California’s budget process has devolved into a bad joke

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Let’s face it. California’s budget process has devolved into a bad joke. The record amount of spending coupled with massive expenditures for wasteful, pork-barrel projects is bad enough. But the more insidious problem is the lack of budget transparency. This is not the way it is supposed to be. As usual, Sacramento politicians are patting […]

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SCA 5 Needs to be Defeated

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA 5), is set for legislative hearing today. It deserves a quick defeat. Advanced by Sen. Ben Allen, D-Los Angeles, and Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, SCA 5 would lower the current two-thirds vote requirement to pass local school district parcel taxes to 55% percent. Here are the reasons SCA 5 […]

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Defending Direct Democracy, Defending Taxpayers

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The powers of direct democracy — initiative, referendum and recall — are powerful tools to control slow-moving or corrupt politicians. These powers are enshrined in the California Constitution for reasons that are just as compelling in 2019 as they were in 1911 when Gov. Hiram Johnson, seeking to suppress the absolute control the railroads had […]

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Study Confirms Business Flight from California Accelerating

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The evidence is more than anecdotal. According to a recent study, business flight out of California has accelerated to an unprecedented level. In 2016, the year for which the most recent data is available, 1,800 businesses moved out or “disinvested” from California. This is the highest one-year total in the nine-year history of tracking by […]

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Proposition 6 is a Grassroots Initiative

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Proposition 6 is an initiative measure appearing on the ballot less than one month from now that would repeal the tax hike on gasoline and cars imposed by Sacramento politicians last year without a vote of the people. If Prop. 6 passes, California’s gas and car tax would still be in the top five among […]

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Withdrawal of the Taxpayer Protection Act could haunt the American Beverage Association

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

By now, political observers have heard how a series of negotiations in Sacramento resulted in three initiatives slated for the November ballot being withdrawn by their respective proponents. The blame (or credit, depending on your perspective) for these deals has been attributed to a 2014 bill authored by then-Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, which allows […]

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Progressives’ Situational, Self-Serving, Love of Transparency

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

We’ve all heard of “situational ethics.” This column is about “situational transparency,” a phenomenon among progressives who love transparency in matters of public policy, except when they hate it. Let’s review the areas in which progressives support transparency: the salaries of CEOs, the race and gender of employees, the details of business supply chains and, […]

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Fire Fee Suspension Not Enough

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

On behalf of working Californians and our citizen taxpayer members, HJTA is profoundly disappointed in the political “deal” which was struck yesterday to extend California’s “cap and trade” law.  Nothing can justify conservative support for a law that will surely result in at least a 71 cents increase in the cost of gasoline with absolutely zero […]

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“Follow the Money” Report Reveals Billions in Government Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Millions of Californians will file tax returns this Tax Day and many wonder whether the billions they send to their government actually goes to good use. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association released the annual Follow the Money report documenting Sacramento’s repeated failure to properly manage taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. Examples covered in the report include failure to account […]

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Is it time to abandon the Bear Flag?

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

The Bear Flag, which first appeared as the symbol of the short-lived Bear Flag Republic in 1846, was made the official flag of California in 1911. The flag displays a California grizzly bear which, in a bit of irony, is extinct in California with the last sighting taking place in 1922. Without any disrespect to […]

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