Entries by Jon Coupal

California Lawmakers Attempting to Impose Tiered Water Rates

What Hertzberg and big government bureaucrats want to do, however, is to use water rates as another opportunity to engage in social engineering. They wish to charge those water users they perceive as “bad” more per gallon than those users they perceive as “good.” The beauty of “cost of service” rates, however, is that they […]

For Tax Raisers, End of Drought Is Bad News

Editor’s Note: Anyone who thinks the drought is NOT over should read this weather blog – more authoritative than ANYTHING coming out of the mainstream press. View the graphics, all of them from official sources, depicting California’s current (1) percentage of normal precipitation, (2) soil moisture, (3) streamflow, (4) Sierra snowpack, (5) “Palmer drought index”, […]

Higher Taxes = Business Departures = Lower Tax Revenues

State Controller Betty Yee’s just-released July Cash Report shows state personal income tax revenue falling behind estimates by 6.9 percent, or $323 million lower than projections. While some will argue that one month does not make a trend, these figures are significant because they represent revenue in the first month of the new state budget, […]

TAXPORTATION: Profligate Waste Negates Justification for Transportation Tax Hike

Part One:  California’s Highways – A Legacy of Mismanagement and Over-regulation. A personal digression: My father was head of the Iowa Department of Transportation (then called the Iowa Highway Commission) in the late ’60s and early ’70s before he was appointed by President Ford to serve as Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. (Of course, he lost […]

Billions in New Bonds Should Not Escape Voter Approval

Former Speaker Willie Brown once said, “In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment.” The strategy, he noted, was to start construction of a project quickly so it would be hard to stop once people learned of the real cost which, in many cases, could be many multiples […]

Another Consequence of Unionized Government’s Insatiable Appetite for Revenue

​Even good drivers get an occasional ticket. But in the last several years, there has been a perverse incentive for eagle-eyed enforcement officers to issue even more citations. We are now discovering that California drivers are a goldmine for government by the imposition of traffic fines that are absurdly excessive. Continue reading at UnionWatch.org

Continue reading at UnionWatch.org

Do Newer Technologies Threaten High Speed Rail?

So many lies were told to convince voters to approve the High Speed Rail project six years ago, that most Californians have soured on it. They are appalled that the estimated cost to build, the time to build, the time between destinations and the price of a ticket have all nearly doubled since voters approved […]

Let Them Drive Teslas

Once again, Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg has thumbed his nose at the working class and other Californians of modest means by blocking legislation that would have slightly delayed implementation of carbon emission fees charged to oil companies. The fees are part of the state’s “cap-and-trade” program, California’s one-of-a-kind effort to reduce wordwide carbon emissions. These […]

Arrogance of the Political Elite Costs You at the Pump

It’s election season and finally there’s a bit of good news for California politicians seeking reelection. A recent Field poll shows that, for the first time in 7 years, there are more California voters that think they are financially better off than those who believe they are worse off. However, for the political elite, that […]

Mileage Tax Would Put Big Brother in Your Back Seat

California is known as the world capital of the car culture. The automobile played a central role in creating the California Dream, giving people the freedom to travel, to live where they choose and to experience the exhilaration of the open road. Now, if Senator Mark DeSaulnier gets his way, you’ll have to pay a […]

Why Not Sustainability in a Spending Limit?

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown delivered the keynote address at a sustainability summit hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. While the summit focused on California’s environmental, energy and water policy, we have to wonder whether the governor will exert the same effort in support of fiscal sustainability now that he has called a special […]

Cap and Trade Revenue to Fund High Speed Rail?

Liberals and good government advocates frequently decry citizens’ mistrust in government, especially in California. Over the last decade and a half, numerous surveys have confirmed that voters distrust government on several levels including waste, corruption and lack of responsiveness to legitimate public needs. The recent criminal exploits – both actual and alleged – of three […]

The Best State Governors: Two Examples

Suppose you pick up your typical California newspaper and see headlines like, “State Unemployment Far Below the National Average” and “State Running Healthy Surplus; Gov. to Return Money to Taxpayers.” You just might find yourself paraphrasing Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “Sutter Brown, I’ve got a feeling were not in California anymore.” (For those […]

Crony Capitalism – California Style

It’s good to be in with the “in” crowd, especially when the “in” crowd is made up of Sacramento politicians capable of doling out millions of dollars in tax credits. Those currently in with the “in” crowd include any industry or company that can somehow attach “green” to their credentials. This helps explain why the […]

Who’s Looking Out for California’s Middle Class?

Thirty years of political engagement in California politics has led me to the realization that the middle class is woefully underrepresented in this state. Not only that, but this injustice seems amplified with every passing year. This column has covered the lack of meaningful representation for ordinary citizen taxpayers for more than a decade. Indeed, […]