California Dreamin’—of Jobs in Texas

Hounded by taxes and regulations, employers in the once-Golden State are moving East.

By John Fund

Austin, Texas

jobs leaving california

It wasn’t your usual legislative hearing. A group of largely Republican California lawmakers and Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom traveled here last week to hear from businesses that have left their state to set up shop in Texas.

“We came to learn why they would pick up their roots and move in order to grow their businesses,” says GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue, who organized the trip. “Why does Chief Executive magazine rate California the worst state for job and business growth and Texas the best state?”

The contrast is undeniable. Texas has added 165,000 jobs during the last three years while California has lost 1.2 million. California’s jobless rate is 12% compared to 8% in Texas.

“I don’t see this as a partisan issue,” Mr. Newsom told reporters before the group met with Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry. The former San Francisco mayor has many philosophical disagreements with Mr. Perry, but he admitted he was “sick and tired” of hearing about the governor’s success luring businesses to Texas.

Hours after the legislators met with Mr. Perry, another business, Fujitsu Frontech, announced that it is abandoning California. “It’s the 70th business to leave this year,” says California business relocation expert Joe Vranich. “That’s an average of 4.7 per week, up from 3.9 a week last year.” The Lone Star State was the top destination, with 14 of the 70 moving there.

Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardee’s Restaurants, was one of many witnesses to bemoan California’s hostile regulatory climate. He said it takes six months to two years to secure permits to build a new Carl’s Jr. restaurant in the Golden State, versus the six weeks it takes in Texas. California is also one of only three states that demands overtime pay after an eight-hour day, rather than after a 40-hour week. Such rules wreak havoc on flexible work schedules based on actual need. If there’s a line out the door at a Carl’s Jr. while employees are seen resting, it’s because they aren’t allowed to help: Break time is mandatory.

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COMPREHENSIVE PENSION REFORM (CPR) IN SAN DIEGO

 

San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio

April 19, 2011

[Publisher’s Note: As part of an ongoing effort to bring original, thoughtful commentary to you here at the FlashReport, I am pleased to present this column from the Honorable Carl DeMaio.. DeMaio is a City Councilman from San Diego – Click here to see my commentary on Pension Politics In San Diego – Flash]
If you are new to the FlashReport, please check out the main site and the acclaimed FlashReport Weblog on California politics.

San Diegans have waited too long for a complete and lasting solution to our pension crisis.

The city faces a $2.1 billion pension shortfall. The ever-increasing annual payments into the system have resulted in deep cuts to basic government functions like road maintenance, tree trimming and library hours.

But no service cut or tax hike is deep enough to solve the pension crisis without serious reform.

San Diegans will finally have the chance to vote on a life-saving remedy with CPR  — Comprehensive Pension Reform.

I am appreciative of everyone who joined us in the collaborative discussions to produce this measure – including Mayor Jerry Sanders, the Taxpayers Association, Councilmember Faulconer, and the Lincoln Club.

The CPR Initiative is tough, sweeping and effective.  It will actually solve our pension crisis and save our city services from further cuts.

Most importantly, the CPR Initiative delivers reforms to ensure a simple goal is achieved: City employees deserve retirement benefits that are no better, and no worse, than the average San Diego taxpayer footing the bill.

We have loaded this ballot measure up with the strong pension reforms.  If an idea saved taxpayers money and ended abusive pension payouts, we put it in.

 

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California Descends Deeper Into Self-Destruction

33 percent of electricity generated be done with “renewable” sources

California — it’s the best place to live and it’s the worst place to live. The physical climate is almost ideal and the political climate, if you’re a conservative, is surreal. Through their politicians and bureaucrats Californians seem hell bent on destroying the state’s vast potential. It’s a painful sight to witness.

The latest, all too typical, example is a law signed by Governor Jerry Brown last week mandating new renewable energy requirements for electric utilities in the state. The new law requires that 33 percent of electricity generated be done with “renewable” sources, essentially wind mills and solar panels, by the end of the year 2020. What’s the objective of this “ambitious” new regulation?

To answer that question you first need to understand that California has a wildly inflated sense of self-importance. Californians actually believe they have the ability and duty to save the planet. Humility is clearly not their strong suit.

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Government Cash Handouts Now Top Tax Revenues

 

By Elizabeth MacDonald

Published April 20, 2011

U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.

Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.

 

But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times.

Also, an estimated 59% of the 308.7 million Americans in this country get at least one federal benefit, according to the Census Bureau, based on 2009 data. An estimated 46.5 million get Social Security; 42.6 million get Medicare; 42.4 million get Medicaid; 36.1 million get food stamps; 12.4 million get housing subsidies; and 3.2 million get Veterans’ benefits.

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ObamaCare’s Costs Just Keep Rising

Health Care: You’d think that when the Congressional Budget Office reported that Obama-Care would cost tens of billions of dollars more than it originally claimed, that would be news. Guess again.

Last month the CBO — Congress’ official budget scorekeeper — updated its forecast for ObamaCare’s price tag. Instead of $931 billion over seven years, the CBO now says it will cost $971 billion to pay for higher Medicaid costs, subsidies, tax credits and the rest — a $40 billion increase.

At the same time, the CBO now says ObamaCare’s new taxes — the penalties for not buying coverage, taxes on high-cost plans, and so on — will be $24 billion higher than it projected last March.

Of course, to Washington, these extra taxes are a good thing since they bring the government’s “net cost” down. But to the rest of us, it looks like the price of ObamaCare just went up by $64 billion.

The media’s response has been a collective yawn. The Washington Post, one of the few publications that even mentioned the change, airily dismissed it as little more than “rounding errors” due to “technical factors.”

Unfortunately, little changes mean a lot. And costs are almost certain to be far higher than even the new CBO forecasts suggest, once the reform’s vast and complex network of mandates, subsidies and regulations fully kicks in over the next three years.

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Project Gunrunner document drop: Issa blasts DOJ stonewalling, threatens contempt proceedings

posted at 12:55 pm on April 20, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Rep. Darrell Issa has tired of waiting for the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to respond to his subpoenas in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s probe of the ATF gunwalker scandal.  In a letter today to ATF’s director, Issa warned of contempt proceedings if the DoJ and White House continue their refusal to comply with subpoenas, and pointedly explained why the DoJ’s current investigation isn’t germane to the issue:

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Obama Skips Tornado Destruction, Heads West to Campaign and Raise Money

 

by KEITH KOFFLER on APRIL 20, 2011, 11:44 AM

President Obama is opting not to visit the tornado-ravaged areas of the South, choosing instead to embark today on a three day tour out West where he will try to boost his political standing by talking up his approach to the deficit and raise millions for himself and fellow Democrats.

The tornadoes, part of a storm that rampaged though six states Saturday, resulted in one of the worst disasters of any kind in the United States since the Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Scores were left injured or homeless while 45 people were killed – about four times as many as died in the Gulf oil rig explosion and the subsequent oil spill last year. In North Carolina alone, there were nearly two-dozen storm-related deaths Saturday, with 130 homes destroyed and an estimated 700 more damaged.

Not only is Obama staying away from the region, he has said almost nothing publicly about the tragedy beyond an interview with a North Carolina TV station and a very brief mention at a White House prayer breakfast. The president has failed to make the kind of national, attention-getting public statement presidents offer during crises to comfort victims by expressing the condolences of the nation and to seek charitable aid.

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Where the Tax Money Is

Obama targets the middle class while pretending to tax only the rich.

A dominant theme of President Obama’s budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked “to pay a little more.” Since he’s asking, imagine that instead of proposing to raise the top income tax rate well north of 40%, the President decided to go all the way to 100%.

Let’s stipulate that this is a thought experiment, because Democrats don’t need any more ideas. But it’s still a useful experiment because it exposes the fiscal futility of raising rates on the top 2%, or even the top 5% or 10%, of taxpayers to close the deficit. The mathematical reality is that in the absence of entitlement reform on the Paul Ryan model, Washington will need to soak the middle class—because that’s where the big money is.

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