California: The Toilet Bowl State!

Do you live in one of those Red States? Are you feeling down about the election? You think you’ve got it bad? Just be glad you don’t live in California!!!!

Here’s what “we” in the Golden State did on Tuesday:

Strike 1: Passed Prop 30 which is a tax on “The Rich” (also known as those making $250,000 a year) and raising the sales tax by 1/4% which, DUH, effects everyone. The purpose of this lovely tax is to give $6 billion to the schools, yes it’s for the children…OH wait, I forgot to mention, the Legislature & Governor can change where the money goes at any time and just use it in the general fund! And yes they asked for this money after commiting to spend $70-110 Billion on a high speed rail project that no one will ever ride (but will provide tons of money to unions through the construction contracts!)

Strike 2:  Voted down Prop 32.  Prop 32 would have taken some of the power away from the public sector unions in California by not allowing them to automatically take dues from members to use for political purposes.  Seems pretty sensible to me, especially in light of the fact that the California Teachers Association.  Don’t believe me? Here’s what the Ultra-Right Wing LA Times said about the CTA:

Last year, as Gov. Jerry Brown hammered out final details of the state budget, he huddled around a conference table with three of the most powerful people in state government: the Assembly speaker, the Senate leader — and Joe Nuñez, chief lobbyist for the California Teachers Assn.

California was on the edge of fiscal crisis. Negotiations had come down to one sticking point: Brown and the legislators would balance the books by assuming that billions of dollars in extra revenue would materialize, then cut deeply from schools if it didn’t.

Nuñez said no.

Opposition from the powerful union, which had just staged a week of public protests against budget cuts, could mean a costly legal challenge. So the group took a break, and the officials retired to another room to hash out something acceptable to CTA while Nuñez awaited their return.

It may seem unorthodox for an unelected citizen to sit with Sacramento’s elite as they pick winners and losers in the annual spending sweepstakes. But few major financial decisions in California are made without Nuñez, who represents what is arguably the most potent force in state politics.

The union views itself as “the co-equal fourth branch of government,” said Oakland Democrat Don Perata, a former teacher who crossed swords with the group when he was state Senate leader.

Yep, you read that right, “the co-equal fourth branch of government.” And here’s more:

Later that year, the Obama administration offered cash-strapped states billions of dollars in competitive grants to increase teacher accountability. Schwarzenegger asked lawmakers to pass several measures that could help the state get up to $700 million.

His list contained items the union had fought for years: merit pay for teachers, permission for students to change campuses, a requirement that student test scores be part of teachers’ evaluations.

Schwarzenegger found an ally in state Sen. Gloria Romero, a Democrat from East Los Angeles who chaired the Senate Education Committee. But few lawmakers came aboard.

“They didn’t want to know what the bills said,” Romero recalled. “The only question I was asked was, ‘Where is CTA on this?’”

CTA was opposed. Romero said her Democratic colleagues accused her of jeopardizing their careers by antagonizing the group.

In the end, parts of the package passed. But CTA had the final word.

The union urged its local affiliates not to support California’s application for the federal funds. Washington dinged the state for the lack of union buy-in, among other factors, and rejected its request.

Yep, so concerned about “the children” that they told Obama to go F himself and keep the money rather than make reforms!  But California thinks that’s a good thing to let the unelected head of the CTA control the State.

Prop 32 lost because the Unions ran TONS of ads talking about how Prop 32 was thought up the the boogeymen: Big Oil, Karl Rove, the Koch Brother, Wall Street Bankers, Insurance Executives & Super Pacs.  But the morons (I’d rather use a word that Ann Coulter recently got in trouble for using) here in California bought it.

Finally, Strike 3 (We’re Out):  The worst calamity of them all: California Democrats now have a  Super-Majority in both houses of the Legislature.  Meaning the Democrsta in the California Legislature, some of the most crackpot, left wing nutjobs you’ve ever heard of, now have the ability to pass any tax increase, override any veto & freely place Constitutional Amendments on the ballot for the Morons…errr Citizens of California to pass (I use the term citizens loosely because, come on, there won’t be any citizens left pretty soon)!

What’s that really mean, well it means the CTA, the most powerful special interest in California, the Worst Union in America, now runs the state!!!

So to the rest of the 49 States, enjoy Obama, he’s a conservative compared to the nuts who run the “Golden State”

Let me ends with a little music video:

Or maybe this one:

I Love this Ad

I kept seeing this ad by Thomas Peterffy on CNN while watching Sandy Coverage.

I love how it’s just a guy who spent his own money because it’s something he believes in, ok true, he’s got a lot he can spend!  I thought it was funny that it was  on CNN during what had to be HUGE ratings for them & I bet he didn’t plan it that way, just lucked into it.

Obama’s Silly Attacks

President Obama has begun his attack on Mitt Romney as the former head of Bain Capital.  There a a number of problems with this attack.  First, it’s HILARIOUS that Obama rails against private equity firms, then takes their money.  But what’s more disturbing is the stupidity of his attacks.  Even the former Car Czar says the attacks are unfair.  Here’s what the Dems don’t get when the attack Wall Street, Banks, etc.  Wall Street is investments, investments need to make money, nearly EVERYONE in this country is directly affected by the stock market.  Why? Because nearly everyone has either a pension or a 401k, if the investments make money, YOU make money!  The problem is the Average American is too dumb to figure that out, the just get all giggly over “Hope & Change” 

Back from a Break

Been gone for a long time dealing with personal issues, family, new job etc.  But I’m going to get back to writing.

Some Teachers ARE Money Grubbing Brats

I was having a discussion on Facebook with a friend, and one of her friends, a teacher, chimed in with this:

When I start getting paid PRIVATE SECTOR WAGES for my 50 – 60 hour work weeks, I’ll be happy to accept those “private sector benefits” (which, actually, are almost exactly what my union job provides me). 

It’s funny how conservatives keep saddling teachers with greater burdens while giving us fewer resources and then vilifying us when we can’t make the impossible commonplace. 

And let’s not pretend that incompetence in the private sector is rare. As far as I can tell, it’s commonplace and often highly rewarded. Companies whose CEOs mismanage them seldom fire the CEOs — instead, they fire the workers. If you want to know wht workers unionize, look no further than there.

I work damned hard for my students, all so that I can JUST afford a little, old two bedroom apartment, and I get MIGHTY tired of people who haven’t been in a public school in years attacking teachers for our supposed “greed” while the richest 2% of Americans whine about getting even MORE tax breaks.

What’s that tell you about teachers!  He completely ignored where I said:

I don’t have any problem with teachers or other state employees.. My problem is with those that run unions, their interest is protecting their own personal interest & power. I remember about 8-9 years ago their was a grocery strike & it came out that the president of the union who was “Fighting” for the poor workers, made over $300,000 per year! If these people REALLY gave a shit about working people they wouldn’t be doing that.

Teachers unions resit reform (and ignore members)

Michelle Malkin has an interesting piece today that talks about the problems with teacher unions.  Here’s an article from a few months back from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and an interesting quote from that article:

“Sarah Archibald, an education consultant who worked for seven months in Gov. Jim Doyle’s office, offers a pragmatic reason for unions to consider in their continued fight to improve teacher wages and working conditions:

‘Keeping low-performing teachers in classrooms hurts everyone, most of all kids, and disproportionately, low-income kids and kids of color,’ Archibald said. ‘But it also hurts the teaching profession.

‘It is very difficult to argue for paying teachers more – even though it makes sense based on evidence from countries with higher performing educational systems – when some of that money would go to teachers who are not performing in the classroom but who cannot be dismissed on that basis or even paid less than their higher performing peers.’”

Pubic employee unions have gotten WAY too much power in many states in the country.  California is a prime example.  Democrat politicians are bought by the Unions.

 

The Problem with State Bankruptcy

I certainly like the idea of allowing states like California to declare some form of Bankruptcy.  As Jeb Bush & Newt Gingrich recently noted in a piece, Better off Bankrupt:

[A] new bankruptcy law would allow states in default or in danger of default to reorganize their finances free from their union contractual obligations. In such a reorganization, a state could propose to terminate some, all or none of its government employee union contracts and establish new compensation rates, work rules, etc. The new law could also allow states an opportunity to reform their bloated, broken and underfunded pension systems for current and future workers. The lucrative pay and benefits packages that government employee unions have received from obliging politicians over the years are perhaps the most significant hurdles for many states trying to restore fiscal health.

I certainly am a big fan of dealing with the bloated union contracts and state employee pensions that have ballooned to create an unsustainable state budget.  Don’t think we haven’t created a monster?  Check out this stat:

The figures for next year’s budgets are staggering. California, which faces a $25.4-billion budget shortfall, will pay $100,000+ pensions to more than 12,000 state and municipal retirees this year. A Stanford study puts the state’s unfunded pension obligations at more than half a trillion dollars.

While some form of Bankruptcy makes sense when looking at these numbers, my concern is 2 fold.  First, that states will look at the new Bankruptcy as a crutch to never really change their spending ways.  Bush & Gingrich adrress that:

An additional benefit of a new voluntary bankruptcy law for states is that its mere existence may deter any state from ever availing itself of its provisions. If government employee union bosses know that they could have all their contracts annulled under federal bankruptcy law, either through a plan of reorganization voluntarily entered into by state leaders or by the voters through proposition, they may be far more accommodating with state governments to restructure government employee union workforces, pensions and work rules.

That makes sense, but it is still a concern I have.

 

My second concern is how suck a bankruptcy would effect the state’s bond rating & the overall ability to borrow money.  Again, Bush & Gingrich have a response:

Third, the new law should allow for the restructuring of a state’s debt and other contractual obligations. In a voluntary bankruptcy scenario, states, like municipalities, will have every incentive to file a reorganization plan that protects state bondholder claims and their ultimate recovery. States will evaluate their future access to bond markets and their prospective borrowing rates as they formulate the optimal restructuring plan.

When California refused to bail out Orange County, the county entered bankruptcy and emerged within 18 months. Within three years, the county returned to an investment grade rating, and it repaid 100% of the principal of the vast majority of its investors by 2000 without raising taxes.

The lesson is that voluntary bankruptcy offers taxpayers the option to restructure state finances responsibly to achieve long-term fiscal health — which can only improve California’s bond rating since it is the worst in the nation— instead of simply having to accept the Sacramento solution of another tax increase.

Overall I think the Bankruptcy option may work, but it is something that must be carefully addressed.