02/25/2018

News

Taxing Innovators To Pay For Universal Welfare Is A Terrible Idea

A new “study” in Britain suggests that by raising taxes sharply on Facebook, Amazon and Apple, the government could pay for a universal basic income (UBI) for all Britons. It’s an absurd idea, which is why it can’t be counted out. . . . In the case of Britain, the left-wing paper The Guardian reports, […]

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Healthcare Spending to Reach $5.7 Trillion by 2026

“National healthcare spending trends are unsustainable in the long term,” President Donald Trump’s budget acknowledges. An article published earlier this month in the medical policy journal Health Affairs buttresses this simple point. Medical inflation stands to outpace both economic growth and actual inflation. Our spending — government, individual, business, etc. — on healthcare, projected to […]

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Retirement Debt: What’s the problem and how does it affect you?

Across California, the cost of retirement benefits for public employees remains untamed. The total cost to state and local governments as well as schools and colleges has more than tripled since 2003—and projections indicate the burden in coming years will continue to grow. Payments for public employee pensions and retiree health care benefits are putting […]

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Bureaucrats are blocking badly needed reservoirs

Four years ago, California voters directed the government to update our state water system by passing Proposition 1, a $7 billion water bond that included clear guidelines for investing $2.7 billion in new reservoirs. Voters expected billions of gallons of water to be added to our surface storage system. Sadly, with a dry start to […]

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California water agency gets scolded: Speed up spending billions on new reservoirs

With California facing another potential drought, legislators demanded Wednesday that a state agency release $2.7 billion in bond funding for dams, reservoirs and other water storage projects. Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle, pulling a child’s red wagon, arrived at a meeting of the California Water Commission with a stack of petitions with 4,000 signatures supporting […]

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Large and Influential: Firm Size and Governments’ Corporate Tax Rate Choice

Theory suggests that large firms are more likely to engage in lobbying behaviour and are geographically more mobile than smaller entities. Conditional on jurisdiction size, policy choices are thus predicted to depend on the shape of a jurisdiction’s firm size distribution, with more business-oriented policies being enacted if jurisdictions host large firms. The paper empirically […]

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How to Restore Financial Sustainability to Public Pensions

The report from the League of California Cities includes a section entitled “What Cities Can Do Today.” This section merits a read between the lines: . . . 2 – “Consider local ballot measures to enhance revenues: Some cities have been successful in passing a measure to increase revenues. Others have been unsuccessful. Given that […]

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Cap and trade is looking more and more like a tax

The money that’s paid to the state for these permits looks a lot like a tax. But a state appeals court ruled that it’s not a tax, because it’s not compulsory. Any business that doesn’t want to pay it, the court reasoned, could simply go out of business. Now you know why other states don’t […]

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Marriage Penalties and Bonuses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

• Marriage bonuses can be as high as 21 percent of a couple’s income, and marriage penalties can be as high as 12 percent of a couple’s income.

• While research shows that marriage penalties and bonuses do not have much effect on whether a couple will marry, they do impact how much each spouse works.

• It is possible to completely eliminate both marriage penalties and bonuses, but it would require a significant overhaul of the tax code that drastically changes the current distribution of income taxes paid.

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New pension plan will squeeze California cities

California cities struggling with recent hikes in their pension fees will see another one in 2021 because of a decision CalPERS made on Tuesday to speed up the rate of their debt payments. The change will save cities money over time, but it could squeeze local government budgets over the next few years because it […]

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Boom and Gloom: An Economic Warning for California

The United States is on track to achieve the second-longest economic expansion in its history. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. And California’s state budget has a multibillion-dollar surplus. So why is its longtime governor, Jerry Brown, issuing prophecies of doom? . . . Mr. Brown’s statements highlight California’s distinction as a state of high […]

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What Can Go Wrong with Trump’s Infrastructure Plan? Look to California

To see how bad decisions can be, look at California, a state which once led in economically critical infrastructure but now striving to present the worst possible example. Over the past two decades, California has become among the states least committed to new infrastructure, despite absurdly high tax levels. And when the spigot has been […]

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California has a plan to skirt the GOP tax law. IRS veterans say it is likely doomed.

California’s plan to shield residents from a tax hike under President Trump’s tax plan is likely to fail, said seven former high-ranking Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department officials. The proposal, passed by the state Senate last month, is seen as a test case for blue states trying to help their taxpayers avoid a giant […]

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Safety Net Plays Key Role in Reducing Poverty

How does this relate to the safety net? With stagnant earnings since 1980, safety net resources become an even more important factor in making ends meet as cost of living increases. Our estimates show that major safety net program benefits play a critical role in mitigating poverty. The California poverty rate would be 8 points […]

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California families are missing out on tax credit

The federal and state tax credits provide the largest cash payment many families will receive in a year – money that can go toward repaying debt, building savings or buying goods and services that support economic growth. Yet each year, California residents leave approximately $2 billion in tax credits on the table, with one of […]

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