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Posts Tagged ‘California’

California Defaults On $18.6 Billion In Debt, Saddling Employers With The Expense

Posted by M. C. on May 8, 2023

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California’s recent decision not to pay back some $20 billion borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits during the pandemic will fall on the shoulders of employers, according to experts.

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D)

“The state should have taken care of the loans with the COVID money it received from the government in 2021,” said Marc Joffe, policy analyst at the Cato Institute—a public policy think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., in a statement to the Epoch Times.

In the state’s proposed 2023-2024 budget, $750 million was allocated to start paying down the loans, until Governor Gavin Newsom nixed the provision in early January, leaving businesses in the state responsible for the loans, as mandated by federal regulations – so that the federal unemployment tax rate of .6 percent will increase by .3% per year starting in 2023 until the loan is extinguished.

California is just not really an employer-friendly state,” said Joffe. “This one thing will not be a difference between a business remaining open or closing, but it’s just another burden on top of the many burdens the state puts on employers.

In total, 22 states borrowed money for unemployment insurance from the federal government. All but four, California, Colorado, Connecticut, and New York, have paid back their debts – with California owing the most by far at $18.6 billion as of May 2, followed by New York at $8 billion, Connecticut at $187 million and Colorado at $77 million, according to data from the US Treasury.

More via the Epoch Times,

Initially, the state borrowed from its reserves to pay the benefits, but after exhausting its coffers borrowed to cover expenses, analysts said.

Exacerbating the situation were unprecedented levels of fraud occurring across the state, due to limited oversight and antiquated computer systems, according to Lee Ohanian, professor of economics at the University of California–Los Angeles.

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And then there is this

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What to Do about California’s Mass Killings

Posted by M. C. on January 28, 2023

What to Do about California’s Mass Killings

What do we do about the latest spate of mass killings in California, which has some the country’s strictest gun control laws? Join FFF president Jacob G. Hornberger and Citadel professor Richard M. Ebeling discuss these recent tragedies.

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Watch “California Dreaming” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on November 16, 2022

California is a nightmare.

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Can this liberal California couple handle a Texas cookout?

Posted by M. C. on October 22, 2022

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Can this liberal California couple handle their new life in Texas?

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2022

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California Scheming: The Progressive Leadership’s New Plan to Impose High-Cost, Low-Quality Medical Care

Posted by M. C. on June 16, 2022

California progressives have turned their largest showplace cities into sewers of homelessness and crime, and their mismanagement of water resources has become a thing of legend. One only can wait with dread as those same progressives move to do with medical resources what they have done with everything else that has been good in this state.

William L. Anderson

With a budget surplus of more than $200 million, the California legislature is thinking big, really big, and that means one thing: single-payer government healthcare, which recently was introduced as AB 1400. Notes the Los Angeles Times:

This measure … would completely change healthcare coverage for Californians. Insurance companies would be shoved aside. People would be switched from their current coverage—whether private, federal Medicare or Medi-Cal for the poor—to a new state-run plan called CalCare.

The purpose is to cover everyone and reduce healthcare costs by eliminating private insurance overhead and profit—and negotiating lower provider fees and drug prices. There’d be no premiums, co-pays or deductibles. And many services would be added, including dental, vision, hearing and long-term care for Medicare beneficiaries.

Of course, there are costs, and the projected cost of such a venture always is going to be front and center. When the California state legislature first began to debate single-payer in 2017, Vox came out with an analysis that set the price tag of this proposed venture at $400 billion a year, or twice the entire state budget at that time. While citing possible costs in the form of dollar outlays can be present, nonetheless, such an analysis creates its own set of problems and tells a very incomplete story, economically speaking. When government policies are enacted or proposed, the discussion forms around the proposed monetary outlays, as though the entire thing were “doable” provided governments can come up with the necessary funds.

Once projected or anticipated monetary outlays become the subject of the political debate, the questions shift to whether or not governments can take in the money necessary to make the project work, without looking at the much bigger picture of what costs really mean. In the case of completely turning all medical care in California over to a government agency, proponents of single-payer in general attempt to tout alleged cost savings, which are framed in terms of what is currently spent in the present system overall.

The legislative newsletter CalMatters recently reported:

A legislative analysis released Thursday estimated single-payer could cost California between $314 billion and $391 billion annually, financed by a series of tax hikes on businesses, workers and high earnersSingle-payer supporters, however, say that sum is smaller than what Californians pay for private insurance. (emphasis mine)

Supporters’ implication is that nothing would change in the creation and sale of healthcare services except that the manner of payment would be taxation and everyone would have all the services they need with no price. All that is needed is “political courage” to vote “yes” and then to enable the California bureaucracies to install the new system.

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Who’s Going to Fix What’s Broken?

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2022

5. Nobody in the system or in the political hierarchy has any interest in the deep overhaul required to actually restore these systems’ reliability, efficiency and ability to fix problems.

Who’s going to fix what’s broken? No one. When the systems we rely on–the postal service, the vehicle registration system, the tax payment system–no longer function reliably or effectively, where does that take us as a society?

By Charles Hugh Smith

When nobody cares that systems have broken down and there is no will or interest in fixing essential systems, there is no happy ending.

Who fixes systems when they break down? The answer appears to be: nobody. Here are three everyday examples from my own life, breakdowns which may be random and rare but which the odds suggest are systemic. Let’s assume I’m not an unlucky one in a million but just another recipient of systemic breakdown.

1. U.S. Mail forwarding six month late. Millions of Americans move every year, and the US Postal Service, like other large-scale systems serving the public, has a system that automates change of address forms online. My previous experience is that mail forwarding might be a week or two late but it’s been reliable.

In 2021–not so much. We left a car in storage in California in the Covid lockdown and family obligations made it necessary to deal with it at a later date. It’s old and not worth much, and since we’d filed a Planned Non-Operation registration with the DMV, the registration fee was $23 a year.

If I’d anticipated USPS mail forwarding to completely break down, I would have signed up online for CA-DMV email notices, but I assumed mail forwarding was functional. Alas, we received our 2021 auto registration notices sent in May 2021 in late November–long after the renewal deadline in early June. The mail wasn’t a week or two late, it was six months late. That’s a breakdown.

That’s when the breakdown of California DMV’s system revealed itself rather ingloriously.

2. Your non-operational car in storage must be insured and pass a smog certification test. I’ve noticed many local government agencies are no longer satisfied to simply charge a late fee for tardy payment–their responses are designed to punish the tardy public far beyond the “sin” of missing a deadline for payment/filing a form.

The California DMV strips away the option to register a car as non-operational once you’re 90 days late in registering the vehicle. This doesn’t mean your non-operational car magically becomes operational and can be driven to a smog certification station. It just means you have entered DMV No-Exit Purgatory: your car can’t be smog certified, therefore it can’t be registered, and so it drops completely out of the DMV online system.

Not only is the car non-operational, we weren’t there to deal with it. California has tens of millions of residents (around 39 million) and millions of registered vehicles. 675,000 people moved out of California in 2021 and some percentage probably left cars in storage, what with the 2020 Covid travel restrictions and other issues.

I find it difficult to believe I am the only individual who missed the deadline to register my non-operational vehicle as non-operational, but the DMV has no system response other than demanding a $214 late fee (heh) and that you register the vehicle as operational.

Trying to get the DMV to acknowledge a DMV change of address form is an epic in itself. Submit a paper form or an online form, neither one can be relied on.

Sending correspondence to the DMV asking for help in fixing this problem is like sending letters to the dead-letter dumpster. Some DMV staffer decided to get my case off their desk by arbitrarily declaring the car had been “registered in another state.” This led to the absurdity of the DMV demanding a document from the Hawaii DMV proving the car which I’d repeated stated was non-operational in California storage hadn’t been transported to Hawaii. In other words, it became my job to fix the absurd errors of DMV staff.

When the public has to go through endless hoops to fix problems created solely by the public agency itself, this is a Kafkaesque breakdown in “public service.”

I finally located an online DMV portal which accelerated the 7-month back-and-forth-going-nowhere to a week of endless emails and submittals of documents. (Could the DMV have pointed me to this portal in the previous 7 months? One would think so, but the answer is “apparently not.”)

After 7+ months of completely needless churn– a waste of my time and the time of DMV staffers–the DMV decided to issue us a non-operational registration for the non-operational car.

What difference does it make to the DMV if the non-operational car in storage is registered 91 days late, or 209 days late? As long as the outrageous late fee is paid, what benefit to the public interest is served by creating a no-exit Purgatory where the owner can neither register the non-operational car as non-operational or get the car running and get the smog certification? None. The DMV just wasted its own staff on a completely useless 7+-month travesty of a mockery of a sham of “public service.”

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California Looks To Stab Rooftop Solar Customers In The Back With Massive Incentive Rollback, New Fees | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on December 14, 2021

You have to pay for all those illegal aliens somehow.

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler DurdenTuesday, Dec 14, 2021 – 03:05 AM

California regulators are eyeing sharp reductions in subsidies for residential solar systems in  what would be the first major reform to a program that helped jump-start the rooftop solar industry, according to Bloomberg.As part of a proposed series of changes issued on Monday by a judge at the California Public Utilities Commission, residential solar customers would receive a much lower credit  for excess energy sent to the grid – with credits ranging from around 30 cents per killowatt-hour, to less than 10 cents depending on time of day.

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Watch: California Town Declares Independence From “Dictatorship Powers” Of State, Federal COVID Mandates | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2021

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

A town in California has declared itself a “constitutional republic,” independent of executive orders issued by the federal or state governments, in protest of lockdowns, mask mandates and compulsory vaccinations.

Appearing on Fox News, Oroville California’s vice-mayor Scott Thomson outlined the move, noting “I was sitting at City Hall, and the mandates continue to come. As you know it started with ‘two weeks to stop the—slow the curve,’ and it just seems like a carrot keeps being dangled in front of our faces of just a little more… and it seems like every mandate that comes down, it is a loss of freedom.”Thomson compared Oroville’s move to that of San Francisco declaring itself a ‘sanctuary city’.

“We’re a constitutional republic, and wanna declare that,” Thompson urged, clarifying “We’re not separating from California, but we’re just reminding the higher-ups in other cities we need to stand up for our rights. We still are a constitutional republic, which means we have rights endowed by our ‘creator,’ and our founders created a republic, which was genius, to separate powers.”

The vice-mayor further explained, “I believe that worldwide, but especially in California, that the very fabric of our nation is at a crossroads of how much authority we’ll let the government have,” comparing the struggle to a war.“I don’t believe that anybody wins when the government has more authority,” Thompson emphasised, adding and “every time that you lose freedom, usually it takes bloodshed to get it back.”“We’re getting threats of loss of money for our city, but for us, and especially for me, they can have their money; we want freedom in California, we want freedom in Oroville, and so that’s what we’re standing up for,” Thompson further urged.

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Empty Christmas stockings? Don’t blame COVID; blame California – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2021

Empty Christmas stockings? Don’t blame COVID; blame California

By Andrea Widburg

The conventional wisdom from the left is that COVID is the reason that shipping containers are in the waters off California with no stevedores or truckers available to take care of them.  The implication is that if people would stop being selfish and take the vaccines, the whole problem would magically vanish.  That’s nonsense.  As a couple of astute articles explain, the problem is that California has passed two laws — one for “climate change” and the other as a sop to the unions — that destroyed much of California’s trucking industry.  Add in woes unique to the industry and COVID payments that discourage people from working and…voilà!…empty Christmas stockings.

Stephen Green, at PJ Media, explains some of what’s going on.  As a preliminary matter, truckers are aging out of the job, and new ones aren’t coming along.  Because federal law requires that truckers be at least 21, kids who leave school at 17 or 18 get involved in other careers, leaving trucker shortfalls.  Women don’t offset this problem because, as is typical for most physically difficult jobs, it’s not their thing.  Those are long-term problems.

The short-term problem, though, is that California has passed laws taking trucks off the road:

Twitter user Jerry Oakley reminds us that “Carriers domiciled in California with trucks older than 2011 model, or using engines manufactured before 2010, will need to meet the Board’s new Truck and Bus Regulation beginning in 2020.” Otherwise, “Their vehicles will be blocked from registration with the state’s DMV,” according to California law.

“The requirement is to purchase electric trucks which do not exist.”

Top Articles By American Thinker

The Left’s Psychiatric Weapon

Sundance, at Conservative Treehouse, expands on this, explaining that the EPA reached an agreement with the California Air Resource Board

to shut down semi tractor rigs that were non-compliant with new California emission standards. [snip] In effect, what this 2020 determination and settlement created was an inability of half the nation’s truckers from picking up anything from the Port of LA or Port of Long Beach. Virtually all private owner operator trucks and half of the fleet trucks that are used for moving containers across the nation were shut out.

In an effort to offset the problem, transportation companies started using compliant trucks (low emission) to take the products to the California state line, where they could be transferred to non-compliant trucks who cannot enter California.   However, the scale of the problem creates an immediate bottleneck that builds over time. It doesn’t matter if the ports start working 24/7, they are only going to end up with even more containers waiting on a limited amount of available trucks.

That’s Problem No. 1.

Problem No. 2, again according to Green, is California’s infamous AB-5, the law that, as a sop to the Democrats’ beloved unions, killed the gig economy:

“Traditionally the ports have been served by Owner Operators,” Oakley says, who are non-union. But under AB-5, “California has now banned Owner Operators.”

Just like the union longshoremen, union truckers work under a whole host of work rules that simply can’t accommodate crisis conditions like the ones in Los Angeles.

(Incidentally, Green says AB-5’s language is included in the “Build Back Better” bill in Congress.)

All of this means that Biden’s grandstanding about having the ports operate 24/7 won’t make a difference.  The greenies and the unions killed the infrastructure to unload those ships, with COVID restrictions, trucking restrictions, and free money landing the coup de grâce that led to this situation.  Biden does have the emergency power to order those California laws in abeyance, but you know he’s not going to do so.

But the more serious underlying problem is that, in a distant, wonderful past, America didn’t need to rely on containers from Asia to fill her store shelves and Christmas stockings.  America was a manufacturing dynamo that fulfilled American needs and still had enough left over for the rest of the world.  Those things were well made, too.

Thanks to our Devil’s bargain with communist China, we have no manufacturing sector and are utterly dependent on China, both for things we like and things we need.  Biden’s inflationary politics and crackdown on fossil fuels mean that it will be virtually impossible for a renaissance in American manufacturing.  Trump tried to stop this situation, but China owns so much of America’s political and industrial class that the pushback shackled his presidency and pushed him straight out of the White House.

It’s a depressing scenario, but the rosy side is that China’s got a problem if America can’t open the door to its products.  Add to this the disastrous collapse in China’s real property sector, and China may be hurting as badly as we are.

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