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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Disconnects in Sacramento

Uploaded: Jul 10, 2012
Consider that the budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor relies on voters passing a significant temporary tax increase in November. The measure, which the governor qualified as an initiative through the efforts of his allies at the California Teachers Association thus avoiding the Republicans in the Legislature, calls for a 7-year income tax increase on high earners and a 4-year one-quarter cent increase in the sales tax.
It's counted upon to fill an $8 billion hole—nearly 10 percent of the budget.
A week after cleaning up the budget with its huge gamble, the majority of the Democrats in the Legislature voted to authorize the first $8 billion for the state's high speed rail project that makes the budget look like a sure thing on a slot machine in Las Vegas. The latest estimate cost of the high-speed train is $69 billion—believe the state will hit that number and I have a great deal for you on beachfront property in Nome, Alaska.
The total funding identified now is just $13.3 billion—the fantasies presented by the High Speed Rail Authority envision the feds coughing up another $38.6 billion along with private investors (have you seen them lining up?) contributing $13.1 billion and another $5.2 billion coming from other sources.
Four senators, including Mark DeSaulnier who will represent the Tri-Valley area after the November elections, voted No. Joining him were Joe Simitian from Palo Alto, Alan Lowenthal from Long Beach and Fran Pavley from Santa Monica. Notably, DeSaulnier, Simitian and Lowenthal are the three senators who are the most knowledgeable about the project and all opposed it.
Just what planet their colleagues and the governor are living on is open to question—it brings to mind Gov. Moonbeam from his first term.
The federal government currently borrows 40 percent of every dollar spent under President Obama with the Democrat-controlled Senate that hasn't passed a budget in three years. If voters are foolish enough to return to Democrat control of the presidency as well as both houses of Congress, it's still folly to think the feds are going to throw tens of billions more at a highly questionable project in a state they own from an election standpoint.
Voters—who will be bombarded in the fall with television from the state teachers union and other public employee unions—may actually connect the dots between the absurd spending on the high speed rail and the governor's request for a tax increase that will hit schools hard should it fail. Something about getting the capitol's house in order before asking the hard-pressed taxpayers for more.
That will put pension reform on the front burner come August when the Legislature returns to session.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

I'm convinced the only reason the 4 senators (who are now on Brownies hitlist) didn't vote for this debacle is that there was nothing in it specifically for them. The other union controlled lemmings who did vote for Brown's choo-choo to nowhere, all stand to personally or professionally gain directly from this new found pot of gold. But, I guess that's nothing new in the political arena.

What's still baffling is how voters can believe that dems in power in our state have their best interests in mind. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the insanity that is the trademark of the left leaning voter, continues to reward these self-serving manipulators.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I believe Simitian, at least, was actually listening to his constituents when he voted. There have been many meetings in Palo Alto and an organized effort to prevent HSR. I would add that the Senator was very accessible and responsive, as were many of the people in his offices.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Palo Alto never saw a rail project they liked.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Remember when one of the proposed routes was right through downtown Pleasanton on a skyway of some sort? Hehehehe...

Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

Aloha, amigos! It is I, Casanova Frankenstein!

This article couldn't have been posted in a more Timly manner! For this very morning I did read how 37% of the population thinks that pension reform is a priority. Thirty seven percent! Can anyone now deny that this is the single greatest issue facing us, aside from TomKat's divorce and this Fall's finale of Who Wants to Be a Billionaire President?

Thanks also, Tim, for keeping "classic" journalistic alive, like how we'll be "bombarded" by "Moonbeam" and asking "what planet are those Democrats on?" This is the fair, cliche-free, well-researched writing that has made Tim the darling of the Pleasanton Tea Party movement, the crown in the jewel of the mighty PW publishing empire, and the toast of the town!

As a long-time fan of Birch Barlow himself, I welcome Tim's posts like a junkie welcomes tax relief. Encore, amigo, and excelsior!

Auf weidersehen, muchachos!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is the article: Web Link

As pointed out, among other good questions from commenters, it doesn't explain Wisconsin or San Jose or San Diego.

Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

Bonjour, Kathleen Ruegsegger!

Thanks for repeating my post, only in link form!

In answer to your riddle, I propose a counter-riddle! If you can explain why some blacks voted for David Duke, I'll explain Wisconsin, San Jose, and San Diego.

Happy riddling and bon giorno, muchachissima!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Cas, Just making it easy for everyone to read what you were talking about. You could have provided the link. Please, explain for all of us--Duke, Wisconsin, etc.

Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

Salutations, Kathleen! It is I, Casanova Frankenstein! (and not "Cas," please)

I applaud your quest to provide the missing link! However, we all know that Piltdown Man was a fraud to discredit the theory of Intelligent Design. But you and I are too intelligently designed to fall for that trick, despite our liberal brainwashing in non-Texas public schools.

And speaking of schools, I've read how much you value others on this forum doing their own homework on issues, so I have to assume that when you just asked me to do your homework for you, you were testing me. Well fear not! I have passed your little test with colores volante, and now you may go do your homework with a clear conscience!

Viva con dias, mi amiga!

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Casanova, I did do the homework on Duke, but I don't find it relevant to this topic.

Posted by Marcia, a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School,
on Jul 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Marcia is a registered user.

Tim, Well done, as usual. Simple, clean, and most importantly, truthful. Thanks. As for the Wisconsin innuendoes, I am not certain what the underlying issue is. If it is related to Scott Walker NOT getting impeached as governor, then I can tell you why. When Scott first ran for governor, he had a very strong agenda. He made a promise. The people liked what they heard and voted him in. The amazing thing was that he immediately followed that agenda and the state has had a remarkable turn-around that no one is complaining about. At least no one that is capable of understanding how it all works for the better of all. Unions are what they are: bullies with a deep pocket and rift with self-serving attitudes. Tim, think this will get a rise out of some? =0)

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