Hope you’ve finished your taxes already! Time for another Texas vs. California update:
Posts Tagged ‘Texas’
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup. The Texas House passed a budget, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it in any detail yet…
The California rule distorts what the salary/pension mix would otherwise be, given employer and employee preferences, and given the tax code as it is. Because underfunded pensions are a popular form of deficit spending, public employee compensation may already be too pension-heavy, and the rule makes it more so by freezing pensions in times of retrenchment. The incentive effects of the rule, given the political economy of government employment, may well exacerbate this tendency. And the possible theoretical reasons for preferring a pension-heavy mix don’t go very far in justifying this particular distortion.
This is one of those rare April Fools jokes that works as both a joke
In tandem with his plan to foster technological innovation at the Texas General Land Office, Commissioner George P. Bush today announced an agencywide ban on the use of the font Comic Sans in all agency documents and correspondence:
“As land commissioner, I am committed to making the GLO a technological leader in state government. While this unrefined font is appropriate for early childhood instruction in our Texas schools, the use of Comic Sans is not befitting when conducting business on key matters concerning the state of Texas. Comic Sans has no place at an agency positioning itself as a technological pioneer.”
And the tell a bit further down:
“Current agencywide substitute font recommendations are Helvetica, Times New Roman, or even Arial,” Elam said. “Any of the standard ones really. Except Papyrus. It’s terribad.”
After the grand jury failed to indict him, Wallace Hall fired back at Texas House Speaker Joe Straus:
“The campaign by Speaker (Joe) Straus, Representative (Dan) Flynn and Senator (Kel) Seliger to criminalize my service as a Regent constitutes abuse of office,” Hall said in a statement. “Their use of the levers of political power to cover up wrongdoing by legislators should now be investigated, and those exposed for their abuses should be driven from office.”
The piece also points out the numerous vested interests of people who have weighed in against Hall.
That should be the headline as yet another establishment attempt to punish UT regent Wallace Hall for the crime of actually doing his job fails. Or, if you prefer: “Wallace Hall: More Honest Than a Ham Sandwich.”
But chances are good that you’ve seen headlines like “Jury Criticizes Wallace Hall” or “Wallace Hall should step down,” based on four pages of “recommendations” from the Travis County jury. The lack of an indictment is important, the non-indictment condemnations are just dicta, statements of opinion that have no force of law. We do not let grand juries establish public policy for the same reasons we don’t have legislatures indict random citizens for crimes: it is not among their enumerated responsibilities.
Those trying to bury UT’s admissions scandal have thrown everything possible at him, but Hall has been proven right time and time again. After the latest grand jury shenanigans, Hall is still standing while UT President Bill Powers was forced to resign in disgrace.
Further attacks on Hall will only continue to prove that his critics are spiteful, petty defenders of corruption.
Austin has one of the nation’s best barbecue joints in Franklin Barbecue. So how does the city celebrate that fact? If you’re the People’s Republic of Austin, you see if you can kill the goose that lays the golden eggs through over-regulation!
A proposed city council resolution could threaten Austin’s continued status as an international destination for Texas barbecue. District 3 council member Sabino “Pio” Renteria is spearheading a code change to limit barbecue smoke in residential areas, as reported by KUT. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin tells Eater if such a code were to pass, it could force Franklin Barbecue and many other barbecue joints in Austin to go out of business.
The proposed code change would require any restaurant or food truck using “a wood or charcoal burning stove or grill” within one hundred and fifty feet of residential zoning to install an exhaust system known as smoke scrubbers. Franklin estimates the cost of such a system would run between $15,000 and $20,000, which he says is not an option for even his hyper-successful business. “Cost aside, the barbecue would not be the same—it would modify how the cooker smokes,” Franklin says. “If this resolution passes, we would be forced to close or move. It would destroy Austin barbecue.”
Yes, because so many normal people (as opposed to radical vegetarians) hate the smell of barbecue.
Franklin has threatened to move if the ordinance passes. Mr. Franklin should feel free to move up to Williamson County, where people appreciate barbecue and he won’t be hassled by The Man…
It turns out that even the supposed beneficiaries of state Rep. Jason Villalba’s unconstitutional and ill-conceived H.B. 2918 are opposed to it as well.
“Dallas Rep. Jason Villalba withdrew his proposal — which would incriminate independent bloggers who film police activity within 25 feet, or 100 feet if they carry a handgun — from a committee meeting Thursday.
“That came a day after he heard complaints from the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas.”
Given the nigh-on-universal opposition, one wonders why Villalba came up with such an appallingly stupid bill, and why he foolishly defended it from widespread criticism for so long.
(Hat tip: Push Junction.)
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:
The missed payments illustrate the trend among cities in bankruptcy to favor payments to pension funds over bondholder obligations, which has increased the hostility between creditors and municipalities.
San Bernardino declared last year that it intends under its bankruptcy exit plan to fully pay Calpers, its biggest creditor and America’s largest public pension fund with assets of $300 billion.
The city continues to pay its monthly dues to Calpers in full, but has paid nothing to its bondholders for nearly three years, according to the interest payment schedule on roughly $50 million of pension obligation bonds issued by San Bernardino in 2005.
If you’re a bank, a retirement fund, or a hedge fund, why on earth would you buy California municipal debt when there are safer alternatives? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ Doom roundup.)
Here’s Ted Cruz’s full kickoff speech for his 2016 Presidential campaign:
Despite advance word that Cruz would announce his run today, he actually did so with a tweet Sunday night:
I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support! pic.twitter.com/0UTqaIoytP
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2015
Cruz had a very strong social media team for his 2012 Senate race, so this move isn’t a big surprise. Now we’ll see if it, and his early jump, can get him any separation in a very crowded field…