California Roundup: E-Tax, Positively Negative, New Video, and More

* Welcome back, e-Tax! California Democrats aim to revive the economy by sneaking an online sales tax back into the budget. Eric Hogue explains why the e-tax would suck even more air out of the nearly lifeless state economy, but he may be focusing on the wrong point. When e-taxers make their case (and these days they're making it at the federal level [pdf] as well), they are actually pretty straightforward about the purpose of the tax. It's less about revenue than about helping brick and mortar retailers hobble online competitors. Who says politicians don't understand the free market?

* On transit boondogglism, Carly Fiorina offers an echo, not a choice: The former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican challenger to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) "believes that investment in California's crumbling infrastructure, including transit, is an important element in creating and protecting middle-class jobs and ensuring the state's economy can again thrive." Fiorina joins Boxer in supporting Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to score federal funds for his "30/10" rail transit project. Carly's triangulation has worked about as poorly as a Pavilion laptop: The L.A. Times headlined its story, "Boxer says transit effort is on track."

* They're trying to give Arnold a Raw Deal! Gov. Schwarzenegger says "absolutely no" to Proposition 25, which would allow the legislature to pass budgets with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote. Although the measure as currently titled and advertised claims to leave in place the supermajority requirement for tax increases, the governor dismisses this claim. "I believe this is also," Schwarzenegger says, "a majority vote for tax increases." Read here to see why he's right about that.

* CalBuzz slams the Republican candidates for being too negative. Says the post's first commenter: "How can anyone be positive?"

* What could make you miss DemonSheep? How about...

An attack ad on the proposed statewide plastic-bag ban:

Abel Maldonado's Brechtian eight-minute attack on Gavin Newsom -- which includes an extended clip from Reason.tv:

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    The 30/10 planners need to be careful they don't run that yellow line too close to Chinatown. They may get into trouble the way the planners in Atlanta got with their MARTA plan earlier this year.

  • ||

    How is that haircut (Newsom) polling? Can't stand him, myself.

  • ||

    Fuck, I could have had the 1st comment, but I hesitated on this one. Your "Thousand-Year-Plan" map shows the "lower west" Red Line becoming the Purple Line? I noticed that it still stops short of the mythical SWPL city on the sea (founded to keep out black people returning from WWII). They are projected to reach 100% HBO subscription by 2022

  • ¢||

    Says the post's first commenter: "How can anyone be positive?"

    The second comment is the most perfectly observed mockery in the history of making fun of assholes. I actually died at "Well at least that's my California Dream."

    ...
    SHUT UP

  • Fire Tiger||

    Go Abel.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Spoofer @ 7:24

  • Jason S. ||

    CalBuzz has some weak alt-text skills. Straight up.

  • Hockey Guy||

    Tim, there was already a line on the 2009 540 form for user tax. This is for internet purchases, etc. It is on the honor system for now but as explained to me by an accountant they are working at getting the structure in place to check vendors who sell to californians and cross check it with individual returns. There really is no stopping the money grubbing fools.

  • Hockey Guy||

    Line 95 on the 540A

    Page 14 of the instructions for form 540A describe the tax.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Use Tax FAQ
    Pure awesomeness.

  • ||

    "Boxer says transit effort is on track."
    Either this woman is so bereft of shame that she tells lies like this without embarrassment, or she's simply dumb enough not to realize she's lying.
    I'm guessing the latter.

  • bags||

    The second comment is the most perfectly observed mockery in the history of making fun of assholes. I actually died at "Well at least that's my California Dream."

  • fendibags||

    Straight up.

  • scarf||

    How is that haircut (Newsom) polling? Can't stand him, myself.

  • ||

    bags|8.24.10 @ 8:58PM|#

    The second comment is the most perfectly observed mockery in the history of making fun of assholes. I actually died at "Well at least that's my California Dream."
    reply to this
    fendibags|8.24.10 @ 9:02PM|#

    Straight up.
    reply to this
    scarf|8.24.10 @ 9:04PM|#

    How is that haircut (Newsom) polling? Can't stand him, myself.

    This is a pretty sophisticated Spambot.

    It looks like it picks random sentences from the comments and posts them.

  • Apogee||

    Don't buy fendi bags or burberry scarves, ever!

  • Colin||

    More transit boondogglism: in Long Beach next week they're tearing down the downtown transit mall and building a new one -- courtesy of the stimulus.

    The only problem is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with the transit mall -- it's in perfect condition.

    Where's D-Fens when you need him?

  • ||

    I hate right wingers when they make political hit videos. They criticize left wingers on all the wrong shit.

    Gavin Newsom is obviously a fucking idiot. But "Gay Porn Month" is kind of funny...and given the quality of California politicians probably puts him above the rest of the crowd.

  • ||

    Also is it just me or does Gavin Newsom remind you of Gob Bluth from arrested development?

  • ||

    Threadjack:

    From the New Yorker:

    The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.”

    But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

    Yes, because nothing says lawlessness like private citizens donating their money to advocate policy positions counter to what the New Yorker would like. This demands oblique and overt comparisons to Nixon and robber barons!!!!

    HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THIS SHIT?!@?@?

    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....z0xa14Glsy

    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....z0xa0zCVCj

  • juris imprudent||

    There’s no one else who has spent this much money.

    Soros.

    Fuck - leftist windbags are such idiots.

  • Max||

    Soros is a good man! How dare you sully his good name! Fuck you libertarians!

  • ||

    How anyone can know about Newsom's cell phone nonsense and still vote for the guy is beyond me.

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/sto.....id=7580877

    What bugs me the most about this is that Newsom doesn't even pretend to be worried about his phone giving him cancer (and a Mayor of a large city must use his cell exponentially more often than the average Joe) and yet he's still all gung ho for it.

    It's like forcing the people who run beaches at public lakes in Minnesota to post warning signs about potential shark attacks. You never can be too careful and the public must be informed after all.

  • ||

    Honestly, is it really fair competition if brick and mortar stores have to charge a tax to customers and online stores don't? Either tax them all or don't tax any of them.

  • Russ 2000||

    Huh? If Californians purchase goods from a California-based on-line retailer, the on-line retailer charges them sales tax.

    The situation has NOTHING to do with on-line versus physical. It has to do with taxing businesses that aren't located in your state. I grew up in Illinois a few miles from the Indiana border and my father made all our appliance purchases in Indiana to avoid the sales tax. Interstate commerce is the fed's realm, not the states'.

    The typical public servant would like to tax all foreigners living abroad.

  • Fire Tiger||

    The sales tax plays a very small part in my decision to purchase online, selection, easy of finding what I am after and lower base price tend to be bigger factors.

  • Geotpf||

    The 30/10 is actually a smart plan I think even libertarians can get behind, or at least not attack. The county voted for an increase in the sales tax to fund transportaion improvements via a proposition. The 30/10 plan is merely asking the Federal government for a loan, to be paid off by the future money from the tax. This will allow the system to get built quicker as well as cheaper (the costs to build the system will be less if you build it now than later, due to the housing crash as well as future general inflation).

  • bubba||

    If you're going to have a sales tax, it's not obvious to me why online transactions should be exempt.

  • ||

    This is a pretty sophisticated Spambot.

    It looks like it picks random sentences from the comments and posts them.

    I pray every night for your protracted grisly death

  • Stephen||

    Reason loves transit-bashing, but it's quite odd that they haven't written a single story about the debate that's been raging in the libertarian blogosphere about minimum parking regulations and general sprawl-promoting land use regulations. Even reason.org has covered it, and they're far deeper in the "status quo sprawl is the market, revealed" camp than anyone at reason.com.

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  • burberry scarf||

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