September 14, 2011 archive

Sep 14 2011

Dilbert September 14, 2011 – Unfinished


Dilbert by Scott Adams

The UN awesome……

Sep 14 2011

Proposition 13 Proponents Crafting New California Pension Reform Initiative


It looks like the era of $200K plus pensions for Police, Fire, California College Presidents, City Managers and other public employees may be coming to an end.

The group founded by the advocates of the tax-cutting Proposition 13 are crafting a ballot initiative that urges across-the-board cuts in public pensions and sets ups a new, CalPERS-style state retirement system for private employees.

The proposed initiative, which would apply to new and reinstated employees, would cap pay at $100,000 for the purposes of figuring retirement. It would bar any other compensation – such as bonuses, accrued overtime, accrued sick leave and vacation pay – from being included when calculating pensions.

The details of the initiative are here.

This is, of course, if the initiative passes which may be hard to predict because of the campaign sure to be waged by the very powerful California Labor movement.

Note, this does not seem to affect existing employees.


Sep 14 2011

California Field Poll: President Obama Not So Much


President Obama appears to be really in trouble for re-election if California voters are abandoning him.

Even in heavily Democratic California, President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has plummeted among voters, largely on his handling of the economy, according to a new Field Poll.

Though Obama is strongly favored to win California in his re-election bid next year, the poll suggests many Democrats may vote for him only begrudgingly, and it is yet another indication of weakening support nationwide.

“When you’re seeing vulnerability in a state like California, I think that really is ominous for his national standing,” Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said.

For the first time since Obama took office in 2009, less than half of California voters – 46 percent – approve of the job he is doing, just two percentage points more than disapprove, according to the poll.

Obama’s decline has been quick and widespread: As little as three months ago, his approval rating in California was 54 percent. Since June, his rating has suffered double-digit percentage drops among Democrats, nonpartisans, Central Valley residents, men, African Americans, Asian Americans and voters over 65.

It has fallen nearly 20 points since Field’s post-inaugural measure in March 2009 had him at 65 percent approval.

Can you blame Californians?

The economy has been very poor for some time, the housing market is broken and businesses are moving out of state. Entitlements are breaking California’s budget and school teachers are being laid off or furloughed.

California is no longer a Golden State and President Obama’s teleprompter speeches are NO solution.


Sep 14 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown Should Sign Senate Bill 746 on Tanning Beds


I have asked the Governor before to sign this bill but since he is dawdling here it is again.

The author California State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) is keeping up the pressure on the governor.

And Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, keeps up his public appeals to Brown to sign his Senate Bill 746, which would ban youths under 18 from using tanning beds. Lieu’s office released a study Tuesday finding that the melanoma rate has more than doubled among Californians most likely to use tanning beds: well-off girls and women ages 15 to 39. His news conference starts at 11 a.m. at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Governor Brown – sign the bill.


Sep 14 2011

California Poverty Rate Increases to Highest in a Decade – 16.3%


Not a good sign for Californians, especially since the State of California has major budgetary problems.

California’s poor now outnumber the populations of 33 states and 90 nations – and counting.

The state’s poverty rate last year rose to its highest level in more than a decade – 16.3 percent – as household incomes plunged by 5 percent, according to census figures released Tuesday.

The state lost ground much faster than the rest of the nation, which saw a roughly 2 percent decline in household income.

Nationally, about 15.1 percent of the population, or 46 million people, were poor last year, a higher poverty rate than in any year since 1993.

That incomes continue to decline and poverty increases didn’t surprise economists. But the magnitude of the changes did. California hasn’t seen a bigger year-to-year fall in household income in at least 25 years.

“We’re supposedly in recovery,” said Jeff Michael, an economist at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. “But we’ve been feeding at the bottom of the trough.”

Howard Roth, the state’s chief economist, noted that many of the states hit hardest by the housing bust saw the steepest income declines and largest poverty increases last year. Those states will likely continue to suffer, he said, until the housing industry recovers.

“It’s pretty clear that going forward, these income numbers are going to get smaller for a while,” Roth said.

In California, the median household income – the middle number in a ranked list of incomes – was $54,459 last year, down from an inflation-adjusted $57,061 in 2009 and the lowest level since 1997. California incomes peaked in 2006 at $59,821.

The California housing market remains a disaster and a major correction is still due, if California business wants to attract quality employees from other states or retain its young native residents. Housing prices are terribly inflated and do not reflect the reality of the American economy.

I mean, you can buy a modestly priced nice home in most areas of the country for $150K, whereas here – forget it.

Plus, looming ObamaCare and California state environmental and entitlement regulations are forcing California businesses to consider as to whether they wish to remain in the state. Many have left or are planning to leave California. Business taxes remain very high in comparison to other states.

California has some major problems and the state has not hit its economic bottom yet – unfortunately.