Obama has brought us Jimmy Carter’s economy and Richard Nixon’s excuses”); too damn much going on to focus on one thing. So here’s a LinkSwarm instead:
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:
“Texas is the best state for business and I don’t see anything to slow TX down. The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It’s an exciting time in Texas.”
“California goes out of its way to be anti-business and particularly where one might put manufacturing and/or distribution operations.”
“California continues to lead in disincentives for growth businesses to stay.”
“California’s attitude toward business makes you question why anyone would build a business there.”
“California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing.”
California v. Texas in One Chart: More Housing Starts in Houston from 2011-2014 than the Entire State of California pic.twitter.com/hO5RetaTae
— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) May 10, 2014
Then factors that appear to explain from 13 percent to 30 percent of the differences in trust among the states: rate of union membership,with more trust in states with lower union membership; state’s level of soft tyranny, a measure of the power of state government over its people; percentage of state and local taxes as a share of income, with lower taxes leading to more trust; the right to keep and bear arms, with citizens trusting a government that trusts them to defend themselves; a business-friendly lawsuit climate; the days the legislature is in session, with less trust as the legislature approaches full-time; and the average commute time, with less time spent in traffic leading to more trust.
Lastly, a combination of from two to four of the previous factors correlates to 34 to 41 percent of the trust in each state with a mix of four: taxes, gun rights, lawsuit reform and commute time, showing the highest link to trust. Comparatively speaking, Texas lawmakers have done well in these four areas of public policy.
When building trust in state government, enacting liberty-minded legislation is a good place to start.
The Texas House Transparency Committee voted to impeach University of Texas regent Wallace Hall.
Hall’s case will go to the full Texas House of Representatives. If a majority of the members of the House approve of the case’s merits, it will go to the Senate, where members will convene as a court to make a final decision. If the Senate concurs with the committee’s recommendation, Hall will be the first non-elected official to be impeached in Texas history.
His crime? “Hall’s unreasonable and burdensome requests from records and information from UT Austin violated, and continue to violate, the Texas Education Code, the Texas Penal Code, the Board of Regents Rules and Regulations, and the best interests of the [UT System].”
Translation: Hall found evidence of our sacred system of kickbacks and cronyism, and we’ll never forgive him for that.
The Wall Street Journal: Hall “asked uncomfortable questions about lawmakers getting special favors at the state-funded school and has become a political target…Hall’s real offense has been to expose a cozy and possibly corrupt relationship between politicians and the university.”
That targeting, of course, has been handled by Speaker Joe Straus’ falsely named “transparency” committee co-chaired by Dan Flynn and Carol Alvarado. The committee has operated like a witch hunt, denying UT Regent Wallace Hall the ability to defend himself while impeaching his character.
Recent revelations that the committee’s “report” (created by an outside counsel chummy with the corrupt university administration) contained out-right lies should be enough to cause lawmakers to impeach not Wallace Hall but the members of the committee!
As Tony McDonald wrote several days agoo, Dan Flynn is trying to weasel out of his responsibility for the cover-up only after his committee’s work product was shown to be a fraud.
Sullivan also fingers the politicians most responsible for the with hunt as David Dewhurst, Dan Branch and Joe Straus.
For exercising his right and duty to request information of one of the universities he is entrusted with overseeing, Wallace Hall now faces impeachment and possibly jail. The biggest losers in all this are Texas college students, their parents, and taxpayers. This vote is a powerful deterrent to future efforts to ensure transparency in government, and therefore directly contrary to the best interest of our public higher-education system.”
The cockroaches and worms hate it when you pick up the rock they’re hiding under…
Ted Cruz has thoughtfully compiled a fourth list of Obama Administration abuses of power. If you’ve been following the ObamaCare, IRS and Benghazi scandals, there might not be anything you haven’t already heard, but it’s nice to have them all in one place. There’s also mention of more obscure Obama Administration abuses of power, such as violation of the Magnitsky Act, or paying $205,075 to relocate a $16 shrub. Moreover, every item in the list is sourced, most to MSM outfits that liberals can’t dismiss summarily dismiss.
Read the whole thing, then send a copy to any undecided voters you know.
Big news, as one of the world’s largest car makers decides to abandon tax-and-spend California for the Lone Star State:
California has become infamous with business executives and owners there not only for high tax rates and complex taxing schemes but also for overzealous regulations and regulators that have managed to stifle the entrepreneurial energy of thousands of companies.
Today sucks if you still have to finish your taxes. It sucks more in California than Texas, since you have to pay state income taxes as well. That includes a marginal tax rate of 9.3% for all those millionaires making more than $49,774 a year. As opposed to Texas’ marginal rate of 0.0% for all…
Texas and Washington offer low corporate income tax and no personal income tax, while providing a stable business climate and skilled work force. Many high-profile corporations have relocated their operations to new states. Recent examples include Northrop Grumman, which moved its headquarters to Northern Virginia; Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, which moved its headquarters to McKinney, Texas; and Boeing, which moved two aircraft modernization programs, for the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and the B-1 bomber, from Long Beach to Oklahoma City.
The state teacher pension fund, CalSTRS, needs an extra $4.5 billion each year for 30 years to pay off its unfunded liabilities. CalPERS’ local government members will see costs increase by 50 percent during the next six years. And the state needs to contribute $1 billion more per year for retiree health care benefits.
These obligations for benefits already earned must be paid, and over the next decade, they will continue to drain funding from essential services such as education, public safety, transportation and health care.
Yet, powerful interests remain all too eager to kick the can down the road and push our pension problems onto future generations.
In California, I would say that March Madness is ignoring the looming pension crisis, except that madness extends to every other month as well…
Perhaps no place is inequality more evident than in the rural reaches of California, the nation’s richest agricultural state. The Golden State is now home to 111 billionaires, by far the most of any state; California billionaires personally hold assets worth $485 billion, more than the entire GDP of all but 24 countries in the world. Yet the state also suffers the highest poverty rate in the country (adjusted for housing costs), above 23%, and a leviathan welfare state. As of 2012, with roughly 12% of the population, California accounted for roughly one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients.
With the farm economy increasingly mechanized and industrial growth stifled largely by regulation, many rural Californians particularly Latinos, are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents; native-born Latinos actually have shorter lifespans than their parents, according to a 2011 report. Although unemployment remains high in many of the state’s largest urban counties, the highest unemployment is concentrated in the rural counties of the interior. Fresno was found in one study to have the least well-off Congressional district.
The vast expanse of economic decline in the midst of unprecedented, but very narrow urban luxury has been characterized as “liberal apartheid.” The well-heeled, largely white and Asian coastal denizens live in an economically inaccessible bubble insulated from the largely poor, working-class, heavily Latino communities in the eastern interior of the state.
California also has the nation’s highest poverty rate and the most food stamp recipients, and policymakers have done little to address profligate spending, unfunded pensions, and ever-growing retiree health-care obligations.”
Inland California, from Imperial in the south to Modoc in the north, remains one of the poorest regions in the nation. Though the state unemployment rate fell in February to 8.1 percent, inland unemployment ranges from 9.5 percent in Riverside to 25.9 percent in Colusa. Of the 20 counties in the United States with the largest unemployment rates, 11 are in California.