Barbara Boxer

California Roundup: Republicans As Worthless As Ever

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You'll stay for the poppies!

City of Bell's $800,000 Manager Robert Rizzo is gone but not forgotten. California attorney general and candidate for governor Jerry Brown issues a subpoena for the city's compensation records.

Los Angeles public schools pay $109 a copy for textbooks.

Why Republicans are worthless, item umpteen: Carly Fiorina's biggest complaint about Sen. Barbara Boxer is that Boxer has not passed enough legislation.

Teamsters hold up Hollywood: Studios agree to 2 percent pay increase, bigger health plan contributions and "travel pay" for certain drivers. (What do they pay the non-traveling drivers?)

The Laffer curve still works in dry, temperate cimates: Dan Walters remembers that the last time the state passed big tax hikes during a recession, revenues declined.

NEXT: Never Joke About Stuff Where Regulators Might Overhear You

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  1. Teamsters hold up Hollywood:

    The Film Actors Guild is indeed in charge.

    1. MATT DAMON

    2. OK, but that’s between the stockholders in the company and the managers.
      Sorry, no taxpayer money involved. If you want to short the studios, go right ahead.

      1. One could argue that unions are granted special privileges by government, and thus have an unfair advantage.

        1. Whadayamean? If you don’t want unions, don’t make movies!
          Who’s forcing you?

        2. One could argue that unions are granted special privileges by government, and thus have an unfair advantage.

          What special privileges are those?

          1. Must-bargain laws.

          2. And exemptions from anti-trust laws.

  2. I’m having trouble being outraged by the Bell salaries. The people of that city were too apathetic to even vote in the referendum that allowed the matter to happen. They voted in the councilmen who hired the manager and set his salary. Now all of a sudden they’re shocked about a matter of public record that they wouldn’t even know about if the LA Times didn’t have a slow news day.

    They deserve the guy.

    1. So you’re saying the government we get, we deserve?

      1. If you vote for a government, you deserve it. The people who voted against it don’t deserve it. The people who didn’t vote are also non-culpable, though less praiseworthy.

        1. “The people who didn’t vote are also non-culpable, though less praiseworthy.”

          But more principled, if you ask me. Not voting sends a message that both Turd Sandwich and Giant Douche are unacceptable. At least, that’s what I tell myself on election night.

          1. Not voting gets your message lost in the noise of the general apathy that most of the non-voting population exhibits. If you want to send a message, vote a blank ballot. Either way, it’s not too hard to vote in a referendum. You ought to be able to vote yes or no; at least there the dilemma is truly binary.

      2. In the aggregate sense, yes, we often do. Narrow the sample down to, say, Reason’s audience, and the answer changes…

        My point was more that the people of Bell weren’t lied to. The city government didn’t hide anything or deceive them. They just didn’t care until a newspaper shoved it in their faces. 400 people in a town of 35,000 turned out in the election that laid the groundwork for this boondoggle. I’m going to go ahead and blame the people.

        1. When was the election held?

          It’s not unheard of for small cities in CA to schedule election on bizarre non standard dates then not publicize that fact. It’s one of the ways the corrupt politician-public employee union axis keeps raping the public.

          1. What was it someone once said about eternal vigilance?

  3. Carly Fiorina is worse than you say.

    There were two good candidates in the Republican primary – Tom Campbell, a social liberal/fiscal conservative who is friendly with libertarians, and Chuck DeVore, a conservative who is friendly with libertarians.

    Carly Fiorina spent millions of her own money convincing Republican voters that she would spend millions to take down Boxer. Now that she has won the primary, she says she does not want to spend her own money on the general election campaign.

    1. Fiorina isn’t a Texas conservative, she’s a California conservative. They’re different. She is not moonbeam Brown. Be thankful.

      1. She’s a douche. The GOP voters of California are embarrassing in that they are so easily bought.

        1. But she’s our douche, OUR douche!

          1. And Boxer is OUR shit sandwich.

    2. Tom Campbell is not a fiscal conservative except in comparison to the Marxists in the dem party.

  4. I hate Laffer curve conversations because it implies that the tax code should be written with maximizing revenue as the main goal.

    1. No it doesn’t. It just implies that there is a peak on the bell curve which you never want to be to the right of.

      Of course to your average GOP or Democrat armchair economist, the Laffer Curve is just a 45 degree line pointing in whichever way they’d prefer to be true. Both of them making the assumption that the one and only rate that makes a difference is the top marginal rate.

    2. I hate Laffer curve conversations because conservatives don’t even bother to measure if we are ACTUALLY on the right side of the curve or not. Of course we aren’t. At our current tax rates or anything even possible within the bounds of politically viable policy, we are waaaayyy over to the left side.

      The real math is something like this (for the feds): Pass a $100 billion tax cut, generate about $20 billion in extra economic activity, generating about $4 billion in extra revenue.

      Note that $4 billion

      1. We should pay more taxes!!!
        We should pay more taxes!!!
        We should pay more taxes!!!

        Yeah, that’s the ticket.

      2. What I note: by your math, about $76 billion disappeared into thin air simply because the government didn’t take it.

        Morbo says: Economies do not work that way!

  5. If you think these salaries are a huge scam, Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars.

    Read about it on this website: http://texsquixtarblog.blogspo…..truth.html and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don’t get scammed.

    Amway is a scam, and here’s why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.

    As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

  6. If you think these salaries are a huge scam, Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars.

    Read about it on this website: http://texsquixtarblog.blogspo…..truth.html and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don’t get scammed.

    Amway is a scam, and here’s why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.

    As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

  7. If you think these salaries are a huge scam, Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars.

    Read about it on this website: texsquixtarblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/9-steps-of-truth.html and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don’t get scammed.

    Amway is a scam, and here’s why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.

    As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

  8. Anyone who has taken a calculus class will know why the Laffer Curve is destined for eventual failure.

    But where is the limit?

    1. If you took calc in Havana.

    2. shrike|7.26.10 @ 7:06PM|#
      “Anyone who has taken a calculus class will know why the Laffer Curve is destined for eventual failure.”

      And I’ll presume you have evidence for how human activity matches the random ends of a calc’d curve?
      Well, no, I really don’t. I’ll more properly presume you can select a curve you please and then claim it shows the Laffer curve to be false, right?

    3. Most economists put it north of 70%.

      The highest tax rates in the country run right around 50% (that’s state+federal+local). Most people pay far, far less than that.

      Real world Laffer effects are hard to find, and mostly consist of the well-off and corporations using tax havens…which is a solvable problem if idiot-monkey conservatives would let it be solved.

      1. Hey Chad,
        Are you sending the IRS “north of 70%” of your total income? If not, shut the f**k up you hypocrite.

      2. The problem with the Laffer curve is its shape. The “curve” is best described as half of a very wide ellipse. Since WWII, we’ve had numerous increases and decreases of all tax rates and large variations in the top marginal tax rate. Yet despite the changes, individual income tax revenue has remained within a narrow range from the high sevens to nine percent of GDP.

        The conclusion being that tax rate increases are unable to increase government revenue to the degree most would predict.

        1. Actually, the Laffer curve doesn’t hit zero on the right side. Pretending it does is half your guys’ problem.

          The Kennedy-era tax cuts were coupled with huge changes in the deduction structure. Since then, changes have been so small that they get lost in the economic noise. There are examples of both tax cuts and tax increases that were followed by both revenue increases and revenue booms. You can cherry pick any trend you want, which is precisely what cons do all the time.

          Then you ignore conflicting data, like how the economy started growing after Bush I and Clinton RAISED taxes, and how it went to hell in a fucking handbasket after Bush II cut them again.

          Ignoring data you don’t like is dirty pool, man.

      3. We should pay more taxes!!!
        We should pay more taxes!!!
        We should pay more taxes!!!

        Yeah, that’s the ticket

      4. Let us guess, Chad… fifty percent tax rates aren’t high enough to make your dick hard, right?

  9. I honestly don’t give a shit about revenue-maximizing tax rates. What the fuck is wrong with letting people just keep the money they earned?

    1. But….they might do anything with it!

      1. Something horrible like hire someone!

        1. But…it might be the wrong person!

        2. What? Are you seriously suggesting that we should continue to allow corporate fat cats to wildly speculate on the labor market? I say that we need to raise corporate payroll taxes to the same level as the personal income tax, and introduce tough new regulations to keep wages out of the hands of speculators and within sustainable levels. That’ll show Goldman Sachs!

          1. “Corporate Fat Cats” is my verbal hypnotic suggestion that causes epistemic closure.

    2. Dagnabbit!

    3. Then where will the state get the money to pay for taxpayer-funded third trimester abortions for underage girls without their parents consent?

      Marijuana taxes alone won’t pay for all the policies where the left and “libertarians” agree.

      1. SIV 7.26.10 @ 7:47PM
        “Then where will the state get the money to pay for taxpayer-funded third trimester abortions for underage girls without their parents consent?

        Marijuana taxes alone won’t pay for all the policies where the left and “libertarians” agree.”

        Since when do libertarians want taxpayer funded anything, especially when it comes to underage children without parental consent you fucking retard.

    4. Bringing up the Laffer Curve is meant to convince people who think maximizing tax revenues is a worthy goal should not think that there is a one to one correlation between raising taxes and raising tax revenues. It is not an argument to convince people who already think as you do.

  10. It really is time to dust off the ol’ Laffer Curve.

  11. Tim, are you going to blame Republicans for Obamacare, too? Sorry, but it wasn’t us that screwed up California.

    1. Sorry, but CA Republicans have a lot to answer for. They were plenty willing to protect a few safe seats rather than fight for real, competitive districts.

      1. The majority party gets to gerrymander district boundaries, so that one’s on the Democrats, too.

      2. They were plenty willing to protect a few safe seats rather than fight for real, competitive districts.

        The GOP was screwed either way. They had a choice of being a smaller minority with actual conservatives in office, or being a somewhat larger minority with RINOs in office. Either way, spending was destined to skyrocket.

  12. The Fiorina v. Boxer contest isn’t turning out much of the ball-busting eyeliner-dragging fiesta of perras I hoped it would be.

    1. Boxer would make an excellent VP:

      http://www.brainyquote.com/quo…..99637.html

      1. Wow. That’s Bidenesque.

    2. just wait for it.

  13. Yup, I’d say you got that right.

    http://www.anonymous-surfing.es.tc

  14. California Libertarians are just as bad (if not worse) than California Republicans. They nominated probably the worst slate of candidates ever, led by a total non-entity for Governor, a perennial candidate for the US Senate, and someone for Secretary of State who may or may not even be a Libertarian. The CA LP had a chance but they blew it.

    1. Yep, we were on the verge of taking over the state, but the message got lost with our usual screwball campaigning.

      Pass that bong.

  15. The textbook problem is easy to solve: Make students buy their own textbooks. If they are dirt poor they get a voucher.

    1. That doesn’t solve the problem of school boards that have been bribed or just don’t give a shit requiring the purchase of overpriced textbooks. Put textbooks and textbook acquisition salaries in the same fixed budget and you might see some improvement.

    2. Like in college? Note: I have no idea if the analysis in the linked article is correct – but it makes me think the problem isn’t that easy to solve.

      1. I can only assume that requiring the purchase of government-approved insurance will be similar to requiring college-approved textbooks.

  16. “City of Bell’s $800,000 Manager Robert Rizzo is gone but not forgotten.”

    I should think not. Those lavish pensions are the gift that keeps on giving. For decades.

  17. All but one of those items seems to fit this headline better: “Democrats as Worthless as Ever”

    1. Almost nobody here needs convinced of that, but many people are under the delusion that this time it’s different. That the GOP quit drinking and won’t beat the shit out of us anymore if we take them back one more time.

  18. “Anyone that runs around, I think, and says that (balancing the budget) can be done without raising taxes, I think has not really looked at it carefully to understand this budget or has a math problem and has to get back, as I said, and take math 101,” Schwarzenegger said.

    Sounds like someone needs to take both English and Econ 101, dude.

    1. What happened to 1990 Arnold? Was he replaced by a pod person?

  19. Dan Walters remembers that the last time the state passed big tax hikes during a recession, revenues declined.

    It’s not about revenue… it’s about power.

  20. Tim,
    What I’m getting out of your comments is that you think we’ll be better off with Boxer in the Senate than we will with Fiorina. Am I right? I’ve got an idea for you, let’s keep electing non-incumbents from now until they get the message (regardless of party).

  21. “First, we kill all the economists.” I call bullshit on anyone making predictions that involve human behavior.

    1. yeah, man, supply and demand is like, totally optional! If we belieeeeve hard enough, basic human actions will *suddenly* change.

  22. The California GOP is pretty useless. But AG Brown is just noticing now that the LAT has printed something about it that something might be wrong in Bell. I bet he has had 100 complaints about corruption in Bell he has sat on. Brown has perfected the uselessness the GOP only strives to achieve.

  23. The 5 city council members for the City of Bell are all Democrats. Is this the right time to blame the Republicans?

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