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Topic: Stockton goes bankrupt, Murder rate soars< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 7:58 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

California is really suffering, and this seems to be a trend here.

Stockton, California is filing for the largest bankruptcy of any U.S. city in history due to the decline in the once hot housing market and an intake of debt during its boom years.
The city has cut more than $90 million in spending over the past few years, specifically in its police department. The city has cut over one quarter of its police jobs, which has led to a "surge in murders," and has created an "emboldened criminal element" in the city. According to police spokesman Joe Silva, the city has had 87 murders since the start of 2011, 29 of which have already occurred this year. In contrast, there were 35 murders in 2009 and 48 in 2010. With six months left in the year, there have already been more murders in the city since the start of 2011 than the two-year stretch of 2009-2010.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/while-s....J3geeM3


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 9:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll watch with interest how the courts, creditors, elected officials and residents deal with this.
Run away spending without fiscal responsibility and apathetic voters populace are primarily responsible in my opinion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 10:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

California

Another great liberal experiment gone hopelessly wrong


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 10:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KaiWinters @ Apr. 02 2013, 7:52 am)
QUOTE
I'll watch with interest how the courts, creditors, elected officials and residents deal with this.
Run away spending without fiscal responsibility and apathetic voters populace are primarily responsible in my opinion.

Perhaps you are referring to years leading up to Stockton's current problem, but doesn't the quote in the OP say:

QUOTE
The city has cut more than $90 million in spending over the past few years


Seems to me the problems kicked in with "fiscal responsibility", at least as defined by many today. Cut, cut, cut without thought as to what problems that may incur, then blame the spending prior to the cuts for the problem that happened after the cuts.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Wailer @ Apr. 02 2013, 10:40 am)
QUOTE

(KaiWinters @ Apr. 02 2013, 7:52 am)
QUOTE
I'll watch with interest how the courts, creditors, elected officials and residents deal with this.
Run away spending without fiscal responsibility and apathetic voters populace are primarily responsible in my opinion.

Perhaps you are referring to years leading up to Stockton's current problem, but doesn't the quote in the OP say:

QUOTE
The city has cut more than $90 million in spending over the past few years


Seems to me the problems kicked in with "fiscal responsibility", at least as defined by many today. Cut, cut, cut without thought as to what problems that may incur, then blame the spending prior to the cuts for the problem that happened after the cuts.

+1

Folks need to read.  It also says what precipitated the need to cut spending in the first place was largely related to the depression in home prices (and the subsequent glut of debt), which struck California harder than almost any other state.  Major reduction in home values result in a major decrease in revenues for the city/state - ala needing to cut a ton from the public budget.  So no mysteries there.

ETA: I just realized the article is from 2012 - nice current article, but anyway most of what I wrote above still stands.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Eastie,

How dare you look at the numbers with scrutiny.  You're not allowed to use any figures in this forum unless you copy & paste them from a propagandist blogger's website.  I'm pretty sure that's laid out in the Terms of Service or something.  Geez man, get with it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 12:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Apr. 02 2013, 12:20 pm)
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Eastie,

How dare you look at the numbers with scrutiny.  You're not allowed to use any figures in this forum unless you copy & paste them from a propagandist blogger's website.  I'm pretty sure that's laid out in the Terms of Service or something.  Geez man, get with it.

As good as it felt to uncover data manipulation, I didn't initially realize the article was from 2012, and I can't find any data on Stockton murders in 2012...so I yanked that whole analysis.  I jumped the gun, a little  :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 12:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I stand by what I stated.
I'd like to see the budgets for the past ten years.
Where did the money go? Salaries, pensions, buildings, etc.
The money had to go somewhere.
A drop in home values does not generally mean a reduction in property taxes...Oh non mon frere...Home sale value is quite different from what the cities, towns and villages use for a value...unless resale prices are reflected in the tax valuation...Matter of fact most property taxes do not change, except to go up, when the property is sold.

Why are the homes devalued? Were they over valued in the first place? If so it is the system balancing itself.

Social services are very expensive...mostly seen in salaries...compare the salaries between the same jobs private versus public jobs...make sure to add in the benefits as well, vacation, sick,etc. time-does the time off accrue or do you lose it at years end if not used-pensions, health care and associated benefits associated, education, etc. While wonderful if you are getting them and a decent salary it really sucks to be paying for them for others while you not only do not get them but have a lower pay check as well.

It is not an easy subject but one we better look at realistically and dispassionately or we will see many more cities going belly up.
I've also never seen a poor politician...


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 12:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They robbed peter (police and others) to pay paul (public pension funds)

They probably thought the washington monument gambit would scare people into coughing up more tax dollars

Same story all over CA

http://www.businessweek.com/ap....ginning


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 1:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KaiWinters @ Apr. 02 2013, 12:48 pm)
QUOTE
I stand by what I stated.
I'd like to see the budgets for the past ten years.
Where did the money go? Salaries, pensions, buildings, etc.
The money had to go somewhere.
A drop in home values does not generally mean a reduction in property taxes...Oh non mon frere...Home sale value is quite different from what the cities, towns and villages use for a value...unless resale prices are reflected in the tax valuation...Matter of fact most property taxes do not change, except to go up, when the property is sold.

Why are the homes devalued? Were they over valued in the first place? If so it is the system balancing itself.

Social services are very expensive...mostly seen in salaries...compare the salaries between the same jobs private versus public jobs...make sure to add in the benefits as well, vacation, sick,etc. time-does the time off accrue or do you lose it at years end if not used-pensions, health care and associated benefits associated, education, etc. While wonderful if you are getting them and a decent salary it really sucks to be paying for them for others while you not only do not get them but have a lower pay check as well.

It is not an easy subject but one we better look at realistically and dispassionately or we will see many more cities going belly up.
I've also never seen a poor politician...

1) Well, when you get a copy of those budgets and vet them completely with someone very familiar with city budgets - please do share - else your just supposing that you know that they were irresponsible with city funds.  Of course the money went somewhere...ever try to run a city for free?!?

2) Oh non mon frere - sounds like you haven't been paying close attention to the house market in recent years.  In the normal course of time, under normal economic circumstances, property taxes are fairly stable and yes, tend to increase slowly over time. However, you are completely ignoring the recession!!!  

But don't worry, I did your homework for you.  I selected 5 properties at random from zillow.com (who rely on county data for tax assesments) in the city of Stockton, CA.  Care to know what has happened to property taxes? Well I'll tell ya!

Home 1 - a 33% decrease in property taxes since peaking in 2009
Home 2 - a 45% decrease in property taxes since peaking in 2008
Home 3 - a 29% decrease in property taxes since peaking in 2009
Home 4 - a 29% decrease in property taxes since peaking in 2009
Home 5 - a 41% decrease in property taxes since peaking in 2009

So, that argument doesn't hold water.  What's more is this has gone on around the country, but hit CA particularly hard because prices fell so dramatically.

Ah, but you say isn't it the system balancing itself.  Yup, it sure is!  But that's not particularly relevant to the conversation at hand.  We're not talking about why they got so high (a phenomenom certainly not exclusive to Stockton, CA).  What's important to note however, is that counties around the country DID take advantage of the over inflated prices and sent property taxes skyrocketing in the years leading up to the housing bust.  So they adjusted their spending habits accordingly, but now the fall was so much more dramatic and so much more precipitous than the run up in prices, that it is difficult for city budgets to adjust to the shock.

Yeah, on the social services thing, again kind of irrelevant unless you can point to something in particular.  I'm from Taxachusetts and we have similar problems - but again difficulties are due to the shock from the recession rather than a run up in social services.

Another thing to think about with regards to "social services" those are actually attached to jobs you see - and when the gov't starts trying to trim their public budget (laying off public workers) this has the double effect of removing revenue from the budget as they are no longer tax payers, perhaps lost their house in the process - i.e. stopped paying their taxes to the city.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 1:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013....78.html

PS.  The horrendous commie-state of California balanced their budget this year - despite being ruthless, over-spending, pinko, commie b-st-rds.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The problem isn't 'home prices suffering dramatic drops'.  Well, it is, of course.  But really, the bottom line is that when times are good, all sorts of programs get expanded -- everyone wants in on the feeding trough.  No one can deny that California has had both good times and bad.  But how many governments at the state and local levels have meaningful "rainy day funds' built up?

Viewed over decades, I just can't see how anyone can pin California's spendthrift habits on just one party and not the other! Though it should be noted that California has been mainly a Democrat state.  Still, the bottom line is that Californians (and by extension probably a lot of us Americans) really aren't serious about 'spending within our means and building up some savings against hard times'...


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Apr. 02 2013, 1:25 pm)
QUOTE
The problem isn't 'home prices suffering dramatic drops'.  Well, it is, of course.  But really, the bottom line is that when times are good, all sorts of programs get expanded -- everyone wants in on the feeding trough.  No one can deny that California has had both good times and bad.  But how many governments at the state and local levels have meaningful "rainy day funds' built up?

Viewed over decades, I just can't see how anyone can pin California's spendthrift habits on just one party and not the other! Though it should be noted that California has been mainly a Democrat state.  Still, the bottom line is that Californians (and by extension probably a lot of us Americans) really aren't serious about 'spending within our means and building up some savings against hard times'...

That is a more accurate description of the problem (of which the boom and bust of housing and resulting job losses are an integral part of the problem, most recently).

Was housing the only cause?  Absolutely not, but most folks didn't see the recession coming, and if the resulting growth in wealth from the run-up of housing prices (and the thought that both housing and our economy were invincible) wasn't part of the reason for the free-wheeling spending, then we're ignoring the obvious.  

This was a deep and complex recession, it's ramifications are many.  But I took particular issue with calling out an article from 2012 about a single city in CA.  The problem is country-wide.  The way we got into the mess was complex, and the way out is complex too.  But to blame it on the spendthrift nature, of a state notoriously democratic in recent years, ignores the big picture - which you are clearly calling out above, Ben, that CA has had both Dems and Repubs at the helm with similar results.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 1:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Its salaries, benefits and borrowing were based on anticipated long-term developer fees and increasing property tax revenue. But those were lost in a flurry of foreclosures beginning in the mid-2000s and a 70 percent decline in the city's tax base." - in regards to the Stockton bankruptcy

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politic....KSA8UoX

Even Fox recognizes the problem was due, in part, to a giant reduction to the tax base (70%!!!) combined with (as Ben and I both point out) that country-wide, there was a feeling of being in a long-term growth period.  Stupid to assume that, yeah maybe.  Was the decrease in tax base only from property taxes? Of course, not. But hey, the long term budgets of any city, town, personal household, or corporation are very difficult to forecast.  Personally, I was not prepared financially to be laid off for 18 months during the housing bust - I went into debt just paying for necessities.  But I've pulled myself up by my bootstraps and am getting close to think about purchasing my 1st house.  Problems can be solved with good, hard work!!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.guardian.co.uk/busines....economy

Let's also not forget that Stockton was "ground-zero" for the sub-prime mortgage debacle.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 2:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One more reason I've never been a supporter of property taxes as the basis for much of any essential services funding, schools or anything else. The volatility is one aspect and then there's the inherent unfairness for people who simply have the "misfortune" to occupy some place long enough for it to increase in theoretical value while not at all necessarily reflecting their ability to PAY the theory based tax bill out of their very real INCOME. The usual bandaid on that is to have people only pay based on the actual buy price: which leads to wildly different rates for the same actual value real property.... one that was recently purchased and the other that hasn't been bought for a couple of decades.

Why I like income taxes which do have that direct linkage to ability to pay based on the real income, not some back of the envelope theoretical calculation from an assessor who drove by....
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(EastieTrekker @ Apr. 02 2013, 1:19 pm)
QUOTE
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013....78.html

PS.  The horrendous commie-state of California balanced their budget this year - despite being ruthless, over-spending, pinko, commie b-st-rds.

Actually they are "projected" to have balanced their budget

But we all know the sad truth about "projections"

And I imagine their projections do not include the loss of revenue from all of the people that are fleeing their new taxes


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(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:41 pm)
QUOTE
And I imagine their projections do not include the loss of revenue from all of the people that are fleeing their new taxes

Source?

Perhaps your forgetting that CA had (and still has) some of the highest unemployment rates in the country...and gee, it wouldn't be the fact that some of those out-migrants are just looking for a job, right?

Further, it is certainly NOT the high paid Silicon Valley or entertainment industry employees who are moving.  It's more a lack of the lower paying jobs that are sending folks back east (you know those tax evading retail employees, teachers, and construction workers who have nothing left to build in CA's overbuilt market).  And we all know how you believe these low income folks don't pay their fair share of taxes anyways (I believe you've even noted how they pay $0 in taxes), so no big loss if they move anyway, right?  I mean it's the rich who support this country, and by extension the states they live in, right?


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(Ben2World @ Apr. 02 2013, 1:25 pm)
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The problem isn't 'home prices suffering dramatic drops'.  Well, it is, of course.  But really, the bottom line is that when times are good, all sorts of programs get expanded -- everyone wants in on the feeding trough.  No one can deny that California has had both good times and bad.  But how many governments at the state and local levels have meaningful "rainy day funds' built up?

Viewed over decades, I just can't see how anyone can pin California's spendthrift habits on just one party and not the other! Though it should be noted that California has been mainly a Democrat state.  Still, the bottom line is that Californians (and by extension probably a lot of us Americans) really aren't serious about 'spending within our means and building up some savings against hard times'...

From the bankruptcy judge

"In a sobering courtroom analysis, Klein chronicled Stockton's historic slide towards bankruptcy as Stockton, over betting on sustained tax revenues from a real estate boom, bankrolled a downtown redevelopment and doled out generous employee benefits on top of a "multi-decade, largely invisible pattern of above-market compensation for public employees."Copyright 2013 The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013....ink=cpy


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"Copyright 2013 The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. "

You copied/pasted that with irony right?

Yoiu hipster you.
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(EastieTrekker @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:54 pm)
QUOTE

(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:41 pm)
QUOTE
And I imagine their projections do not include the loss of revenue from all of the people that are fleeing their new taxes

Source?

Perhaps your forgetting that CA had (and still has) some of the highest unemployment rates in the country...and gee, it wouldn't be the fact that some of those out-migrants are just looking for a job, right?

Further, it is certainly NOT the high paid Silicon Valley or entertainment industry employees who are moving.  It's more a lack of the lower paying jobs that are sending folks back east (you know those tax evading retail employees, teachers, and construction workers who have nothing left to build in CA's overbuilt market).  And we all know how you believe these low income folks don't pay their fair share of taxes anyways (I believe you've even noted how they pay $0 in taxes), so no big loss if they move anyway, right?  I mean it's the rich who support this country, and by extension the states they live in, right?

Every person that I know in CA is looking to move

Somehting about retroactive tax increases rubbed them the wrong way :)

Every one of them said the climate was no longer worth the price

All are very well paid proffessionals with high 6 figure incomes


But I also hear some athletes are relocating :laugh:

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitba....s-Taxes


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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Apr. 02 2013, 4:30 pm)
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"Copyright 2013 The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. "

You copied/pasted that with irony right?

Yoiu hipster you.

Interesting, that notice does not appear UNTIL you paste it

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(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 4:32 pm)
QUOTE

(EastieTrekker @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:54 pm)
QUOTE

(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:41 pm)
QUOTE
And I imagine their projections do not include the loss of revenue from all of the people that are fleeing their new taxes

Source?

Perhaps your forgetting that CA had (and still has) some of the highest unemployment rates in the country...and gee, it wouldn't be the fact that some of those out-migrants are just looking for a job, right?

Further, it is certainly NOT the high paid Silicon Valley or entertainment industry employees who are moving.  It's more a lack of the lower paying jobs that are sending folks back east (you know those tax evading retail employees, teachers, and construction workers who have nothing left to build in CA's overbuilt market).  And we all know how you believe these low income folks don't pay their fair share of taxes anyways (I believe you've even noted how they pay $0 in taxes), so no big loss if they move anyway, right?  I mean it's the rich who support this country, and by extension the states they live in, right?

Every person that I know in CA is looking to move

Somehting about retroactive tax increases rubbed them the wrong way :)

Every one of them said the climate was no longer worth the price

All are very well paid proffessionals with high 6 figure incomes


But I also hear some athletes are relocating :laugh:

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitba....s-Taxes

Every person you know in CA?  What's that 0.00000001% of the state's population?

See the problem is, you guys just want to blame it on liberal spending habits, but the problem is - it's far more complex than that.

Is pension spiking, and the folks who support it, part of the problem?  Yes, most certainly.  But would it kill you to have an ounce of objectivity?  Denying that CA was absolutely rocked by the housing bust and the resulting job losses (and resulting drop in revenue for the state) just shows your not interested in the problem or the solution, but rather more interested in laying blame on Dems.


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I request all the possible consumer protection organizations, and fight with their injustice.   ???
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 1:39 pm)
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Apr. 02 2013, 4:30 pm)
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"Copyright 2013 The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. "

You copied/pasted that with irony right?

Yoiu hipster you.

Interesting, that notice does not appear UNTIL you paste it

Huh, I've seen those URL links automatically get added on but that's a new one.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 5:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When 17.5% of your operating budget goes toward employee pension costs while it remains underfunded to the tune of $800M, and then investors refuse to buy your bonds, you are basically f***ed. All the bad decisions of the past finally come to a head.

The real question is how many times we will see this scenario played out in other cities as politically-motivated pension favors finally catch up with the reality of demographics, economic stagnation, and housing crises.


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(Hungry Jack @ Apr. 02 2013, 2:52 pm)
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The real question is how many times we will see this scenario played out in other cities as politically-motivated pension favors finally catch up with the reality of demographics, economic stagnation, and housing crises.

As many times as there are politicians eager to write 'blank checks' to curry votes -- and voters wanting goodies without much thought to cost realities.

Let's remember that Greece is (or was) just such a democracy -- and are now made to pay!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2013, 12:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HERE'S the real facts !!!!

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2013, 10:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EastieTrekker @ Apr. 02 2013, 4:50 pm)
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(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 4:32 pm)
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(EastieTrekker @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:54 pm)
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(BillBab @ Apr. 02 2013, 3:41 pm)
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And I imagine their projections do not include the loss of revenue from all of the people that are fleeing their new taxes

Source?

Perhaps your forgetting that CA had (and still has) some of the highest unemployment rates in the country...and gee, it wouldn't be the fact that some of those out-migrants are just looking for a job, right?

Further, it is certainly NOT the high paid Silicon Valley or entertainment industry employees who are moving.  It's more a lack of the lower paying jobs that are sending folks back east (you know those tax evading retail employees, teachers, and construction workers who have nothing left to build in CA's overbuilt market).  And we all know how you believe these low income folks don't pay their fair share of taxes anyways (I believe you've even noted how they pay $0 in taxes), so no big loss if they move anyway, right?  I mean it's the rich who support this country, and by extension the states they live in, right?

Every person that I know in CA is looking to move

Somehting about retroactive tax increases rubbed them the wrong way :)

Every one of them said the climate was no longer worth the price

All are very well paid proffessionals with high 6 figure incomes


But I also hear some athletes are relocating :laugh:

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitba....s-Taxes

Every person you know in CA?  What's that 0.00000001% of the state's population?

See the problem is, you guys just want to blame it on liberal spending habits, but the problem is - it's far more complex than that.

Is pension spiking, and the folks who support it, part of the problem?  Yes, most certainly.  But would it kill you to have an ounce of objectivity?  Denying that CA was absolutely rocked by the housing bust and the resulting job losses (and resulting drop in revenue for the state) just shows your not interested in the problem or the solution, but rather more interested in laying blame on Dems.

I am very interested in the problem

I am not interested in making excuses for incredibly bad policy decisions

But I will admit to you that my friends in CA may be in the minority.....because they are intelligent :)

Much like the athletes mentioned in the link I shared...smart enough to vote with their feet.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2013, 10:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BillBab @ Apr. 03 2013, 10:00 am)
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I am not interested in making excuses for incredibly bad policy decisions

Recognizing the 2nd worst economic decline in US history, and recognizing that devaluation of homes, loss of jobs in the construction and real estate industry, and then the resulting losses when retail and other services no longer had folks buying their products hit California harder than nearly any other state, and that these effects most certainly had a major effect on revenue - is not an excuse.  It's what rational people with a firm understanding of the complex nature of economics and politics recognize.

I already admitted that pension spiking is a problem.  Yet, here you are brushing off the Great Recession as an excuse.


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I request all the possible consumer protection organizations, and fight with their injustice.   ???
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2013, 10:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The other problem BillBab - is that these problems aren't isolated in that liberal bastion known as California.

Before Stockton became the biggest municipal bankruptcy in US history, Jefferson County, Alabama formerly held that distinction.

http://www.reuters.com/article....0111110


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