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2017/10/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/16   

2012/12/19-2013/1/24 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:54563 Activity:nil
12/19   Tea Party Patriots have been with us for a long time:
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/bso455m
2017/10/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
10/16   

2010/8/23-9/7 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:53934 Activity:nil
9/19    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/bell/la-me-city-property-tax-table,0,5895218.htmlstory
        Poor cities pay more % of prop tax than wealthy cities.
        Compton pays 1.5% prop tax.
        \_ poor people also pay more for groceries. and taxes and in general
           everything.  It's why rich people stay rich.  I love $2 country
           club burgers!
        \_ Maybe it's because the average property value in poor cities are
           lower than those in rich cities, such that a higher prop tax % rate
           doesn't translate to higher proper tax dollar?  And maybe it's also
           because poor cities need to provide more service per capita than
           rich cities?
        \_ it's ok to make fun of the poor again. Just call them The Offline.
           remember you're at the top of Digital Darwinism, you're online
           with your iphone because the Digital God gave you the best genes.
2010/2/8-3/9 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:53694 Activity:nil
2/7     Is Mello-Roos common in new homes in the Bay Area?
        \_ In SF, yes.
           \_ Why? All the pipes are laid out in SF. School districts
              are well established. It's not like it's in the middle
              of nowhere like Riverside. I would expect Mello-Roos
              to be more common in say, Gilroy or southern parts of
              of San Jose. It is certainly common in San Ramon.
              \_ While there are no true CFD's in SF, the voters have approved
                 a few extra bonds that appear on your property tax bill. For
                 example, I see "SFUSD Facilities District" and "SF - Teacher
                 Support" on my property tax bill. They add up to .03% of
                 my assessed value.
           \_ This is not true, SF homes in general are not subject to
              any kind of Mello-Roos assessments. I think it is possible
              to join one to help pay for your own Solar energy installation,
              but you are not required to do this. -sf homeowner
2009/8/12-9/1 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:53268 Activity:moderate
8/12    Thanks for destroying the world's finest public University!
        http://tinyurl.com/kr92ob (The Economist)
        \_ Why not raise tuition? At private universities, students generate
           revenue. Students should not be seen as an expense. UC has
           been a tremendous bargain for most of its existence. It's time
           to raise tuition to match the perceived quality of the
           institution. Good privates are charging $50K/year. UC would be
           a bargain at 1/3 that amount. Stop trying to go back to the
           taxpayer well.
           \_ 35% of the undergrads at Berkeley are Pell Grant
              recipients (which means they're amongst the poorest in
              the country).  Berkeley leads all universities in that
              regard; UCLA has a similar number.  The purpose of a
              public university is to provide educational
              opportunities to the public, including those who do not
              have the money to attend a private institution.  There
              is a clear public benefit to giving access to higher
              education to this population, measurable in terms of
              reduced need for social services by the individual and
              his or her family, increased worker productivity,
              reduced incarceration rates, reduced population growth,
              etc.  All these things benefit the state.  California is
              the center for industry that it is in large part because
              of the historical success of the California public
              education system.  Turn it into Stanford-lite and you'll
              find the next boom happening in North Carolina, or Texas,
              or Michigan.  -tom
              \_ Interesting you mention these, because UC tuition and
                 fees are less than those for Texas and Michigan. UNC's fees
                 are cheaper. The education-for-all universities are CSUs.
                 With the existence of CSU there is no need to keep fees
                 at UC low. Further, Pell Grants are *federal* funds
                 and federal aid (likely loans) is likely to rise in response.
                 Chancellor Birgeneau:
                 "Ironically, it appears that the group that will be most
                 disadvantaged by our funding challenges are not those who
                 are truly low income people but rather the State's
                 middle-income families. Specifically, current federal,
                 state and university financial aid plans protect the
                 poor; however, the middle class - that is, those
                 whose family incomes fall in the $60,000 to $120,000
                 range - receive limited aid and the current
                 disinvestment in higher education by the State of
                 California will only exacerbate their plight."
                 In this instance, I am not overly concerned about the
                 plight of the middle class if fees rise. A family that
                 makes $90K per year, while not rich, will figure it out.
                 \_ UC is education for the top students in the state,
                    whether they come from rich, poor, or middle-class
                    backgrounds.  That's its mission, and it's been a
                    runaway success as an institution and as a benefit
                    to the state.  -tom
                    \_ You ignored two of my points:
                       1. Even the chancellor isn't too worried about your
                          Pell Grant recipients being able to attend UC.
                       2. There is good reason to believe the at-risk middle
                          class students will be able to afford an increase in
                          fees given increased federal aid.
                       So even with fee increases the best students will
                       still be able to attend UC. However, without the
                       fee increases then why would they want to? I want
                       to protect this institution, but if you want it to
                       fall to the level of CSU then keep hoping for
                       government handouts which aren't going to happen.
                       I prefer to be proactive and if a was a UC Regent
                       I'd raise the funds we needed outside of government
                       by partnering with industry, creating a larger
                       endowment in flush times (UC's is pathetically low),
                       and raising fees on students. Hoping taxes go up or
                       down leaves the issue to the whims of others.
                       \_ Guess what happens when UC raises more money
                          from industry, grants, and endowments: the
                          anti-govermnent ideologues use that as an excuse
                          to further cut state funding.  Endowment for UC, in
                          particular, is at best neutral and at worse negative
                          in terms of ongoing funding.  (Universities with
                          large endowments are also getting pummelled right
                          now.  Harvard had 9% of the combined endowment for
                          all US universities, and they just did 300
                          mandatory retirements and 270 layoffs).
                          The question is, how can you fund a great state
                          university?  The question isn't how to turn a
                          great state university into a private university.
                          We know how to do that, and it's a bad idea.  -tom
                          \_ Why is it a bad idea? I think UC should look
                             to the privates for an idea of how to run a
                             great university. Paying more attention to
                             your students, but charging them for the
                             privilege, is a great business model. I
                             reiterate that UC views its students like an
                             expense and they should view them like a
                             source of revenue. UC has a lot of students
                             who wish to attend - more than it has spots.
                             If it cannot survive in that environment it
                             has a problem. Believe me, the students won't
                             miss that extra $5K/year a decade after graduation
                             but they will appreciate what it gets them.
                             Don't you find it odd that the schools that
                             charge higher fees have more satisfied students
                             that donate more back to the school rather
                             than being angry at paying a higher tuition?
                             I know I had mediocre experiences at both UCB
                             and UCLA. I would've bitched a lot about fee
                             increases while in school, but now I realize it's
                             necessary and I'd pay a few $K more per year
                             for my kid to have a better education (or
                             even to preserve what we have). Otherwise,
                             send my kid to JC or CSU and save a lot of $$$
                             and just send my kid to UC for grad school.
                             \_ As I said, it's not like the privates are
                                any paragon of virtue; they're mostly in
                                financial straits just as dire as UC.  You
                                can assert that you don't believe in public
                                education; that's your opinion and you're
                                entitled to it.  But to suggest that,
                                essentially, California "should" give up
                                on public education, because of Harold Jarvis,
                                begs a whole lot of questions, the primary
                                one being, would California and its citizens
                                be better off if UC were privatized?  It
                                seems highly unlikely to me.  -tom
                                \_ Let's say for sake of argument that UC
                                   was privatized and tuition was the same
                                   as it is now. Would that be a problem?
                                   Is it the cost you have a problem with
                                   or with privatization? I never argued that
                                   UC should be privatized - only that fees
                                   need to be raised to help defray costs. I
                                   think this is true whether UC is public or
                                   private, because there isn't anywhere else
                                   to get money from. Howard Jarvis has nothing
                                   to do with it and has been a favorite
                                   target of the liberal community for
                                   some time now, but is mostly a red
                                   herring because California's tax
                                   revenues are about the same as they
                                   were pre-Prop 13. You'd better find
                                   another target to pick on, because Prop
                                   13 will *NEVER* be repealed. Ever.
                                   Property owners vote and there will be
                                   a revolution before Prop 13 is repealed,
                                   so better start working on Plan B,
                                   which is to increase income tax rates.
                                   \_ If UC were privatized, its fees would
                                      be like Stanford's.  -tom
                                      \_ Please answer the question:
                                         Are you opposed to privatization
                                         or to high fees? If it was public
                                         but expensive, would that be
                                         acceptable? What about private,
                                         but cheap?
                                         \_ You'll have to find someone else
                                            to beat that straw man for you.
                                              -tom
                                            \_ I'm sorry, but privatization
                                               was *your* straw man. I
                                               never mentioned it.
                                   \_ The part of Prop 13 that applies to
                                      commercial owners will be modified or
                                      overturned in the next five years. You\
                                      can take that to the bank.
                                      \_ Possibly, but it's all the same pool
                                         of money. If commercial owners
                                         pay higher taxes they will sell
                                         properties and property values
                                         may fall, which results in less
                                         tax. Tenants will pay more for
                                         leases and will have to raise
                                         prices or close some businesses.
                                         This is what people don't
                                         realize. You can't abolish Prop 13
                                         and have 25% income tax and 10%
                                         sales tax and full employment and
                                         expect to keep as much business
                                         here as exists now. Something has
                                         got to give and it will find a
                                         new equilibrium at around the old
                                         one. There are no secrets here.
                                         Tax revenues are going to be
                                         about what they always have been.
                                         We need to live within that stream
                                         of revenue or grow it by growing
                                         the economy faster than inflation.
                                         \_ You like to use a lot of words
                                            without actually attempting to
                                            prove your point.  You're just
                                            reciting.  -tom
                                            \_ It is simple economics. You
                                               don't just raise taxes and
                                               expect the status quo to
                                               continue.
                                               \_ And you don't just cut
                                                  services and expect the
                                                  status quo to continue.
                                                  California's success has
                                                  been much more a result
                                                  of investment in public
                                                  education than it has
                                                  been a result of ridiculous
                                                  ideas about low taxes.  -tom
                                                  \_ Depends on what the
                                                     services you cut are.
                                                     That's up for debate.
                                                     So don't cut education and
                                                     cut something else.
                                                     \_ The CA budget is
                                                        basically education,
                                                        health, and prison.
                                                        Only prison can be
                                                        reasonably cut. -tom
                                                        \_ They can *all*
                                                           be reasonably cut.
                                                           You just have
                                                           to decide where
                                                           and how.
                                   \_ Per capita real revenues are down since
                                      Prop 13 and have been trending down for
                                      a long time.
                                      \_ Down 16% but higher now than in 1981
                                         according to at least one study.
                                         However you want to frame it, they
                                         haven't changed drastically. Per
                                         capita revenue is down because we
                                         have a huge influx of people who
                                         don't contribute much to the
                                         economy but take more than their
                                         share from it.
                                         \_ Down 16% is huge. The entire higher
                                            education system is less than 16%
                                            of the overall state budget. First
                                            you claim that per capita is not
                                            down, then you admit that it is.
                                            Which one is it?
                                            \_ Down 16% AT THE MOMENT, but
                                               overall up since 1981. In
                                               flush years (like <DEAD>dot.com<DEAD>
                                               height) it was up. Right
                                               now, in one of the worst
                                               years in a long time, it is
                                               down. Overall, it's about
                                               the same, which is amazing
                                               when you consider the huge
                                               influx of low income and
                                               paid-under-the-table
                                               workers flooding into
                                               California over the last 3
                                               decade which drags down any
                                               per-capita figures.
           \_ I agree with you in general, but it isn't like fees haven't
              increased. They have increased dramatically since I was
              a student in the early 90s.  Has spending really outpaced
              it by so much?  I'd be interested to see a breakdown of
              where UC money has come from and gone to over the last 15 years
              or so.  (anyone know if/where this might be available?)
           \_ The UC used to be free, before Reagan decided to punish the UC
              for not supporting his policies. The question goes to the heart
              \_ If you can't blame Bush, blame Reagan...
                 \_ Facts are such bitter things.
                    \_ They sure are. The only reason CA is in its current
                       budget mess is because of Gray Davis and the Dem
                       majority state legislature has done jack squat for the
                       past two decades. Oh yeah, and the unions getting
                       Arnold's budget props defeated.
                       \_ In the last 25 years, the governor has been
                          Republican for all except 4 years.  Gray Davis
                          (from Stanford, by the way) wasn't a great
                          governor, but it is the ideological position of
                          Wilson, Schwarzenegger, and the Republicans in the
                          legislature which has whittled away at UC's funding.
                          The budget requires a 2/3rds majority to pass, which
                          is why the Republican minority can hold up the
                          process as long as they do.  -tom
                          \_ Maybe the Democrats should be more bi-partisan
                             in their thinking.
                             \_ That is pretty funny coming from a Republican.
                                \_ I'm not a Republican. However, consider
                                   this:
                                   The minority party doesn't have the
                                   votes to institute any major changes.
                                   All they can do, politically, is dig in.
                                   It is up to the party in power to reach
                                   out to the minority party to pick up
                                   the few votes it needs for a compromise.
                                   If the Democrats cannot appeal to *any*
                                   Republicans then they are taking the
                                   wrong stance and are just being stubborn.
                                   You can't blame the Republicans for
                                   anything, because they don't have
                                   enough votes to do anything even with
                                   fairly broad Democratic support.
                                   \_ "If you are not with us, then you are
                                      with the terrorists." Does that ring a
                                      bell with you at all? In CA, the GOP
                                      has been able to screw up state finances
                                      with a small minority, because passing
                                      a budget requires a 2/3 majority. What
                                      the Democrats should be trying to do is
                                      over turn this law.
                                      \_ Democrats need 6 votes in the Assembly
                                         and 2 votes in the Senate to have
                                         this supermajority. If they cannot
                                         convince even that few opponents to
                                         see their point of view then they
                                         aren't trying very hard to find a
                                         compromise. I know you'd like to
                                         see a tyrrany of the majority,
                                         but I rather like this current
                                         system because it represents the
                                         interests of more Californians.
                        \_ Did Reagan institute the first tuition at the UC
                           or didn't he?
              of what public education is for. Is it intended to be a chance
              for everyone to have an opportunity to better themselves, or
              is it just for the wealthy to entrench their children's position
              in society? Californias wealth was founded on the former, btw,
              since a lot of talent goes to waste if you just don't educate
              well the bottom 80%.
              \_ This is when you have to decide what your goal is. If it's
                 to educate everyone cheaply, then UC can do that with the
                 cuts. If the goal is to be a world-class institution, then
                 tuition will have to rise. I think that since Cal State
                 exists to educate the masses at *very* affordable tuition,
                 then it's okay to raise fees at UC to something like 1/2
                 of a comparable private school. I realize fees have gone
                 up a lot, but it's apparently not enough if cuts have
                 to be made. The cost of education has gotten very expensive.
                 I agree that it's too expensive in many instances. However,
                 that's the econimic reality. If you graduate from a school
                 like Boston College you will have over $150K in debt. UC
                 will cost $50K. The State cannot afford to make up the
                 difference any longer.
                 \_ Sure we can. The difference today is that we have decided
                    to spend a whole bunch on putting people in jail, so we
                    have no money left over for college. As Clark Kerr put it:
                    The universities are "bait to be dangled in front
                    of industry, with drawing power greater than low
                    taxes or cheap labour." It is this vision that has given
                    California an educated workforce and high standard of
                    living and we are at risk of losing it. Your point about
                    the CSU system is well noted, but we are also making it
                    harder and harder to afford as well.
                    \_ I agree that the prison system is too expensive, but
                       not all of that is a choice. If people wouldn't
                       commit so many crimes we wouldn't need so many
                       prisons. California is not the white middle-class
                       paradise it was in the 1950s and as the demographic
                       has shifted and gangs have grown in prominence more
                       prisons are necessary. My point was that education
                       costs have increased faster than inflation for
                       whatever reason. Privates have responded by jacking
                       up their tuitions to beyond-reasonable levels and
                       therefore if UC wishes to compete it must do the same.
                       A lot of people blame Prop 98 for taking money from
                       UC, but Prop 98 allocates money to education for all!
                       If UC is to be an elite university for only the
                       best (as it was envisioned) then it has to raise tuition
                       or cut enrollment. Spending on entitlements is only
                       going to grow to a larger share of the budget
                       short-term. Raising taxes is not an option. Increasing
                       tuition is most fair, because it places the burden
                       on those getting the advantage instead of on everyone.
                       By "taxing" students via tuition increases, that is
                       effectively a middle-to-upper class tax increase
                       since those students will be middle-to-upper class
                       taxpayers as they pay their loans back (or their
                       parents already are if daddy is footing the bill).
                       An added benefit is that the UC has to be more
                       accountable to students and parents paying the
                       bills than it does to the anonymous taxpayer and I
                       believe the quality of education will increase.
                       This goes back to the idea of considering students
                       to be sources of revenue (as privates do) versus
                       annoying expenses (as UC does).
                       \_ Why is raising taxes not an option?  Is there any
                          sane reason California does not have an oil excise
                          tax, for example?  -tom
                          \_ Raising income taxes is not an option because the
                             voters are opposed and would rather see
                             expenditures cut. We can debate an oil excise
                             tax, but it's moot because it won't solve the
                             budget problem anyway.
                             \_ No single thing will solve the budget crisis.
                                The ridiculous stand against all conceivable
                                taxes is the primary cause of the budget
                                crisis.  -tom
                                \_ It's not a stand against taxes so much
                                   as it is a stand against current levels
                                   of spending. We've already increased
                                   some taxes (like the sales tax) and now
                                   it's time to make some cuts. That
                                   the legislature screwed around on the
                                   budget for so long and didn't do anything
                                   in a time of crisis highlights the need to
                                   cut government. No one is eager to give
                                   more money to those people to spend given
                                   what they've done with what they have
                                   and raising taxes at a time when so
                                   many are already living with layoffs and
                                   pay cuts will create resentment. Most
                                   of us are already squeezed and giving
                                   our last few pennies to the legislature
                                   isn't high on our list of priorities.
                                   However, anyone so inclined can feel free
                                   to mail in a check to help out.
                                   \_ It absolutely is a stand against taxes.
                                      When people are asked which services
                                      they want to cut, the only service
                                      which people want to cut is prisons.
                                      The only reason the legislature screwed
                                      around for so long on the budget is
                                      that Arnold and the Republicans refused
                                      to even consider proposals which
                                      raised taxes, and we have a budget
                                      situation which cannot be solved
                                      without raising taxes.  (Despite
                                      there now being a "balanced" budget,
                                      it's only through accounting tricks
                                      such as paying this year's final
                                      paycheck on July 1 next fiscal year;
                                      we're going to be in the same
                                      position figuring out the 10-11
                                      budget).  -tom
                                      \_ Not true. People want to cut lots
                                         of things, including more
                                         furloughs for State employees,
                                         less healthcare for illegal
                                         immigrants, and cutting
                                         enrollment at UC. Arnold gave the
                                         voters a chance to avoid cuts and
                                         the public said they want cuts!
                                         So make the cuts! I think cuts
                                         are overdue and if they are
                                         really hurt then we know we cut
                                         deep enough. There hasn't been a
                                         good housecleaning in a while.
                                         \_ Horseshit.  Arnold's initiatives
                                            were complete garbage, and
                                            they wouldn't have stopped a
                                            single furlough.  They generated
                                            almost zero money!  The initiatives
                                            were just a way to further
                                            handicap the legislature's
                                            ability to do anything about
                                            the budget (by shackling them
                                            with more and more rules).  -tom
                                         \_ "Cutting enrollment at UC"?
                                            Are you serious here or just
                                            trolling? Show me the polls where
                                            CA voters want to cut UC enrollment.
                                            \_ I'm a CA voter and I'm in
                                               favor.
                                  \_ The Legislature "screwed around" because
                                     of the obstructionist minority GOP.
                                     \_ You mean the party who actually
                                        listened to the voters instead of
                                        their own agenda?
                                        \_ Really, there was an oil excise
                                           tax and a tobacco tax on the
                                           ballot?  I must have missed
                                           that proposition.  -tom
                                           \_ Hmmm. The legislature put
                                              the initiatives on the
                                              ballot. The legislature is
                                              comprised mainly of...?
                                              Prop 1A was a tax hike and
                                              was voted down. Maybe you
                                              missed that.
                                              \_ Prop 1A was not a tax hike.
                                                 It included continuing an
                                                 existing tax in a future
                                                 year (would have had no
                                                 impact on 09-10 finances),
                                                 and a whole bunch of stupid
                                                 shit about the rainy day fund.
                                                   -tom
                                                 \_ If it doesn't pass, then
                                                    taxes will go down. Of
                                                    course it's a tax hike.
                                                    It was voted down.
                                                    \_ You're an idiot.  -tom
                                                       \_ Nice retort. I
                                                          expected better
                                                          from you, but I
                                                          guess this is
                                                          all you have in
                                                          the face of the
                                                          facts.
                                                          \_ The next time
                                                             I'm at the top
                                                             of a hill, I'll
                                                             remember that
                                                             not going down
                                                             can be considered
                                                             a hike.  -tom
                                                             \_ Oh come on.
                                                                The proposition
                                                                was to raise
                                                                taxes in future
                                                                years. Without
                                                                it, taxes will
                                                                decline. So it
                                                                is a tax hike.
                                                                What's even
                                                                more damning is
                                                                that voters
                                                                didn't even
                                                                want to vote
                                                                for the status
                                                                quo, let alone
                                                                new higher
                                                                taxes. In
                                                                effect, they
                                                                voted for a tax
                                                                *decrease*.
                                                                \_ If the prop
                                                                   were only
                                                                   about the
                                                                   tax, you
                                                                   might have
                                                                   a point.
                                                                   It wasn't
                                                                   and you
                                                                   don't.  I
                                                                   would have
                                                                   voted for
                                                                   continuing
                                                                   the tax; I
                                                                   voted
                                                                   against
                                                                   the rainy
                                                                   day shit.
                                                                    -tom
                       \_ People are actually not committing any more crime,
                          we are just locking them up longer for the crime
                          that they committ. Crime rates are way down from
                          the 70s and 80s. This is true even in states that
                          did not get tough on crime, so maybe it is time to
                          rethink our sentencing policies. I can sort of see
                          your argument as long as we are willing to lend
                          even poor students enough money to fund their
                          education.
                          \_ The crime rate is back down to the level of
                             the early 1970s, which is still above that of
                             the 1950s and 1960s. Do you really want to
                             return to the crime rate of the late 1980s
                             and early 1990s? That is what will happen if
                             we rethink our sentencing. It seems to me that
                             our sentencing is working very well as the tough
                             on crime stance coincides with a reduction
                             in crime. The problem isn't the number of
                             people locked up. It's how much we are paying
                             to incarcerate them. California pays almost
                             60% more per prisoner than other large states.
                             That cost has to come down.
                             \_ We should ship them to prisons in India.
                                Outsourcing something like this isn't
                                rocket science like R&D, and Indians
                                are super cheap.
                                \_ I actually agree with outsourcing. Maybe
                                   not India (too far for visitation) but
                                   to states that do this more cheaply
                                   (and better) than we can.
                             \_ Maybe you missed the part where I said that
                                even states that have lower incarceration rates
                                than CA saw a similar drop in crime. Correlation
                                does not imply causation. It is almost certain
                                that there are other factors which lead to all
                                or most of the drop in the crime rate.
                                \_ Maybe, maybe not. I can tell you that
                                   releasing a lot of inmates isn't going to be
                                   *good* for the crime rate. Most of them
                                   end up back in jail when released anyway.
                                   \_ We wil find out pretty soon, won't we?
                                      The murder rate is down, even though
                                      we are in a recession. I don't think that
                                      violent crime is going to go up, though
                                      perhaps the amount of drug use will.
                                      \_ Murder rate is down b/c so much of the
                                         riff-raff is in jail! (possibly)
                                         \_ The incarceration rate has not
                                            increased from 2008-2009, but the
                                            murder rate went down.
        \_ Welcome to the reality that not everyone should go to college.
           if they did, our standard of living would go down, nobody to
           run the services well.
           \_ Yes I agree! We should also legalize illegal immigrants who
              are the backbone of Los Angeles. The Angelinos have it good,
              everything is so cheap there and gourmet tacos like Lolo,
              Mercedes Hair of the Dog Cantina are everywhere and they're
              just called... tacos!
              \_ Wtf? Dude the czech woman who cuts my hair is an Ex Model
                 from EU,  Think I want her to go to college so I can get
                 some ugly fat woman cutting my hair?
              \_ What are they called elsewhere?
                 \_ In Northern Cal, Mexican food is gourmet food. In LA,
                    it's just called food.
                    \_ We have gourmet Mexican and Mission Burritos, we go
                       the whole gamut. I think LA does too.
                    \_ I get 'mexican food' from the little holes in the wall.
                       what is this 'gourmet' you speak of?
2009/8/10-19 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:53259 Activity:high
8/10    College ranking
        http://shine.yahoo.com/event/backtoschool/americas-best-college-497708
        #10: StanfUrd
        #73: Cal
        Even if ranking public colleges separately, Cal still ranks only #8.
        (Though The top 3 are all military academies.)
        \_ Yeah, Cal isn't what it used to be anymore. Increasing bureaucracy
           and long lines really made it go downhill in the past decade and
           a half. That, and pissed off alum don't want to donate...
        \_ What the FUCK is Williams College? WTF?
           |_ Short for Williams and Sonoma College.
              \_ There is no such college.  There is Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
                 \_ We have now identified Mr. Pedant!
           \_ If you had gotten a better education, you would have heard of
              Williams College.
        \_ Conservatives in California have finally achieved their long desired
           dream of destroying public higer education.
           \_ Because conservatives have controlled the California state
              legislature for the past 4 decades, right? Or was it Bush's
              fault?
              \_ It's Pete Wilson's fault.  Don't hide it.  I know it.
                 You know it.  And the American People know it.
                 \_ bullshit
              \_ It is the combo of Prop 13, "Three Strikes" and Prop 98
                 that has massacred higher ed funding in CA. These are
                 all Conservative initiatives. The legistlature has very
                 little control over the budget anymore, it is almost all
                 set by Constitutional initiative.
                 \_ I agree that Prop 13 and 3 strikes (I'm not that familiar
                    with prop 98) are largely responsible for budget problems,
                    but if you think those are the only major contributions to
                    the budget problems, you have anti-conservative blinders
                    on. And the state legislature does have control over the
                    budget. That's their job. The fact that they've not done
                    anything significant the past few decades because they're
                    horribly deadlocked doesn't let them off the hook.
                    \_ Prop 98 is 40% of the budget, corrections is now
                       15%. Interest on bond issues approved by voters is
                       another 10%. Just those alone are 2/3 of the budget
                       and all of that is out of the legislatures hands.
                       \_ Prop 98 might be 40% of the budget, but that
                          40% is going to educate people for free. To
                          steal money from K-12 kids with no other options
                          to educate kids at UC seems disingenous.
                          \_ It is still money that the Legislature does
                             not have at its disposal, no matter how noble
                             what it is being spent for.
                             \_ Do you want to cut K-12 spending? I don't.
                                Not even for UC.
        \_ These rankings are bogus. Nothing more to say than that. Mills
           College is ahead of Cal, Brown, Penn, *and* Dartmouth. Not.
           \_ Just like it is unreasonable to keep tweaking your ranking
              criteria and weights until it produces an ordering you like,
              it seems bogus to not feedback patently bogus orderings into
              refining your process. Perhaps the answer isnt more tweaking
              but just to limit what results to share ... for example a
              system which seeks a lot of resolving power at the top end
              may not do much in the middle of the pack ... like say in
              a sport tournament, you may not waste resources to separate
              #30 from number #31.
2009/5/19-25 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:53015 Activity:nil
5/18    How did you vote? I voted: No on 1A-C, and Yes on 1D-F
        \_ I voted yes on 1A because I want tax to be as high as possible
           to increase our standard of living, and to get rid of people
           who are otherwise unfit to live in California-- they should
           move back to Arizona or other anti-tax states. Viva
           La California de Republica para Socialism!
           \_ I actually don't mind a small tax increase and I think a spending
              cap is a good idea, but I didn't like that the governor can
              override it whenever he wants and that we have to contribute
              to this "rainy day fund" even when we are having "rainy days".
              12.5% also seems like an awfully large amount of the budget
              to set aside. With some changes I would have voted Yes on it.
              \_ I'm hoping for 15%, on top of much higher property tax,
                 as well as 45-50% tax for the wealthiest Americans. Will
                 that ever happen in America? Hell no. But somebody's
                 gotta try.                                     -pp
           \_ California and Arizona have the same overall tax burden:
              http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/taxesbystate2005
              But don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.
        \_ I voted no on 1C and yes on the rest. Pretty funny that you would
           ask how people voted and then censor their responses.
           \_ I'm the original poster and I didn't censor any responses.
              Must be someone else. I didn't even see any responses other
              than the very first, which I responded to.
        \_ I haven't voted yet, I'm still trying to decide on a couple.
           1A:  Not sure, the write-up seemed good, but the argument against
                was much stronger than the argument for.  Very complex.
                \_ You do know that the arguments for/against were written by
                   the same people, right?
           1B:  No. Schools never seem to have trouble getting money in good
                year.  If the years are good, they'll get money, if not we
                years.  If the years are good, they'll get money, if not we
                can't afford it.
           1C:  No.  I hate the lotto.
           1D:  Not sure, transfer money from 1 child service to another?
           1E:  Not sure, transfer money from metal services for adults to kids?
           1D:  Yes, the yes argument is better.
           1E:  Yes, ""         ""
           1F:  Sure, why not?  Screw those guys.
        \_ No on everything.  That should be the default position, and there's
           nothing compelling in this slate.  -tom
           \_ Not sure that follows here.  Props can only be adjustd by props,
              and that's basically what 1D and 1E are.
                \_ Agreed. 1D and 1E try and undo damage that previous props
                   did.
            \_ Tom agrees with the Bay Guardian.
               \_ We may hold the same position on this; that doesn't mean
                  I agree with them.  -tom
               \_ Surprised he isn't pro-tax and pro-schools.
            \_ You got what you wanted. The cuts at the UC are going to be
               severe.
               \_ What I want is to get rid of the 2/3rds majority bullshit
                  that we have right now.
                  \_ I like it.
                     \_ GO GALT!!!!!!
2009/5/4-6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:52938 Activity:high
5/4     Why does The Netherlands have such a sustained lower unemployment
                 \_ Why is it The Netherlands? Is it like an LA Freeway?
        rate and higher growth than the US? Maybe we can replicate their
        success here.
        \_ Start by not spending all your money on military and prisons.
        \_ They don't have as large a population of illegal immigrants  -jblack
           \_Lots of Euro countries don't have this problem, they still mostly
             have double digit unemployment.
        \_ Timely Question:
           http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03european-t.html
           \_ jeesh,  They really should not be paying this guy by the word.
           \_ So the government taxes you to death and then gives some of
              the money back if you have kids, for vacations, and so on.
              This "Big Brother" sort of society in which the government
              claims to know what you need more than you do is very
              anti-American to me, although staunch Democrats must love it
              because they could tell people what to do with their money.
        \_ My mother is Dutch and I still have family there. It's a wealthy
           nation, but very small. I don't see many opportunities to
           parallel their policies here successfully.
           \_ Why not? We should have economies of scale that they do not.
              \_ Because we are much larger and more diverse. I'm not sure
                 that economies of scale play a large part in this. For
                 instance, are there economies of scale for educating 1 million
                 kids versus 100 kids? I'd argue not. In fact, I'd argue it
                 would be cheaper (per kid) to educate the smaller number.
                 \_ It is certainly cheaper to build 100 miles of road, than
                    10 roads, each 10 miles long. Why do you think that it is
                    cheaper to educate smaller numbers of children? You can
                    get some kinds of economy of scale even in education,
                    with things like standard tests, school books, etc.
                    \_ Examples of why it might cost more to educate more:
                       higher administrative overhead
                       higher probability of kids with special/unique needs
                       more disparate learning abilities and backgrounds
                       harder to find/recruit so many well-trained teachers.
                       \_ Why would there be a higher percentage of kids with
                          special needs? And why harder to find teachers? It
                          should be the same percentage of population in both
                          cases.
                          \_ Because you don't judge these by percentage.
                             Imagine there is a special need which occurs
                             1/10000th of the time. The school with 100
                             kids probably doesn't have to deal with it at
                             all (or rarely), whereas the school with 1
                             million kids probably needs a whole program
                             created to address it. For an example of this
                             consider bilingual education. The Japanese kids
                             at my public school did not have a class
                             dedicated to them, but the South American kids
                             did even though both were small percentage-wise.
                             did. A single Spanish-speaking kid isn't a
                             burden to instruct, but 1,000 is.
           \_ There is a lot of evidence (and probably literature) on the
              diseconomies of scale in education. Anecdotally, it explains
              why property values are significantly lower in parts of LA that
              are part of LAUSD, one of the largest and most inefficient
              school districts in the nation. (e.g. San Pedro vs. PV, Culver
              City vs. Palms, etc). Another way to look at the diseconomies
              of scale problem is to think of all the complaints against big
              government (gubment = BAD) or big companies (startups = rewl).
              \_ If there are diseconomies of scale, why are small private
                 schools so much more expensive than public schools?  -tom
                 \_ It's not linear. There can be economies of scale which then
                    translate into diseconomies. Do you really think that LAUSD
                    is more efficient than, say, Berkeley USD? Tangentially
                    related is the whole cherry-picking, charter school and/or
                    voucher concept. Voucher/Charter folks like to really
                    against large districts, but they get to cherry pick
                    students. That said, I think http://greendot.org is pretty awesome
                    and there is a lot to learn from these guys. They fix a
                    lot of standard inner city problems just by "caring". I
                    think it's hard to scale caring.
                 \_ 1. They often provide a better product.
                    2. It varies by state and district, but many times
                       private schools aren't more expensive for a similar
                       product. California spent $8496 per student in
                       2005-2006, which was 29th in the nation. The US
                       average was $9100. This figure excludes capital
                       outlay, interest on school debt, and other subsidies.
                       (Source: link:tinyurl.com/cyg468
                       I believe for example that most private schools (unless
                       they are religious) pay property tax on their land while
                       public schools do not.  For this price you can find
                       plenty of private schools for your kids to attend and
                       this discounts scholarships that are often offered. I
                       could not find the average cost of a private school in
                       California, but nationwide in 2003-2004 (latest
                       year I could find) it was $6400 for elementary schools
                       and $13300 for high schools.
                       (Source: http://tinyurl.com/cog8wj
                       Clearly, this figure is not too different from the
                       $9100 average for public schools.
                       \_ You can't compare private schools in Des Moines to
                          public schools in San Francisco.  For example:
                          Head-Royce school in Oakland is $19k/year for
                          K-5, $21k/year for 6-8, $27k/year for high school.
                           -tom
                          \_ I am comparing the average national public
                             expenditures to the average national private
                             expenditures. I am not comparing Des Moines
                             to SF. However, I assure you that you can
                             find plenty of private schools even in urban
                             California for less than $10K/year. The schools
                             charging $20-30K per year are elite schools
                             providing much more to their students than
                             public schools do and that's why they cost more.
                             My neighbor's son goes to Saint Francis High
                             School in La Canada. It's a pretty good school.
                             Tuition is $10324. I bet that's not much
                             different from what the local public HS spends.
                             Mater Dei tuition is $10950. Don Bosco Tech
                             is $8600. Not every school is some elitist
                             academy that costs more than Stanford.
                             \_ Parochial schools may be subsidized by the
                                church--you can't just look at tuition to
                                know their costs.  -tom
                                \_ They may be, but they may not be and
                                   it's not clear to what extent. I went
                                   to a Christian school and it wasn't.
                                   Public schools receive money from other
                                   sources, too, like the PTA fundraisers
                                   and gifts. (The public middle school my
                                   nephew goes to just received $400K from
                                   a donor for a new tennis court.) Also,
                                   many students at private schools pay
                                   *less than* tuition because they
                                   receive financial assistance. I think
                                   it's reasonable to compare tuitions
                                   because public schools receive a lot of
                                   subsidies and private schools have expenses
                                   public schools do not (like advertising).
                                   I would argue they all wash out, which
                                   is why the average private tuition and
                                   public school expenditures are so similar
                                   to each other.
        \_ Even Communist Mainland China has a sustained higher growth rate
           than the US.
        \_ http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/05/upward-mobility-reality-and-illusion.html
           \_ This one is great, take that Gold Bugs:
              link:tinyurl.com/d4lsch
2009/3/16-21 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:52721 Activity:nil
3/16    RECALL RECALL RECALL!
        http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/16/MN9T16DDOA.DTL
        \_ 47 states facing deficits:
           http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711
2009/2/17-25 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:52594 Activity:moderate
2/17    Calculate how much you're about to get taxed per year for the next 5
        years:
        http://www.sacbee.com/1098/story/1627728.html
        \_ $2000 for me. Pocket change, considering that I'm well over 6 dig salary
           Even if I pay 10X, if it improves traffic conditions, air quality,
           better city planning, less crime, etc, I'm all for it. Then again,
           I'm a socialist, so I want to see social programs done right
        \_ Just repeal the stupid Prop 13 (appeals to poor liberals most of whom
           are renters), put a tough border + deport illegal immigrants who are
           leeching on our infrastructure costs (appeals to conservatives).
           That solves 1/2 of the problems.
        \_ Just repeal the stupid Prop 13 (appeals to poor liberals most of
           whom are renters), put a tough border + deport illegal immigrants
           who are leeching on our infrastructure costs (appeals to
           conservatives). That solves 1/2 of the problems.
           \_ When your landlord's property taxes go up who do you think
              is going to cover the difference? Hint: you.
              \_ I rent in a rent-controlled place but yeah, I could imagine
                 rent going up for a bunch of people.
        \_ $2000 for me. Pocket change, considering that I'm well over 6 dig
           salary. Even if I pay 10X, if it improves traffic conditions, air
           quality, better city planning, less crime, etc, I'm all for it.
           Then again, I'm a socialist, so I want to see social programs done
           right.
           \_ Since you are a socialist and $10K is pocket change then pay
              my share, too. Thanks!
              \_ paying individual is capitalism. Sorry.
                 \_ Not me. My share to the glorious state, comrade. Clearly
                    you can afford to pay much more than you are.
           \_ Uh, it's not going to improve conditions, why would you expect
              that it would?
              \_ Do you honestly think that we can chop $15B from the state
                 budget without any reduction in services?
                 \_ 1) !reduction != improvement
                    2) Gov't has DOUBLED IN 10 years!  Have you seen a doubling
                       of services?
                       \_ Apparently you still don't understand math.
                       \_ What do you intend to cut then?
                 \_ The current compromise only has real cuts of $3B.  Most of
                    the "cuts" are reductions in planned increase.  So the
                    actual proposed cuts are 3%.
                    \_ And $15B in new taxes right? Which you claim are
                       unneeded. Where would you chop the state budget by
                       $15B?
                       \_ Just about anywhere.  Across-the-board cuts.
                          \_ Close the prisons and let the prisoners all out?
                             That would just about do it. Or shut down the
                             CSU and Community Colleges?
           \_ I've worked as a contractor at "Department of Health Services"
              when I was in school.  There are PLENTY of people who can be cut
              and not cause ANY drop whatsoever in service level.  Now, if you
              ask me if I think they'll cut the right set of people, of course
              not.  Incompetent at one thing almost always implies incompetent
              at other things, like the ability to determine incompetence in
              people.
              \_ So your solution to the budget crises is "fire all the
                 imcompetent people" which you believe to be impossible?
        \_ $570/year for me. I'm with pp, this is well worth it.
           \_ *WHAT* is well worth it?
              \_ $570/year to keep the unwashed masses from losing all hope
                 and burning down my neighborhood.
                 \_ That $570/year will fund Irvine and Orange County's
                    shuttle-homeless-to-Venice program. Works wonderfully.
                    Crime has gone down in Irvine+OC by at least 25% since
                    the program started, and may I add that Laguna Beach
                    is a lot cleaner now than 5 years ago? OC OC OC!!!
                    \_ I'd rather spend $570/year to give kerosene and
                       matches to the homeless and set them loose in OC.
                       Your enclave has no soul, and neither do you.
                       \_ Uh, I was just trolling as a typical lame OC person
                          that I totally despise. I hate OC but people in
                          it love OC and their BMWs and their homes   -pp
                          \_ Then you and I are brothers. Here's your
                             kerosene tank. Party time TBD.
                             \_ You're also black? Cool man.
                                \_ Silly troll.
2009/2/17-19 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:52590 Activity:high
2/16    California is truly f'd for sure this time.  Can we find another pair
        of stupid radio DJs to start a drive to recall Arnold?
        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/us/17cali.html?_r=3&hp
        \_ It will only help if we get a governor with a spine, and get rid of
           the incompetent legislature.
           \_ How do you expect that we will get a decent ledge?  With the 2/3rd
              requirement to pass a budget and ridiculous gerrymandering
           \_ How do you expect that we will get a decent ledge?  With the
              2/3rd requirement to pass a budget and ridiculous gerrymandering
              creating permanent seats for wackos and wingnuts on both sides
              of the debate, we essentially have tyranny of the nutty
              minorities.  I don't see how you fix California without having
              a constitutional convention, and I can't see how that would
              ever happen.
              \_ We can amend the constitution with an initiative. In the past
                 the super-majority to pass a budget issue was put in front
                 of the voters and they voted it down, they might be more
                 receptive after this year.
                 \_ I actually like the super-majority rule.  Why don't they
                    cut more spending?  They talk about the budget as if
                    it's set in stone and there's no way to solve it except
                    raising taxes.
                    \_ What is the rationale for tyranny of the minority for
                       simple rule changes?
                       \_ Example of simple rule change?
              \_ Redistricting is the only thing that will fix the legislature
                 problem IMO.
                 \_ I thought a proposition to redistrict passed in the
                    last election?
                 \_ Redistricting plus removal of the 2/3rds rule plus removal
                    of the set-asides.  California's troubles are a layer cake.
                    \_ Oh hell no.  The 2/3 requirement for RAISING taxes needs
                       to remain.  In fact, it should be 2/3 for raising total
                       expenditures.
                       \_ Ah, I see.  You're actually a wingnut.
                          \_ No, we got into this mess because as fast as
                             revenue went up, we spent even more, vastly
                             outpacing inflation + population growth.
                             \_ Where are you getting your figures?
                                \_ http://www.lao.ca.gov/laoapp/laomenus/lao_menu_economics.aspx
                                   Spending in 97-98 = 52.8B, 07-08 = 102B
                                   Spending based on pop + infl:
                                   http://www.reason.org/commentaries/summers_20090126.shtml
                                   \_ What is the figure of population +
                                      inflation?  The reason article is playing
                                      games with averages that make it very
                                      difficult to tell how honest he is
                                      being.  This article is more balanced imo:
                                      http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3020153
                                      \_ GDP is going to grow a bit faster
                                         than population + inflation.
        \_ Why do you think its the governator's fault when the budget has been
           hung up in the legislature all this time?
           \_ The governor has vetoed a compromise, and the Republicans
              refused to override his veto.
           \_ Really, the problem is not so much legislative incompetence
              as legislative inexperience.  The problem is term limits,
              which ensures that no one in the legislature has the experience
              or the relationships to work through a budget impasse like
              this one.   -tom
              \_ The budget has doubled in 10 years, and rose faster under
                 Arnie than under Davis.  The Governor has line-item veto.  He
                 could fix this problem if he wanted to, but instead worked on
                 budgets that papered over problems for years.
                 \_ line-item veto only works when there is something to veto.
                    The budget is still stuck in legislature....
                 \_ Shouldn't budget numbers be looked at as a constant % of
                    GDP rather than absolute dollar value?  Some folks like to
                    bitch that spending has gone up 82% since 1998, but so
                    has GDP.  Looking at things in terms of relative share
                    is important.
                    \_ Do we have to spend every freaking dollar? If GDP
                       went up 82% then what if we increased spending 60%?
                       Would that be wrong?
                       \_ It would be wrong if the state does not have enough
                          money to provide the services it should.  For
                          example, per-student funding to UC has dropped
                          40% since 1990.  So yes, if the state gets more
                          money, it needs to spend it to begin to restore
                          services which have been cut in previous hard
                          budget times.  -tom
                          \_ Our tax burden is still among the highest in the
                             nation (#6 I think).  We should be able to confine
                             ourselves to such a budget without putting
                             the state in danger of insolvency like the
                             Democrats + Arnie are doing by refusing to make
                             any meaningful cuts.
                             \_ We are no where near #6.
                        http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/taxesbystate2005
                                http://tinyurl.com/9mv2z (Money Magazine)
                                \_ this isn't 2005 (although even taking that
                                   data I think my post still stands to reason)
                                   \_ What, taking the data that California
                                      is actually in the middle of the pack
                                      in terms of state and local tax rates?
                                      And of course, California's average
                                      income is higher, which pushes the
                                      tax burden higher.  And doing things
                                      in California costs more (land and
                                      salary), so we need more state money
                                      per capita to provide the same
                                      services.  Do you have anything other
                                      than ideological ranting?  -tom
                                      \_ It's not middle of the pack.
                                http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf
                                         Average income being higher does
                                         not push the tax burden higher,
                                         are you on crack?   Tax burden is
                                         a function of tax rates.
                                         A rich state should actually get
                                         away with less, because govt's
                                         costs do not scale linearly
                                         with income.  A car in CA still
                                         costs the same as a car in OK,
                                         basically.  Land is not a recurring
                                         cost, in general.
                                         Also, for tax burden, it is much
                                         worse for CA when you look at the
                                         burden on those who actually pay
                                         the tax.  CA's income tax is very
                                         progressive and we have a large
                                         population of low-income freeloaders.
                                         \_ Are you really this stupid?  Among
                                            other things, a car in CA pays
                                            20% more for gas.  Property is
                                            absolutely a recurring cost, and
                                            I noticed you completely ignored
                                            the question of salary.  -tom
                                            \_ You are a complete idiot. The
                                               car itself costs the same.
                                               Land itself is not a recurring
                                               cost either.
                                               I said "costs do not scale
                                               linearly" not that there are
                                               no higher costs.  Higher
                                               income trumps those costs.
                                               \_ Let me put it this way;
                                                  how much more do you think
                                                  it costs to do business in
                                                  California, compared to,
                                                  say, Kansas City?  Are you
                                                  really trying to make the
                                                  assertion that California
                                                  business operators spend
                                                  about the same as Kansas
                                                  City business operators?
                                                   -tom
                                         \_ We need to deport IMMIGRANTS
                                      \_ Nope, like I said, he's another
                                         wingnut.  Part of the problem.
                                      \_ We have the highest income, sales, and
                                         gas tax in the nation.
                                         \_ Where do you get your BS from?
                                            Tennessee has 9.25% sales tax.
                                            NY has the highest gasoline tax.
                                            CA has very low property taxes,
                                            as I am sure you know.
                                            \_ Low in terms of % of value,
                                               but not in absolute terms.
                                               We pay about the same property
                                               tax as everywhere else and
                                               a high income tax to boot.
                                               \_ Paying the same dollar
                                                  amount on a mansion in
                                                  Malibu and on a shack in
                                                  Wyoming is not "paying
                                                  about the same property
                                                  tax."  You're a moron.  -tom
                                                  \_ A mansion in Malibu
                                                     pays a lot more tax
                                                     than a shack in Wyoming.
                                                     Stupid argument. Reality
                                                     is that California is
                                                     #26 in local property tax
                                                     collections per capita
                                                     and #20 per household.
                                                     http://tinyurl.com/aopmde
                                                     \_ And top-3 in property
                                                        value.  -tom
                                                        \_ So? That doesn't
                                                           mean we should be
                                                           top-3 in taxes paid.
                                                           I know your dream
                                                           is to be #1 in this
                                                           particular category,
                                                           but some of us think
                                                           paying average taxes
                                                           is just fine and
                                                           that the State
                                                           should be able to
                                                           survive with that
                                                           given that income
                                                           taxes are also high.
                                                           I don't use any
                                                           more services here
                                                           in CA at my $650K
                                                           house than I do at
                                                           my $150K house in
                                                           another state. In
                                                           fact, that house is
                                                           bigger but the tax
                                                           bill is much less.
                                                           Cost of living is
                                                           less there, too, but
                                                           not *that* much less.
                                                           You just love to pay
                                                           taxes. I'm happy at
                                                           #20 for property
                                                           tax. Feel free to
                                                           mail in more on my
                                                           behalf when your
                                                           next bill is due.
                                                           \_ Services cost
                                                              more to provide
                                                              in California,
                                                              due to higher
                                                              land, labor,
                                                              fuel and food
                                                              costs; therefore,
                                                              the state needs
                                                              more money to
                                                              provide the
                                                              same services
                                                              as cheaper
                                                              states.  That's
                                                              why our state
                                                              services are
                                                              massively
                                                              underfunded. -tom
                                                              \_ Do you think
                                                                 services cost
                                                                 8x more,
                                                                 because that's
                                                                 the difference
                                                                 in property
                                                                 tax I pay even
                                                                 though the
                                                                 cost of living
                                                                 is only 40%
                                                                 less and the
                                                                 other house is
                                                                 2x the size. I
                                                                 assure you
                                                                 that the fire
                                                                 and police
                                                                 work just as
                                                                 well and that
                                                                 the schools
                                                                 are better
                                                                 than in most
                                                                 of CA. Our
                                                                 services are
                                                                 not
                                                                 underfunded.
                                                                 We allocate
                                                                 money
                                                                 incorrectly
                                                                 and, sad
                                                                 to say, the
                                                                 illegal
                                                                 immigrants
                                                                 are sucking
                                                                 the State's
                                                                 coffers dry
                                                                 by using
                                                                 services they
                                                                 do not pay for.
                                                                 do not pay
                                                                 for.
                                                                 \_ You have
                                                                    no content.
                                                                    Goodbye.
                                                                     -tom
                                                                    \_ Loser.
                                                                       I give
                                                                       you a
                                                                       real
                                                                       example
                                                                       of
                                                                       property
                                                                       tax
                                                                       disparity
                                                                       dispar-
                                                                       ity
                                                                       and you
                                                                       can't
                                                                       handle
                                                                       the
                                                                       truth.
                             \_ I agree with you that Arnie has been very
                                fiscally irresponsible but at this point the
                                GOP is being reckless. Aren't they just as much
                                to blame for pushing the state towards fiscal
                                insolvency?
                                \_ No, because they aren't the ones who added
                                   the spending.  The Dems and Arnie busted
                                   the budget repeatedly even during the times
                                   of bubble-inflated tax revenues.
                                   \_ They had their share in busting budgets,
                                      if nothing else, they could have shut the
                                      state down during the boom years. Now
                                      they are just appearing as immature
                                      obstructionists.
                       \_ I agree. If conservatives hadn't decided to push for
                          three-strikes and put all those extra people in
                          prison, we wouldn't be in this mess. We warned you
                          at the time that it going to get too expensive.
                          \_ Don't forget the "car tax" cut!
                             \_ Or Prop 87, when California tried to put
                                royalties on oil production (like almost every
                                other state does, when oil or mineral
                                resources are extracted) and was opposed by
                                the GOP, combined with Big Oil.
2008/11/21-28 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:52069 Activity:nil
11/21   California now state with 3rd highest unemployment rate at 8.2%
        (behind Michigan and RI at 9.3%)
        \_ Just wait until Ahnold's new taxes kick in.
           \_ I'm looking forward to my new 11.25% sales tax rate.
              \_ Is this for reals or just a joke? URL?
              \_ REPEAL PROP 13!!!
2008/11/11-13 [Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:51906 Activity:low
11/11   Ronald Reagan is my hero.
        \_ Did you know about his support of California's lovely Proposition
           14? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_14
           \_ My hero!   -landowner and landlord, love prop 13 and 14
        \_ Yup.  He won in two landslide elections.
              \_ You are aware of the blatant racism involved in the prop. 14
                 campaign, and that the supremes overturned it in '67 anyway?
                 \_ if I'm a landlord, I could care less. Go Pete Wilson!
                    \_ What does Pete Wilson have to do with the '60s?  Oh
                       I see, you are just a dumb troll.
                       \_ Maybe you're too young to remember this but Pete
                          Wilson was a racist and people loved him for
                          Prop 187. YES ON PROP 187 Pete.
                          http://members.tripod.com/~cochiseguardian/NEWS/WilsonDefImmStance020503.html
                 \_ ofc not, he's a troll.
        \_ Yup.  He won in two landslide elections, better than how Clinton
           did in his two.
           \_ But Obama just won a larger percentage of the vote than Reagan
              in '80.
        \_ "Gov't should protect people from each other but not from
           themselves."  Also you gotta love how he ordered the nat'l guard
           to open fire on the UCB protesters.
              \_ "So you wanna be treated like a communist, huh hippie?"
        \_ You're an idiot, but you're not alone. That doesn't mean you're
           not an idiot.
2008/11/6-13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Foreign, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:51866 Activity:low
11/6    SOCIALNETWORKISM
        \_ Yes? What about it? Young people today with nothing to lose
           but everything to gain from Socialism, embrace it. We're
           tired of having sucky infrastructures and unfairness.
           Let us all embrace socialism.
           \_ Why do you think they have nothing to lose?
              \_ Read Prop 13 history and ramifications
        \_ I presume you are free-market type.  Please do tell me you
           oppose the 700 billion bail out package.  Please tell me you
           do support the abolishment of
           - SEC
           - FDIC
           - FDA
           - minimum wage
           - child labor law
           - ban on human trafficking
           and let the invisible hand does everything.
           \_ Excellent straw man sir!
              \_ oh yeah? why don't you take a shot at it.  Free Market right?
                do you support the 700 billion bail out?  do you support
                government bail out of GM/Ford?  do you support government
                in effect double our national debt by acquiring AIG (liability
                on AIG's book constitute as part of national debt).
                Do you support roll back of margin requirement regulations
                that imposed by FDR?  Do let me know.  Because *PERSONALLY*
                given the choice of government take over these failed companies
                versus just hand out free cash to them with little or no
                string attached, I prefer the former.  If a company is too big
                to fail, then, it's to big.  Let it fail as free market
                dictate, right?
        \_ You know, I'd say 8 of the top 10 nicest countries to
           live in in the world are socialist.
           \_ Which are the other two? Switzerland and Singapore?
           \_ Nicest for who? You need to think about that.
              \_ I'm the decider, and I decide what is best for the
                 country.                               -GWB
        \_ Wow, I think this is the most efficent troll I have ever
           seen.  Bravo!
           \_ Seconded. It takes the Art of Troll to the next level. Kudos!
        \_ Key word: socialism
           \_ BUD CORT doesn't like your tone.  Obviously you've never
           \_ BUD CORT doesn't like your tone.  Obviously you've never been
              served.
2008/10/2-6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:51343 Activity:nil
10/1    I am a liberal.  I've constantly being lectured about how great
        free-market is.  I am a bit frustrated now that practically *NO* ONE
        talk about free-market anymore.
        \_ eBay works well in the free market. In short, IMHO free market
           works the best if you're dealing with oranges and such, and
           not so well when you're dealing with homes and healthcare. I
           for one welcome FDR style government because we're ready for it.
           The pending wave of Socialism reforms is about to sweep America.
           I know, because I am the next generation, and we want Socialism.
           We are as talented and hard working as the generation before us, and
           the generation before that, but unlike them we all missed out
           the dot-com and housing boom. We have NOTHING to win and
           everything to lose with the F-U everything for myself
           Reagan style Capitalism. But we have everything to win
           and NOTHING to lose with FDR style programs. We're fed up, and
           we want CHANGE. The future of America depends on a bunch of
           people like us, and we want Socialism NOW. More taxes on the
           people who have, and less taxes on people who do not. Fuck
           Prop 13, fuck corporate tax cuts, fuck religious nuts, fuck
           anti-gay biggots, fuck tax cuts, fuck deficits, fuck automobiles,
           fuck free market. We are ready for change.
           \_ http://tinyurl.com/socialismisback
2008/8/21-26 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50924 Activity:nil
8/21    greatest hammond organ solos of all time
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nsPgSl52qY
        \_ I'm sorry, why is this even posted? Why is this so interesting
           and or special? Why would I care about some dude playing
           organ? Is he famous in the old days? If you post shit like
           this without explanation I'll just nuke next time.
           \_ I did describe it.  Does it have to be about BUSH==OBAMA
              or Prop 13 to pass your motd content test?
        \_ الله أَكْ!
2008/8/21-26 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50923 Activity:kinda low
8/21    CA highest income tax bracket hits at 44K?
        http://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/press/2007/07_38.shtml
        \_ seems like it's 60k for head of household, which would apply
           for anyone not claimed as a dependent I believe.  --jwm
           \_ So 90K for married filing jointly.  Anyone here call that rich?
           \_ I think Head of Household is when you are not married and you
              pay for more than 50% of the living expense of another person
              who is not a dependent of another taxpayer.
             \_ Yeah you're not head of household if you are just a single
                dude without dependents. (like me). fuck.
        \_ Well, at least we still have one of the lowest property
           taxes, and capped so that when we retire, we don't have to
           worry about ridiculously amounts of tax increase! By a happy
           owner. Once you buy a home in CA, DON'T EVER SELL!!! Trust
           me. This is the way of life in California.
           \_ ObSwami
        \_ الله أَكْ!
           \_ No, our property taxes are around the median.
              \_ Median in rate, but because of Prop 13 they are lower than
                 most places if you've owned a property a long time. When
                 I bought my house for ~$350K N years ago it had been in
                 the seller's family for 65-70 years. They paid something
                 like $600/year property tax, which is definitely low. I
                 paid $4000/year on the same property when I bought it,
                 not that I'm complaining, because now my neighbors are
                 paying $8000+/year on similar houses.
                 \_ You know I wouldn't pay $100K for any piece of land in
                    inland Southern California, though I would be
                    willing to pay millions of dollars for Malibu and
                    coastal estates. S Cal inland in general is dumpy,
                    including Santa Ana, San Fernando, and even
                    Pasadena. Hot. Traffic. Dumpy.
                    \_ Yes, much better are New Jersey, Texas, and Florida.
2008/7/16-23 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50601 Activity:kinda low
7/16    Support air-drying laundry.  Save energy.
        http://www.laundrylist.org
        \_ I just learned that a friend's home owner's association has a rule
           against drying laundry outside, even in your backyard.  I'm still
           flabbergasted by this.
           \_ Why? Some won't even let you keep your garage door open
              longer than it takes to put your car in.
           \_ Most HOA's do.  This is one of many activities associated with
              poor folks, that are perceieved as lowering property values.
           \_ Banning this in front yards I can understand.  But backyards?
           \_ Banning this in frontyards I can understand.  But backyards?
           \_ Some HOAs don't even let you keep your garage door open for
              longer than it takes to park your car.
              \_ Is this for lowering auto theft rate?  If not, I'd think
                 leaving doors open on garages with Porsches and Mercedes
                 inside would raise property values.
                 \_ No, it's because the inside of garages is usually
                    cluttered with junk. BTW, my old neighbor used to park his
                    new Porsche on his lawn. Talk about conflicting statements.
              \_ So, I figure a lack of HOA add $20,000 or so to the value of
                 the house.  Any opinions?
                 \_ I don't know, but a lack of HOA fees probably adds value.
                 \_ depends on HOA amount... but do some math
           \_ Rule #632 why you should never buy a condo - stuffy HOAs
              telling you what to do.
              \_ HOA is not limited to condos.
                 \_ Don't most new suburban developments these days have
                    HOAs?
                    \_ Yes it is very true. Take a look at the Rosedale
                       Community in Azusa. You have 2 HOAs. One is the North
                       HOA at $150, and the other one is the South HOA at
                       about $150. Then there is Mello-Roos that jacks your
                       property tax to about 1.75%, because the state of
                       CA no longer can pay for new schools in that new
                       area. We're talking about "cheap" homes between
                       $450K to $750K.
                        http://www.rosedaleazusa.com/community
                       New SFH today have HOAs in addition to Mello-Roos.
                       I'm talking about S Cal. N Cal doesn't seem to have
                       that type of shit, presumably because it's regulated
                       growth so no need to rebuild schools/pipes/wires.
                       \_ ^regulated growth^farther from Mexico^
                          \_ what does Mehico have anything to do with this?
                             \_ Rub your two brain cells together and you
                                will figure it out.
                                \_ I get it, you think IMMIGRANTS cause all
                                   the problems that S Cal has. Yes immigrants
                                   are bad GO BACK HOME IMMIGRANTS!
                                   \_ ILLEGAL immigrants are hard to plan
                                      for and regulate.
2008/7/9-13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50526 Activity:moderate
7/9     Now we know what the definition of "rich" is:  $150K/yr/household
        http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/1069753.html
        \_ Only $150K, why you poor poor thing.
        \_ The GOP has no function in CA, except as obstructionists.
           \_ You mean like all those Republican unions that got all of
              the Governator's propositions defeated in the 2005 special
              election?
              \_ I notice you still can't pick one thing that the GOP
                 has accomplished in California in the last 30 years.
                 \_ That's because the California State Legislature
                    has had a Democratic majority for the past 30 years. So
                    the inability to get anything done is somehow the
                    minority party's fault? Try again, dumb troll.
                    \_ In other words, their only function is as
                       obstructionists.
                       \_ Sure maybe in the CA Legislature, but the you
                          must have missed my comment 9 lines above yours.
                          Oh wait, you're a troll. So you're deliberately
                          ignoring presented facts.
                    \_ Somehow the Republicans in Congress get things done
                       even though they are in the minority and they control
                       the Executive. Why can't the GOP in CA? Is it because
                       the Executive. Why can't the GOP in CA?
                       \_ You do realize that US Congress has a completely
                          different legislative process than the state of
                          California, right? Oh wait, you're a troll.
                       Is it because
                       they hold onto a tired and inflexible ideology which
                       rejects the possibility of compromise? Also, there
                       rejects the possibility of compromise?
                       \_ You're nothing but a political homer if you think
                          California Republicans are the only ones with
                          an inflexible ideology.
                       Also, there
                       have been many GOP "victories" at the initiative level.
                       Why not trumpet those? The extension of Prop 13 tax
                       breaks to the decendents of the original home purchaser
                       must count as a great victory in the general Conservative
                       agenda of advancing inherited wealth over earned wealth.
                       breaks to the descendants of the original home purchaser
                       must count as a great victory in the general
                       Conservative agenda of advancing inherited wealth over
                       earned wealth.
                       \_ Prop 13 is older than 30 years old.
                       How about "Three Strikes and You Are Out"?
                       earned wealth. How about "Three Strikes and You Are Out"?
                       Surely, breaking the back of the State budget with
                       earned wealth. How about "Three Strikes and You Are
                       Out"? Surely, breaking the back of the State budget with
                       overflowing prisons and severely cutting back public
                       post-secondary education must count as one of the
                       greatest victories of American Conservatism in the 21st
                       century. The GOP has always hated great public
                       institutions like the University of California, and it
                       looks like you will finally get your long desired goal
                       of destroying it, or at least severly weakening it. How
                       about Prop 187? Surely eliminating schooling for the
                       about Prop 187? Eliminating all schooling for the
                       children of the poorest must rank as a great victory
                       in the Class War against The Poor! Isn't it every
                       Conservatives secret desire to have a house full of
                       poor, dumb, uneducated servants, too hopeless to be
                       anything but docile? Eliminating any chance of becoming
                       literate is surely a huge step in the right direction.
                       Oh, that's right, the courts shot that one donw. C'mon
                       Oh, that's right, the courts shot that one down. C'mon
                       fly your flag high, you have lots to be proud of!
                       \_ So pretty much the California GOP has the courts
                          against them now too. So, what have CA Dems
                          accomplished with the deck stacked so heavily in
                          their favor?
                       \_ Were you foaming at the mouth when you wrote this
                          rant?
                          \_ Yes, because obviously anyone who disagrees with
                             the GOP is rabid.
                             \_ That is the most off the rails rant I've read
                                in months.  That has nothing to do with the
                                target. -!pp
                                \_ Still waiting for some "successes" from the
                                   CA GOP. Don't the things I listed count
                                   as initiatives they are proud of?
        \_ Actually, if you read it it is $321K. The $150K number is just
           for a child dependent exemption worth $200.
        \- well there are a few way to approach "rich" ... say the
           "top 5%, 2%, 1%" in the country/state/"area" and then there is
           "doesnt have any money worries" ... can buy any car they want
           "within reason", can vacation anywhere they want, no worries
           about healthcare expenses, or college tuition for kids, has all
           the house they "need". i think we operate in the latter context ...
           but if you are "richer" than 98% of "everybody", can you really
           say you arent "rich"? rather than picking a wealth/income level,
           how would you define "rich"? the "relative income" approach or
           the "opportunity" approach or something else?
2008/7/9-13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50508 Activity:high
7/9     Check out the graph of CA revenue vs spending
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/2ttws3
        \_ CLEARLY, we need to cut pork, like education (for illegal
           immigrants), lunch food (for illegal immigrants),
           healthcare (for illegal immigrants), transportation (amigos
           driving on my I-210). You see it's all about illegal amigos.
           Say no to illegals, say yes to tax cuts!             !dim
        \_ it's hard to tell whether this guy is a nutjob, or is satirizing
           nutjobs.
        \_ Is this guy one of those "compassionate" conservatives I keep
           hearing about? I just *love* his idea of scrapping public
           health. Can you say epidemic?
        \_ Look at the chart.  Notice how spending increases outpace revenue
           increases? -op
           \_ what a surprise, given relentless tax cuts amidst growing
              demand for services.  -tom
              \_ Next time I spend more more money than I make, instead of
                 cutting back on my expenses, I will just order my boss to
                 give me a raise so that I can keep on binge spending. That
                 is such a great plan, I can't believe I never thought of
                 it before.
                 \_ Noone is saying cuts shouldn't be made, but the cuts
                    this person came up with are beyond dumb.  You can
                    cut services that may very well pay for themselves and
                    have serious quality of life concerns when they are gone
                    (even for people who don't directly benfit from them) or
                    you could go after the real pork like prison overspending.
                    \_ I agree. I don't agree with the cuts the guy in the url
                       wants to make. I think some of them are totally nuts. My
                       point was only that some cuts should be made and that
                       it is unrealistic for the government to keep demanding
                       ever increasing taxes to fund pork projects.
                 \_ How about, next time your are spending about as much
                    money as you make, you order your boss to give you a
                    pay cut, since the extra profit the company makes from
                    paying you less salary will trickle down to you.  -tom
                    \_ This is just bizarre.  Revenue was increasing.  Spending
                       increased as well, just faster.  I can't see any
                       evidence of "tax cuts" in the revenue curve.
                       \_ Well tom's idea is that spending has a natural
                          positive growth and income should have a similar
                          growth (by maintaining or increasing taxes). I
                          don't think he accepts the premise that perhaps
                          government spending and income shouldn't grow.
                          Re tom's hypo - perhaps the government should
                          try spending LESS than it makes and re-thinking
                          what services are absolutely necessary.
                          \_ I think my brain just popped.  Does tom think that
                             we should decided spending first and then set
                             taxes to raise that money?
                       \_ You can find evidence of tax cuts in the legislative
                          record.  Revenue continued to rise because *more
                          people came to California*.  In 1980 there were
                          23.7 million people in California; now there are
                          36.5 million.  -tom
                       \_ Overall state government spending as a percentage
                          of GDP has been within 1% of 9% since the mid 90s.
                          It has not gone appreciably up or down.
                          \_ Inflation-adjusted per-capita spending has
                             increased over 40% in the last decade.
                             \_ Please provide evidence for this "fact".
                                \_ Math is hard.
                                \_ http://www.caforward.org/dynamic/pages/link_10_135.pdf
                                \_ link:preview.tinyurl.com/65rpor
                                   [caforward.org]
                                   \_ Personal income has risen much faster
                                      than state spending; obviously the
                                      state's increase in spending is trickling
                                      down to the people of the state.
                                      (NB: a likely flaw in these numbers
                                      is use of incomplete or fudged figures
                                      for inflation.)  -tom
                                   \_ So, as a percentage of personal income,
                                      state spending has actually gone down.
                                      As I have asked before, why do you think
                                      that state spending should track
                                      inflation? Most of what the State spends
                                      on is salaries. Shouldn't state spending
                                      track GDP or personal income instead? Why
                                      do you think that State employees should
                                      expect their salaries to constantly lag
                                      behind the private sector?
                                      \_ Government employees in general
                                         are compensated extremely well.
                                         Have their numbers increased or
                                         decreased over time? (Honest Q)
                                         \_ Government employees are not
                                            compensated well compared to
                                            corporate employees; at low levels,
                                            if you include benefits (which
                                            are better for government
                                            employees) people are still
                                            paid a little better in the
                                            industry, and at the high end,
                                            there's nothing in the public
                                            sector anywhere close
                                            to the compenstation given to
                                            industry executives.  Their
                                            numbers have increased, as
                                            the population and thus the need
                                            for government services has
                                            increased.  -tom
                                            \_ Actually, government employees
                                               are compensated very well.
                                               We're not talking CEOs
                                               here. We're talking rank
                                               and file government employees.
                                               Government jobs are some of
                                               the highest-paying jobs around
                                               *NOT ACCOUNTING FOR* the
                                               ridiculous benefits. You
                                               don't realize it, because
                                               you work in one of the few
                                               fields where the government
                                               underpays. Two of my sisters
                                               work for the gov't (county and
                                               city) and for example the county
                                               just hired a new 24 y.o. civil
                                               engineer with an MS at $120K
                                               per year. The evidence is
                                               not just anecdotal, either.
                                               For example, 2/3 of OC
                                               sheriff's deputies make
                                               $100K+ with the top sheriff
                                               making $221K. Note that this is
                                               not The Sheriff, but a detective.
                                               not The Sheriff, but a
                                               detective.
                                               The average DWP employee makes
                                               $77K. Locksmiths and painters
                                               for DWP make $80K. I read
                                               a gardener for the City made
                                               $100K including overtime
                                               and a transportation coordinator
                                               (coordinates events like LA
                                               Marathon) made $120K base + $60K
                                               overtime. No, the government
                                               pays quite well, the benefits
                                               are good, expectations are low,
                                               and it's hard to be fired.
                                               \_ gee, then why aren't you
                                                  working for the government?
                                                  How much do you think a
                                                  sheriff's deputy should
                                                  make?  -tom
                                                  \_ My industry is one in
                                                     which the gov't underpays
                                                     unless I move to DC which
                                                     I don't want to do. But,
                                                     actually, I do work for
                                                     the government indirectly.
                                                     Not sure what your point
                                                     is with that ridiculous
                                                     comment anyway. As
                                                     for deputies and prison
                                                     guards, compare their
                                                     salaries with those of
                                                     free market security
                                                     guards. I think a deputy
                                                     should be paid more, but
                                                     not *that much* more
                                                     to work the mean
                                                     streets of Irvine.
                                                     BTW, if gov't pay is so
                                                     low then why have you been
                                                     working for the gov't for
                                                     20 years - all through the
                                                     <DEAD>dot.com<DEAD> era of easy wealth?
                                                     <DEAD>dot.com<DEAD> era of easy
                                                     wealth?
                                                     \_ Because I am not
                                                        motivated by pursuit
                                                        of wealth. -tom
                                                        of wealth. (Although
                                                        I will note, you have
                                                        no clue about my
                                                        career.)  -tom
                                                        \_ I was exaggerating,
                                                           but it's been 13
                                                           years according to
                                                           your own resume.
                                        \_ Your anecdotal evidence is BS, as
                                           I am sure you well know. I have
                                           three family members who work for
                                           State of California and they are
                                           all paid poorly for their level of
                                           experience. One is a DBA, with 20+
                                           years of experience, who makes $80k
                                           one is a programmer, with about 10,
                                           who makes $60k and the last is
                                           a secretary, who makes about $30k.
                                           \_ IT is one of the few areas where
                                              the gov't underpays. I won't
                                              dispute that. However, a
                                              secretary at $30K is about
                                              market value. The average
                                              pay at the DWP is $77K. That
                                              is not anecdotal, and the
                                              average is not brought up by
                                              lots of $800K managers. In
                                              fact, only about 10% of the
                                              workforce makes more than $100K.
                                              If you work for DWP you can
                                              make $70-80K for just about any
                                              job and it's easy money, too.
                                              It's not just the DWP either.
                                           Pay in the public sector is, in
                                           general, below the private sector.
                                           And even if it wasn't, why should
                                           people who work in the public sector
                                           expect their pay to lag and fall
                                           further and further behind? You
                                           cannot even answer this question,
                                           which is why you are trying to change
                                           which is why you are trying to
                                           change
                                           the topic.
                                           \_ I have no interest in answering
                                              that question. I am not the
                                              person to whom it was asked.
                                              I just want to point out that
                                              the government wastes a lot
                                              of money, which should come
                                              as a surprise to no one
                                              other than tom.
                                              \_ Corporations waste a lot of
                                                 money, too.  -tom
                                                 \_ Maybe, but here's the
                                                    point you miss:
                                                    It's *THEIR* money!
                                                    The government's money
                                                    is *MY* money.
                                                    \_ So?  It's not possible
                                                       to run a large
                                                       organization 100%
                                                       efficiently; that
                                                       standard is simply
                                                       not realistic.  -tom
                                                       \_ So? SO? You like
                                                          handing over your
                                                          $$$ to be wasted?!?!
                                                          Maybe the gov't
                                                          shouldn't be so large
                                                          then.
                                                          shouldn't be so
                                                          large then.
                                                          \_ It doesn't bother
                                                             me any more to
                                                             hand over money
                                                             to the government
                                                             than to United
                                                             Airlines or any
                                                             other faceless
                                                             corporation.
                                                             I think most
                                                             governmental
                                                             programs have
                                                             decent return on
                                                             investment.  -tom
                                                             \_ I can't say I
                                                                agree that that
                                                                has been true
                                                                for many years
                                                                now. It was
                                                                true once upon
                                                                a time.  What's
                                                                the ROI for
                                                                attacking Iraq?
                                                                D'oh!
                       \_ State spending as a percentage of GDP has remained
                          essentially unchanged since the late 80's:
                          http://www.cbpp.org/7-31-07sfp-f2.jpg
        \_ http://www.urban.org/publications/1001173.html
           "State and local revenues have been relatively stable over the
           last 30 years..."
           Sorry to bust your bubble, buddy.
2008/6/22-23 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50327 Activity:kinda low
6/22    Who Ruined California Public Schools?
        http://www.broowaha.com/article.php?id=267
        Is it true that CA is 42nd in school spending? By what measure?
        \_ Oh yes, blame it on Prop 13. Why do you hate tax cuts?
        \_ No, it's a simple lie.  CA spending has been well outpacing
           inflation, and enrollment has actually declined significantly.
           \_ Other states could still have raised their spending more.
              Do you have any data that supports your claim?
              \_ Which means nothing.  Performance has almost no correlation
                 with spending.
                 \_ So does that mean you have changed your tune and now
                    agree that CA is 42nd in school spending?
                    \_ Not the PP and I'm not sure what the right number
                       is, but it has nothing to do with Prop 13 as CA tax
                       revenues are the same as they always were.
                       \_ You need to explain what you mean by "the same as
                          they always were". Same in nominal dollars, in
                          inflation adjusted dollars, in inflation adjusted
                          per capita dollars or as a percentage of GDP dollars.
                          Those are all pretty different things.
                  \_ http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2004/RAND_MG186.sum.pdf
                          We used to spend 4.5% of total income on education,
                          now we spend 3.5%.
            \_ Enrollment has declined since 1978? Are you crazy?
2008/6/17-20 [Politics/Domestic/President/Reagan, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50284 Activity:high
6/17    Obama the Marxist
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/3qxoqt [wsj.com]
        "Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of
        workers," he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure
        that wealth is distributed more equitably.
        \_ Highly unequal wealth is generally considered bad.  In the past
           the government of the united states WAS concerned when regular wages
           stayed stagnant or dropped while the upper 1% gained a higher
           percentage of the pie.  That's not Marxism, no matter what your
           Libritarian echo chamber says.
           \_ Grive me Librity or grive me Dreath!
        \_ Thank god, I can't wait to see tax rates go to pre-Reagan
           era. Fuck globalization and trickle down to China economy,
           it was a dumb idea in the beginning, and a complete
           disaster in practice.
           \_ Sorry but you're either incredibly stupid or ignorant if you
              want to go back to the Carter era economy.  Compared to then,
              this is a golden time for the economy for rich, middle class,
              and poor.  Or wait, there's a third option I forgot: you're
              a troll which is why you keep mentioning Reagan; you're looking
              to draw someone out on how great Reagan was or something.
              \_ Real average hourly wages peaked in the early 70s.
              \_ Real average hourly wages peaked in the late 70s.
                 \_ You gonna support the shit you just made up from
                    your ass, liberal?
                    \_ What shit?  That in the Carter era we had double digit
                       inflation, we voted in prop 13 to save people from
                       outrageous property taxes and that the country was
                       headed downhill in a huge way as stated by Carter
                       himself in a major speech?  If you don't know those
                       things then as I said you're either ignorant, a troll,
                       or just plain dumb.  I'm pretty sure you're a troll.
                    \_ Facts are such bitter things when you are a Conservative:
                    \_ Facts are such bitter things when you are a
                       Conservative:
                       link:preview.tinyurl.com/3w79k5
                       From article at:
                       http://www.demos.org/inequality/numbers.cfm
                       \_ "Public programs that enrich..." Looks like a
                          socialist advocacy group. Try the Cato Institute
                          web site if you want to convince me.    -pp
                          \_ Yes, the BLS is such a biased org. So you only
                             accept facts authorized by the Authorized
                             accept facts approved by the Authorized
                             Conservative Statistical Institute? How Stalinist
                             of you. An overwhelming body of evidence points to
                             three decades of stagnate wages for the middle
                             three decades of stagnant wages for the middle
                             class. Amazing that you have somehow missed it.
                          \_ Cato Institute > Heritage Foundation, but not by
                             much.
           \_ So, what, you are against technology and automation?
              Let's all go back to stone age tech. Let's redistribute all
              resources equally to everyone! Actually no, fuck that.
              Poor people should have fewer kids.
              \_ You're entitled to your extreme thought processes and
                 belief as do I.                        -fuck Reagan
                 \_ You're entitled to your extremely bad grammar.
                    \_ I'm entitled to have 100 kids because I'm winning
                       the genetic pool race. PS my kids have US
                       citizenship, nah nah nah nah nah         -fuck Reagan
              \_ Believe it or not the world isn't binary.  Marxism is one
                 extreme, yes.  However that doesn't mean, say, Pell
                 grants are Marxist.  But Pell grants do have a good track
                 record of increasing social mobility and in doing so
                 decreasing the inqequality of wealth.  A large, desperately
                 poor, increasingly hopeless segment of the population is
                 something any government wants to avoid if it wants to
                 prosper.
                 \_ I don't want the government to prosper.  I want the
                    people and the country as a whole to prosper.  Providing
                    some education assistance (or a more reasonably priced
                    educational price at each institution would really be
                    more helpful) is helpful.  Raising taxes on everyone
                    and flushing more money down the drain is not helpful
                    to anyone unless you're one of those government employees
                    sucking the life out of the rest of us who earn our living
                    the traditional way: working.
                    \_ duhhh what? hmmm your dumb
                       \_ thank you for adding zero content.
                    \_ Raising taxes on everyone is not good. Raising taxes
                       on the wealthiest as the income gap continues to
                       grow makes a lot of sense. Hint: no one earns $1bn
                       strictly through "working."
                       \_ No.  The folks making tens and hundreds of millions
                          are mostly hedge fund manger and other NYC financial
                          types who are taxed at the cap gains rate instead of
                          the income rate where they belong.  That is the only
                          place you need to change the tax code if you want a
                          fairer tax on the truly rich.  But slamming people
                          who make $100k in this area with a higher tax rate
                          because they are 'rich' is just stupid and harmful
                          to the economy.  Raising taxes across the board is
                          not going to cause economic prosperity.
                          \_ Agreed. Making income>$1m level pay their fair
                             share, though, might. $100k is not filthy rich
                             anymore. --pp
                          \_ Obama wants to raise taxes on people who make
                             over $250k, not $100k. If he means family
                             income, I am screwed, but if he means personal
                             income, I am still under that.
                             \_ Screwed?  Just how exactly are you "screwed"
                                if you pay more tax on your $250k?
                                \_ The dead hand of The State will force me to
                                   quit being productive, drink cheap wine and
                                   die of alcoholism.
                     \_ I agree, my grandfather worked hard so his descendants
                        could have the best of everything. Why should I let the
                        mean old government, at the point of a gun, take away
                        everything he sacrificed for, just so some truck
                        driver's son can get some education he will just throw
                        away anyway.
                        away anyway. -truck driver's son
        \_ Hey, Obama wants to eliminate capital gains taxes on start-ups!
           Now that's a Marxism I can get behind.
           \_ What is his definition of "start-ups"?
2008/6/17-20 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:50277 Activity:high
6/17    When I first came to California many years ago my advisor invited
        me to his house and gave me an advice that I never really thought
        about until recently. It was dead simple, and had nothing to do
        with what I was studying-- if you ever buy houses in California,
        DON'T SELL THEM. Keep them around, because in time, property tax
        will be so low that it'll take an act of stupidity to sell them. As
        long as population is booming and as long as people like me flock
        to California, property values will only go up, and in time, I will
        be a wealthy landlord just like my advisor. That's it! His second
        advice was a counter advice of the first one-- don't buy a house in
        California unless you're rich enough to hold on to it forever. Why?
        Because of Prop 13 which acts like Social Security in many ways.
        As long as you're the first recipient, you have a lot to gain from
        because newcomers pay more taxes to cover the old timers who are
        paying less. In addition, because (he thought) both SS and
        Prop 13 ecosystems are not sustainable in the long term, newcomers
        will receive much less services when they get old themselves, while
        new comers are hit with shit like property tax reset which are
        always proportionally much higher than pre Prop 13 taxes, as well
        as Mello-Roos, an additional 1% on taxes to pay for services that pre
        Prop 13 taxes used to cover. In another word, people who gained the
        most were those who joined the game early on while those who are
        new to the game (me) will simply pay exorbitant amounts of money
        with proportional gains that will only decrease in time. Hmmmmm.
        So basically-- my advisor's advice to me was pretty much: newcomers
        are pretty much screwed because they're late in the game, but if
        they ever get sucked into the game, don't leave. Thanks for coming
        to California Joe!
        \_ California is full, go home.
           \_ No please stay. The longer you stay, the higher value my
              home is.                                  -home owner
        \_ Your advisor's advice to you was: buy as early as possible and
           don't sell. Sounds likes good advice.
           \_ Holding onto a property that is not making enough rent is
              stupid as hell.  Sell the house and invest in something that's
              actually making you money.  Property tax is not a reason to
              hold onto a losing investment.
              \_ In California, even if you put down 20% on normal homes
                 (decent location, decent crime rate, etc), you're mostly
                 likely still not going to make enough rent for the first
                 decade or so.
                 \_ Only if you're an idiot who buys without considering
                    cash flow. If you only buy SFR in areas where rents
                    are low compared to prices then sure. Don't do that.
              \_ *BUYING* a property that is not making enough rent is
                 stupid. No one said to be stupid about buying.
                 \_ There's all sorts of reasons you can end up with
                    property that's a bad rental.  Maybe it was a previous
                    home.  Maybe you inherited it.  I'm just saying that
                    buy early and never sell is not a given.
                    \_ It wouldn't be buying if you inherited it.
           \- it's unclear what you advisor's "objective function" was,
              and i am guessing he is not an economist, but what an economist
                \_ right he's not an economist. He's one of those jolly
                   old guys who love drinking and talking shit and always
                   says things like "LIVE SIMPLE & BE HAPPY!" and "BUY
                   LOTS OF PROPERTIES IN CA AND NEVER SELL, TRUST ME!"
                   \_ This advice makes sense if you were a Baby Boomer,
                      which this guy probably is. Our lives are more
                      complicated.
                      \_ I think the moral of the story is you should have
                         bought properties when you were 5 years old.
                      \_ I'm 27, is it more complicated than a 35 year
                         old, and even more complicated than a 45 year?
                         \_ no.  life is no more complicated now than then.
                            oh wait, we have the intartubes now and ipods so
                            gosh i guess life is really hard now not like
                            the people who fought in ww2, got schooled on the
                            gi bill and bought houses in the 60s.  those
                            guys had it easy.
                            \_ You are confusing Boommers with the WWII
                               generation. People who were born after WWII
                               would not have had a chance to fight in it.
                               would not have had the chance to fight in it.
                               \_ I'm not confusing it at all.  Few of those
                                  wwii vets came out and bought a house.  They
                                  went to school, they saved up, then bought
                                  later.  So someone buying in the 60s was
                                  likely a wwii vet.  Someone born in 1945
                                  would have been 20 in 1965 and not buying
                                  a house.  None of which has anything to do
                                  with anything on this thread.
                                  \_ I think most people born in the late
                                     40's bought their first house right out
                                     of college. I know my parents, who were
                                     born in 42 & 45, bought their first house
                                     in 1968. It was easier to buy a home in
                                     California those days.
                                     \_ My advisor said when he first got his
                                        BS in the 70s his salary was about
                                        $10K/yr and homes were $20K/yr, and
                                        it wasn't a big deal getting a house
                                        1-2 years after you graduated. A
                                        lot has changed since then.
                                  \_ A lot of veterans bought houses when
                                     returning from the war. That's when
                                     cheap tract housing became popular. In
                                     CA there were a lot of houses built
                                     in the 1920s, but very little in the
                                     1930s (Depression) and then a big
                                     boom in 1945-1950s or so when returning
                                     vets came back, took factory jobs (or
                                     similar) and bought homes. Even now
                                     in much of the country two people
                                     with union manufacturing jobs or even
                                     something less well paid like call
                                     center operators can buy a nice home in a
                                     safe neighborhood.
              would tell you is "people move too little" and would make more
              money if they were more open to moving because of jobs. but
              of course that in turn doesnt factor in quality of life issues
              [like how much of a premium would you have to be paid to move
              to the fresno branch of your office for a year? $50k? $100k?].
              but once you start including more than NPV in the calculus,
              you have to start considering that in terms of house purchase
              too. if having three kids is important to you, that may affect
              you housing decisions. also, when you no longer need the
              services of a local good scholl district, it might not make
              sense to keep paying for it. imagine how much more expensive
              SF real estate would be if the schools were palo alto level.
              \_ Not that much more. Reason: Most people who can afford SF
                 can afford private school and would likely put their kids
                 in private school even if they lived in Palo Alto.
                 \_ I'm not sure that most means what you think it does.
                    Here's a hint, there's a hell of a lot of kids in
                    SF public schools.
                    \_ Sure, but how many are there by choice?
                 \_ There are some very good public schools in SF, as good
                    as the schools in PA. The trick is getting your kid into
                    them.
                    \- look at percentage of WHITE CHILDREN in SF public
                       schools as you go from low grades to high school.
                       it's amazing how non-white SF public high schools are.
                       \_ So, what is your point? That only white children
                          can be good students?
                          \_ White kids don't go to SF public schools.
                             Either there are none living in SF (possible) or
                             they are going to private schools anyway.
                             \_ This is mostly true. About 10% of the kids in
                                school are white, while 30% of the population
                                is (non-hispanic) white. 20% of the students
                                are in private school, so I think you can
                                figure out where they went.
2008/6/1-5 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:50116 Activity:nil
6/1     question for MOTD Armchair Economists, are home prices in CA
        artificially high because of old people homeowners and Proposition 13?
        are rents artificially high because property value is so high?
        are rents really artificially skewed in the Bay Area because land
        is more precious than gold, Prop 13, rent control and what the hell
        throw in all powerful fabulous and fabulously wealthy gay couples?
        \_ according to Master Dimwit, they are high because of speculation.
           Speculators think it'll be high, so they keep buying until...
           they're too high for speculators. In all seriousness, dimwit
           will most likely say something to the effect of free-market,
           supply and demand, etc.
        \_ Bay Area is more expensive because of several reasons. One is
           a much much stricter land use control. Lots of areas are reserves
           and hippies from Sierra Club fight to preserve whatever land is
           available in the Bay Area, so developers have less land to build.
           The other reason is average income. N Cal on average has higher
           income and educational level and attracts more immigrants who
           are well educated or well to do. In contrast LA has been the
           manufacturing and service hub of CA and attracts different types
           of immigrants and workers. In addition LA has been sprawling
           crazy in the past few decades so homes are plentiful and
           cheap and attracts a much diverse populace, from those who are
           super rich all the way to those who are super poor. Proposition
           13 is just one of the few components, and just as important
           as Prop 13 is the low property tax, which drives demand from
           investors from all over the world who hold on to their investments
           for decades but don't really use (look at all the empty and
           expensive homes in Arcadia and San Marino), since homes in CA
           have much lower tax to deal with (compared to say 3% prop tax
           in Texas), which make properties in CA very good long term
           investments. CA properties attract certain types of buyers
           (investors) similarly to FL properties that attract certain
           types of buyers (criminals... because properties in FL are not
           repossessed even if you go bankrupt). All of these things make
           \_ WTF are you talking about? If you don't pay your mortgage
              in FL you lose your home just like anywhere else.
              \_ In FL, if you paid off your home and then declare bankruptcy,
                 they can't repossess your property back. This is why
                 Al Capone "invested" heavily in FL properties, and ditto
                 with many criminals.
                 \_ You are confused about the Homestead Exemption:
                    http://preview.tinyurl.com/63bs5f
                    (No need to read the whole thing, just read the five
                     states that allow unlimited HE, FL is not one of them)
                    Also, Federal bankruptcy code changes have considerably
                    limited this kind of protection.
                    \_ Dude!  Capone!  Obviously we are still living in the
                       30s!  Now why aren't you wearing a suit and hat?
           CA homes highly desirable, which then drive up huge demands from
           all over the world, which then drive up prices. It's all
           inter-related.
        \_ What makes you think rents are too high and if they are too high
           then why do people pay them? All things considered I find rents
           in CA reasonable compared to income. I can't believe people pay
           $1000/month to live in places like Alabama. (I own a rental
           home in Alabama so I know what rents there are.)
2008/1/17-23 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:48962 Activity:high
1/17    Bond insurers go foom.  MBI/ABK down 31%/51% respectively.
        \_ What is this, Bloomberg?
           \_ are you kidding? we're better than that.
           \_ Geez, just http://finance.google.com, you can see it.
              \_ I think he's asking why lame financial headlines are
                 being posted here.
                 \_ Yes, exactly. If you want to start a disucssion about the
                    state of the economy, that is fine, but up to the minute
                    stock ticker info is not going to do it.
                    \_ Oh, I'm pretty sure this is housing bust gloating. -pp
                       \_ As I explained to my desperate-renter-wants-to-be-a
                          -home-owner-waiting-for-big-housing-bust coworker:
                          As a home owner I don't care at all what housing
                          prices do except on two days: the day I buy and the
                          day I sell.  All the ups/downs in between mean
                          nothing to me.
                          \_ That's fine, but it's obvious your co-worker DOES
                             care, because he wants to buy, and wants a good
                             deal.  So why even say this to him?
                             \_ Because he's an ass.
                                \_ You have it backwards.  The guy was
                                   sending gloaty email links and smothering
                                   lunch chats with bad housing news smirking
                                   at the home owners.  I simply explained to
                                   him the way I and likely many other home
                                   owners view the ups and downs of housing
                                   prices.  Are you one of the bitter-renters?
                          \_ I'm a renter who wants to be a home owner, but
                             do not yet know much about owning a home.  Does
                             the housing price fluctuations affect your
                             property tax?  (Don't you pay a percentage of
                             increase in value?  What about if the value
                             decreases?)  Also, I'd imagine it would matter
                             if you ever need to take out a new load against
                             your home.  Feel free to clue me in.
                             \_ In CA, price fluctuations aren't really an
                                issue because of Prop 13. If valuations
                                fall below the assessed value, then yes
                                your tax can be lowered. However, since
                                increases are capped at 1% per year and
                                the rate of appreciation generally is more
                                than that, it is rare that homeowners worry
                                about it. It is safe to assume that your
                                property tax is ~fixed here in CA.  Other
                                states do things differently.
                                \_ I would not be surprised to see Prop 13
                                   modified in the next decade.
                                   \_ No one is going to push to have other
                                      people's taxes raised.  If anything they
                                      will push to have their own lowered.  But
                                      I seriously doubt anyone really has any
                                      clue what their neighbors are paying
                                      anyway so this whole line of thought is
                                      just silly.  What are your neighbors
                                      paying in property taxes?  Do you know?
                                      \_ Yes, I know. Just look on
                                         http://propertyshark.com. People push to have
                                         other people's taxes raised all the
                                         time, you just aren't paying attention.
                                         What do you think Hillary's campaign
                                         promise to raise the top rate to 39.6%
                                         is?
                                   \_ I would. Homeowners are a big voting
                                      block. Who would vote to change it?
                                      \_ Everyone who bought a home after 1999,
                                         once they realize they are paying 10x
                                         in taxes than the neighbor who bought
                                         in 1977, for the same services. I don't
                                         think it will go away, just reindexed
                                         to inflation, not inflation minus 1.
                                         \_ They won't ever know what their
                                            neighbors are paying.  And if the
                                            taxes hurt that much they'll want
                                            theirs lowered, not their
                                            neighbor's raised.
                                         \_ That's how it works. You pay
                                            more today to get a break in
                                            the future when you are
                                            (presumably) retired. I don't
                                            have a problem that my
                                            neighbor who moved here in the
                                            1940s pays less tax than I do.
                                            He bought his house for less,
                                            too. I can't worry about that.
                                            \_ Nobody cares if they paid less
                                               when they bought the house.
                                               That's just pure strawman.
                                            \_ You can worry about whatever you
                                               like. My neighbors on each side
                                               own many rental properties. Even
                                               combining them all, they probably
                                               pay less in property taxes for
                                               much more city services than I do
                                               Why should these multi-
                                               millionaires get subsidized by
                                               everyone else? In the long run,
                                               taxes should keep up with
                                               inflation (or even GDP), unless
                                               you want service levels to fall,
                                               which is what has happened to
                                               CA over the years. The voters
                                               are slowly coming to realize
                                               this fact.
                                               \_ Ah here it is: class warfare
                                                  jealousy and envy.  They pay
                                                  less because they were smart
                                                  enough to get in early.  You
                                                  are now locked in at your
                                                  current rate and your future
                                                  neighbors will want to know
                                                  why you pay less than them.
                                                  Think your taxes should rise
                                                  to their level just as you're
                                                  retiring?
                                                  \_ If property tax exists for
                                                     a reason, then it should
                                                     be raised if it needs to
                                                     be raised. I don't see
                                                     how you justify your
                                                     position. If you extend
                                                     the idea into the future
                                                     for all possible market
                                                     scenarios you see that it
                                                     is unsustainable. The
                                                     focus should be on keeping
                                                     the overall rate low, not
                                                     arbitrarily locking rates.
                                                     Capping the amount it can
                                                     rise per year would seem
                                                     prudent, but not making
                                                     that 0. It's not just
                                                     about fairness but market
                                                     efficiency: in my
                                                     experience people become
                                                     really "attached" to their
                                                     low tax rates.
                                                     \_ We effectively cap
                                                        property tax rates
                                                        because people should
                                                        not be taxed out of
                                                        their homes.  This is
                                                        still the U.S. the last
                                                        I checked where the
                                                        people are more
                                                        important than
                                                        government revenue.  If
                                                        the gvt needs more $$$
                                                        they should cut the
                                                        pork and increase
                                                        efficiency.  I've
                                                        worked for both state
                                                        and federal gvt for
                                                        many years.  There is
                                                        tons of room for pork
                                                        cutting.  They make
                                                        large corps look like
                                                        models of efficiency.
                                                \_ No, they pay less than me
                                                   because they were born a
                                                   generation earlier than me,
                                                   and then rigged the game in
                                                   their favor, not because they
                                                   were "smarter," as you claim.\
                                                   Property taxes should pay for
                                                   the city services required
                                                   to support them. Consistently
                                                   charging less than inflation
                                                   guarantees that this cannot
                                                   happen. Why should others
                                                   have to pay the tax burden
                                                   shifted to them? Who should
                                                   pay taxes instead of the
                                                   homeowner? Streets, schools,
                                                   police and fire protection
                                                   are not free. And even if you
                                                   did cut city services, the
                                                   anomaly of early owners
                                                   gaming the system in their
                                                   favor still remains. Why do
                                                   mostly wealthy older home
                                                   owners deserve a tax break at
                                                   the expense of everyone else?
                                                   I think the idea of a tax
                                                   break for an owner occupied
                                                   residence with a low income
                                                   senior citizen in it is great
                                                   but this not what Prop 13
                                                   does.
                           That's still not an argument for prop 13. Cut _/
                           pork, great, benefit everyone. So what.
                           \_ Prop 13 only caps property tax rates if you
                              hold on to the house. If you sell, which
                              most people do, the rates catch up. Property
                              tax revenues are plenty high and do a job
                              tax revenues are plenty high and do a good
                              job of beating inflation. BTW, it's easy to
                              find out what your neighbor pays for tax if
                              you want to know. Why should you care?
                              Should a family of eight pay more property tax
                              than a single homeowner? They use more services.
                              It really sucks to live in a state where the
                              tax is not capped. In many states property
                              values doubled or tripled in the last few
                              years. Would you like your tax to go from
                              $3K to $9K a year just because speculators
                              are moving the market? How can anyone plan
                              and budget for that? It has nothing to do
                              with the cost of services tripling either.
                              No, I think CA got it right. If the state
                              needs more revenue then tax income.
                              \_ Adjusting Prop 13 so that property taxes
                                 go up with inflation after purchase, instead
                                 of inflation minus one, would not cause
                                 of two percent a year, would not cause
                                 anyone's tax to go from $3k to $9k in one
                                 year. Go fight that Straw Man somewhere else.
                                 \_ Whose definition of inflation and why?
                                    They are already keeping up with inflation.
                                    $10.3 BB before Prop 13 = $35 BB in 2006.
                                    (calculated from CPI).
                                    Actual amount collected in 2006 = $38 BB
                                    From Howard Jarvis:
                                    "Despite Prop 13's restrictions,
                                    today's government in California
                                    collects the same 16% of personal
                                    income in taxes, fees and assessments
                                    that it collected before Proposition
                                    13 passed. Today, the government in
                                    California collects and spends per
                                    capita in constant dollars -
                                    that is, incorporating population
                                    growth and inflation growth -
                                    more than it taxed and spent per
                                    capita in 1978."
                                    What has changed is the distribution
                                    of taxes:
                                    1977:
                                    Schools: 53%, Counties 30%, Cities 10%,
                                    Other 7%
                                    2006:
                                    Schools: 38%, Counties 26%, Cities
                                    18%, Other 18%
                                    Any homeowners, like Tom, who feel
                                    they aren't paying enough property tax
                                    are free to write a check out for
                                    more. It's easier to steal money from
                                    other people instead, though.
                                    \_ Right and all you have done is steal
                                       money from other taxpayers to reward
                                       homeowners for voting for you. The
                                       overall tax burden is the same, it has
                                       just shifted away from property tax, to
                                       one that is less reliable (mostly
                                       sales and income). Jarvis lies with
                                       statisics, btw, since the per capita
                                       inflation adjusted property tax burden
                                       has gone down. You forget the per capita
                                       part in your calculation there. Here,
                                       \_ Presumably the increase in
                                          population is a major driver in
                                          "inflation" so it is accounted for.
                                          \_ No.
                                       I will present you with a logic problem:
                                       Since the overall state spending per
                                       person has stayed the same since 1970
                                       \_ So why are the State's infrastructure
                                          and schools falling apart? Sounds
                                          like poor spending decisions. IOW,
                                          where's the problem then if
                                          there's plenty of money already?
                                          Why abolish Prop 13 to give the
                                          government more?
                                          \_ That is a good question, but
                                             Prop 13 doesn't have anything
                                             to do with it. "Three Strikes
                                             You're Out" is one reason.
                                             You're Out" is the biggest reason.
                                             The State is spending much more
                                             on prisons that it used to. The
                                             rest of the answer is not worth
                                             going into as a tangent on the
                                             motd. You abolish Prop 13 to:
                                             1) eliminate the boom/bust that
                                                goes depending on revenue
                                                so closely aligned with the
                                                business cycle and
                                             2) shift the tax burden back to
                                                the users of the services
                                                where it belongs, instead of
                                                poor schmuck third party
                                                \_ What poor schmuck third
                                                   party is that? Everyone
                                                   uses the services. As
                                                   for boom/bust, I think
                                                   abolishing Prop 13 is
                                                   the wrong way to go
                                                   about that. You know
                                                   that what will happen
                                                   is that everyone will
                                                   pay higher property
                                                   taxes and overall burden
                                                   will also go up,
                                                   because the State can't
                                                   stop spending like
                                                   drunken sailors.
                                                   \_ I already established that
                                                      per capita real spending
                                                      has been constant, so give
                                                      up with the drunken
                                                      sailors theme already. I
                                                      would prefer to see other
                                                      taxes, like sales tax, go
                                                      down as property tax went
                                                      up.
                                                   \_ Where is your evidence
                                                      that the State spends
                                                      like drunken sailors?
                                                      As best as I can tell,
                                                      inflation adjusted per
                                                      capita spending has been
                                                      near constant, with a dip
                                                      after 1977, but then an
                                                      increase in the 90s, so
                                                      that we are back to where
                                                      we were in 1970 (and less
                                                      as a percentage of GDP,
                                                      the traditional way to
                                                      measure tax burden).
                                                      we were in 1970.
                                              link:preview.tinyurl.com/386grn
                                                      (PDF)
                                                      \_ We are spending
                                                         the same, but doing
                                                         less with it. If
                                                         we had to do as
                                                         much as before,
                                                         then we'd have to
                                                         spend a lot more.
                                                         That's why people
                                                         want to raise
                                                         taxes - the
                                                         amount of money
                                                         we used to spend
                                                         isn't cutting it.
                                                         My solution is to
                                                         figure out what
                                                         we're blowing
                                                         money on and stop
                                                         it. Then we won't
                                                         have to choose
                                                         between services
                                                         and high taxes.
                                                         Throwing more
                                                         money at the
                                                         problem is not a
                                                         solution. Revenues and
                                                         expenditures are same
                                                         as ever and yet the
                                                         infrastructure is
                                                         deteriorating. The
                                                         Throwing more money
                                                         at the problem is not
                                                         a solution. Revenues
                                                         and expenditures are
                                                         the same as ever and
                                                         yet the infrastructure
                                                         is deteriorating. The
                                                         problem is we're not
                                                         spending where we need
                                                         to, not that property
                                                         taxes ar too low.
                                                         taxes are too low.
                                             \_ While you're busy trying to
                                                prove that it's better for
                                                people if you tax people
                                                instead of corporations, why
                                                don't you also try to prove
                                                that US corporations don't
                                                benefit from the public
                                                education system.   -tom
                                                \_ I'm just responding to
                                                   the person who wants
                                                   to tax based on
                                                   services used. A single
                                                   person also benefits
                                                   from public education,
                                                   but where do you draw
                                                   the line on which
                                                   services you use and do
                                                   not use? Therefore,
                                                   it's better to just
                                                   charge everyone (including
                                                   corporations) the same.
                                       (in real dollars) and the proportion
                                       of tax revenue from property tax has
                                       declined, then the per person amount
                                       of (real) property tax has _____.
                                       A) Declined
                                       B) Increased
                                       C) Can't tell from information provided
                                       D) I don't know
                              \_ Q: Why should we care? A: because we pay tax.
                                 S: most people sell  A: not if they can help
                                 it because after a while that tax base is too
                                 big of an economic advantage to pass up, so
                                 it dicks with normal market forces. My family
                                 benefits a lot from prop 13 but it also
                                 complicates things because it adds this weird
                                 disincentive for them to sell their property.
                                 They just hang on to stuff because they are
                                 more profitable for rentals. I hate when gov't
                                 tax schemes dick with markets.
                                 Q: like your tax to go from $3K to $9K a year
                                 A: There are many ways to prevent someone's
                                 tax going 3-9k in 1 year besides locking their
                                 tax base completely.
                                 \_ It's not locked. It adjusts 2% per
                                    year plus whatever happens from sales.
                                    That seems reasonable. If you are in
                                    favor of a cap you are in favor of
                                    Prop 13 and the only question is what
                                    the cap is. Most states have no cap at all.
                                    \_ What the cap is makes a huge difference.
                                       2% beats inflation, so in some place
                                       where the home market was flat the base
                                       goes down in practical terms. 10% would
                                       basically be acceptable to me. I'm not
                                       really in favor of a cap, I'm just
                                       saying I wouldn't really complain if
                                       it was at least matched to inflation.
                                    \_ I am actually in favor of a cap, because
                                       I can see the advantage of giving
                                       homeowners more predictability over their
                                       tax bill. But it should be inflation and
                                       I think it should be retroactively
                                       adjusted back for homeowners since 1978.
                                       Okay, I know the latter will not happen.
                              \_ The real scam of Prop 13 is that it was sold
                                 to people based on the story of the aging
                                 grandmother taxed out of her too-valuable
                                 house, but the major dollar beneficiaries
                                 are corporations, who own more valuable
                                 real estate and turn it over less often.  -tom
                                 \_ To prevent corporations from getting any
                                    tax benefits we should make sure to put
                                    all the people on fixed incomes into the
                                    streets.  Great plan.  Very humanitarian.
                                    Perhaps you have a newsletter to which I
                                    can subscribe?
                                    \_ nice strawman.  Hint: You could have
                                       a law that taxes corporations
                                       differently than homeowners.  -tom
                                 \_ Then again corporations are not
                                    sending kids to school or using public
                                    services to the extent that private
                                    parties do when compared to property
                                    parties due when compared to property
                                    valuations, plus corporations provide
                                    jobs which increases the tax base.
                                    Corporations pay plenty of tax as it is.
                                    Corporations play plenty of tax as it is.
                                    If you make the business environment
                                    more unfavorable to corporations then
                                    you also hurt individuals, most of
                                    whom work for corporations and pay
                                    property taxes out of their earnings.
                                    \_ That's an ideological stance not
                                       backed by any real proof.
                                       \_ Proof that corporations don't send
                                          kids to school? They are paying for
                                          a service they don't directly use.
                                          Please explain why corporations
                                          should pay a different property
                                          tax rate from individuals. What
                                          about a property that switches
                                          from commercial to residential
                                          and back? It's silly to base
                                          property taxes based on use,
                                          unless the use causes for instance
                                          some egregious environmental harm.
                                          Corporations pay plenty of
                                          dollars in taxes as it is, but
                                          they get swept under the rug
                                          because they are "payroll taxes"
                                          when people like to focus on
                                          income taxes. How about we don't
                                          tax earnings and then dividends,
                                          too?
                                          \_ The assertion that it's better
                                             for people if you tax people
                                             instead of corporations is
                                             unproven and unsupported by
                                             evidence.  I would argue that
                                             it's silly to cap property tax,
                                             but if you're going to use
                                             Grandma's House as an emotional
                                             argument for Prop 13, it makes
                                             no sense to give corporations
                                             the same tax break as Grandma.
                                               -tom
                                             \_ Maybe grandma is a shareholder.
                                                You have the mentality
                                                that it's okay to screw
                                                over corporations because
                                                they are faceless entities, but
                                                the reality is that we are all
                                                shareholders and customers
                                                of corporations. When you
                                                raise tax on corporations
                                                then who do you think will
                                                pay for that? It's not
                                                like money gets magically
                                                created. Now, I do agree
                                                that one major difference
                                                between a corporation and
                                                a person is that the
                                                corporation will live forever
                                                and never has to transfer
                                                property if it doesn't
                                                wish to. (It would be nice
                                                to know how often this
                                                really happens.) So maybe
                                                corporate property tax can
                                                reset after some period of
                                                time (e.g. 99 years)?
                                                \_ Who will pay for it?  The
                                                   corporation.  That's why
                                                   you tax them.  Taxes placed
                                                   on corporations don't come
                                                   directly out of people's
                                                   pockets any more than
                                                   taxes placed on people
                                                   come directly out of
                                                   corporations' pockets.
                                                   Chevron had $17 billion in
                                                   profit last year; you
                                                   really think it needs to
                                                   be protected from property
                                                   taxes?  -tom
                                                   \_ The corporation will
                                                      pay for it with the
                                                      dollars its
                                                      customers pay, which
                                                      will probably be a
                                                      regressive tax in a
                                                      lot of instances.
                                                      You don't think
                                                      Chevron isn't going
                                                      to try to pass the
                                                      costs along to its
                                                      customers? While it may
                                                      not be successful in
                                                      doing so, you're deluded
                                                      if you think they
                                                      are just going to
                                                      take the money out
                                                      of profits (which
                                                      also affects investors
                                                      like you and me and
                                                      probably everyone
                                                      with a pension and/or
                                                      401k). Or Chevron might
                                                      trim costs by laying
                                                      off employees.
                                                      Whatever happens,
                                                      you are redistributing
                                                      wealth from Chevron's
                                                      customers to the State.
                                                      You think this is a
                                                      good thing when the
                                                      State's budget is as
                                                      healthy as it has
                                                      been over the past
                                                      35 years?! Throw
                                                      more money at the State?
                                                      \_ Your connection to
                                                         reality is strongly
                                                         correlated with my
                                                         interest in continuing
                                                         this discussion.
                                                         Goodbye.  -tom
                                                      \_ The State's budget is
                                                         healthy?
                                                         \_ Yes, the State
                                                            just has a
                                                            problem living
                                                            within it.
                                                          /
                        If your income jumped up and then
                        went down year to year, it might
                        be hard to adjust to it.
                        \_ Oh please. What the State does is spend every
                           dime the minute there is a surplus.
        \_ http://csua.com/2007/10/31/#48495
        \_ I hope this is a lame financial headline and that's it -op
2007/4/24-27 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:46435 Activity:nil
4/24    More on Mello-Roos. Basically it curbes growth and sprawling,
        which you poor environmental hippies want anyways:
        http://www.planetizen.com/node/91
        \_ "The "auto mall" is now common throughout the United States,
           but it was invented in California -- not by the auto
           industry trying to sell cars, but by local governments
           trying to capture sales taxes. The plethora of outlet
           malls, entertainment retail centers, and regional malls is
           also partly the result of Proposition 13. So is the boomlet
           in the creation of new cities in the last twenty years --
           because for the first time in history, a California
           community could incorporate by transferring money out of
           the county treasury rather than raising taxes. Many of
           California's sprawling regional development patterns are
           the result of Proposition 13 also."
           What article are you reading?
           \_ That article is kidding itself if it thinks all of this is
              a result of Prop 13. All of that crap has happened in
              non-Prop 13 states, too.
2007/4/23-25 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:46415 Activity:very high
4/22    What exactly is the "maler-roos" on new properties? Why is the
        property tax rate close to 2% instead of 1%?
        \_ A little history on CA tax:
           1978: Reaganomics advocates-- "Tax cut is good for everyone! "
                Prop 13 of 1978 will cut slacks for existing land &
                property owners, allow self-reliance, force government fat
                to be cut, and kick start trickle-down economy!
                \_ Were you here in CA in 78?  Your version of how this
                   went down has nothing to do with reality.
           1979-1981: Uh, we fucked up. We lost so much revenue that we no
                longer have money to fund government fat like public parks,
                new transits, new bike lanes, and public schools.
                \_ New bike lanes?  I'll bet they stopped funding linux too!
                   Schools got as much/kid then as now.  It is *how* it is
                   spent that matters, not the total number.  And the *how*
                   is that it is being pissed away on excess administation
                   and fake special programs while the bulk of students get
                   crap education.
                   \_ reference for school spending, please
                      \_ CA state budget is higher than ever before.  40% of
                         budget is mandated to be spent on schools, which was
                         not true in 1978.  Do math.
                         \_ Your claim was based on $/kid; please provide a
                            reference.  (Extra credit if it's adjusted for
                            inflation.)  -tom
           1982: Henry Mello & Mike Roos-- It's ok! We'll double the
                cost of property tax for *future* homeowners and since
                they're not here to speak for themselves, the Mello-Roos
                Community Facilities Act will get passed easily and save
                all of our problems!
                \_ Because forcing old people on fixed incomes to sell their
                   homes so they could eat is always a good idea and the
                   morally right thing to do.
                   \_ This is, and always has been a red herring.  The largest
                      beneficiary of Prop 13 tax cuts is not old people on
                      fixed incomes, but corporations.  If we really cared
                      about old people, we could have made Prop 13 apply
                      only to residences, but that's not what it's about.
                      Corporations not only own more valuable property, they
                      also resell property less often.  -tom
                      \_ I ask again: were you here in CA in 78?  I was.  There
                         were for sale signs everywhere.  People were leaving
                         the state young and old because they couldn't afford
                         their property taxes.  If corporations got a free ride
                         along the way, so be it, they weren't the ones who
                         voted on it, nor were they the ones who came up with
                         the idea.
                         \_ People were leaving the state because of complex
                            reasons. Property tax was simply one of the
                            many components. Trying to fix the root of the
                            problem by adjusting proprety tax is like
                            the Feds trying to stabilize an extremely
                            complex & globalized economy with 10000 of
                            knobs and switches with this single knob
                            called the interest rate knob. It's absurd.
                            \_ Were you here in 1978?  I was.  When your
                               neighbors tell you they are selling because
                               they can't afford it and it's the same story
                               in the newspapers, tv, everywhere, I'd go for
                               that long before I'd accept your "well there
                               was other stuff too but I won't mention any of
                               it, just claim that your thing is absurd".
                               None of this stuff is a big secret.  Apply
                               browser.
                               \_ You keep repeating this unverified claim
                                  that you were here in 1978.  Who are you?
                                  How old were you in 1978?  How does your
                                  anecdotal evidence outweigh all other
                                  input to this discussion?  -tom
                      \_ Real estate is not a large part of expenses for
                         most businesses. It's labor, of course. For most
                         corporations it's in the noise and they are
                         depreciating the properties anyway. Many of them
                         lease, too. Do you know what the average property tax
                         rate was before Prop 13?
                         \_ Throwing a lot of stuff at the wall there, aren't
                            you?  None of it sticks; if corporations don't
                            mind paying more property tax, Prop 13 is totally
                            stupid, since it gives them more tax benefit than
                            it does homeowners.  And whether corporations
                            buy or lease their space, they receive the benefits
                            of the lower property tax.  Non-residential
                            property taxes *dropped* by 5% from 1991 to 2001,
                            during the largest increase of property values
                            in CA history.  -tom
                            \_ Who gets more of a benefit?:
                               Me, saving $2K of my, say, $100K salary or
                               a corporation saving $50K of their, say, $100
                               million revenues? I think it's clear I do.
                               I am not sure I understand your last
                               sentence. Are you saying total revenues
                               dropped? You do realize that the commercial
                               property market was not part of 'the
                               largest increase in property values',
                               right? It's very possible that commercial
                               property taxes might rise even as residential
                               home values fall. In fact, I predict that.
                               \_ You really have no idea how much corporate
                                  real estate is worth, do you?  Property
                                  taxes on a big commercial building go
                                  into the millions of dollars.  So, you
                                  saving $2K get hurt because you lose more
                                  than $2K worth of services due to Prop 13
                                  and the relief it gives corporations.  Plus,
                                  cities then do things like raise sales tax
                                  (CA: highest in nation), which, guess what,
                                  you pay!  -tom
                                  \_ How much do you think commercial real
                                     estate is worth? The most expensive
                                     skyscrapers sell new for a few
                                     hundred million dollars. Most
                                     buildings are far less. So even if I
                                     own 100% of the TransAmerica building
                                     (whose property taxes are paid for by
                                     many tenants and not just one) then
                                     the property tax is still only a
                                     couple of million per year. How much
                                     in revenues is generated there? Your
                                     typical industrial building is only
                                     worth a few million, which is at
                                     most 10x a house, and yet revenues
                                     are likely much more than 10x higher.
                                     As for sales taxes, CA's are not that
                                     much higher than anywhere else.
                                  \_ No matter what the corporations pay in
                                     taxes it will get passed down to the
                                     consumer.  And corporations doing well
                                     isn't necessarily the horrible thing you
                                     imply considering how much retirement
                                     money is invested in these same corps and
                                     how many people they employ, etc.  The
                                     anti-corpo screed is insufficient to make
                                     an honest claim that prop 13 was bad for
                                     the people of california.
                                     \_ It's clearly bad for everyone who
                                        doesn't own property in CA.  It's
                                        very likely bad (negative total
                                        ROI) for residential homeowners.  It's
                                        not even clear that homeowners pay
                                        less tax, overall, due to Prop 13.
                                        It's clearly good for major commercial
                                        real estate holders.  -tom
                                        \_ It reduces carrying costs for
                                           real estate holders, which
                                           means they can charge less rent
                                           and/or develop the land more
                                           intensely. I am guessing that this
                                           is a net benefit to the economy in
                                           terms of taxes. Imagine if
                                           property taxes were back at 20%
                                           like they were. Who do you
                                           think would be doing business
                                           here? What would the tax base be?
                                           Low property taxes are even
                                           good for people who don't own
                                           land, because they (renters and
                                           consumers) carry the costs
                                           anyway, as alluded to above.
                                           \_ Corporations don't just "pass on"
                                              costs. They charge what the
                                              market will bear, no more and
                                              no less. It is important to
                                              understand the difference between
                                              the two ideas. -ausman
                                              \_ I understand economics, but
                                                 property tax is a fixed
                                                 cost. It will be paid
                                                 even if the land lies
                                                 fallow. (In fact, for
                                                 this reason high property
                                                 tax encourages sprawl,
                                                 since the cost of holding
                                                 land is high.) There can
                                                 be no market at all and
                                                 yet the taxes are still
                                                 due. This is different
                                                 from most expenses. The
                                                 tax represents pretty
                                                 much the baseline cost of
                                                 holding the property. If
                                                 an owner were to lease
                                                 for less than the taxes
                                                 owed, he'd rather just let
                                                 the property go rather than
                                                 take a loss on it to hold it.
                                                 So when the tax increases, so
                                                 does this "minimum rent".
                                                 E.g., I have to rent my
                                                 house for ~$400/month just
                                                 to cover the property taxes
                                                 - $700/month if I just
                                                 bought it. This is *with*
                                                 Prop 13 if I paid *cash*
                                                 for the house.
                                \_ BofA building just sold for $1B:
                                   http://www.csua.org/u/ijt
                                   \_ Which is too expensive and unusual,
                                      as the article says. The most expensive
                                      building in LA just sold for $600 million
                                      and most of the office towers are ~$300M.
                                      But even using this ($1B) figure, it's
                                      still just $10M/year in tax. I pay
                                      ~4% of my income in property tax. If
                                      I bought my house new it would be
                                      ~8%. So the equivalent in revenues
                                      is still around $200M/year. I am
                                      guessing that the businesses housed
                                      there will have more than $200M in
                                      revenues per year for the operations
                                      based in that building. I am
                                      guessing a *LOT* more, given the
                                      (presumably high) salaries of people
                                      working there. Actually, doing the
                                      math in the article (1.3M sq feet @
                                      $75/foot) shows they are hoping to
                                      lease it for $100M/year, which means
                                      10% of the rents would go to property
                                      tax. Using my own house as an
                                      example, I pay ~$24K/year rent and
                                      $4K/year in property tax so my
                                      burden is higher. Why would you want
                                      to eliminate Prop 13 when it helps
                                      me more? (Being I have a higher tax
                                      burden.) Now factor in that most of
                                      the corp tenants (other than the landlord)
                                      are probably paying much less as a
                                      percentage of revenues in property
                                      taxes. If you double property tax
                                      then my burden goes to, say, 33%
                                      (where it was in the 1970s) and the
                                      landlords goes from 10% to 20%. Who
                                      will be more hurt by that? BofA or me?
                                      Now, if you want to eliminate Prop
                                      13 for commercial buildings (as some
                                      propose) that is something else
                                      entirely.
                                      \_ "You're talking a lot, but you're
                                         not saying anything."
                                         \_ Prop 13 benefits homeowners
                                            more than businesses. That's
                                            the gist. To say otherwise is
                                            ridiculous and to repeal it
                                            completely would be ludicrous.
           1990-2007: Future homeowners paying 2X property tax-- Why the
                fuck is my property tax bill near 2X my parent's rate?
                \_ The rates are known before you buy your house and directly
                   impact the sales price.  If property taxes were lower the
                   house base price would be higher.  Your monthly wouldn't
                   change.
        \_ Google will find you more info under "Mello-Roos"
        \_ The Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 was a reaction
           to 1978 Prop 13's cutting of property tax for existing home
           owners while not cutting back on government spending.
           In layman's explanation, Prop 13 in 1978 cut taxes while gov
           fat remained so money had to come from elsewhere. Thanks to
           rich people like you, your 2% prop tax (w/ Mello-Roos)
           benefits everyone else, including those who are only paying
           1% tax on nice (but older) homes. Thanks rich guy!
           \_ This is not true. Mello-Roos is a special assessment that
              applies mostly to new development, to pay for things like
              sewers, roads and schools in new areas. The beneficiaries
              of the tax pay the tax.
              \_ Yes, it is true that the beneficiaries of the tax pay the
                 tax. In theory, that is absolutely correct.
              \_ To some extent. In the future, the bonds will be paid
                 off and future owners of the same house may not pay
                 the tax despite being beneficiaries of it.
2007/3/29-31 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:46139 Activity:nil
3/28    David Brooks apparently hasn't read his Orwell - says the new
        Right-wing paradigm is "security leads to freedom"
        http://select.nytimes.com/2007/03/29/opinion/29brooks.html?hp
        and Glenn Greenwald's response:
        http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/03/29/brooks/index.html
        \_ With or without the Orwellian tint, it's closer to the zeitgeist than
           the tax cuts/Prop 13 of the 80s.
2007/2/2-6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:45643 Activity:moderate
2/2     http://republican.sen.ca.gov/web/mcclintock/article_detail.asp?PID=289
        Link that talks about how CA spends $3200 per capita now versus
        $1240 (inflation adjusted) in the 1960s.
        \_ Thanks for the link. Do you know where he got those statistics?
           I am actually most interested in what local+state taxes collected
           have looked like over time, both inflation adjusted and as a
           percentage of income. I know there was a big shift from local
           to state when Prop 13 passed, so this is going to kind of distort
           the number that McClintock reports here.
           to state when Prop 13 passed, so this is going to distort the
           number that McClintock reports here.
           \_ I assumed that he meant *ALL* taxes in CA (local+state), but
              I really don't know. Obviously, if State doubled and local
              fell in proportion then it's just cooking the books. I think
              we are both interested in *TOTAL* spending and re-reading
              what McClintock wrote it seems like he might be referring
              only to State spending. You might want to read the
              following, though:
              http://www.caltax.org/MEMBER/digest/Jun98/jun98-4.htm
              It reports that total spending is higher now than it was,
              although not so much higher. Look at the chart on this page:
              http://www.caltax.org/research/taxspend.htm
              \_ Yeah, I also would like to know if McClintock measured
                 from "peak to peak" or "trough to peak" as these kinds
                 of factors make a huge difference. The first caltax
                 article measures spending as a percentage of GDP, which
                 is probably a better measure than inflation adjusted
                 anyway, since the things that government spends money
                 on (health care, education, bridges and roads) has
                 on (health care, education, bridges and roads) have
                 increased in price faster than inflation. This is
                        \_ Government always over-pays for everything.  This
                           is not a surprising finding.
                 probably not a conincidence. The second caltax article
                           \_ We are in agreement here.
                 probably not a coincidence. The second caltax article
                 measures overall tax burden, which is mostly because
                 the federal government overtaxes Californians compared
                 to the rest of the country, because of the relatively
                 high wages here.
                        \_ So what have our reps done to correct this
                           imbalance?  I haven't checked but my bet is
                           on "nothing".
                           \_ You are surprised that after 12 years of
                              GOP dominated Congress that pork tends
                              to flow from blue states to red states?
                              What could the (Democratic) California
                              caucus have done about that? Hopefully,
                              Nancy Pelosi will even things out a bit.
                              \_ Oh please, what did they do in the previous
                                 50 years of Dem control?  The same nothing.
                                 This has nothing to do with the evuuul GOP
                                 and everything to do with tax'n'spend.  Nancy
                                 isn't going to even anything out.  If Hillary
                                 was elected in 08 and the Dems had both
                                 houses, there would still be no cost/location
                                 based federal tax system that accounted for
                                 living in higher price/wage states.  It isn't
                                 even on anyone's radar.
                                 \_ We used to get a larger percentage of
                                    our taxes dollars back. I don't think that
                                    the Democrats are going to lower my taxes.
                                    I do think they will start diverting tax
                                    money from Republican favored states (wars,
                                    defence contractors, etc) to Democratic
                                    favored states (mass transit, public
                                    health care, etc).
                                    \_ I don't want a larger portion of federal
                                       tax dollars coming back to the state.
                                       I want them to take into account that I
                                       live in a more expensive area with
                                       higher wages and thus need more money
                                       to maintain the same standard of living
                                       as someone making half as much in some
                                       other states and lower my tax bracket.
                                       I agree that the Dems won't lower
                                       anyone's taxes, but you're off base in
                                       claiming that "Republican States" are
                                       the "War States" and "Democratic States"
                                       are the peace loving, we take care of
                                       our people states.  CA is chock full of
                                       military bases, defense contractors,
                                       etc.  I used to live with in get-nuked
                                       range of a nuclear sub base and related
                                       defense contractors in CT.  They are in
                                       every state.  I also don't see the Dems
                                       unporking the budget since they invented
                                       the concept, although the last Repub.
                                       government honed that skill to a fine
                                       point.  They're the same, we're all
                                       hosed either way.
                                       \_ You are full of it. CA lost most
                                          of its military bases in the 80s.
                                       \_ You are wrong about spending. CA lost
                                          most of its military bases in the 90s.
                                          Maybe you are too young to remember.
                                          In any case, most of the defence
                                          contractors are heavily Republican.
                                          Whatever you want to call it, the
                                          pork should start flowing our way.
                 http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/443.html
                 Shows overall state and local tax burden as exactly
                 the same today as in 1970. And this is from an anti-tax
                 site (!)
                 This site also shows a drop from 1978 to 1995, so at this
                 point it is almost a case of dueling experts:
                 http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/rb/RB_998MSRB.pdf
                 \_ My expert can beat up your expert.
                 \_ I think the key point to take away here is that
                    there's at least as much money now as ever. So why
                    is the infrastructure falling apart?
                    \_ That is a really good question and I do not have
                       the answer for it. A small part is that we spend
                       more on prisons, but that can't be the whole answer.
                       \_ While tax revenue increases linearly, waste and
                          corruption increase quadratically.
                          \_ Exactly and most of it is not in the prison
                             system.  It is in the k-12 education system.
                             Which is not to say the prisons aren't a big
                             scam, too, just a smaller scam than the k-12
                             system.
2007/1/30-2/1 [Science/GlobalWarming, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:45617 Activity:high
1/30    You know what will stop global warming? Energy shortage.
        Refinery fubars. Oil peak. Things of that sort. I pray
        our oil fields get sabotaged so that our energy costs would be
        10X it is now. Then, there would be no more wasteful lifestyles.
        No more SUVs and less traffic jams, and most importantly
        no more irresposible suburban sprawl.   -sierra club urbanite hippy
           \- do you understand that a large increase in energy prices
              hurts poor people as well/even more than the person
              who how has to spend $50 instead of $40 to fill up gas,
              but still only see a 1% of income increase in cost of living?
              it's the same thing with global warming ... it's not like
              the main consequence will be on rich people's beach houses.
              or teaching evolution instead of biology ... the people who
              can opt out of these crazy school boards are the one's who
              get shafted.
        \_ your opinion does not matter.
           \- do you understand that a large increase in energy prices
              hurts poor people as well/even more than the person
              who how has to spend $50 instead of $40 to fill up gas,
              but still only see a 1% of income increase in cost of living?
              it's the same thing with global warming ... it's not like
              the main consequence will be on rich people's beach houses.
              or teaching evolution instead of biology ... the people who
              can opt out of these crazy school boards are the one's who
              get shafted.
              \_ I'm not filthy rich but I don't mind paying extra for
                 gas if that extra cost comes in the form of a tax that
                 goes to pay for infrastructure. Our public roads cost
                 an arm and a leg and someone has to pay for all that
                 road maintenance, emergency service, and environmental
                 cleanup. If I use those roads as a luxury (which I do),
                 then I should pay for my fair share of that road usage.
                 How much gasoline you consume is a better correlation
                 than how much money you make in a year. Joe Shmo who
                 drives his 2500 lbs Honda 5 miles a day probably damages
                 the road less than soccer mom who drives her 5000 lbs
                 SUV 20 miles a day.
                 \- i'm talking about about actual poor people ... which
                    is relevant if we're talking about "global energy/oil
                    prices" ... like people who dont have electricty and
                    only have kerosene lanterns. if we're just talking
                    about say califnornia slightly more expensive gas
                    blend for pollution purposes, then those people dont
                    really factor in, but they do when considering "the
                    big picture". does your life really change at all
                    whether gas is $2.25/gal or $2.75/gal? [i'm more
                    irritated the bay bridge toll is going to $4].
                 \_ You know all the infrastructure we have came from somewhere
                    and it wasn't paid for with criminally high levels of
                    taxation.  Ask yourself how the state brings in more money
                    than ever yet falls further into debt every year while
                    doing very little to improve infrastructure or even really
                    maintain what we have now.  There is plenty of money, it
                    is just spent poorly.
                    \_ I am not so sure that there is plenty of money.
                       Inflation has made everything so expensive.
                       Additionally, as the standard of living has risen
                       so have expectations. One example is that longer
                       lives have resulted in more medical costs. We never
                       spent money on lots of expensive procedures and
                       medications before, because they did not exist. I
                       think it is obvious that the current standard of
                       living is not sustainable long-term and will have
                       to decline to meet the rising standard of living
                       in the Third World at some less-than-current level.
                       There really isn't enough money to live like we
                       have been, hence the national debt.
                       \_ You were talking about things like public roads and
                          other infrastructure.  Did you know there are 42
                          levees in CA that are considered New Orleans quality
                          unsafe?  Anyone can see the roads are crap.
                          Emegency rooms are packed.  Follow the money.
                          Inflation has not eaten the budget.  The CA state
                          budget has ballooned up to gigantic proportions in
                          the last 15 years while inflation has remained low
                          and we still keep adding to the debt, selling bonds
                          and doing very little about our state's failing
                          infrastructure.
                          \_ I really don't think that is true. What is
                             the state spending, per person and adjusted
                             for inflation and how does it compare with past
                             years? I am sure we spent more per person back
                             in the Pat Brown "golden years" when California
                             was able to make the desert bloom, build a
                             great transportation network and a world class
                             university system. Nowadays, since Prop 13,
                             no one wants to pay for new schools, so we
                             are just living off stuff built and paid
                             university system. Nowadays, with things like
                             Prop 13, no one wants to pay for new schools,
                             so we are just living off stuff built and paid
                             for by our parents. That, compounded with the
                             sprawling McMansion problem, gives us a need
                             for more roads and less money to pay for them.
                             All the illegals don't help.
                             \_ I am the person who mentioned emergency
                                rooms. I wasn't saying that inflation per
                                se is the cause. We spend 2x the money per
                                capita now than we did 40 years ago, even
                                adjusting for inflation. When I say
                                'inflation' what I am saying is that costs
                                have risen because of increased standards.
                                That is, we are getting more for our
                                money. My example was medical treatment.
                                        \_ So you think the MediCal program
                                           is the cause of limited infrastruct-
                                           ure spending?
                                Health care costs a lot more now than it
                                did then, even adjusted for inflation, but
                                we received more for it. More regulations
                                we receive more for it. More regulations
                                (e.g. environment), longer lifespans, and
                                illegal immigration are all things that
                                are costing the State money that were not
                                really big issues in the 1950s. Add to
                                        \_ How does longer living people cost
                                           the state money?  Same question for
                                           environmental regulation.
                                that the growing population (growing
                                faster than high-paying jobs which
                                contribute to the tax base) which contributes
                                        \_ Low paying jobs don't cost the state
                                           money.
                                to the high prices of, for example, real estate
                                and utilities. This effects the State and
                                        \_ High incomes are inflationary, so
                                           you get higher real estate prices
                                           but no more real income from them.
                                           Low paying jobs don't cost the
                                           state money.
                                employers both. There is no way the State
                                can return to business as it was in the
                                1950s and 1960s, when untreated sewage
                                drained into the ocean, people died at
                                70, ESL classes were unheard of, land was
                                plentiful, and crime was low. I read that
                                        \_ Thank God, no, it can't.  But boy
                                           we sure had good roads!
                                Santa Ana spends 50% of its budget on
                                police now. I doubt that was the case
                                in 1960. Prop 13 is a red herring. LA
                                County just had a huge surplus in budget
                                because of windfall property tax generated
                                by the rising real estate market. Look at
                                        \_ Fake money.
                                           \_ Unlike pieces of paper, backed
                                              by nothing? Is that "real" money?
                                the State budget and you'll see that
                                there's almost nothing to cut except for
                                perhaps the penal system, where we spend
                                much more money than ever before.
                                \_ Nonsense.  The education budget is a
                                   ridiculous mess.
                                \- people who follow these kinds of things
                                   are well aware the real issue on the
                                   horizon is medical spending not the
                                   social security. there was an excellent
                                   article on this some months back in the
                                   ny rev books. i can dig it up, but you
                                   have to email me. --psb
                                \_ Prop 13 is *not* a Red Herring. Overall
                                   per person tax revenue plummeted after
                                   it was enacted. True, other taxes eventually
                                        \_ Because it was criminally high and
                                           forcing people from their homes.
                                           \_ Obviously you prefer shitty roads,
                                              overcrowded emergency rooms and
                                              declining schools to paying a
                                              few more percentage points of
                                              GDP to taxes. I respectfully
                                              disagree.
                                   took the place of property taxes, but they
                                   are much more cyclical, causing weird
                                   booms in tax revenue and then inconvenient
                                   busts, during recessions, right when
                                   government spending needs to be higher.
                                        \_ Gosh, you mean the people we elect
                                           to manage the state will have to
                                           take that into account and have
                                           a rainy day fund and not spend every
                                           penny plus the future with bonds?
                                   Furthermore, the decade or so of under-
                                   investment in infrastructure post-13 has
                                   put us in a rut we still haven't dug
                                   ourselves out of. I am not even going to
                                   get into the regressive effect of things
                                   like sales taxes, which replaced prop-13.
                                   \_ Yes, it's a red herring because - as
                                      you say - other taxes replaced it.
                                      We spend 2x the tax dollars per capita
                                      now than we did 40 years ago. The
                                      solution here is not to repeal Prop
                                      13, too. Infrastructure is not
                                      failing because of Prop 13. The
                                      State funds most of that anyway
                                      and the State doesn't collect
                                      property taxes.
                                      \_ I don't believe you. What is your
                                         source for your "2x" figure? We spend
                                         13% more than we did in 1990:
                                         http://www.csua.org/u/hz3
                                         Are you saying it almost doubled
                                         from 1970 to 1990? Show me your
                                         statistics.
                                         link:www.csua.org/u/hz4
                                         It also fell from 1978 to 1995.
        \_ So you're praying for global economic collapse and the deaths of
           billions.  Ok, I guess one way to save the environment is to just
           kill off humanity.  Of course your life style will be impacted in
           ways you can't even imagine but I'm figuring you're much more
           likely to be a troll than believe what you're saying.  Now I know
           soda is back in action.  Welcome, first motd troll of 2007!
           \_ I don't think a gradual ratcheting up of gasoline prices will
              cause global famine. If it goes up 10-20%/year, we will adapt.
              There will be fewer sprawling suburbs and smaller cars and yes,
              probably a slowing in global growth, but this is better than
              runaway global warming, imho.
        \_ Why do you hate America?
        \_ As the total cost of fossil fuels rises, other energy sources will
           be competitive and we'll shift to somehitng else.  The end.
           \- it's not that simple because of externalities. although it is
              true that all of a sudden were not going to have 0 oil because
              it all ran out. [so the easter island tree analogy doesnt
              quite work].
              \_ which externalities?
                 \- risk, pollution, tax policy, govt subsidy etc.
                    but i do agree [i think we're agreeing] that correcting
                    the mkt forces and moving toward a level playing field
                    between oil and other fuels is what is most likely to
                    bring about change. frankly things like preaching about
                    conservation is stupid. that just keeps things cheaper
                    for the people who dont conserve. and minor investments
                    such as smal tax credits for solar or small r&d isnt
                    going to make that much of a difference. the biggest
                    problem in teh global wamring area [as opposed to
                    "energy security"] i feel will be the "big fuck you"
                    from china, india ... i cannot see what an agreement
                    between them and the us over how to share the costs
                    of dealing with global warming will work ... it's going
                    to be even more stark than the doha round collapse.
                    \_ In what way is there not a "level playing field"
                       between oil and other fuels?  What are these other
                       fuels you're talking about?  Then you mention solar
                       but *no one* is talking about solar as a fuel source.
                       \- when the govt sells drilling rights to an oil
                          company [or spectrum rights, or western grazing
                          rights, or water rights etc] those are all
                          subsidies. when the govt [us army corps of
                                \_ How is it a subs. if they paid for it?
                                   Do you want to have food, radio, tv, and
                                   transportation?  To not sell rights to some
                                   corporation means these will all be govt
                                   provided.  No thank you.
                                   \- i am not saying the govt shouldnt
                                      sell these. but the way you sell them
                                      affects the prices you get. e.g.
                                      an auction vs the govt setting an
                                      aritificially low price for western
                                      grazing lands, giving the networks
                                      free spectrum in retun for public
                                      service messages etc. do you know about
                                      say "water farming"? ... where a famers
                                      real asset is his right to artifically
                                      cheep water which he can resell? that is
                                      bullshit ... it is just welfare for some
                                      rich farmer.
                                      \_ There are no rich farmers.  Just ADM.
                                         Anyway, you/someone mentioned a level
                                         playing field between alternative
                                         fuels but no one said what fuels.
                                         Like bio diesel?  Like ethanol?  Like
                                         what?  For many reasons these are
                                         worse than oil for fuel and make for
                                         a giant boondoggle to the farm states.
                                         Which alternative fuels were we
                                         talking about?
                          engineers?] dreges channels differently for
                          oil transportation, that is a subsidy. i am not
                          sure if costs are internalized for say pipeline
                          construction. also in cases of oil spills and
                          such, it is unclear full costs are paid.
                                \_ probably not, but that's a minor cost
                                   on the scales we're talking about.
                          note: it is quite possible other industries
                          receive efective/indirect subsidies as well,
                          such as nuclear. some of these subsidies may make
                          senes, but they exist and people should be cognizant
                          of them.
                          \_ So you'd prefer the oil companies dredge the
                             channels themselves or that they pay for the
                             USACoE to do it for them?  Let's say all of the
                             govt provided infrastructure you mentioned was
                             taken away.  Either we wouldn't have an oil
                             industry or it would just pass the costs on to
                             all of us at the pump.  So rich people are mobile
                             and empowered while the poor are screwed and the
                             middle class lags as usual picking up the bulk of
                             any tab.  Taxes won't be any lower if all these
                             services are not provided to corporations, they'll
                             just be spent on some other pork project that
                             doesn't help the average citizen.
                             \_ If the tax dollars were returned to you
                                then you could choose whether to give it
                                to the oil companies to dredge (via
                                gasoline purchases) or to do something
                                else with it. When it's a subsidy the cost
                                is hidden. It's more more useful when
                                people realize what it is that they are
                                paying for. Costs don't get "passed on" to
                                consumers. Consumers choose to absorb
                                them - or not.
                                \_ But the tax dollars won't be returned to me.
                                   They will be spent elsewhere and I'll still
                                   have to pay more for fuel.  If there was a
                                   direct link between cutting these corp.
                                   subsidies and lower taxes I'd agree with
                                   you on the rest of it, but the world does
                                   not work like that.
2006/11/6-8 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:45207 Activity:low 79%like:45200
11/6    1A: .
        1B:
        1C:
        1D:
        1E: ..
        \_ None of the above because running your failed state via
           proposition to purchase basic structural needs and services
           while using the general fund for pork is nutty and doomed: .
           \_ So, how much of the general fund is used for pork?  It does
              seem crazy to borrow money for basic structure, but it's
              pretty obvious the CA legislature isn't going to become sane
              anytime soon.
              \_ In the last 3 years, tax revenue has grown by about 22% and
                 spending about 28%.  You tell me -not pp
           \_ None of the 1*'s are propositions.  They're all either amendments
              to passed initiatives (1A) or bond measures which the legislature
              approved, but which by CA law require direct voter approval to
              pass.  Bonds used to be (and in most other states are) sold
              without direct voter approval.
              \_ ok, ok, I'm voting for 1a but not the rest.
                 \_ why not 1e?
                    \_ eh.  Compared to the size of the general fund and
                       considering it takes several budget cycles to build,
                       repair, etc, on that scale, we can or at least should
                       be able to afford the levees from general funds.
                       \_ the bonds are all going to get paid that way anyway.
                          Why not get some balls in the legislature and get
                          the work done, wihtout having to pay interest for
                          borrowing the money to do the job. That way just costs
                          more in the long run.
                          \_ yeah that's what i'm saying.  we're in agreement.
                 \_ If you're in favor of the legislature being able to
                    operate as they do in other states, as the person above,
                    that's exactly backwards.
        \_ I'm definitely no on 1C.  The problem with housing in CA won't
           be solved by the govt. giving handouts.  Lifiting building
           restrictions would do a lot more.
        \_ McClintock on the props.  As usual, good on bonds.
           http://www.tommcclintock.net/news.php?news_id=85&start=5
           Good, Interesting justification on 1E. (no on B, C, D)
           \_ Gah, hadn't read that, but that was the exact reason I came up
              with for having that be my only 1* "yes"
              Sad to see he actually believes 83 will do anything.
              \_ I don't think opposing that prop is politically tenable.
              \_ Yeah, I've decided to vote no on 83.  Sad as it is to see
                 kids get raped, it's too much money to reduce a very rare
                 crime.  Not to meantion things like Satutory rape can get
                 you a GPS tracker.  Seems a bit much.
                 \_ False.  Statutory isn't part of it.
           \_ Why should my tax money go to support someone who decided
              build in a flood plain? I'm voting no on 1E.
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:43306 Activity:low
6/7     LA Times: http://tinyurl.com/hozap
        Angelides the Nerd to face the Terminator Governator. From LA weekly:
        Angelides will be playing for Best Supporting from the start, because
        Arnold will always be bigger, tanner and shinier than his opponent.
        So a guy like Angelides, whose limbs flail out at irregular angles
        but whose ears look like satellite dishes receiving and transmitting
        all forms of knowledge and expertise, is the best bet. Californians,
        after all, just dated a jock, and you know how that turned out.
        This time around, they.ll want to settle down with the valedictorian.
        \_ Were there really as many anti-Angelides adverts as anti-Westly?
           I don't watch TV but I do listen to Air America, and only
           remember lots of anti-Angelides spots (I assume because Westly
           was coming from behind).
           \_ Fact: Westly started aggressive negative ads 3 whole
              days before Angelides started fighting back, after they
              promised each other to not do negative campaigns! Westly
              threw the punch first when Angelides didn't expect it,
              and still loss. What a loser.
        \_ Yes Angelides #1. I want new creative taxes on everything! I want
           to drive businesses out of California, too!
           remember lots of anti-Angelides spots.
           \_ You can't have service without paying tax, unless you
              actually believe in Reaganomics.
           \_ I want small, efficient government with a safety net without
              paying welfare to people who can work, skyrocketing tuition,
              rolling blackouts, and huge deficits.  Davis and Ah-nold
              didn't seem to help.  Who can I vote for to get all that?
              \_ Nobody.  California is ungovernable.  If you really want to
                 change things, get rid of the initiative system and all the
                 stupid set asides and budget constraints.  Of couse, this
                 will never happen.
                 \_ I'm all for breaking CA into 3 states,
                    \_ I'm the opposite. I'd like to see it unite with
                       Baja California and form its own nation.
                  \_ I'm interested in this subject. But where do you draw the
                     lines? I guess the middle should be the bay area counties
                     incl. Santa Cruz, with Yolo, Sacramento, El Dorado
                     incl. Santa Cruz, with Yolo, Sacramento, Placer
                     bordering the north, and Merced, Madera, and Mono along
                     the south. This captures the direct relationships pretty
                     well, with the Sacramento corridor out to the Sierra tied
                     to the bay area and including Hetch Hetchy (and Yosemite).
                     What do you call the middle state? I can't see any
                     downside to this and we'd pick up 4 more senators.
                     http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/8188/ca3state0kk.jpg
                     Actually Placer probably belongs to the middle too. A
                     couple of these are debatable.
                     Actually this is better:
                     Or actually this is better:
                     http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/8968/ca3state20dx.jpg
                     \_ I think that cutting the state apart like this
                        would really hurt the far northern part. There's
                        no tax base there, except Sacramento.
                        \_ Well right now, the state pretty much ignores
                           the north. They have their own industries and don't
                           need a lot of social services because they don't
                           have big messed up cities. They'd be fine. Maybe
                           A bit of southern Oregon also belongs with them
                           but that would be even harder to do.
                           Sure you could keep them together, but I thought
                           they'd want to be separate. They have different
                           concerns than the bay area or LA. Maybe with
                           their own state they could develop better. It's
                           really beautiful country.
                           \_ Gross Regional Product:
                              SoCal:    $710 billion
                              Bay Area: $410 billion (includes Napa/Stockton)
                              Rest:     $180 billion (1/3 from Sacramento)
                              If you siphon off the Central Valley into
                              Central California then "Bay Area" increases
                              and "Rest" decreases.
                              \_ Sounds fine to me. That Northern CA would
                                 still have a bigger economy than some other
                                 states like Wyoming or the Dakotas. It will
                                 be growing in the coming decades too.
                                 \_ Wow, bigger than North Dakota. Sign me up!
                                    I think it is in the interests of NoCal
                                    to remain attached to the rest of CA.
                                    For example, you can have UC Davis or
                                    University of North Dakota as your state
                                    university. Which would you choose?
                                    \_ They could develop Chico and a couple
                                       others. There's nothing stopping
                                       you from going to another state uni.
                                       All I know is, as long as those
                                       northern counties are attached to
                                       the rest, they are drowned out.
                                       I think NoCal would be bigger than
                                       a number of states. I guess at least
                                       #35-40 in size maybe. Again, the
                                       population isn't large so the needs
                                       are less. Whether or not the north
                                       benefits from leeching off the south
                                       like that is true, that is not a
                                       good reason to keep it that way.
                                       Do you really think in those terms?
                                       I think it would do better by looking
                                       out for itself instead of being
                                       drowned out. Anyway, at least SoCal
                                       should be split off.
                                       Ok then, maybe this should be done
                                       since it already exists:
                                      http://www.jeffersonstate.com
                                       Then Northern Cal, and Southern Cal.
                                       All I really want is SoCal separate.
                                       \_ We don't really like you hippy
                                          freaks either, but I don't see
                                          any advantages gained by breaking
                                          apart the State. There's a lot
                                          of synergy between NoCal and SoCal.
                                          \_ There's a lot of synergy between
                                             lots of states. So what? Should
                                             Wash and OR be combined?
                                             Washington: 5.9M pop, $262B
                                             Oregon: 3.4M, $145.35B
                                             Washegon: 9.3M, $407B
                                             Calif: 33.8M, $1.55 trillion
                                             Why or why not?
                                             Obvious advantages are better
                                             Senate representation, and more
                                             responsive state government.
                                             No and So already have their own
                                             utility companies.
                                             \_ What do utilities have to
                                                do with anything? San
                                                Diego's is different from
                                                LA's. OC's is different
                                                from Pasadena's. As for
                                                representation, why not
                                                split CA into 50 states?
                                                Imagine how many senators
                                                we'd get then! There are
                                                a lot of restrictions and
                                                regulations on interstate
                                                commerce. Things would
                                                work okay as long as NoCal
                                                and SoCal stayed in synch,
                                                but what happens when they
                                                start to heavily diverge?
                                                For example, the NoCal
                                                people repeal Prop 13 and
                                                the SoCal people don't.
                                                Does the population shift?
                                                Such unforeseen changes can
                                                have unintended consequences.
                                                Why mess with a good thing?
                                                \_ because it's not a good
                                                   thing?
                                                   \_ Sure it is! CA is the
                                                      best State in the USA!
                                                \_ Local self-determination
                                                   is better for its own sake.
                                                   Plus the above post. If
                                                   they heavily diverge, then
                                                   it's good because they WANT
                                                   to diverge. It's called
                                                   democracy. And there are NOT
                                                   a lot of restrictions on
                                                   interstate commerce. Read
                                                   the Constitution.
                                                   \_ Why not have city-states
                                                      if you're into local
                                                      self-determination?
                                                      We can divide the nation
                                                      into 100 square mile
                                                      grids of self-determining
                                                      fiefdoms. As for
                                                      commerce, a big thing
                                                      I was thinking of is
                                                      farming. There are
                                                      restrictions because of
                                                      threat of transmission of
                                                      pests/disease. Also,
                                                      liquor is often
                                                      restricted. There are
                                                      other examples.
2006/1/26-29 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:41547 Activity:moderate
1/26    Does anyone have a pointer to research that shows how the FMV paid
        for eminent domain purchases compare to some "fair" FMV for the
        property?  I know anecdotally the government-paid FMV is unfair,
        but some research would be nice.
        \_ The government should pay whatever the owner wants and forget
           about FMV. If the owner wants too much, the government should
           not buy it. It's that simple.
           \_ Wow, thanks for that astute analysis.
              \_ Seems like common sense and yet that's not the way we
                 are doing things at the moment.
        \_ The 5th amend. requires "just compensation" not fair market
           value. This gives a court considerable flexibility in dete-
           rmining what the appropriate value is for property. Usually
           they get an appraiser, look at the property's income (if
           use for rental purposes), and compare the prices of similar
           property in the same locale. I don't have a url w/ numbers,
           but I remember looking at a Real Estate Valuation treatise
           that had some comparisions.
           \_ Well, there was an allegation here that prices would plummet if
              a neighbor has been declared the target of eminent domain
              seizure.  Then the government would come in and pay the post-
              plummet price.  Is there anything beyond anecdotal that this
              happens?
              \_ Generally the gov. comes in and makes an offer on your
                 house prior to using ED. They would prefer that you leave
                 willing instead of being forced out. In many cases, the
                 gov. price is reasonable but not great. But it is enough
                 for the vast majority of people to sell and leave. The
                 people who suffer the low price problem are the holdouts.
                 No one wants to buy their property and they've already
                 told the gov. no, they are probably stuck getting a very
                 low ED price rather than the gov. original offer. Pre-
                 Kelo there was a HOPE that a sympathetic ct would say
                 no public use and you could stay, but now there is no
                 such hope.
        \_ Eminent domain purchases would suck in California.  For example,
           if you bought your house 10 years ago for $200,000 and had to
           sell it for $800,000 and if you wanted to buy a comparable house
           in the same area for $800,000 now your property taxes go up by
           at least a factor of 3.
           \_ I agree. For the sake of fairness, we should get rid of
              prop 13.
              \_ For the sake of truth in advertising, everyone in an ED
                 discussion should self identify as [renter,owner,want-to-own,
                 will-never-own,bitter/not-bitter].  For the sake of of well
                 run government, we should stop spending an insane amount of
                 money on our broken k-12 educational system, then we wouldn't
                 have people looking to kill prop 13 as yet another way to
                 raise taxes even if it means old people cant afford their
                 homes anymore.  Anti-prop 13?  I'll start: owner, amused,
                 feel bad for you.  I'll guess you are: renter, want-to-own,
                 will-never-own, very bitter.
                 \_ Let me guess, you have asperger symdrone and you
                    think everything is either black or white, democrat
                    or republican, good or evil, renter or buyer, happy
                    or pissed off. Fucking dumb turd.
                    \_ Sounds like he pegged you.
                       \_ Sounds like he's a bitter renter, a poor guesser,
                          and can't read well either.  Sounds like you're very
                          much the same.
                          \_ Pegged!
2005/11/9-11 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:40520 Activity:moderate
11/9    Why did people vote against the teacher "5 year probation" prop?
        Seems like only incompetent teachers should worry about that.
        Maybe they miscalculated and "4 years" would have passed?
        \_ Maybe it was a combination of people thinking the current two-year
           probation period was enough and hating Ah-nold.
           \_ Why did people love him before but hate him now? I haven't really
              been paying attention.
              \_ it really started to turn when he decided to mess with the
                 nurses / teachers / firefighters / police.
                 and then people realized he was doing the same ol' "i'm
                 ah-nold" routine, without providing any substance behind the
                 muscle.  and then people realized that it was the CA
                 Republican party that was controlling his agenda.
                 light at the top, actually operated by people smarter than
                 him, just like dubya.
                 \_ Yet here were are with the same old status quo and
                 \_ Yet here we are with the same old status quo and
                    looming deficits and blah blah. Poltics sucks.
                    \_ huh?
                    looming deficits and blah blah. Politics sucks.
                    \_ I liked this story:
        http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher10nov10,0,7202054.story
        \_ Why should the employment rules of schools be a political issue
           decided by the uninformed masses based on what sounds good to
           them?  -tom
           \_ We should let the King decide these issues.  Death to the
              plebes!
           \_ Because the uniformed masses are paying for it and it's
              bankrupting the state?
              \_ Let's vote to change police officer's uniforms to
                 pink, while we're at it, since we're paying for them.
                 The idea that schools are bankrupting the state is ludicrous,
                 and in any case, probation length has no effect on the
                 total amount spent.  -tom
                 \_ Errr... talk to any business major about this. -jrleek
                 \_ CA spends ~50% of tax revenue on education. MN (one of the
                    highest ranked if not the highest) spends <30%. I
                    don't know what's wrong, but spending more money on it
                    isn't the answer.
                    \_ Just out of curiosity, what is MN's total tax revenue
                       per capita, including income and property tax.
                       Saying MN spends less than 30% on their schools
                       impresses me not at all since they are still spending
                       far more per student than CA.
                       \_ They have fewer students to educate. CA's
                          problem is all the low income immigrant children
                          who are filling the schools at the same time
                          that their parents don't contribute much to the
                          tax base. Those kids deserve an education, but
                          I think it necessarily won't be one as good as
                          what the kids in, say, MN receive. The failure
                          is thinking that it should/can be.
                    \_ What's the percentage of MN children whose native
                       languge is not English or whose parents' language
                       is not English and how does that compare to CA?
                       \_ So you're saying you want to kick out all the
                          illegals to bring CA costs in line with MN?
                          \_ Sounds good to me.  Might save some ER's down in
                             SoCal as well.
                          \_ No, what I am saying is that demographic
                             factors probably can offer an explanation to why
                             factors probably can offer and explanation to why
                             CA students underpeform despite the state spending
                             lots of money on them. 88% of MN population are
                             white with a tiny hispanic minority.
           \_ I have yet to hear a good explanation for why pre-college teachers
              need tenure.
              \_ Because the incredibly power teacher's union says so.
              \_ Because the incredibly powerful teacher's union says so.
              \_ Because most can get more money working at a different job.
                 They are trading salary for some job security and with the
                 add on of pensions, school districts keeps fairly steady
                 workforce.
                 \_ College professors, yes.  School teachers?  Mostly not.
                    I had one teacher that could hold a real job in the
                    real world K-12.  The rest were "mom" types working for
                    extra take home cash.  "Those who can, do.  Those who
                    can't, teach."
                    \_ So the state should be willing to pay private school
                       prices for teachers? Or should the state should expect
                       to accept a high turnover rate for teachers. Note that
                       most teachers don't get past the five year mark.
                       \_ I think your points are unproven bullshit.
                       \_ What do you mean 'private school prices'? Most
                          private school teachers make less.
                          \_ Where's your evidence?
                             \_ http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos069.htm
                                "Private school teachers generally earn less
                                than public school teachers."
                                \_ And it also says at least some of those
                                   private school teachers don't have the
                                   credentials to work at a public school.
                                   It's only fair to compare ones that do.
                                   \_ http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/95829.asp
                                      "On average, public school teachers earn
                                      between about 25 to 119 percent more than
                                      private school teachers earn, depending
                                      upon the private subsector... Between
                                      about 2 and 50 percent of this public-
                                      private difference can be accounted for
                                      by differences in teacher characteristics
                                      depending upon the private subsector.
                                      Controlling for differences in teacher
                                      and school characteristics between the
                                      public and private sectors, one observes
                                      a residual difference in the salaries of
                                      teachers that is simply associated with
                                      the sector in which the teacher is
                                      employed."  Anything else I can point you
                                      to to convince you (everyone else is
                                      already convinced) that you are wrong?
                                    \_ I went to a private school (many of
                                       them, in fact) and the teachers always
                                       said they could make more in public
                                       schools but that they didn't want to
                                       deal with public school students,
                                       parents, and administrators. Also, many
                                       teachers are at private schools because
                                       they care about more than a paycheck
                                       (many private schools are religious).
           \_ Why should anything be decided by the uninformed masses based
              on what sounds good to them?  The whole proposition system is
              dumb.
              \_ All Hail Caesar!  Long Live The King!  Democracy is dumb!
                 Why should the same 'uninformed masses' be allowed to vote
                 on anything?  Isn't having the same dumb people choosing
                 their own leaders dumb too?  You're totally right, all the
                 modern dictatorships one could name were much better off
                 with A Strong Noble Leader(tm) than we are with all those
                 dumb uninformed masses running around *gasp* voting! and
                 participating in other things normally reserved for Noble
                 Leader and His Family.  Is there a place I can donate a
                 few bucks to start a CSUA Motd History Book Fund and then
                 can we require that people like this be a certain height
                 before posting here?
                 \- strictly speaking this is more E_RATCHET than E_TOOSHORT
                 \_ Strictly speaking, this comment is considerably more
                    stupid than the one to which it was responding.
                    \_ This falls under the "I know you are but what am I?!"
                       school of debate.  Would you like to add some actual
                       content or are you happy at the "sticks and stones"
                       level?
                       \_ I love the motd. Calling a post that starts out
                          "All Hail Caesar!" and proceeds off on some straw
                          man dictatorship tangent "stupid" really requires
                          clarification? If you actually need it spelled out
                          for you, the response below does a decent job.
                          \_ Here's the difference: the below posted something
                             that makes a point and is worth responding to.
                             You posted noise and then waiting for someone
                             smart to respond and then said, "yeah!  what
                             *he* said!  nyah!"
                 \_ False dilemma.  It's not about democracy vs. dictatorship;
                    it's about pure democracy vs. representational.  Hey,
                    let's have everyone in the nation vote directly on
                    congressional bills too.  Doesn't that sound like a grand
                    idea?  Who needs leaders?  Let's let all the people vote
                    on everything.
                    \_ When your respresentatives no longer represent and the
                       system has gone too far to self correct, there needs to
                       be some form of check/balance to counter the prevailing
                       non-representative system.  In CA we have the prop.
                       system.  It provides the people, you know, the tax
                       payer plebes/victims, a chance to retake control of an
                       out of control system.  It can also be abused and can
                       create bad situations as well, but overall I have a lot
                       more faith in the voters than I do in life long
                       political hacks and beaurocrats.  Pure democracy would
                       likely lead to the people voting themselves goodies from
                       the public trough as they say, but no direct democracy
                       has given us the same problem with corporations and
                       special interest groups and the proposition system is
                       a reasonable attempt to restore power to where it
                       belongs: the people.
2005/9/25-28 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39865 Activity:nil
9/25    My property tax for 2005, the amount I need to pay, has increased
        8% from 2004. Is this legal? I thought the cap was 2% a year
        (and it has been more/less for the past 2 years). The total
        assessed value is only increased by 1.9%, but the end result
        is a whopping 8% increase. Anyone else seeing similar things?
        This is Santa Clara county. Thanks.
        \_ Your city has been taken over by evil socialists.
        \_ Prop 13 limits the raise in assessed value to 2% per year.
        \_ http://www.hjta.org/faq.htm#I%20just%20got%20my%20property%20tax
2005/8/26-29 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39296 Activity:low
8/26    How many poeple here would find the following tax system to be
        acceptable:
        A flat income tax of 15 % is paid by everyone, *but* it's based on
        your first job right out of college, and stays fixed even as your
        income increases.  So if you work at walmart for a year and then
        go into investment banking, you're still taxed at the flat 15%
        rate based on your walmart salary, while the guy who got the ibanking
        job right out of college pays six times what you do in taxes.
        Imagine also that everyone who moves into the state starts at the
        rate of their first california job.  Hence when an out of stater
        takes a job, they might pay four times what their co-workers pay,
        since the co-workers are paying based on happening to have a low
        paying job 15 years ago when they graduated college in California.
        Sound fair?
        Or does it sound like a perverse nightmare that would fuck up the whole
        labor market for the state and totally distort the tax base?
        \_ I didn't think the current tax system could be any more broken
           than it already is.  I was wrong.
        \_ I'm guessing this was intended as a Prop. 13 analogy.
           \_ Yes. I wanted to see if any of the pro-prop 13 crowd would be
              willing to defend the same system applied to fucking up the
              labor market as they're using to fuck up the real estate market.
              \_ Then get a real analogy.  Yours is silly.
           \_ Hm, I guess.  It's a poor analogy since a job != a house.  I
              can get a crummy job for a day and then get a high paying one.
              If I get a crummy house, I pay less property taxes.  If I get an
              expensive house, I pay more.  The analogy falls over at step 1.
              \_ It continues to be poor: changing income tax rates don't
                 screw over retired people on a fixed income.
        \_ When I graduate, I'll make sure I tell Google or whomever to
           postpone my start date by a month, so that I'll have time to take up
           a job at Walmart for a few weeks.
        \_ How do idiots like this get into Cal? Is it really that easy?
        \_ broken analogy.  When/if I buy a new home, I pay new taxes.
2005/8/25-26 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39268 Activity:low
8/25    My feeling wrt Prop-13 is that many proponents of Prop-13 also
        think that tax is too high, that we should do whatever we want
        with our own money, and that flat-tax is fair. Is this
        completely off?
        \_ Yes.  You're completely off.
           \_ Pretty much. These days, most Prop. 13 proponents are people
              owning property they haven't bought in the last year. A
              general reassessment would hurt that much.
        \_ I purchased my house about 5 years ago.  Today, similar houses are
           selling for more than 2x what I paid.  Should my property tax
           double?  My income certainly hasn't. -emarkp
           \_ I think YOUR tax should quadriple because I don't like you as
              fucking stubborn thick headed conservative dweeb who thinks
              the Iraq war has made the world a safer place to live. Fuck you.
           \_ Absolutely.  If someone is really willing to pay twice what
              you did, and you can't pay the taxes, I think you should
              be forced by economics to sell and move.  That's how it would
              work in any other state, and I know of no place in the U.S.
              where real estate is as blatant a rip-off pyramid scam as
              in California.
              \_ This is bullshit. The government should not force people
                 out of their homes just because some other person is an
                 idiot who overpaid for a property and will be foreclosed on
                 in 3 years. Now that other states are seeing the type of
                 price inflation that CA has had for the last 30 years
                 more and more states are realizing how progressive and
                 valuable Prop 13 really is.
                 \_ Even Prop 13 allows the assessed value to rise, but only
                    like 2% or whatever. I think that should be more like 5%.
                    So if prop values double they'd have to stay that way
                    for like 10 years+ before you reach that level. Gov't
                    wouldn't "force people out", it would tax them the same as
                    the others in your neighborhood. If prop values double
                    they'd still have all that equity sitting there.
                    \_ I am talking about the situation if Prop 13 did
                       not exist. People have seen their taxes rise 50%
                       in 3 years in other states (and in CA before Prop
                       13). Prop 13 prevents that. As for the rest of your
                       argument, read my example. Someone overpays for
                       a property and will lose the house anyway.
                       Meanwhile, the prudent consumer has to sell because
                       the government bases taxes on market forces?
           \_ For owners that bought properties that are similar in your
              neighborhood but bought/sold at different times, are they
              paying similar taxes?
              \_ No, they aren't. When I bought my house, which had been
                 in the family for 60 years or more, the property tax
                 went up a factor of 7. The old family was undercontributing
                 and now I am making up for it. That's fine, because I
                 budgeted for it. Some day I will reap that benefit if I
                 don't sell. It all balances out.
              \_ What if my neighbor and I bought the house at the same time,
                 but he's a better negotiator and paid less for the house?
           \_ I think it should approach that gradually, giving you time
              to evaluate your options. (and faster than 2%). But yes.
              \_ I disagree.
                 \_ That's just because you don't feel like paying taxes.
                    \_ I think more than half of the people on the motd
                       base their entire political philosophy on this one
                       principle: not feeling like paying taxes.
                       \_ I'd be much happier paying taxes if I can pick and
                          choose what programs my tax dollars fund.
                          \_ You can, it's called voting.
                             \_ Only if your guy ends up winning in that case.
                                And then the control is indirect at best.
                                I want a system that I can fund programs on
                                a line-by-line basis.
2005/8/25-26 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39267 Activity:low
8/25    You know, I don't like tom's personality but at least we're
        both socialists and agree on certain social/government issues.
        Way to go tom.                                  -tom's #2 fan
        \_ What's socialist about opposing prop. 13?  Prop 13 is anti-free
           market.  Of course, the kool-aid drinking greedheads who call
           themselves "libertarian conservatives" on the motd don't care
           to notice this because prop 13 saves them money, but it's still
           true.
           \_ It's a socialist position to want to raise taxes and a
              libertarian position to want to eliminate them as much
              as possible. How is Prop 13 anti-free market? I didn't
              realize tax rates were determined by supply/demand.
        \_ I have an advice for you tom. Occasionally you make valid points
           and you'd definitely add more weights if you simply don't sign your
           name. The reason is that people are used to laughing at your rants
           that even when you do in fact make a valid point they turn their
           heads away knowing it's from you.       -tom's #2 fan
           \_ You're mistaken.       -mice
2005/8/25-26 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39265 Activity:nil
8/25    Is property tax painful because the housing price / rent ratio is
        so out of whack?  It's like, for the property tax one is paying,
        one may as well go rent.
        \_ If you are not taking property tax into account when buying a
           house, you don't deserve to own.
           \_ Yes, which is why Prop 13 is so valuable. If you take it
              into account and then 3 years later it rises 50% because
              the market goes nuts you can be screwed. It is not a good
              solution to sell or to take out a loan to pay for the tax,
              in spite of what Tom says. Prop 13 actually allows one to
              budget because it limits the rise of property tax to a
              reasonable level (1%/year).
              known level (1%/year).
                \_ do you think artificially low property tax has artificially
                   jacked up real estate prices?
                   \_ Heh, that's pretty funny.  "artificially low property
                      tax".  You do know that all taxes are arbitrary, right?
                      -emarkp
                   \_ Well, if property tax is raised then prices will
                      fall, sure. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
                      Transfer more wealth from the people to the
                      government, right? It's here to help us.
                      \_ Not to mention that if the rate rises and the
                         values then fall the government still collects
                         the same amount of $$$ except the homeowner is
                         assed out of his equity.
              \_ How about a scheme that keeps track of additional property
                 tax owed and then charging the seller that amount when the
                 property is sold?
                 \_ too fucking complicated.
                    \_ What do you call the IRS?
2005/8/25-26 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:39262 Activity:high
8/26    Does anyone know how prop 13 even come about? On one hand it makes
        sense that old people who owned homes for 30 years should not have
        to pay mortgage up their nose. On the other hand, new home-owners
        many who are young and owning homes for the first time have to pay
        MORE than old home-owners, many who are corporate land owners, or
        individual investors owning and controlling vast amounts of lands?
        We talk about flat tax, but this is the opposite of that. Is this
        even fair?
        \_ How about taking an end-run around prop13 by abusing the newly
           refined powers of eminent domain (thanks SCOTUS) to force longtime
           landowners to sell in order to bring the property  taxes on
           their properties in line with current valuations of the property.
           Yeah!
        \_ "old people who owned homes for 30 years should not have to pay
           mortgage up their nose"  You mean pay taxes up their nose.  Let's
           see...is it fair for the government to reassess your property and
           then tax you on their assessment?  That sounds a bit scary doesn't
           it?
           \_ This is how government has been raising taxes as long
              as there has been government and still how it is done
              all over the world. Don't know why it scares you so much.
        \_ It's not fair at all.  It passed because people were sold fake
           images of old people sitting on extremely valuable property,
           losing their homes because they couldn't pay property tax.  -tom
           \_ Well, the people who voted for it were people who owned
              land. In another word poor people didn't vote, and people
              who wanted to protect their assets, did so regardless of
              consequences like less funding for infrastructures, etc...
           \_ Were you in CA at the time prop 13 passed?  I was.  People were
              selling houses left n right and moving out of state because they
              couldn't afford to own their houses anymore.  They were taxed
              out of home ownership.
              \_ True, but you didn't answer the question about fairness. Why
                 is it fair that new hard-working home owners have to pay
                 more than everyone else? Whatever happened to meritocracy,
                 where the harder you work, the more you should get back?
                 What about the fact that old timers usually own properties
                 close to down-town or working areas where they no longer
                 work, forcing young home owners to buy properties much
                 farther away, and causing traffic? You mentioned one effect
                 of not having Prop-13, but what about its side-effects?
                 \_ The idea is that over time people will sell and the house
                    will be reappraised at market value or die or whatever.
                    The effect is to slow down the overall rate of increase of
                    property taxes across the state.  Those same young people
                    (but really *any* new buyer) who pay current value rates
                    will be paying next to nothing in 30 years, the same as
                    that "old couple" who stayed in their house.  I see nothing
                    wrong with encouraging and even rewarding people to stay
                    in the same neighborhood, helping to build a community
                    instead of the super transient "don't know who my next
                    door neighbor is and don't care" nature of many people
                    today.  Those old people paid high rates when they were
                    young.  They pay low now.  Same thing for current young
                    people.  No issue.
                    \_ The issue is that the cost of the services keeps going
                       up, so other taxes, like sales tax, get raised to
                       pay for them.  So Prop 13 transfers the tax burden
                       onto people who don't happen to be sitting on half
                       a million dollars in equity.  -tom
                        \_ I'm not the pp but I think he will respond like
                           this: "No. The old couples were once young and
                           had to share the burden of having to pay more.
                           Now new young couples have to share the burden
                           of paying more but when they're older, new
                           young couples will share their burden, so on and
                           so forth. No issue."
                           \_ Uh, you might not realize this, but there are
                              a lot of people in California who don't own
                              property and are not likely to ever own
                              property.  So they get to pay more for their
                              whole lives.  -tom
                           \_ That isn't the first thing I thought of, but
                              yes I believe that's true.  In direct response
                              to tom above, "the cost of the services keeps
                              going up" is not just an inflationary measure
                              but also an ever increasing number of 'services'.
                              I'll happily pay my share of roads, schools, etc,
                              but there's a zillion other "services" I'll never
                              use which are just vote buying at best and high
                              corruption and criminal at worst.
                              \_ That's a red herring argument; the vast bulk
                                 of municipal government expense is roads,
                                 schools, police and fire.  -tom
        \_ When Warren Buffet advised Ah-nold to repeal Prop-13 to raise
           revenue, Ah-nold said "If he mentions Prop-13 again I will make
           him do 500 push-ups." Thank god for Ah-nold, thank god I
           voted for him.   -going to inherit 3 properties from my parents
           \_ If you're inheriting properties from parents, don't worry.
              There's a law protecting that.
              \_ Why should this be "protected"?
                 \_ It's written into the Prop. It was part of the selling
                    package. Sold as "preserving" neighborhoods and avoiding
                    "poor kids inherit pricy house - must sell" scenario.
        \_ Where do people get the idea that government has a right to
           endlessly tax your house, and raise those taxes without limits?
           Imagine paying $24K for your house in 1970, as my parents did,
           now their house is worth $600K.  If they paid property taxes
           on 600K as they would without prop 13, they would be spending
           100% of their retirement income on those taxes alone.  -ax
           \_ They're sitting on $600K in equity and you don't think they can
              afford, what, $5K/year?  And of course, the services they
              receive from property taxes still cost the same as they did
              in 1970.  -tom
                \_ When the premise of your argument is that we aren't taxed
                   enough, I give up and walk away right there.  -ax
                   \_ The premise is that the *wrong people* are taxed.  -tom
                        \_ Under what conditions should someone escape taxes?
                           Shouldn't retired poor people pay the least amount
                           of taxes, if any?  You want a flat tax? -ax
                           \_ I think it's fair to say that property owners
                              should be taxed more than non-property-owners.
                              The beneficiaries of Prop 13 are almost
                              exclusively not retired poor people.  -tom
                              \_ I'd like to see the numbers. I know a lot
                                 of retirees in my neighborhood benefit
                                 from Prop 13. You call them rich because
                                 they own a $700K house free and clear,
                                 but the reality is they have very little
                                 income and would have nowhere to go if
                                 they sold. By the way, if you raise taxes
                                 on property owners then guess who will
                                 eat that? Owners will pass the costs on
                                 to the renters anyway.
                                 \_ Look, it's pretty simple.  The proportion
                                    of tax paid by property owners after
                                    prop 13 is less than before.  This is
                                    trivially obvious even if you account
                                    for rents rising to pay property tax.
                                    Therefore, non-owners pay a greater
                                    proportion than they used to.
                                    And it is also trivially obvious that
                                    poor retirees who own their own homes are
                                    a tiny portion of all property owners
                                    in CA.  -tom
                                     \_ It is not trivially obvious that
                                        the beneficiaries of Prop 13 are
                                        almost exclusively not retired poor
                                        people. Young people tend to move
                                        much more often. It is also not
                                        obvious that non-owners pay more
                                        now than they did. Essentially,
                                        the same people pay either way
                                        (the wealthy landowners) whether
                                        it is in the form of income tax
                                        or property tax. Renters can pay
                                        more rent (w/o Prop 13) or more
                                        in other taxes (w/ Prop 13). Sales
                                        tax is a red herring, because it is
                                        about as high even in states w/o Prop
                                        13. At issue is whether the state is
                                        collecting enough, not who is
                                        paying for it. The poor are never
                                        paying for it, unless you consider
                                        the poor retirees who would pay
                                        if Prop 13 is repealed. Given state
                                        revenues, I think the state is
                                        collecting more than enough as-is.
                                        \_ OK, given that the state is in
                                           deficit, and two-thirds of the
                                           budget is schools and health care,
                                           what do you think should be cut?
                                             -tom
                                           \_ Whatever we've pumped money
                                              into recently. The State
                                              spent a lot of money in the
                                              <DEAD>dot.com<DEAD> years when we were
                                              flush with cash. What did we
                                              spend it on? I also guess
                                              I am not opposed to raising,
                                              say, income taxes or the
                                              VLF. I just think going after
                                              Prop 13 is barking up the wrong
                                              tree. Here's the budget:
                                              http://tinyurl.com/ckduv
                                              If you look at previous
                                              years you see we spent now
                                              than before, so it's not
                                              that anyone wants to 'cut
                                              education' but instead
                                              change how we spend some of
                                              the money allocated to it.
                                              years you see we spend more now
                                              than before. Why?
                                              \_ Because of increasing
                                                 education and health care
                                                 costs, mostly.  -tom
                                                 \_ Health care costs are
                                                    rising faster than
                                                    inflation, but what
                                                    about education? Why
                                                    would that be true?
                                                    \_ Because we're comparing
                                                       against historically
                                                       low (abysmal) school
                                                       spending from the
                                                       Wilson years.  -tom
                                                       \_ What about before
                                                          that? Prop 13 was
                                                          around a long time
                                                          before Wilson.
              \_ Equity is meaningless until you sell your home.  When you
                 sell your home, you don't need to pay property tax.
                 \_ Umm, the whole economy is currently being powered by
                    cash-out-equity financing.  Don't forget there is always
                    the reverse mortgage for old folks.  So equity is NOT
                    meaningless until you sell your home.
              \_ So you get to determine how much someone can pay?  In a city
                 that has normal property turnover, aggregate taxes will go up.
                 That doesn't give gov't the right to decide what property
                 values are and then tax you on it.
           \_ Alright. No do you feel the same way about commercial property?
              I.e., would you oppose something that specifically repealed
              prop 13 with regards to commercial property alone? -- ulysses
              \_ YES.  A general pholosophy of taxing:  Taxing on real gains,
                 fine.  Taxing on paper gains, NOT GOOD.  My fater recently
                 sold his business's building for about 2x what he paid.
                 But if property tax kept going up on PAPER gains before
                 he sold it, it would have been a significant additional
                 expense.
                 \_ Alright. Now does that same approach apply to the
                    massive land value appreciation of, say, the Shorenstein-
                    owned buildings in downtown San Francisco or the hundreds
                    of square miles developed into office parks by Kaufman and
                    Broad - which have, incidentally, made outfits like these
                    the most powerful political players in the State?
        \_ It is a NECESSARY evil when you get bubbles in the market.
           I'm all for taxes on real gains and real property, but being
           taxed on paper gains is, emm, problematic.  Would you like to
           be like my friend in Virginia who's property tax went up
           by $5000 a year because his rather modest suburban townhouses'
           appraised value went up by ~$200k?
           \_ I think it is fair to be taxed $5000 a year. It's called
              natural forces of capitalism. If you have to pay more, you
              work harder. If you can't afford it, then you leave so that
              someone else more capable or more desperate can take your
              place. Look at Silicon Valley. Half of the inhabitants are
              tech-related workers but can't afford housing, thanks to
              land investment companies that lock down land, or people who
              locked properties from generations and generations even though
              they have nothing to do with the local industry they're in.
              You either help with progress, or inhibit progress.
              \_ I think it's fair if you are taxed $100000 a year.  It's not
                 natural forces of capitalism, because the person didn't sell
                 their property.  It's an artificial reassessment by the
                 government who then tells you to hand over more cash.  Doesn't
                 sound fair to me.
                 \_ My issue with granting immunity to land owners is that
                    often times they own a huge amount of land and lock
                    them down for things that are not necessarily good for
                    the people. For example, a Sunnyvale nursery built 100
                    years ago, now surrounded by young working people who are
                    desperate to find housing in one of the most expensive
                    places in South Bay. This is not helping everyone.
                    \_ Actually, in spite ofyour communist rant about
                      'helping everyone' it might be nice to have things
                      like a nursery within a 100 mile drive of your
                      house, right? Some of those old mom and pop
                      businesses are valuable to the community. Tearing
                      them all up for (what exactly?) doesn't sound good
                      to me.
                      \_ What if the property-owner enjoys letting the field
                         lie fallow and unused?
                         \_ You gonna tell him how to use his land, comrade?
                            \_ Not me, but that fellow a few posts up ("My
                               issue with...") sounds like he's got a few
                               ideas. -pp
           \_ Well, the law could build in some hysteresis and do the
              increase as an increment every few years based on the
              difference or sth. But permanently exempting prop owners from
              tax reassessment is bullshit when those taxes are what's used
              to support community services that all use. It makes the
              rates higher for the rest of us. (And doesn't the tax base
              get transferred on an inheritance? And of course to rental
              investment properties.)
              If values go up like crazy then at some point that tax rate
              should be cut also, since services costs probably don't
              go up linearly.
              Not wanting to pay taxes in general isn't a good enough reason.
              \_ Prop 13 doesn't exempt property owners from reassessment.
                 It limits the amount the assessment can be raised each
                 year. Also, if you do something like improve your home
                 you will trigger a reassessment on the new construction.
                 In short, I think people opposed to Prop 13 are whiners.
                 The government doesn't tax you on stocks until you sell,
                 so why tax on property? My coworker just received a
                 'special assessment' of $40K from his city in order to
                 upgrade the sewer even though he has a septic tank which
                 he just installed a few years back. He has no choice but
                 to pay. This is fair? If shit like this happens with Prop
                 13 in place can you imagine what will happen without Prop
                 13? Every time the city or county needs money they will
                 take it rather than make the necessary cuts. In LA, even
                 with Prop 13, there was an unexpected windfall because of
                 property taxes. Most people sell after ~7 years. If Prop
                 13 is ever repealed the CA economy will be screwed.
                 \_ I paid plenty of AMT tax on stocks I didn't sell, so the
                    statement that the government doesn't tax you on stocks
                    until you sell doesn't work for stock options.
                    \_ Sure it does. Did you exercise the options or not?
                       If you didn't then you shouldn't have owed any
                       tax. You mean you exercised them and then didn't
                       sell the stock afterward. Not quite the same.
                        \_ Exercising is not the same as selling.  You can
                           exercise the stock, the company can go bankrupt
                           and not be able to sell the stock ... You've now
                           paid taxes on paper value only.  The statement
                           was "The government doesn't tax you on stocks
                           until you sell" -- I didn't sell and still paid
                           tax.  This is not advanced logic here, the
                           statement is simply WRONG.
                           \_ He said "stocks".  Not "stock options".  No
                              matter how bitter you may be, he is right.
                           \_ When you exercise an option you are 'selling'
                              the option. A transaction has taken place.
                              People are taxed (generally) on
                              transactions. If you don't exercise you
                              don't pay tax. Same idea.
                                \_ Thx for overwriting my response.  And the
                                   argument here is about SELLING stock you
                                   don't SELL options.  You
                                   \_ Of course you can buy and sell options.
                                      http://www.cboe.com
                                        \_ Funny I sat through hours of stuff
                                           and my company never mentioned
                                           selling my options, because that
                                           doesn't apply here.  And matters
                                           not since I'm not selling the
                                           option anyhow.
                                           \_ You made a categorical statement
                                              that was factually incorrect.
                                                \_ Ok I probably should have
                                                   said "I couldn't sell MY
                                                   options"
                                   can exercise an option and not be able to
                                   sell the stock.  You may never be able to
                                   sell the stock.  The statement was "The
                                   government doesn't tax you on stocks until
                                   you sell" -- NO STOCK SALE HAS OCCURRED!
                                   Exercising options and selling stock are
                                   totally different things, unless you believe
                                   that BUYING stock and SELLING stock are
                                   the same thing.  And I'm not bitter about
                                   anything, I did quite well.  However, I
                                   know many who had to declare bankruptcy
                                   because of AMT taxes on now worthless stock.
                    \_ I'm opposed to AMT on stocks as well.
                \_ Well, stock taxes aren't the same as yearly property
                   taxes. It almost sounds like you're opposed to those at
                   all. Basically I stand to benefit from this stuff
                   because my parents inherited some property, and I stand to
                   inherit that same property eventually, and I don't forsee
                   ever doing anything to trigger a tax reassessment. But I
                   still think it's unfair. They rented this prop out and I
                   probably would end up doing the same. Other thing are
                   bullshit like depreciation writeoffs, exemptions from
                   taxes on gains, etc. I believe all taxes should be very
                   clear and straightforward, not a myriad of special rules
                   that people manipulate and that interfere with the free
                   market. I also think it's bullshit that tax rules are
                   voted on in general propositions and the legislature is
                   crippled.
        \_ Prop. 13 came during a housing bubble akin to what is happening
           today. The initial proponents were small goverment conservatives
           who saw the backlash against the huge rise in property tax as a
           chance to "starve the beast" by limiting property tax increases and
           reassessments to a minimal level. As such CA has become more
           dependant on income and sales tax and fees for it's budget.
           Unfortunately, those sources of revenue are not as reliable nor
           as progressive as property tax, so you get CA's socially liberal
           stance clashing with it's constant budgetary problems and failing
           infrastructure.
                    until you sell doesn't work with stock options.
        \_ I believe prop 13 is a good thing. Without prop 13, a lot
           older retired and soon to be retired people will be forced
           to leave, because there's no way they could afford to pay
           property tax that's more than their retirement income.
           Raising property tax without a limit is NOT FAIR any way
           you cut it. Forcing people out of their homes because the
           market has gone up (especially in a crazy time as now) is
           not fair. Capping the gain is a reasonable compromise. I
           suppose you are also against prop 60/90 that allows seniors
           to carry over the current property tax to their new place.
           I pay a premium now on my property tax, but knowing that it
           will not grow without limit and I can have a comfortable
           retirement life later in life sounds pretty fair to me. I
           made a wise choice buying a home a few years ago, the
           savings I get on property tax now is my reward, plain and
           simple. Just like I have no problem with people making
           millions because they bought Microsoft 10 years ago. It's
           their reward and they earned it. There are other ways to
           solve the housing shortage problem. Most retired people
           does not want to sell because they have no place to go and
           anywhere they go they cannot afford the new property tax.
           Prop 60/90 is a step in the right direction.
           \_ Your reasoning is flawed. Seniors are by far the richest age
              segment today and most likely to afford increases in taxes.
              Before Prop. 13, you could have your property reassessed or
              apply for property tax relief. Those imaginary poor old people
              being "forced" out of their houses? The state would have had
              them jump through a few hoops, but they wouldn't have to pay
              anything close to the full amount. This is how it works in
              other places. Your whining about having to pay property taxes
              is nothing more than more self-interest. It's always amusing
              to hear people speak of the downfall of American communities and
              society, and yet when it gets down to brass "taxes," forget it.
              It's all about the individual.
              \_ I don't think anyone is whining about paying property
                 taxes. Prop 13 doesn't eliminate that. What it *does* do
                 is set a reasonable rate that taxes can be raised. You
                 might think seniors are the wealthiest, but they are not, by
                 the way. They might have high net worths if they happened
                 to own a home (which many do not) but their incomes are
                 low in any case and much of the income they do have goes to
                 medical care. If this real estate bubble crashes many
                 seniors won't have any money at all beyond Social
                 Security. In fact, many people depend solely on Social
                 Security as it is. I am going to guess that you are
                 either a wealthy limousine liberal (in which case you
                 can afford to fund the government's waste) or else someone
                 who doesn't own any property and thus doesn't care.
2005/7/24-26 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:38795 Activity:very high
7/23    50% of Americans think that the the Atomic bombing of Japan
        was a bad idea:
        http://csua.org/u/ctr
        Take the poll again in another 20 years and most of the people alive
        during WWII will be dead, then it will be 70%.  I'll bet in 1945 that
        number was a lot lower.  What percentage of Japanese think
        bombing Pearl Harbor was a good idea?  -ax
        Put that in your pipe and smoke it emarkp -ausman
        \_ My anonymous troll has a name! -emarkp
        \_ On the flip side, this is what Japanese think of the Pearl
           Harbor invasion:
           http://photobucket.com/albums/y105/LordAzrael/Az/slanted.jpg
           \_ The exhibit gets some key points wrong, but there does
              seem to be some indication that FDR allowed Pearl Harbor
              to happen despite some knowledge of a Japanese attack
              in order to rally America behind a war that he WANTED
              to join.
              \_ Oh gawd, the exhibit fucking sucks.
              \_ Oh gawd, the exhibit fucking lies.
           \_ Yeah, and the FDR forced Japan to commit Nanjing Massacare,
              atrocities of Unit 731, and all the other good stuff it did to
              other Asian countries.  Oh, or was it the Chang Kai-Shek of the
              Chinese govt that forced Japan to do those things?  Also, Japan
              was already at war with Britain even before Pearl Harbor.  FDR
              could have used the same excuse to declare war on Japan
        \_ 50% of Americans voted for W.
           \_ That, and the below bit about "not being able to find Japan on
              a map" are my sentiments exactly.  I'm glad someone's using their
              brains tonight.  -John
        \_ What about Americans who were actually around back then?
        \_ 50% of Americans can't find Japan on a map.  The other 50% don't
           know what a map is.  Thanks to the teacher's unions for the
           quality public schools that brought us here.
           \_ thanks to the california senate which doesn't allocate enough
              funds to the public school system and the people who voted for
              prop 37.
              \_ Schools are the biggest line item in the budget and CA
                 teachers are among the highest paid anywhere. There's money.
                 It's not a money issue.
                 \_ Even if it was the case the CA teachers are the highest
                    paid in the country, why would anyone want to teach
                    in CA? You wouldn't be able to make a decent living.
                 \_ Isn't California like 43rd on average spending per
                    pupil? Of course it is about the money. You can't
                    totally scrimp on spending like that and have
                    a good outcome. Teacher salaries are high, but
                    not on a purchasing parity basis (adjusting
                    for California's high cost of living).
                    http://www.rand.org/publications/MG/MG186
                    \_ The average spending per pupil number is not
                       meaningful. The fact is that CA spends almost 60%
                       of all tax revenues on education. Should it
                       increase to 90%? The fact is that the urban areas
                       of CA are difficult to teach in. Throwing money at
                       the problem won't help. King/Drew in LA has some of
                       the highest paid doctors and a large budget and yet
                       it provides far worse service than other hospitals.
                       The same principles are at work in education.
                       \_ California used to spend 4.5% of state income
                          on education, now we spend 3%. Not surprisingly,
                          the quality of the education has gone down. We
                          need to raise taxes.
                          \_ Uhm... Doesn't the state law say they have to
                             spend 40% of outlay on education, minimum?
                          \_ Where are you getting these crazy numbers?
                             \_ From the Rand report cited above. "In the
                                early to mid-1970s, California spent about
                                the same share of its personal income on
                                public education as the rest of the country
                                did, about 4.5 percent. However, in the late
                                1970s, the share of personal income that
                                Californians devoted to their public schools
                                fell to about 1.2 percent below the national
                                average and remained well below the national
                                average through 2000."
                                \_ http://www.pacificresearch.org/press/opd/2005/opd_05-03-03li.html
                                \_ http://tinyurl.com/7vxl7
                                \_ Ok that's nice n all but has nothing to do
                                   with total state outlay to education.  The
                                   State is paying 40% of the total budget at
                                   a minimum, by law.  How much more of the
                                   budget would you like to spend on education
                                   in this state?  At what level of budget
                                   spending do you think we'd magically have a
                                   real school system again?  You're just
                                   playing with statistics that favor your
                                   "pay my mom more money!" position.  I've
                                   *never* heard or seen anyone, reputable or
                                   not, use a "percentage of personal income"
                                   measurement to determine anything before.
                                   Ever.  Join the rest of us using a useful
                                   number and we'll talk.  In the meantime,
                                   the evil teacher's unions can take a hike.
                                   \_ Exactly. CA has a higher income. Why
                                      does the % matter? Likewise,
                                      spending per pupil. If I have a
                                      school district of 10 and a school
                                      district of 100 they both need, say,
                                      an administrator. The district of 10
                                      is going to pay more per pupil for
                                      that administrator, but they are not
                                      getting anything more for it. You
                                      can't argue this with teachers,
                                      though. They just like to bitch.
                 \_ Prior to prop 13, California had some of the best public
                    schools in the nation.  Post prop 13, it ranks near the
                    bottom.  It is at least a very strong data point.
                    \_ Once judges ruled that local money couldn't be spent
                       locally, Prop 13 was inevitable.
                    \_ Getting rid of Prop 13 won't help anything. Don't
                       believe the propaganda.
                    \_ Yeah, prop13 was so great.  The schools were just
                       awesome... for anyone not getting taxed out of their
                       home and forced to move out of state.
              \_ Spoken like either a true union cultist or someone who has
                 no idea how the teacher's unions work in this country.
                 \_ spoken like someone who went through public schools and
                    saw almost every helpful and effective program for
                    connecting with students fought and eventually dissolved
                    because of financial reasons.  Spoken like someone who
                    has family working in public education being jerked around
                    by an administration focused on standards based assessment
                    and transfered or laid off at least once a year due to
                    financial reasons.
                    \_ yes, everyone in teaching is just like your anecdotal
                       experiences.  go look at how the unions behave and come
                       back and shed a bitter tear about all those poor
                       teachers who just want to educate the next generation.
                       \_ actually, every teacher I know winds up spending
                          hundreds to thousands of dollars each year on books
                          and office supplies that the school system refuses
                          to pay for.
                          \_ They can deduct this on their taxes. It sounds
                             to me like they need to take this up with their
                             school district. The money is there, but teachers
                             are such pathetic whiners I can't blame most
                             districts for tuning them out at this point.
        \_ The same article says:
           "Two-thirds of Americans say the use of atomic bombs was
            unavoidable"
           So it was unavoidable BUT it was still a bad idea? Hmm.
           So it was unavoidable BUT it was still a bad idea?
           \_ The same article says a number of other things but taking a
              single line out of context makes some people feel good.
              \_ Okay here is some context. Preceding lines:
                 "President Truman decided to try to end the war by
                  dropping atomic bombs ... Those bombings led to
                  Japan's announcement on Aug. 15 that it would
                  surrender."
                 And then the article says 2/3 of Americans felt that
                 the use of the bombs of unavoidable - ie there was
                 no way to end the war OTHER than to use the A-Bomb.
                 The line following says that 20% of Japanese agreed
                 that use of the A-Bomb was the only way to end the
                 war while 75% felt that the war would have ended
                 w/o the A-Bomb. Then comes the sentence so promiently
                 quoted above. I find it inconsistent to not approve
                 of something that you find was the ONLY possible
                 option.
        \_ A lot of Japanese don't even know about Pearl Harbor.  Japanese
           textbooks only talk about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
                \_ Do Americans now about the crippling naval blockade that
                   made the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor?
                   \_ But Japan attacked without declaring war.
                   \_ yea, America should continue to supply Japan with the
                      resources to undertake more Nanjing Massacres.
                        \_ The point was that it was something foreseeable.
                   \_ If not others, the 1970 Hollywood movie "Tora! Tora!
                      Tora!" by 20th Century Fox talked about all that.
2005/6/23-25 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:38254 Activity:high
6/23    Supreme Court rules cities may seize homes
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1428929/posts?page=1,50
        \_ More like "SC upholds ED as is."
        \_ Can we get a non freeper link about the same subject? I'll start:
           http://tinyurl.com/bepw2 (forbes.com)
           \_ Here is the opinion:
              http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-108.ZS.html
              \_ anyone find a url for the dissent?
                 \_ It's all here: link:csua.org/u/chm (pdf file)
                 \_ The cornell page has links to the dissents as well.
        \_ what's so new about imminent domain?
           \_ When eminent domain is used to acquire land for private
              development, the potential for abuse is large.  A politically
              conected businessman can 'suggest' that the city use eminent
              domain to help build a new retail or office development.  The
              city uses its power to acquire the land for a value which is
              much less than if the developer had to sweet-talk homeowners to
              sell.  -dgies, !op
           \_ Because this isn't eminent domain.  This is a greatly expanded
              and never seen before abuse of the power.  Any developer can
              now come into any area and tell the city council how much more
              tax revenue they'll get from a new Walmart and it is now legal
              to tear down any homes in the way.  This is entirely new which
              is why the SC had to rule on it.  You're just trolling, right?
              \- While I see the potential for abuse, I find it odd to see
                 STEVENS as a corporate tool and THOMAS and RHENQUIST as the
                 defender of the "little guy", so I think some closer reading
                 on this case may be in order.
                 \_ Ok, you tell us what you find that says this isn't a new
                    huge expansion of ED and isn't easily abused.  We both
                    read the same article.  Go see O'Connors quote in the text.
                    She has it right on the money.  It's about the money.  Mr.
                    Developer promises new tax renevue from flattening a bunch
                    of homes and it's legal.  Period.  Please link to the
                    further reading you find that says this isn't the case.
                    \_ 1981: Poletown Neighborhood Council v. City of Detroit:
                       http://csua.org/u/chd (law.berkeley.edu). It's not
                       "new." It's re-establishing something old. key grafs:
                       MAJORITY: "The power of eminent domain is to be used
                       in this instance primarily to accomplish the essential
                       public purposes of alleviating unemployment and revi-
                       talizing the economic base of the community. The bene-
                       fit to a private interest is merely incidental. If the
                       public benefit was not so clear and significant, we
                       would hesitate to sanction approval of such a project."
                       DISSENT: "With regard to highways, railroads, canals,
                       and other instrumentalities of commerce, it takes little
                       imagination to recognize that without eminent domain
                       these essential improvements, all of which require
                       particular configurations of property - narrow and
                       generally straight ribbons of land -would be "otherwise
                       impracticable"; they would not exist at all... [I]t
                       could hardly be contended that the existence of the
                       automotive industry or the construction of a new [GM]
                       assembly plant requires the use of eminent domain." -!pp
                       \_ Ok, did you miss below where someone posted this was
                          over turned later?  Maybe you have something else to
                          link to that shows this isn't a new and dangerous
                          ruling expanding ED to places it has never been?
                    \_ A PDF version of the Connecticut State Supreme Court's
                       decision on the appeal:
                       link:csua.org/u/che (300k)
                       This is LONG, and I'm not going to summarize. It bears
                       reading, as the appellants' challenge has a lot to do
                       with interpretation of the phrasing of state law.
                       A large number of documents were filed on this case:
                       http://csua.org/u/chf (Findlaw.com)
                       Hope that helps. --erikred
                       \_ very interesting (che link).  Thanks. -nivra
           \_ Precedent for this application of eminent domain was established
              in 1981 in Poletown, MI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poletown
              Detroit seized 1300 homes & 140 businesses to build a GM plant.
              The 1981 decision was overturned in 2004: http://csua.org/u/chc.
              What I don't understand is wtf was going on in the intervening
              23 years?  Didn't houses get razed for the GM plant? Was the
              plant never built?  The overturn happened in MI SC by 4 very
              conservative judges.  In this case, conservatives are arguing
              for private property rights, and liberals are arguing for
              "public good," including economic development.  The public good
              for economic development policy's glaring drawback is the
              vulnerability to corruption: city planners can easily be bought
              by greedy developers. Wiki link on eminent domain:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain
              \_ The solution to government corruption is to stop the corruption
                 not try to stop government from functioning.
        \_ I'm pretty liberal, why oh why does the Supreme court keep making
           rulings that make me agree with the rightwing of the court?
           \_ Yup, all the liberal justices are fighting for the little guy!
           \_ yah... I think my principles also steer me towards preferring
              the conservative side of this one.  If the corporations want to
              the dissent on this one.  If the corporations want to
              develop the land, make the tenants 2x or 3x fair market price
              for the land. -nivra
              for the land. -nivra [edit: I misused cons/lib labels]
              [Note: On 2nd reading, I agree with majority, see below]
              \_ See, this shouln't be a conservative/liberal issue.  It's
                 about private property.  This ruling basically says there's no
                 such thing as private property.  A free society shouldn't
                 accept this. -emarkp
                 \_ This is a conservative/liberal issue. It is an issue
                    of who decides what is best - the state or the people?
                    Liberals generally want to take things out of the hands
                    of the people and stick them in the hands of the state.
                    Look at the opinion - it basically says the state said
                    this was a good idea, who are we to second guess the
                    state.
                    Conservatives (real ones) would prefer to leave things
                    in the hands of the people - Let the developer PAY Ms.
                    Kelo the amt of money she wants in order for her to
                    willingly sell.
                    \_ This is simplistic and ridiculous. I'm a liberal who
                       believes in private property, individual responsibility,
                       freedom of religion, and government non-interference
                       in reproductive rights. Liberal and conservative are
                       labels that do not accurately reflect the level of
                       complexity needed here. --erikred
                 \_ Eh, it doesn't say there's no such thing as private
                    property.  The City still had to pay compensation, so
                    it still falls under Eminent domain.  I don't agree
                    with the ruling (as i currently see it), but I
                    wouldn't go so far as the above. -jrleek
                    \_ If I can't determing the selling price for my property
                       (whether anyone wants to buy at that price or not), how
                       is it that it's mine? -emarkp
                       \_ Uh..  You can determine an asking price.  A selling
                          price, no.  Now, if you lose bargaining rights, that
                          sucks.
                       \_ By that reasoning the constitution never
                          protected your property rights at all.
                          "nor shall private property be taken for public
                          use, without just compensation." Doesn't say you
                          get to decide what is just compensation. -jrleek
                          \_ And if you think it's not just, you petition for
                             redress.
                             \_ The fact that the onus is on you in the first
                                place is evil and fucked up.  -John
                    \_ Compensation doesn't take into account things like
                       subjective value in the property. In this particular
                       case Ms. Kelo family has lived in the same house for
                       many years, the house has a very nice view of the
                       Thames river, &c. The assessed value of the house
                       isn't that high and no where near enough for her to
                       afford to buy another river front home.
                       What give some rich ass yuppie who works for Pfizer
                       more rights to that river view than Ms. Kelo? If he
                       wants Ms. Kelo's home he should be prepared to pay
                       what SHE feels is a proper price for the property,
                       not what the assessor thinks.
                       Under the Kelo regime it seems that the only way
                       to have private property is to be willing to lay
                       down your life to defend it. (At least they won't
                       be able to take your home while you are alive).
                       \_ this is a totally different issue:  ie.
                          how to determine "fair market value" or "fair
                          compensation."  The issue at hand is one of
                          viable use of eminent domain clause and what
                          constitutes "public use."  -nivra
                          \_ I was just pointing out that compensation
                             in this case will likely not be adequate.
                             BUT, if anything can qualify as a public
                             use (and anything the city says is a pub
                             use seems to qualify under the Kelo view)
                             compensation becomes VERY important. If
                             the city can just walk up to a perfectly
                             good home and say that it is taking it
                             b/c some yuppie is willing to pay more
                             for it and just pay some pittance where
                             is the justice?
                       \_ Re: the ad-absurdia claim that "there is no private
                          property." The Conn. SC said: "This claim, while
                          somewhat incalescent, affords us the opportunity to
                          reiterate that an exercise of the eminent domain
                          power is unreasonable, in violation of the public
                          use clause, if the facts and circumstances of the
                          particular case reveal that the taking specifically
                          is intended to benefit a private party. Thus, we
                          emphasize that our decision is not a license for
                          the unchecked use of the eminent domain power as a
                          tax revenue raising measure; rather, our holding is
                          that rationally considered municipal economic
                          development projects such as the development plan
                          in the present case pass constitutional muster."
                          -nivra
                    \- again it does sound like there have been some iffy
                       uses of eminent domain recently, but i havent read
                       about them in depth. but the world is a complicated
                       place. see again something like the pruneyard v robins
                       case. property rights arent absolute or always trumps.
                       similarly, simple "common sense" principles like
                       "coming to a nuisance" dont always make the most
                       sense. see e.g. spur v. del webb, and Guido Calabresi
                       and Melamed: Property rules, liability rules and
                       inalenability: one view of the cathedral, from the
                       harvard law rev. --psb
                       \_ There are two underlying principles to this
                          decision:
                          1. Property should be put to the best possible
                             use
                          2. The law should be allow rsrcs to be allocated
                             in the manner that maximizes their use
                          From a certain pov Ms. Kelo's use of the prop.
                          was not the most profitable (ie best possible
                          use) of the land; the property could be put to
                          better use by Pfizer (or their proxies).
                          Once the city decided that Pfizer could make
                          better use of the land than Ms. Kelo, the duty
                          of the cts is to see that this decision is
                          implemented UNLESS it can be shown that the
                          decision will not maximize the use of the
                          property.
                          If this is the view then Ms. Kelo bore the
                          b/p to show that her use was as good or better
                          than the proposed use - she could not show
                          this, so her b/p was not met, so the city's
                          wins. Case closed. Everyone go home - except
                          Ms. Kelo, she doesn't have a home.
                          \_ What?  You actually believe those 'principles'
                             and what follows from them?
                             \_ Absolutely not, but that is the only
                                way that I can make sense of this
                                garbage.
        \_ This may need a Constitional amendment, from a first reading.
           -moderate
           \_ Yes, the majority ruling is constitutional and I agree insofar
              as this is correct within what's currently legislated. But, law
              doesn't provide for what's "ample and reasonable compensation."
              An amendment should probably address that to favor excessive
              recompense for the "condemned properties."  After perusing the
              pdf opinion from the Conn. SC erikred posted, I agree that
              (1) public use for economic development should be allowed.
              (2) limits on this are a flexible and changing issue, and
              need to be determined case-by-case via the legislative and
              judicial system.  In this case, the economic development in
              question was planned by the city for a large economic develop-
              ment zone, which happened to include Pfizer offices.  There's
              also a marina, park, etc.  Eventhough some of the specific land
              in question may be sold to a private entity(Pfizer), the plan,
              in whole, is justified under "public use."  -nivra
              \_ You want case-by-case.  I think raising the bar higher via
                 Constitutional amendment is something which should be
                 seriously considered. -moderate
                 \_ I think recompense should be increased, but the correctness
                    of interpreting "public use" --> "public purpose" is valid.
                    case-by-case allows the correct judgment to be made in
                    borderline public good/private benefit situations.  If
                    the recompense to the existing property owners is aug-
                    mented, I don't see why "raising the bar" is needed. -nivra
                    \_ Like I wrote before, a Constitutional amendment is
                       something which should be seriously /considered/.
                       I'm not sure the American people believe being paid
                       "more" is sufficient for an interpretation of eminent
                       domain that goes beyond transportation and military
                       bases. -moderate
                       \_ I parse "raising the bar" and "wider interpretation
                          of eminent domain" as two different issues.
                          Raising the bar is increasing the burden of proof
                          that the economic development is public use.
                          "wider interpretation" is changing the definition
                          of "public use" -nivra
                          \_ Let's just change the Constitution so it qualifies
                             "for public use" with "limited to improving
                             transportation infrastructure or in the interests
                             of national security". -moderate
        \_ Opinion: This is bullshit.  Eminent domain is one of those issues
           where I set the bar REALLY REALLY high for the government to even
           have a right to get involved directly. -- ilyas
           \_ In your opinion, which side is more strict constructionist --
              interpreting the Constitution as it is written, as opposed to
              following the spirit of it as a loose constructionist?
              \_ Is this a joke? -- ilyas
                 \_ No.
                    \_ Your question is a tautology. -- ilyas
        \_ This discussion reminds me of something a guy I knew from the
           Caribbean said.  He asked, "How come Americans can't own land?"
           Huh? "Well, do Americans have to rent the land from the
           government or something?"  Uhhh.. no.  "But you pay property
           tax.  How can you say you own something when you have to pay
           someone to keep them from taking it from you?" Uhhhh...
        \_ This ruling is a disaster.  Now any tract of land anywhere in the
           country is up for development, all a wealthy developer has to do
           is to pay off a city council, and the city council can make a case
           that the development will benefit the public by creating jobs or
           whatever, and you can kiss your house and your neighborhood
           goodbye!
           \_ Realistically speaking, I wonder how much an average Joe would
              have to spend to fight a dubious eminent domain claim in the
              courts?  Could be a lot, I think.  I'd just sell and forgo my
              rights, unless nice GOP people gave me money.
           \_ see ad-absurdia claim above. -nivra
2005/6/23-25 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:38253 Activity:nil
6/22    Rent or buy? You decide:
        http://tinyurl.com/9ll3u (cbs news)
        \_ The calucalator does not take Prop 13 into account, so the numbers
           are way off, especially near the end of 30 years.
           \_ I assume the calculator is National, not CA.  How do you
              think prop 13 should skew it?  Doesn't prop 13 hold the tax
              rate steady? You can set the rate on the calc.
              \_ It locks the tax to a percentage of the purchase price, not
                 the current assessed value.
2004/9/24-25 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:33742 Activity:very high
9/24    I am annoyed by the Chron's sloppy reporting on the UC admission
        GPA increase.  http://csua.org/u/971
        In one paragraph, they talk about "4900 fewer students in the
        eligibility pool".  In another paragraph, they talk about the
        smaller number of each racial group who would be admitted, but
        they do this trick that confuses members of the eligibility
        pool with the students actually admitted.  (I imagine not that
        many 2.8 GPA students were admitted into UCB.)  What I really
        want to know is how the policy would actually affect admissions,
        say by looking at admission statistics of the last several years.
        But the Chron deliberately, lazily, or misleadingly  does not
        provide that information.  Does anyone know?
        \_ I was admitted with a 2.8 highschool gpa.  I agree that it's
           probably rare.  There were also minimum SAT score requirements
           which were higher the farther your gpa was below 3.0, iirc.
        \_ You mean "the Chron's sloppy reporting."  period.
           \_ I am not usually bothered by the Chron since I use other
              news sources most of the time.  Thinking about it more
              though, I am somewhat worried that there are people who
              depend on it for their primary "in depth" news source.
        \_ I don't understand.  If conditions are bad at your school,
           shouldn't it be easier to get a high GPA?
           \_ Easier given the same amount of effort, but if you've ever
              been to a bad school you'd understand why this is not
              necessarily true. Lots of kids are trying to survive, not
              get a high GPA.
              \_ Generally those kids aren't too worried about going
                 to a UC either.
                 \_ Which is the sad part, because they should be. To
                    compare Beverly Hills High to Crenshaw High in terms
                    of GPA is silly. It's probably *harder* to get a high
                    GPA at a place like Crenshaw, despite less
                    competition.
                    \_ I agree with you there.  Which is why we need to
                       fix the schools, not make it easier to get into
                       college.  Then it's already too late.
                       \_ What's that?  The public schools are broken?
                          But ... how can that be?  Aren't they overseen
                          by the ALMIGHTY STATE?  WHAT WENT WRONG?  It
                          must be the greedy private interests that fucked
                          up our schools!
                          \_ In fact it was. Prop 13.
                             \_ BWAHAHAHA!
                             \_ Not Prop 13. Check out:
                                http://makeashorterlink.com/?A18D12E59
                                [disguised wingnut link]
                             \_ Read:
                                http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_1003HRR.pdf
                                "Despite Proposition 13 and other limitations,
                                state and local government spending in
                                California in in line with spending in other
                                states. In 1999-2000, state and local
                                government spending per capita in California
                                exceed the average of all other states by 9%."
                                The lack of tax money is not a problem. What
                                is a problem is how we choose to spend it.
                                \_ is that adjusted for things like local
                                   cost of materials/cost of living?
                                   \_ Doesn't look like it.  Nor the teachers'
                                      salaries, for that matter.
                                \_ Ah, but what's spending as % of GDP?
                                \_ California had good public schools before
                                   Prop 13. I am old enough to remember.
                                   \_ And free junior colleges.  We REALLY
                                      need to reexamine.
                                      \_ And CA ranks near the bottom of
                                         the US in state spending per student
                                         \_ I don't think most people are
                                            against spending more on
                                            schools, if there was any
                                            chance of it getting better.
                                            Have you seen the schools?
                                            They're run my complete
                                            morons!
                                            \_ Have you considered working in
                                               the schools? It's terrible!  The
                                               pay is shit, the hours are long
                                               and you have medeling from nosy
                                               parents and a school-board run
                                               by junior politicians.  It's no
                                               wonder they can't attract good
                                               people!
                                               \_ Wow... how can this
                                                  travesty happen with a
                                                  STATE-RUN INSTITUTION?
                                                  Surely, there must have
                                                  been some sort of shadowy
                                                  special-interest involvement
                                                  from greedy multinational
                                                  corporations that caused
                                                  this!
                                                  \_ Okay, think about it
                                                     this way.  How often have
                                                     you received good service
                                                     at a Denny's, or some
                                                     shop at the mall, or
                                                     first level tech support
                                                     from a big company. If
                                                     you don't pay enough,
                                                     the good people won't
                                                     stick around "for the
                                                     love of it."
                                \_ It is not relevant that CA had good
                                   schools before Prop 13. CA has plenty
                                   of tax revenue. The reason CA spends
                                   less on education is because we spend
                                   a smaller % of tax revenue on
                                   education (22% for CA versus 25%
                                   elsewhere). Read the PPIC article. Prop
                                   13 is just a scapegoat. In the 1970s
                                   sale tax was 3% and houses cost $35K
                                   (i.e. property values far outstripped
                                   inflation). More taxes is not the
                                   answer.
                                   \_ What does California spend it tax
                                      money on then? I am genuninly
                                      curious. Do you have a reference?
                                      \_ Yes. THE LINK ABOVE TO PPIC says
                                         that. If you want to know
                                         everything broken down look here:
                                         http://makeashorterlink.com/?Q25E25F59
                                         BTW, CA has the highest paid
                                         teachers in the nation.
                                         \_ they make TWO hunks of dirt a day!
                        \_ http://www.edsource.org/sch_ca_us_pupil_xpn.cfm
                           California lags far behind the rest of the
                           nation in per pupil expenditures.
                                    \_ Try looking at: Serrano v. Priest
2004/7/30-31 [Reference/RealEstate, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:32601 Activity:very high
7/30    How do you try to save money?
        \_ The big things are obvious.  It's the little things that add up
           real fast.  My big pet peeve is credit cards and debt in general.
           I have never had a CC that had any sort of monthly/yearly/etc fees
           associated with simply holding it unused.  I pay off my entire
           bill every month so I don't pay interest.  I things I need.  I buy
           very little crap that I merely want.  A new ipod, cell phone, mega
           digital camera, faster computer, etc doesn't bring happiness.  And
           lastly, the first thing my wife and I did after getting jobs was to
           immediately put all extra cash into paying off school loans and now
           we try to put extra cash against the mortgage which is our only
           remaining debt.
        \_ Eat out less!  Including lunch.  That's the biggest one for me.
           Get a copy of quicken or something and really keep a budget for
           a month or two.  It sucks, but stick at it.  Really look at what
           you are spending.  Then you can try to devise a budget that trims
           some stuff that is excessive.  If you are a gadget freak think about
           cutting down on your gadget budget, or having a gadget budget
           if you currently just sort of buy when you like.  Oh and yeah,
           get a fixed amount from the bank every few days and try to pay
           for things in cash.  It really does make you pay attention to
           how much you are spending on crap.
        \_ fuck money!  money's a tool of the Man to keep us tied down to
           jobs we hate and toys we don't really need!  we should tear down
           the banks and credit card agencies and revert to direct trade of
           goods and services.
           \_ Hi Paolo!
              \_  hey!  that was me!  -sax
        \_ Calculate your monthly expenses. Autodeposit this to your checking.
           Autodeposit some other amount into a Mutual Fund/Brokerage account
           where you don't see it and won't spend it. The rest is yours to spend
        \_ Make most purchases with cash, withdraw a fixed amount from the
           ATM once a week.  Have to make the cash last the week.
           \_ sounds like it worked for you.  did you have to cut back
              on expenses?  what did you cut?
              \_ Eat out less at expensive places.  When I get the craving, I
                 cook something really nice for myself.  Also, fewer impulse
                 purchases and you start to thing of the credit card as only
                 for major purchases so you don't just whip it out for some
                 new shiny toy.
                 Oh, and stay off online shopping sites, especially eBay.
        \_ direct deposit some money to a special account.
        \_ housing is ~1/2-1/3 of your salary. Once you've figured out how to
           reduce that cost, you've saved a lot.
           \_ The motd has previously established that owning real estate is
              A Good Thing; although you shouldn't buy more space than you need
              \_ just wait till the bubble pops...
                 \_ Then what? I'll have a fixed rent I can afford and a
                    house that falls all the way back down in value to what
                    I paid for it - except my interest rate is lower now
                    than it was then. How scary is that?
                    \_ Uh, there's a thing called "property tax" that's
                       based on the worth of the house, moron. People
                       keep forgetting to factor the cost of that in.
                       \_ Right....so when the bubble pops, you get a
                          reappraisal and your prop. tax goes down...
                          \_ Don't try to argue with the bitter renters.
                             \_ Hey, if it makes you feel better about your
                                shitty investments to think that all renters
                                are bitter, then hey!  Go for it!
                       \_ You think you're reminding a homeowner about
                          property tax? Writing those massive checks twice
                          per year is a pretty good reminder, I think.
        \_ Don't have family, don't have a car, share your appartment/house
           with other roommates.
           \_ that worked 1 year after we graduated. But then my roomate got
              a gf. She told him to move out, and move out he did. Then they
              got married. Bought a house. Had a kid. Doesn't play computer
              games and doesn't hang out with his buddies. Does laundry and
              lawn and backyard work every weekend. Me? I'm still paying a
              shitload of rent in my apartment. At least no one bosses me
              around. Oh well.                          -getting old
              \_ Why don't you get a new roomate?
                \_ I went through a few, but they either moved out, got a gf,
                   or both. Getting old.        -getting old, 30 something
                   \_ On average, how much of your time does it take to get a
                      new roomate?  And on average how much money do they end
                      up paying you before they move out?  How much is your
                      time really worth?  You must 'make' hundreds per hour
                      when looking for a roomate!
                        \_ But you can't run around naked when you have a
                           roommate!  And when having sex on the kitchen
                           counter you gotta always keep one ear on the
                           front door.
                           \_ that's why it's good to have your roommate be
                              the person you have sex with on the kitchen
                              counter.  then you can save money *and* listen
                              to motorhead while having sex on the kitchen
                              counter.
        \_ A car should last 10 years easily.  Buy a 2-3 year old car, take
           good care of it and drive it into the ground.  You only need a new
           car if your job depends on your image, and if you're a Sodan it
           probably doesn't.
           \_ I don't think that has much to do with sodans -- I think that's
              just generally true.  CSUA is a surpisingly diverse crowd -- it's
              too bad that, as a group, we've all allowed the 9-5 suit types
              and ex-fratboys to define our self-image.  I'm not sure what's
              worse: that we've bought into the stereotype of computer
              tech people as overweight, socially clueless, stinky people - or
              the type of people that we're bought into that image from.
              \_ The peole who's jobs depend on having a new car are people
              \_ The peole whose jobs depend on having a new car are people
                 like car dealers, real estate agents and plastic surgeons.
                 \_ you left out drug dealers, pimps, and lawyers.
              \_ I get lots of h0t aZn ch1x with my new car.
                 \_ You get Ac-ur-Uh Integ-rah hah?!!!!1!
              \_ Why do you let other people define you?  Either you're a
                 smelly geek with no social skills or you're not.  If you are
                 then someone else calling you that is just the truth.  Deal.
                 If you're not, then who gives a shit what they say?
        \_ Maxing out my 401(k) and ESPP.  Making extra payments to my mortgage
           principal when my bank account has a high balance.
           \_ don't make extra mortgage payments if your interest rate is
              low.  You could make more income with your extra money.
              \_ yea, after tax deductions a 30-year 6% interest becomes
                 like 4%.  Not that hard to beat it by investing.
        \_ Just play the stock market and earn big bucks like me.
        \_ Get married.  It worked for me.
           \- you know i think prior to everything else is to "profile"
              your spending. if you spend $50/week on drinks in bars, that's
              better place to optimize than "dont buy the da vinci code,
              get it at the library" if you amazon budget is $300/yr --psb
2004/3/2 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:12483 Activity:very high
3/2     Today is super tuesday.  Don't forget to vote.  Here's the obPoll:
        Kerry:            .. (lemmings)
        Edwards:          .
        Kucinich:         ..
        Sharpton:         .
        Neither:          ..
        yes on prop 55:   .....
        no on prop 55:    ..
        yes on prop 56:   ...
        no on prop 56:    ...
        yes on prop 57:   ..
        no on prop 57:    ...
        yes on prop 58:   ..
        no on prop 58:    ....
        yes on Measure 2: .
        no on Measure 2:  .
        tired of polls:   ..
        don't care:       .
           \_ not so.  there are several other very important issues on there
              even if you think the primary is over.
        \_ votes formatted not because I'm anal, but because I'm so incredibly
           bored.  :-)
        \_ No open primaries this year.   This sucks if you are an independent
           but want to actually have a say in what your choices for the
           prez vote are.
           \_ You can still vote for Nader...
           \_ If you want to have a say, you should have registered as a Dem
              for this election, then switched back before November. If you
              can't figure out how to game the system, you have no place
              whining about it.
           \_ Not true. You can request a Democrat ballot if you want. I
              am an independent and I voted for a Democrat in the primary.
           \_ Yeah, those damn parties thinking they should base the primary on
              who the party members choose...
              \_ Let the parties hold their own elections then instead of
                 having the government foot the bill.
           \_ The independent in front of me in line asked for a republican
              ballot.  There's nothing contested in any election for the
              republicans.  Why would he ask for that instead of the democrat
              ballot where he can make a difference?
        \_ Which prop is about raising the bridge tolls?  I'm so ignorant.
           \_ Measure 2, comes with good things and bad things.
              Translink would be great, but ferries are a waste of money
              as is extending BART to Byron.
              \_ The problem with M2 is it raises the bridge toll but uses the
                 funds for many other unrelated projects.  So it taxes a small
                 number of people but asks a larger number of people if it is
                 ok to tax that smaller number for the larger group's benefit
                 without cost to that larger group.  This is the worst form of
                 taxation possible.  I voted against it merely on those grounds
                 even though we need to improve the transit system.  And no, I
                 don't drive the bay bridge regularly.  Maybe twice a year.
              \_ I agree that ferries suck, but BART builds slowly and it makes
                 sense to build in the direction of future growth, which is
                 to the east.
                 \_ BART is a ridiculous boondoggle, far too expensive and
                    slow to cover the distances it's trying to cover.  The
                    more we extend BART, the longer it will be until we have
                    a decent transit system in the Bay Area.  That said, I
                    begrudgingly voted for RM2.  -tom
                    \_ Slow?  32min from Hayward to downtown SF during morning
                       commute hours seems pretty fast to me.  Can't beat that
                       even if you're carpooling with two passenges.
                       \_ you *can* beat that if you're using a train system
                          in any major city in Europe or Japan.  And the ride
                          from Byron is likely to be more than an hour.  -tom
                          \_ How often do those train systems stop?  Thanks.
                             Let's get some apples/apples here.  Put away the
                             oranges.
                             \_ Heavy-rail systems with stops at similar
                                distance to East Bay BART are much, much
                                faster; top speeds 50-100% higher than BART.
                                In dense areas, systems like the London
                                Underground do just as well in comparison.
                                   -tom
                                \_ And cost how much?  Are you seriously saying
                                   we should replace BART with a new system
                                   that will cost more to run and run louder
                                   through all the neighborhoods?
                                   \_ No system will cost more to run than
                                      BART--standard rail costs quite a bit
                                      less than non-standard rail.  And have
                                      you ever actually been to another
                                      country?  The trains are quieter than
                                      BART.  -tom
                                      \_ Have you ever been to New York?
                                         You don't have to go to another
                                         country to beat BART.
                          \_ How many trains have to go by before you can be
                             pushed into one in the Tokyo area?
                             \_ let me get this straight--BART is better
                                because it's really slow, so no one uses it,
                                so the trains aren't as crowded? -tom
                                \_ No, more like people use trains because the
                                   population density is so insanely high they
                                   live like rats.  Is that what you want?
                       \_ How long does it take to get to the station and find
                          parking in the morning?
                          \_ There are always more than a hundred empty spaces
                             in the parking structure even at 9am everyday.
                             \_ Which parking lot are you at?  If I'm not there
                                by 8:30, it's completely filled.
                       \_ 32 minutes?  I'm a bit further out on that line and
                          it isn't 32 minutes for that part of it.
                       \_ Glen Park BART is 12 minutes to Montgomery, which
                          is faster than you can drive that route on a fast
                          motorcycle. I know, I have tried. -ausman
              \_ How is a proposition different from a measure?
                 \_ Prop=Statewide, Measure [1-9]=County, Measure [A-Z] = City
        \_ Why are they trying to fund healthcare with a sales tax increase?
           It's regressive taxation and falls whenever the economy is in
           trouble.  Not to mention it harms the local economy more than an
           income or property tax because it's easier for people to shop
           somewhere else than to move or change jobs.
           \_ Because nothing but a sales tax increase will ever pass county
              wide. Any policymaker worth their spit would prefer an income or
              property tax but they are generally impossible to pass in CA.
              \_ with good reason.  taxes are already too high.
           \_ Where are they trying to do this?
              \_ Alameda county.  Proposed sales tax increase to 8.75%
                 It's a worthy cause, being funded in one of the most ass-ways
                 possible.
        \_ So for the "yes on 55" folks, why do you want to add a $12B bond
           with $12B interest to the CA finance mess?
           \_ Because it is an investment for the future, because I think
              education is usually money well spent, because CA spends less
              than it should on education, because we are in a recession
              and I believe in Keynesian economics. Yeah, I know we will
              probably not still be in a recession by the time the money
              is spent, but the CA finance mess is not a good reason to
              not spend money on worthy causes, since the economy will
              be better sooner or later, probably sooner.
              \_ We already spend more on education/pupil than most states
                 and get the least for it.  Education doesn't need more money.
                 It needs a structural overhaul.
                 \_ Somewhat untrue:  Education in CA needs more money AND
                    they need to spend it more wisely.
                    \_ I don't think it's a case of "spend it more wisely" but
                       restructure the entire educational system.  The people
                       in charge from the top all the way down plus the
                       teacher's unions all have to go.  Until that happens,
                       no amount of money will improve CA education.
                 \_ Wrong. California ranks 33rd in per pupil spending. We
                    spend like a poor Southern state and wonder why we get
                    crappy results. CA needs to spend more on schools.
                    http://www.edsource.org/sch_expend.cfm
                    \_ Dump the illegals and then recalculate, or get a chart
                       that shows absolute numbers which your chart is hiding
                       or better yet, do both.
              \_ Prop 55 includes a $300m grant to build more charter schools.
                 On this basis alone, I cannot, in good conscience, support
                 it.
              \_ Building schools makes no sense when the kids at the
                 current schools don't even have books or teachers. This
                 is money poorly spent in the name of education.
        \_ For the "yes on 56" folks, why do you want to lower the number of
           legislators needed to increase taxes to 55% from 2/3?
           \_ The state budget has been in chaos over not being able to return
              tax rates to an equitable level. Giving the legistature the
              ability to actually do their job sounds like a good idea, unless
              you are one of the many in CA who doesn't like paying for what we
              have here.
              \_ If you paid the taxes *I* pay you'd think they're already too
                 high.  Go get a real job and pay that shit yourself for a few
                 years and we'll see what you think "equitable" looks like.
              \_ I for one think welfare queens should start paying their fair
                 share.
                 \_ What percentage of the state budget is spent by your
                    so-called "welfare queens"? Do you even know?
              \_ I already pay more than my share for what "we" have here.
                 \_ If you really fell that way, why not leave?
                    \_ The weather which is not something improved by increased
                       taxes.
           \_ Because it only takes 51% to lower them.
              \_ Is that true?  I thought *all* tax legislation had to be
                 passed by the same amount.
              \_ and when was the last time your state taxes were lowered?
                 \_ It's sad how easy y'all get brainwashed by right wing talk
                    radio.
                    \_ When was the last time taxes were lowered?
                 \_ Last fall, by Herr Gropenator.
                    \_ Case in point.  Look for a reference to a "car tax"
                       before, oh, '96.
                    \_ No taxes were lowered by the Governor.
                http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/library/htCAVehicleLicense2003.html
                       \_ I wonder how it feels to be you and be wrong about
                          everything, all the time.
                          \_ I see a fee being lowered after it was raised
                             earlier.  Where is your tax?  Do you think I was
                             unaware of the VLF being lowered?  You're not even
                             remotely as clever as you think you are.
                 \_ In real dollars, property taxes go down every day.  Thanks,
                    prop 13.
                    \_ Until you move.
                    \_ Yes, thanks prop 13 or I couldn't afford to own a home.
                       My parents would already be in the street.
                       \_ Prop 13 doesn't do anything to help new homeowners;
                          it only helps people with hundreds of thousands of
                          dollars of equity in their homes keep from
                          contributing to the community.  The idea of people
                          losing their homes over property taxes is a myth.
                          \_ A myth?  I was here and saw it happen.  It is
                             real life to me, not some history book lesson.
                             I lived in pre-prop 13 CA.  Did you?
                             \_ Yeah, I was here too. We used to have good
                                schools before Prop 13 dried up the revenue
                                for them. CA has been on a slow downward
                                spiral ever since it was passed.
                                \_ Yeah, the state was better bankrupting
                                   families so they'd leave and take their kids
                                   with them.  Who wants to spend money
                                   educating all those middle class kids?
                          \_ Uh huh. Without Prop 13 my taxes would be up
                             40% over the last two years. Since they are
                             already $5K now that's another $2K. I wouldn't
                             lose my house, but I'd suffer. Eventually, I
                             might lose my house if the taxes double/triple.
                             \_ So? Suffer away. It's market economics. You
                                could always move instead. Also, without prop
                                13 the burden would be spread everywhere.
                                \_ It's not market economics. What good
                                   does it do me if my house is worth 20x
                                   what it used to be? I should pay tax on it
                                   when I sell and not before, like with stock.
                                   \_ I think Mr. I Hate Prop 13 is just a
                                      bitter apartment dweller who gets off
                                      every night thinking tomorrow will be the
                                      day the housing bubble bursts and he can
                                      finally afford a house.
                                   \_ property taxes pay for the services which
                                      support the value of your house, like
                                      police, fire, and roads.  The analogy to
                                      stocks is totally missing the point.
                                        -tom
                                      \_ So if my house is worth 20x what
                                         my neighbor's house is worth then
                                         I should pay 20x more for this?
                                         \_ I think so. -!tom
                                            \_ Even if it doesn't cost 20x to
                                               supply services to his house?
                                               He uses the same amount of road,
                                               fire, police and other services.
                                               His more expensive house does
                                               not put a bigger drain on the
                                               local services.  Let me guess,
                                               you're not a home owner and
                                               don't work yet, either?
                                               \_ I am a homeowner, and have
                                                  been working for 15 years.
                                                  Try again, anonymous coward.
                                                   -tom
                                                  \_ You 'work' for UC and live
                                                     in Oakland.
                                         \_ How much more will you lose if
                                            your block goes up in flames? Or
                                            if property values crash because
                                            of high crime and shitty schools?
                                             -tom
                                            \_ He's getting the same service as
                                               the shitty house next door. Will
                                               the local fire department make
                                               his fire a priority when both
                                               houses catch fire at the same
                                               time?  Not a chance.  Will the
                                               cop go to his house first? Nope.
           \_ Because it is past time that California raised its taxes.
              \_ no its past time California lowered its expendatures.
                 \_ Okay, where? (And no, deleting my question does not count
                    as a win.)
                    \_ I wasn't here when your question was deleted.  Where?
                       2 things for starters: revamp the educational system,
                       and stop spending money on illegal aliens, then we'll
                       have a chance to see what The People's real needs are
                       and go from there.
                       \_ California already spends less on education than
                          most states. This has been the case for a very
                          long time.
                          \_ I didn't say spend less.  I said revamp.  The
                             entire system is broken and needs to be redone.
        \_ None of this really matters as long as the e-voting machines can be
           shown to be easily compromised and voters are not required to show
           ID in order to vote.  Aargh!
           \_ I had to show ID this morning.
              \_ Where did you vote? (City, County)
                 \_ Dublin.  They asked everyone for ID.
           \_ When I was voting this morning I saw an old person asking about
              paper receipts and audit trails.  It made me happy.
              \_ In San Francisco, we vote by filling in lines with a pen on
                 a piece of paper, which is then read by an optical scanner.
                 This seems like an ideal solution - not prone to error or
                 fraud, easy to understand for everyone, leaves a permanent
                 record for recount, and not labor intensive for the precincts.
                 Why do other counties insist on using such awful solutions
                 like Diebold?
                 \_ Who keeps the piece of paper, the voter or the polling
                    station?  If it's the voter, this system is highly
                    vulnerable to verifiable vote-selling.  If it's put in
                    a lock-box at the polling place, you're in much better
                    shape.
                    \_ The actual ballot with the pen markings is fed into
                       the optical scanner by the voter themselves - after this
                       it is locked away for safekeeping.  The voter keeps
                       only the receipt torn from the top of the sheet.
                       See here:
                       http://www.fairvote.org/administration/votetech.htm
                       Scroll down to "optical scanning."
                       \_ Wow, that rocks!  Thank you!  Now if only Alameda
                          County would implement this.
2004/3/2 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:12482 Activity:very high
3/2     Does anyone know how long can you drive with an expired vehicle
        registration sticker?  This morning I realized my car has an expired
        Feb sticker, and I wonder if I will get ticketed.  But I paid
        registration fee but haven't received the sticker.
        \_ I had a friend who had Michigan tags that were expired for
           more than a year. He got pulled over, ticketed for speeding
           but the cop never realized that he had expired tags. I'm
           not sure they're that observant.
        \_ until you get caught.  Youmay be able to argue that it is paid
           and only get a fix-it ticket for not having the sticker.
        \_ I went all of last year without one (had it but put it on in
           February, after it expired) and I still don't have one for this
           year.  I've been pulled over once for speeding but the cop said
           nothing.  It's an old car, maybe they're taking pity on me?
        \_ you can drive as long as you want, but you're eligible to be
           ticketed the instant it expires.  if it's expired for more
           than 6 months, they can impound your car if they want to.
        \_ Same situation happened to me and I got pulled over for speeding.
           Cop can look up your registration and verify it's paid. Still got
           the speeding ticket though.
        \_ I always pay late. You can avoid the ticket up to a couple months
           in but after a while the cops and esp. chp get anal about it.
           If you don't drive on the highway much you might be able to
           get away with it. However, your car might be missing if you
           leave it on the street and they decide to tow.
        \_ In California, it's standard practice to get one month's grace.
           If your sticker says FEB, it's policy to ticket you on April 1.
           Parking enforcement left two tickets for me over two weeks in L.A.,
           but they also make a business of ticketing residents who park on
           the wrong side of the street during street-cleaning days.
        \_ Depending on the city they will pull you over just for expired tags,
           I have gotten tickets in SJ and Castro Valley.  -oj
           I have gotten fix-it tickets in downtown SJ and Castro Valley,
           from a cop who was directly behind me when I was stopped at a light.

e/2     Today is super tuesday.  Don't forget to vote.  Here's the obPoll:
        Kerry:   ..
        Kerry:   .. (lemmings)
        Edwards: .
        Kucinich: ..
        Sharpton: .
        Neither: .
        yes on prop 55: .....
        no on prop 55:  .
        yes on prop 56: ...
        no on prop 56:  ..
        yes on prop 57: ..
        no on prop 57:  ...
        yes on prop 58: .
        no on prop 58:  ....
        tired of polls: .
        \_ Don't care -- the primary have already been decided so there's no
           more point in voting.
        don't care: .
        \_ No open primaries this year.   This sucks if you are an independent
           but want to actually have a say in what your choices for the
           prez vote are.
           \_ Not true. You can request a Democrat ballot if you want.
           \_ You can still vote for Nader...
           \_ If you want to have a say, you should have registered as a Dem
              for this election, then switched back before November. If you
              can't figure out how to game the system, you have no place
              whining about it.
           \_ Not true. You can request a Democrat ballot if you want. I
              am an independent and I voted for a Democrat in the primary.
           \_ Yeah, those damn parties thinking they should base the primary on
              who the party members choose...
              \_ Let the parties hold their own elections then instead of
                 having the government foot the bill.
        \_ Don't care -- the primary have already been decided so there's no
           more point in voting.
        \_ Odd...my poll responses were overwritten.  Or maybe the censor is
           enforcing the fact that nobody cares?
        \_ Which prop is about raising the bridge tolls?  I'm so ignorant.
           \_ Measure 2, comes with good things and bad things.
              Translink would be great, but ferries are a waste of money
              as is extending BART to Byron.
              \_ I agree that ferries suck, but BART builds slowly and it makes
                 sense to build in the direction of future growth, which is
                 to the east.
              \_ How is a proposition different from a measure?
                 \_ Prop=Statewide, Measure [1-9]=County, Measure [A-Z] = City
        \_ Why are they trying to fund healthcare with a sales tax increase?
           It's regressive taxation and falls whenever the economy is in
           trouble.  Not to mention it harms the local economy more than an
           income or property tax because it's easier for people to shop
           somewhere else than to move or change jobs.
           \_ Because nothing but a sales tax increase will ever pass county
              wide. Any policymaker worth their spit would prefer an income or
              property tax but they are generally impossible to pass in CA.
           \_ Where are they trying to do this?
              \_ Alameda county.  Proposed sales tax increase to 8.75%
                 It's a worthy cause, being funded in one of the most ass-ways
                 possible.
        \_ So for the "yes on 55" folks, why do you want to add a $12B bond
           with $12B interest to the CA finance mess?
           \_ Because it is an investment for the future, because I think
              education is usually money well spent, because CA spends less
              than it should on education, because we are in a recession
              and I believe in Keynesian economics. Yeah, I know we will
              probably not still be in a recession by the time the money
              is spent, but the CA finance mess is not a good reason to
              not spend money on worthy causes, since the economy will
              be better sooner or later, probably sooner.
              \_ Prop 55 includes a $300m grant to build more charter schools.
                 On this basis alone, I cannot, in good conscience, support
                 it.
              \_ Building schools makes no sense when the kids at the
                 current schools don't even have books or teachers. This
                 is money poorly spent in the name of education.
        \_ For the "yes on 56" folks, why do you want to lower the number of
           legislators needed to increase taxes to 55% from 2/3?
           \_ The state budget has been in chaos over not being able to return
              tax rates to an equitable level. Giving the legistature the
              ability to actually do their job sounds like a good idea, unless
              you are one of the many in CA who doesn't like paying for what we
              have here.
              \_ I for one think welfare queens should start paying their fair
                 share.
                 \_ What percentage of the state budget is spent by your
                    so-called "welfare queens"? Do you even know?
              \_ I already pay more than my share for what "we" have here.
                 \_ If you really fell that way, why not leave?
                    \_ Ah. "Love it or leave it." If they make me pay even
                       more for what "we" have then maybe I will. Lots of
                       Californians are.
           \_ Because it only takes 51% to lower them.
              \_ Is that true?  I thought *all* tax legislation had to be
                 passed by the same amount.
              \_ and when was the last time your state taxes were lowered?
                 \_ It's sad how easy y'all get brainwashed by right wing talk
                    radio.
                 \_ Last fall, by Herr Gropenator.
                    \_ Case in point.  Look for a reference to a "car tax"
                       before, oh, '96.
                 \_ In real dollars, property taxes go down every day.  Thanks,
                    prop 13.
                    \_ Until you move.
           \_ Because it is past time that California raised its taxes.
              \_ no its past time California lowered its expendatures.
                 \_ Okay, show me where.
        \_ None of this really matters as long as the e-voting machines can be
           shown to be easily compromised and voters are not required to show
           ID in order to vote.  Aargh!
           \_ When I was voting this morning I saw an old person asking about
              paper receipts and audit trails.  It made me happy.
              \_ In San Francisco, we vote by filling in lines with a pen on
                 a piece of paper, which is then read by an optical scanner.
                 This seems like an ideal solution - not prone to error or
                 fraud, easy to understand for everyone, leaves a permanent
                 record for recount, and not labor intensive for the precincts.
                 Why do other counties insist on using such awful solutions
                 like Diebold?
                 \_ Who keeps the piece of paper, the voter or the polling
                    station?  If it's the voter, this system is highly
                    vulnerable to verifiable vote-selling.  If it's put in
                    a lock-box at the polling place, you're in much better
                    shape.
                    \_ The actual ballot with the pen markings is fed into
                       the optical scanner by the voter themselves - after this
                       it is locked away for safekeeping.  The voter keeps
                       only the receipt torn from the top of the sheet.
                       See here:
                       http://www.fairvote.org/administration/votetech.htm
                       Scroll down to "optical scanning."
                       \_ Wow, that rocks!  Thank you!  Now if only Alameda
                          County would implement this.
2004/3/2-3 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:12481 Activity:high
3/2     Can any car/bike racing enthusiasts recommend which nearby track is
        better (i.e., Laguna Seca vs. Sears Pt)?
        \_ Don't forget Thunderhill
           \_ Is that a recommendation?
        \_ Thunderhill is the one I would recommend if you are running
           and not just watching.  It is a great place to learn and
           has a lot of run off room.
           \_ seconded. Thunderhill is cheaper than Laguna Seca, and
              safer than Sears/Infineon. --jwang, ex-AFM#911

e/2     Today is super tuesday.  Don't forget to vote.  Here's the obPoll:
        Kerry:            .. (lemmings)
        Kerry:            ... (lemmings)  <-- whatever
        Edwards:          .
        Kucinich:         ..
        Sharpton:         .
        Neither:          ..
        yes on prop 55:   .....
        no on prop 55:    ..
        yes on prop 56:   ...
        no on prop 56:    ...
        yes on prop 57:   ..
        no on prop 57:    ...
        yes on prop 58:   ..
        no on prop 58:    ....
        yes on Measure 2: .
        no on Measure 2:  .
        tired of polls:   ..
        don't care:       .
           \_ not so.  there are several other very important issues on there
              even if you think the primary is over.
        \_ votes formatted not because I'm anal, but because I'm so incredibly
           bored.  :-)
        \_ No open primaries this year.   This sucks if you are an independent
           but want to actually have a say in what your choices for the
           prez vote are.
           \_ You can still vote for Nader...
           \_ If you want to have a say, you should have registered as a Dem
              for this election, then switched back before November. If you
              can't figure out how to game the system, you have no place
              whining about it.
           \_ Not true. You can request a Democrat ballot if you want. I
              am an independent and I voted for a Democrat in the primary.
           \_ Yeah, those damn parties thinking they should base the primary on
              who the party members choose...
              \_ Let the parties hold their own elections then instead of
                 having the government foot the bill.
           \_ The independent in front of me in line asked for a republican
              ballot.  There's nothing contested in any election for the
              republicans.  Why would he ask for that instead of the democrat
              ballot where he can make a difference?
        \_ Which prop is about raising the bridge tolls?  I'm so ignorant.
           \_ Measure 2, comes with good things and bad things.
              Translink would be great, but ferries are a waste of money
              as is extending BART to Byron.
              \_ The problem with M2 is it raises the bridge toll but uses the
                 funds for many other unrelated projects.  So it taxes a small
                 number of people but asks a larger number of people if it is
                 ok to tax that smaller number for the larger group's benefit
                 without cost to that larger group.  This is the worst form of
                 taxation possible.  I voted against it merely on those grounds
                 even though we need to improve the transit system.  And no, I
                 don't drive the bay bridge regularly.  Maybe twice a year.
              \_ I agree that ferries suck, but BART builds slowly and it makes
                 sense to build in the direction of future growth, which is
                 to the east.
                 \_ BART is a ridiculous boondoggle, far too expensive and
                    slow to cover the distances it's trying to cover.  The
                    more we extend BART, the longer it will be until we have
                    a decent transit system in the Bay Area.  That said, I
                    begrudgingly voted for RM2.  -tom
                    \_ Slow?  32min from Hayward to downtown SF during morning
                       commute hours seems pretty fast to me.  Can't beat that
                       even if you're carpooling with two passenges.
                       \_ you *can* beat that if you're using a train system
                          in any major city in Europe or Japan.  And the ride
                          from Byron is likely to be more than an hour.  -tom
                          \_ How often do those train systems stop?  Thanks.
                             Let's get some apples/apples here.  Put away the
                             oranges.
                             \_ Heavy-rail systems with stops at similar
                                distance to East Bay BART are much, much
                                faster; top speeds 50-100% higher than BART.
                                In dense areas, systems like the London
                                Underground do just as well in comparison.
                                   -tom
                                \_ And cost how much?  Are you seriously saying
                                   we should replace BART with a new system
                                   that will cost more to run and run louder
                                   through all the neighborhoods?
                                   \_ No system will cost more to run than
                                      BART--standard rail costs quite a bit
                                      less than non-standard rail.  And have
                                      you ever actually been to another
                                      country?  The trains are quieter than
                                      BART.  -tom
                                      \_ Have you ever been to New York?
                                         You don't have to go to another
                                         country to beat BART.
                                         \_ NY is much better than BART, but
                                            it's not particularly fast or
                                            quiet.  -tom
                          \_ How many trains have to go by before you can be
                             pushed into one in the Tokyo area?
                             \_ let me get this straight--BART is better
                                because it's really slow, so no one uses it,
                                so the trains aren't as crowded? -tom
                                \_ No, more like people use trains because the
                                   population density is so insanely high they
                                   live like rats.  Is that what you want?
                       \_ How long does it take to get to the station and find
                          parking in the morning?
                          \_ There are always more than a hundred empty spaces
                             in the parking structure even at 9am everyday.
                             \_ Which parking lot are you at?  If I'm not there
                                by 8:30, it's completely filled.
                       \_ 32 minutes?  I'm a bit further out on that line and
                          it isn't 32 minutes for that part of it.
                       \_ Glen Park BART is 12 minutes to Montgomery, which
                          is faster than you can drive that route on a fast
                          motorcycle. I know, I have tried. -ausman
              \_ How is a proposition different from a measure?
                 \_ Prop=Statewide, Measure [1-9]=County, Measure [A-Z] = City
        \_ Why are they trying to fund healthcare with a sales tax increase?
           It's regressive taxation and falls whenever the economy is in
           trouble.  Not to mention it harms the local economy more than an
           income or property tax because it's easier for people to shop
           somewhere else than to move or change jobs.
           \_ Because nothing but a sales tax increase will ever pass county
              wide. Any policymaker worth their spit would prefer an income or
              property tax but they are generally impossible to pass in CA.
              \_ with good reason.  taxes are already too high.
           \_ Where are they trying to do this?
              \_ Alameda county.  Proposed sales tax increase to 8.75%
                 It's a worthy cause, being funded in one of the most ass-ways
                 possible.
        \_ So for the "yes on 55" folks, why do you want to add a $12B bond
           with $12B interest to the CA finance mess?
           \_ Because it is an investment for the future, because I think
              education is usually money well spent, because CA spends less
              than it should on education, because we are in a recession
              and I believe in Keynesian economics. Yeah, I know we will
              probably not still be in a recession by the time the money
              is spent, but the CA finance mess is not a good reason to
              not spend money on worthy causes, since the economy will
              be better sooner or later, probably sooner.
              \_ We already spend more on education/pupil than most states
                 and get the least for it.  Education doesn't need more money.
                 It needs a structural overhaul.
                 \_ Somewhat untrue:  Education in CA needs more money AND
                    they need to spend it more wisely.
                    \_ I don't think it's a case of "spend it more wisely" but
                       restructure the entire educational system.  The people
                       in charge from the top all the way down plus the
                       teacher's unions all have to go.  Until that happens,
                       no amount of money will improve CA education.
                 \_ Wrong. California ranks 33rd in per pupil spending. We
                    spend like a poor Southern state and wonder why we get
                    crappy results. CA needs to spend more on schools.
                    http://www.edsource.org/sch_expend.cfm
                    \_ Dump the illegals and then recalculate, or get a chart
                       that shows absolute numbers which your chart is hiding
                       or better yet, do both.
              \_ Prop 55 includes a $300m grant to build more charter schools.
                 On this basis alone, I cannot, in good conscience, support
                 it.
              \_ Building schools makes no sense when the kids at the
                 current schools don't even have books or teachers. This
                 is money poorly spent in the name of education.
        \_ For the "yes on 56" folks, why do you want to lower the number of
           legislators needed to increase taxes to 55% from 2/3?
           \_ The state budget has been in chaos over not being able to return
              tax rates to an equitable level. Giving the legistature the
              ability to actually do their job sounds like a good idea, unless
              you are one of the many in CA who doesn't like paying for what we
              have here.
              \_ If you paid the taxes *I* pay you'd think they're already too
                 high.  Go get a real job and pay that shit yourself for a few
                 years and we'll see what you think "equitable" looks like.
              \_ I for one think welfare queens should start paying their fair
                 share.
                 \_ What percentage of the state budget is spent by your
                    so-called "welfare queens"? Do you even know?
              \_ I already pay more than my share for what "we" have here.
                 \_ If you really fell that way, why not leave?
                    \_ The weather which is not something improved by increased
                       taxes.
           \_ Because it only takes 51% to lower them.
              \_ Is that true?  I thought *all* tax legislation had to be
                 passed by the same amount.
              \_ and when was the last time your state taxes were lowered?
                 \_ It's sad how easy y'all get brainwashed by right wing talk
                    radio.
                    \_ When was the last time taxes were lowered?
                 \_ Last fall, by Herr Gropenator.
                    \_ Case in point.  Look for a reference to a "car tax"
                       before, oh, '96.
                    \_ No taxes were lowered by the Governor.
                http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/library/htCAVehicleLicense2003.html
                       \_ I wonder how it feels to be you and be wrong about
                          everything, all the time.
                          \_ I see a fee being lowered after it was raised
                             earlier.  Where is your tax?  Do you think I was
                             unaware of the VLF being lowered?  You're not even
                             remotely as clever as you think you are.
                 \_ In real dollars, property taxes go down every day.  Thanks,
                    prop 13.
                    \_ Until you move.
                    \_ Yes, thanks prop 13 or I couldn't afford to own a home.
                       My parents would already be in the street.
                       \_ Prop 13 doesn't do anything to help new homeowners;
                          it only helps people with hundreds of thousands of
                          dollars of equity in their homes keep from
                          contributing to the community.  The idea of people
                          losing their homes over property taxes is a myth.
                          \_ A myth?  I was here and saw it happen.  It is
                             real life to me, not some history book lesson.
                             I lived in pre-prop 13 CA.  Did you?
                             \_ Yeah, I was here too. We used to have good
                                schools before Prop 13 dried up the revenue
                                for them. CA has been on a slow downward
                                spiral ever since it was passed.
                                \_ Yeah, the state was better bankrupting
                                   families so they'd leave and take their kids
                                   with them.  Who wants to spend money
                                   educating all those middle class kids?
                          \_ Uh huh. Without Prop 13 my taxes would be up
                             40% over the last two years. Since they are
                             already $5K now that's another $2K. I wouldn't
                             lose my house, but I'd suffer. Eventually, I
                             might lose my house if the taxes double/triple.
                             \_ So? Suffer away. It's market economics. You
                                could always move instead. Also, without prop
                                13 the burden would be spread everywhere.
                                \_ It's not market economics. What good
                                   does it do me if my house is worth 20x
                                   what it used to be? I should pay tax on it
                                   when I sell and not before, like with stock.
                                   \_ I think Mr. I Hate Prop 13 is just a
                                      bitter apartment dweller who gets off
                                      every night thinking tomorrow will be the
                                      day the housing bubble bursts and he can
                                      finally afford a house.
                                   \_ property taxes pay for the services which
                                      support the value of your house, like
                                      police, fire, and roads.  The analogy to
                                      stocks is totally missing the point.
                                        -tom
                                      \_ So if my house is worth 20x what
                                         my neighbor's house is worth then
                                         I should pay 20x more for this?
                                         \_ I think so. -!tom
                                            \_ Even if it doesn't cost 20x to
                                               supply services to his house?
                                               He uses the same amount of road,
                                               fire, police and other services.
                                               His more expensive house does
                                               not put a bigger drain on the
                                               local services.  Let me guess,
                                               you're not a home owner and
                                               don't work yet, either?
                                               \_ I am a homeowner, and have
                                                  been working for 15 years.
                                                  Try again, anonymous coward.
                                                   -tom
                                                  \_ You 'work' for UC and live
                                                     in Oakland.
                                                     \_ How do either of these
                                                        points matter to the
                                                        discussion?  And why
                                                        do you put "work" in
                                                        quotation marks?
                                                        Because I didn't get
                                                        laid off with the
                                                        rest of the dotbombers?
                                                          -tom
                                         \_ How much more will you lose if
                                            your block goes up in flames? Or
                                            if property values crash because
                                            of high crime and shitty schools?
                                             -tom
                                            \_ He's getting the same service as
                                               the shitty house next door. Will
                                               the local fire department make
                                               his fire a priority when both
                                               houses catch fire at the same
                                               time?  Not a chance.  Will the
                                               cop go to his house first? Nope.
                                               \_ You didn't address my point.
                                                  If property values drop by
                                                  50%, Mr. Expensive House will
                                                  lose a lot more money than
                                                  Mr. Cheap House; therefore,
                                                  Mr. Expensive House has
                                                  more personal interest in
                                                  services which support
                                                  property values.  -tom
                                                  \_ You think this
                                                     relationship is linear?
                                                     When the house price
                                                     doubles, does the cost
                                                     of these services also
                                                     double?
           \_ Because it is past time that California raised its taxes.
              \_ no its past time California lowered its expendatures.
                 \_ Okay, where? (And no, deleting my question does not count
                    as a win.)
                    \_ I wasn't here when your question was deleted.  Where?
                       2 things for starters: revamp the educational system,
                       and stop spending money on illegal aliens, then we'll
                       have a chance to see what The People's real needs are
                       and go from there.
                       \_ California already spends less on education than
                          most states. This has been the case for a very
                          long time.
                          \_ I didn't say spend less.  I said revamp.  The
                             entire system is broken and needs to be redone.
                       \_ illegal alien is a federal issue, not state one.
                          I think it's unfair to ask California to bear the
                          burden of Federal government's failure to guard its
                          borders.
        \_ None of this really matters as long as the e-voting machines can be
           shown to be easily compromised and voters are not required to show
           ID in order to vote.  Aargh!
           \_ I had to show ID this morning.
              \_ Where did you vote? (City, County)
                 \_ Dublin.  They asked everyone for ID.
           \_ When I was voting this morning I saw an old person asking about
              paper receipts and audit trails.  It made me happy.
              \_ In San Francisco, we vote by filling in lines with a pen on
                 a piece of paper, which is then read by an optical scanner.
                 This seems like an ideal solution - not prone to error or
                 fraud, easy to understand for everyone, leaves a permanent
                 record for recount, and not labor intensive for the precincts.
                 Why do other counties insist on using such awful solutions
                 like Diebold?
                 \_ Who keeps the piece of paper, the voter or the polling
                    station?  If it's the voter, this system is highly
                    vulnerable to verifiable vote-selling.  If it's put in
                    a lock-box at the polling place, you're in much better
                    shape.
                    \_ The actual ballot with the pen markings is fed into
                       the optical scanner by the voter themselves - after this
                       it is locked away for safekeeping.  The voter keeps
                       only the receipt torn from the top of the sheet.
                       See here:
                       http://www.fairvote.org/administration/votetech.htm
                       Scroll down to "optical scanning."
                       \_ Wow, that rocks!  Thank you!  Now if only Alameda
                          County would implement this.
2003/10/6-8 [Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:10486 Activity:high
10/5    Arnold's Enron Secret
        http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16902
        \_ That guy sounded compelling except a) no references and b) the
           "Hitlerian mustache" comment at the end.
           \_ and umm, isn't the state budget deficit more like 36 billion?
              \_ Thanks to cuts, cuts, cuts, and the car tax, we're passing
                 $8 billion to next year.
                 \_ I believe there were something like $11B in loans to get
                    through the year.  That's going to hurt, especially with
                    the piss-poor bond rating CA has now.
                 \_ The courts over turned the loans as illegal.  No loans to
                    carry over into next year.  The budget is busted.  Now
                    they *must* raise taxes or cut all the stuff they added in
                    last 5 years.  If we have 1994 levels of income we should
                    roll back spending to the same level.  End of story.
                    \_ They're doing this in Alabama.  Its great!  High school
                       kids are paying textbook fees and they've fired half
                       the bailiffs in the state, among many other instances
                       of "fraud and abuse" ferreted out.
                       \_ Kids here already didn't have books.  They need to
                          break the teacher's union so the money being dumped
                          into education will actually get to the kids.
                          \_ GAH!  More like they need to break the text
                             book oligarchy's stranglehold and move to
                             free Internet-published text books.  Need
                             chapter 7? Print it out on recyclyed paper.
                             \_ Yeah, we all know how accurate the information
                                on the Internet is.
                                \_ You'd be surprised at how bad some
                                   textbooks are.
                                \_ If the state can dictate curriculum, why
                                   can't it write and publish online text-
                                   books?
                             \_ Do both.  I had forgotten about the textbook
                                industry's crimes.  Bust the teacher's union
                                and the textbook industry as well.  Works for
                                me.  --guy you replied to about unions
                    \_ Just raise property tax to levels similar to other
                       states.
                       \_ Then the only people left in the state would be the
                          rich you hate so much and the illegals tending their
                          gardens and raising their children.  The only way to
                          pay property tax on a home that's gone up in price
                          in a state where income increases don't match
                          housing value increases is to sell your home and
                          leave the state.  That's why we had prop 13 in the
                          first place.  I'm trying not to be overly rude here
                          but other states don't have our whacked out property
                          value rate of increase vs. income rate increase #s.
                          \_ That income and property values are so out of
                             whack is indication that something is wrong with
                             the property values.  Don't worry, lots of people
                             would move in from out of state to take over once
                             the property values go down.  Stupid Californians
                             fucked up their state.  They don't deserve to run
                             it anymore.  Get the heck out.
                             \_ More people are already moving in, right now.
                                That's what makes property values so high.  It
                                isn't something you can legislate away and any
                                _public_ official who tried to destroy property
                                values would be hung in public and rightly so.
                                \_ Actually there is a net outflow of people
                                   to other states.
                                   \_ But total increase in population due to
                                      immigration.
                                \_ Property values held up well in all the
                                   US metropolitan areas even though they have
                                   higher property taxes.  Seems like there
                                   is a lot of worry about property values in
                                   California.  Smells like a bubble to me.
                                   It's going to be pricked one way or another.
                                   Crappy economy, high crimes, lousy
                                   educational system, lack of business
                                   investments, high income people from other
                                   states not moving to California because
                                   of expensive houses, and high income taxes,
                                   etc., bankrupt state government.  None of
                                   the above will help with property values
                                   \_ So many times people have predicted this
                                      for the very same reasons, since at least
                                      the early 60s. So many times they have
                                      been wrong.
                       \_ If that happened probably 1/2 the state would have to
                          sell their houses tomorrow and go back to renting..
                          property values would plummet plummet, markets would
                          crumble crumble... sorry, Hudson Hawk moment.  But
                          it's true.
                          \_ Raise property tax while reducing income tax.
                             Burst the housing bubble.  This will attract
                             lots of high income people from out of state to
                             come to the state, and attract business
                             investments too.
                             \_ Reduce income tax?  How exactly is that going
                                to help all the old people living in their
                                home for the last 40 years which is now worth
                                so much on paper that their social security
                                can't cover even a small part of the tax
                                without prop13 laws to protect them?  You
                                either weren't here when prop13 was passed,
                                you're too young to remember, or you're a mean
                                vicious person who wants to destroy people's
                                lives.  I prefer to think you're just young.
                                It makes me feel better to think the least
                                worst thing about you.
                                \_ Arnold and Buffett are going to repeal
                                   prop 13.
                                \_ Heard of home equity loan?  What about
                                   old people who rent, or who live with
           reason I will not vote for him.  there's just too many others.
                                   their relatives and are still working
                                   to make ends meet?  Or old people who
                                   depend on their children (who pay
                                   income taxes) for support?
        \_ I heard about it last week.  Sounds credible but that's not the
           reason I will not vote for him.  there are just too many others.
           The main reason is that he's clueless based on what he said
           he will do.  For example, he wanted to open the book and audit
           everything. That sounds good to uninfomed Californians, but CA
           already has independent auditors to do that (according to SF
           Chronicle) and the state budget is online for anyone view it
           Second example, he wants to repeal the VLF.  (It's nice for me,
           since I drive an expensive car.)  The problem is he couldn't
           explain how he'll get the $4B to replace the VLF.  Repealling the
                    \_ they should roll back to 1994 population, housing
                       prices, gas prices, etc.
           sources of revenue to fill it.
              Arnie will provide.
           VLF is devasting to the local governments if he can't find other
           sources of revenue to fill it.
           \_ Don't worry your pretty lil head about such complex things.
              Arnie will provide.
              \_ You misspelled "hooters."
           \_ If you're truly concerned about the economy, you should be
              voting for Tom.
        \_ Guess how much of California's energy Enron supplied during the
           summer of 2001 - less than 4 %.
           \_ I don't see how that makes them any less sleazy, or how it
              changes Arnold's intent in participating.
                 \_ There was no fraud accusations against Enron until the fall,
                    the company was solvent.  Gray Davis had many of these
                    these meetings with Enron, as he should have, Enron was
                    the largest energy company in the nation.  Davis has yet
                    to return 100's thousands from Enron.
           \_ I'm sure there's a lot more to the story than this. There were
              several suppliers taking advantage of the badly-deregulated
              system to gouge us.
2003/9/29-30 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:10372 Activity:very high
9/29    My father told me over the weekend that he had told the RNC to take
        his name off of all their lists, and that he was changing his voting
        registration to undeclared after 40 years of registering R.  This is
        a man who was in the Navy 25 years, and is very proud of his service.
        He has become disgusted with the current administration, not to mention
        the circus that is California.  I'm astounded that the conservatives
        speaking here have not been more introspective themselves about their
        convictions, and where their alignments lie.  --scotsman
                \_ I cannot speak for other conservatives, but I gave up
                   discussing political issues on the motd because it
                   was impossible to have a decent conversation due to
                   the censors, trolls and flamers (right and left are
                   both guilty of this).
                   BTW, your father isn't the only Republican who is
                   upset with the current state of the party and its
                   leadership. My family has voted Republican since
                   we first immigrated to this country (~ 30 yrs ago).
                   For the last year or so we have been considering
                   changing our registration to undeclared.
        \_ Wesley Clark is also proud of his service. What that has to do
           with R or D is beyond me. --dim
           \_ Clark's history as a Democrat goes back about 6 months.  I don't
              count that against him, and I'd vote for him if he were
              nominated, but I'm just saying.  If you're considering Bush,
              you need to really look at what has happened in a 4 year term.
        \_ you're dad is a twit
           \_ This one's truly beautiful. --scotsman
        \_ Why do you assume that being introspective "about [your] convictions,
           and where [your] alignments lie" means we'll come to the same
           conclusion as your father?  While I don't think he's a twit, I'm
           rather surprised at his conclusions.
           \_ I'm not saying you should arrive at the same conclusions, but
              the responses I see here are kneejerk, lopsided, and often
              uninformed.  I think there's a lot to think about that many
              here have rejected flat out. --scotsman
              \_ I see the same among the liberal views here except they're more
                 emboldened.  Practically every conservative response in the
                 motd or wall is just an invitation for a pile-on.  We thinking
                 conservatives have given up putting our comments up for the
                 inevitable liberal spin/lie/pile-on that follows.  And of
                 course there are also the outright deletions.  Please don't
                 make the (very poor thinking) assumption that the motd is a
                 realistic slice of the philosophical spectrum.
                 \_ Funny that the deletions I've seen come shortly after a
                    salient point by a lefty gets posted.  I think there are
                    people on both sides lying to themselves. --scotsman
                    \_ I think *both* sides get deletions.
        \_ How in the world can he blame CA on the RNC?  Democrats hold *every*
           statewide office, and have dominated for decades.
           \_ Mmm.. logical leaps.  Look at prop 13.
           \_ I think he meant more the current electoral joke. --scotsman
              \_ What electoral joke?  Hint: just because some call the recall a
                 joke doesn't mean that it is.  The number of people signing the
                 petition is a massive showing of democracy in action.
                 \_ Massive?  perhaps when we get a turnout >30% in an election,
                    you can call it a "massive showing of democracy".
                 \_ Massive?  perhaps when we get a turnout >30% in an
                    election, you can call it a "massive showing of
                    democracy".  Anyway, I'm the one calling it a joke.
                    Take it or leave it.  --scotsman
                    \_ son of a twit
                    \_ When have you ever seen ~2x10^6 people sign a petition?
                       It's amazing.  Please detail why you think it's a joke,
                       and why you yourself are not a twit.
                       \_ Did you sign it?  Are you voting yes?  Why? --scotsman
        \_ After carefully reading your comments, I've concluded that you're a
           twit.  And so is your dad.
           \_ Then I'm glad we'll likely never meet. --scotsman
2003/5/19 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop, Politics/Domestic/California] UID:28485 Activity:very high
5/18    Thank you Gray Davis, who increased state employement by 30%, and
        who rewards his primary contributor, the Prison Unions, with fat
        pay raises.
        Vehicle-tax plan praised - Fee hike would spare drastic local cuts
        http://www.recordnet.com/daily/news/articles/051803-gn-4.php
        \_ I'm really tired of all this budget bullshit.  Is there not a
           single state that believe in fiscal responsibility?    Any state
           that require balanced budget in their constitution?
           \_ The last time California ran budget surpluses during a boom
              time, we had a "taxpayers revolt" and ended up with Prop 13.
              We get what we deserve here. Every recession is like this.
              Remember Pete Wilson's big round of tax increases?
              \_ No, we had prop 13 because people were losing their houses.
                 I was here and I remember it.
                 \_ People were not losing their homes. That was all
                    bullshit.
                    \_ Idiot.  I was there.  Get out of the ivory tower and
                       join the real world where real people are hurt or helped
                       everyday by the real decisions real politicians make.
                       \_ I was there too. Everyone wants to pay
                          less taxes, but the money for things like schools
                          has to come from someplace. School quality in
                          California, which had been in the top 10% of
                          the country, plummeted and has stayed low since.
                          How old were you when this happened? No way can
                          you remember what was really going on. If you
                          go back and look at the newspaper archives, you
                          will find one or two people on fixed incomes who
                          supposedly lost their homes, out of a state with
                          a population of 20M. You live in a fantasyland.
                          \_ Yeah all the neighbors who put their houses up for
                             sale and left the state were just figments of my
                             deranged and aged mind.  CA has many reasons for
                             being at the bottom of the school rankings, not
                             teaching the "three Rs" anymore is the primary
                             reason.
                 \_ And now people are losing their houses because they can't
                    afford the property tax that's subsidizing the people who
                    are benefitting from prop 13. Irony is delicious. Munch.
                    \_ The problem with prop 13 is that while it was
                       motivated by a need to protect a primary residence
                       from fluctuations in the real estate market, it
                       was written to include *all* property.  For humans,
                       frozen contribution rates on a primary residence
                       are a good way to apportion the total tax burden
                       over the life of the taxpayer.  For coporations and
                       other entities that never die, Prop 13 is a nightmare
                       that has only just started crushing our economy.
                       \_ Actually it's been crushing it a while. Each
                          economic downturn just emphasizes it. When the
                          economy recovers, it'll be forgotten again. After
                          you finish the cookie, you'll feel right as rain.
                          \_ Can someone explain what prop13 is?
                             \_ Quickie version: In 1978, property taxes
                                assessed according to 1976 prices with a max
                                +2% change until prop sold. Then it's
                                reassessed and taxed at current price. Note 2%
                                is below COLA and certainly way below real
                                estate increase. Plus, to raise taxes takes
                                2/3 vote of the legistlature.
                                \_ Only because we learned the term "double
                                   digit inflation" under Jimmy Carter. In any
                                   sane world, the COLA would be about 2%.
                                   \_ Communist!
                                   \_ Ford invented double digit inflation.
                                      Carter just carried on the tradition.
                                      \_ Ford?  Oh pleeeeeaaaaase.  It's the
                                         only thing the news talked about for
                                         his entire term.  Oh yeah, that and
                                         the Hostage Crisis.
2003/1/17-18 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:27137 Activity:high
1/16    There was talk about prop 13 and how the property tax is based on
        the selling price of the home.  Is the following legal?  I have a
        1 million dollar house I want to pass on to my kids, I sell it to
        them for $100 bucks or some other artificially low number.  Their
        property tax would then based on this $100 transaction.  Would this
        also be a way around inheritance taxes?  If I sell all my property
        to my kids at below market value?
        \_ http://www.irs.gov has all your answers.
        \_ of course it's not legal.  don't be a moron.  -tom
           \_ Hey tom, Tolkien named a troll after you.
           \_ and so the logical question is, who determines how low a price
              one can sell?  Houses sell for below appraised price all the
              time.  Is there a law saying that one cannot sell $X amt below
              appraised price if it's to a family member?  I can see loop
              holes if I use a third party.  I sell to a friend for below
              market value.  He then sells to my kid for an even lower amt.
              So on and so forth.
                \_ it doesn't matter how much you sell it for, it matters how
                   much the house is appraised for
                   \_ Exactly right. The city/county assessor does this task.
                      In CA, when the property changes ownership, it gets
                      reassessed.
                \_ the difference between appraised value and sale value in
                   these case is treated as a gift and subject to the gift
                   tax.  i think this would imply that you (and your spouse)
                   can sell the house for $10k/20k under market to your
                   children.
                   \_ You can give even more than that, but it counts against
                      your estate tax limit later.
                      \_ only if you subtract from your Unified Credit limit.
              \_ Appraisers (at least in CA) are licensed and certified.
                 And are liable if their appraisal of a home turns out to
                 be way out of line with the "true" market value.
        \_ Would this work?  You add your kids' names to the house, so you and
           your kids are co-owners.  Then some years later before you die, you
           remove your name, so only your kids alone are the co-owners.  Would
           this avoid re-assessment in CA?
2003/1/15-16 [Reference/Tax, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:27108 Activity:insanely high
1/15    Anybody lived and worked in Nevada (or another state that has no
        income tax?)  I'm wondering if it's just a gimmick and they get
        your money in some other way.  E.g., higher property tax or payroll
        tax, etc.  Does one really come out ahead compared to CA?  I'm
        thinking of moving to another state to escape the perpetual fiscal
        nightmare CA experiences.  Thanks.
        \_ I worked in Alaska.  There are no taxes of any kind except
        \_ In terms of overall tax burden, CA is about average. If you want
           to be taxed move to Massachusetts. --dim
        \_ California is unique because of Prop 13.  Long time property owners
           see their tax burdens drop over time in real dollars.  So it is
           a relatively expensive state to be young or new in, but much less
           not some kind of ascam.  there just aren't many people and
           expensive (tax-wise) to grow old in.
           \_ URL?
              \_ http://www.taxfoundation.org/statelocal01.html
                 \_ This isn't believable.  Oregon has no sales tax yet this
                    claims the state/local tax burden is over 9%.
                    \_ Yes, genius. There are other state/local taxes, like
                       taxes on gasoline and property tax. --dim
                       \_ Ok then this *isnt* the total tax burden and does
                          *not* answer the OP question about other gotchas and
                          hidden fees/taxes/whatevers which California is just
                          chock full of.  This isn't a middle of the road tax
                          state.  It's a high tax state and your little chart
                          hides the fact.  --Genius
                          \_ Yes, it is the total tax burden. Oregon also
                             has an income tax. Please go away. --dim
                             \_ CA has both a sales and an income tax.  Oregon
                                does not.  Your link is just wrong.  --Genius
                                \_ Please refer to the URLs below. You need
                                   to use your brain to combine a few
                                   different sources of data here. I know
                                   you can do it. Think. Sales tax is 8%,
                                   but what percent of your income is spent
                                   on sales tax? --dim
                                   \_ Hmmm, let's see... I pay out over 40% of
                                      my income in taxes, I put another 20%
                                      away and the rest is spent.  So ~1/12th
                                      of 60% is roughly 5% of my income.  And
                                      what value does this have to this topic?
                                      \_ You can't even do simple math, moron.
                                         \_ Uhm, ok, whatever you say.
                                            \_ How much is 100 - 40 - 20? Hint:
                                               it's not 60.
                                                \_ Hint: I pay taxes on the 20%
                                                   put into savings.  I don't
                                                   put it under my pillow.
                                                   \_ you don't pay taxes on
                                                   that 20%, already inc in 40%
                                                   and wouldn't be sales tax.
                                                   None on rent or food too.
                 http://www.ncsl.org/programs/fiscal/sltxlvls/index.htm
                 http://www.vermontgop.org/tax_burden.shtml
                 http://www.daveross.com/taxburden.html
        \_ I worked in Alaska.  There are no state taxes of any kind except
           I think Anchorage may have some city taxes.
           In fact, if you live in Alaska, you get a check every year,
           as a sort of negative tax. on the other hand, the cost of
           living is above average in alaska.  and no, the tax thing is
           not some kind of a scam.  there just aren't many people and
           oil pays for alot.
        \_ I think Nevada is a special case because of the massive
           revenue influx due to gambling.
                \_ Yep, gambling & mining.  When I lived there most other
                   taxes (sales, etc.) were lower than California.
                   \_ Still, New Hampshire apparently has the lowest overall
                      tax burden.  Maybe they include taxes on corporations?
        \_ Most states get tax income from business tax, property tax, sales
           tax, income tax, and a whole bevy of fees. CA's big problem is
           property tax. It's figured by the local city or county assessor.
           Thanks to Proprosition 13, that assessment is only done when a
           building is built and when the property changes ownership. The push
           was to save LOLs living in the same place for 30+ years from being
           forced out (ie. fixed income). It also means that companies in the
           same location don't pay higher prop taxes. Poof. Less tax for the
           state. Note: You can always ask to have your property reassessed if
           you think it was listed too high a price, so you can pay less tax.
           \_ I was here when prop 13 passed.  It wasn't just LOLs that were
              losing their homes.  Roughly 40% of my middle class neighborhood
              was getting killed and was forced to sell.  Kill Prop 13 and
              you'll kill the state for good.  There's a damned good reason
              for Prop 13 to exist.
              \_ When was it passed?
                 \_ 1978
              \_ The problem was inflation. Local governments assessed
                 property whose worth was climbing 12-13% due to inflation.
                 Thus, much higher property taxes. Prop 13 forced a solution
                 that should have been dealt with on a local level (ie.
                 lowering property taxes in the face of high inflation).
        \_ I know a few people who moved to Nevada before they cashed out
           their options to avoid CA income tax.
           \_ tangent, would this be feasible: own home/residence in NV,
              have all HR related things sent there, but live in rented
              apt in CA?
                \_ you make too much money
                   \_ no such thing.  he earns it.
              \_ More than feasible. There are a good number of professionals
                 in SV that live in Portland, AZ, CO, NV who fly in, work 10,
                 then take 4 days off (or do the 4x10 work week). The problem
                 lies with the dealing with flying and family. It can suck...
                 CA.gov figured this out. You still have to pay CA income tax
                 for work done here, despite your residence.
                 \_ I knew a guy working at Intel who had multiple homes
                    around the country, including Oregon.  When he wanted
                    to cash out his options, he'd change his primary home
                    address to the one in Oregon.
                    \_ Oops, I meant Washington.  He had a home in both, in
                       addition to few others.
                    \_ I wonder if it is worth it to him in this economy
                       to continue with this behavior?  Did he rent out
                       the fake primary homes or are they empty when
                       he doesn't live there?
                       \_ I think these were his vacation homes and were
                          left empty.
        \_ I know a guy who moved to Seattle several years ago to avoid state
           tax.  He was making so much money from stocks (not his own options)
           that the pre-tax salary from his engineer job couldn't even cover
           his tax.  And that was before the dot-com boom even started.
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