Let’s Have an Honest Immigration Debate

Bonnie Reiss
Director of the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute

There is no doubt that the candidacy of Donald Trump has reignited the immigration debate. There is also no doubt that while Americans may disagree over how to deal with our broken immigration system, there is a general consensus that it must be fixed. The problem with the approach of both Trump and the media […]

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Teacher Tenure Decision Major Civil Rights Victory

Bonnie Reiss
Director of the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute

The court stood with students and against the powerful unions issuing a ruling that held California public school tenure law is unconstitutional. Moved by testimony and evidence that it takes years and costs schools millions of dollars to dismiss highly ineffective teachers who received tenure after only two years, the court’s ruling striking down California’s […]

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Goodbye Ugly Betty — And 75 Million Dollars

Bonnie Reiss
Director of the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute

Last week I was meeting with Tony Plana, the actor that plays Ugly Betty’s father at their Hollywood studio set, and while the show is a huge success with ABC having ordered 26 episodes for their upcoming season, it felt like a funeral on the set that day. The reason for this — Ugly Betty is just the latest production lured away by New York’s lucrative tax incentives, one of 40 states now offering such incentives.

Those who think tax breaks for TV and movie productions are a giveaway to rich actors, directors and producers are very wrong. The actors and other "above the line" people go with the production to whatever state they move to. It is the "below the line" people who lose their jobs-the drivers, carpenters, set designers, make up artists, craft services and production assistants.

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UC Regents and Students Debate Tuition and The University’s Future

Bonnie Reiss
Director of the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute

Yesterday, the UC regents reluctantly voted to increase tuition by 7%, the 8th increase over the past 10 years. Greatful that the Governor supported education and included $98.5 million to restore most of the UC budget cuts from January, the regents and students were passionate about the need for the legislature to support this.

So on Wednesday at UCLA, the regents and students had an emotional and spirited debate about Jefferson, democracy, an educated citizenry, economic reality and the responsibility of the State to support public universities, and the future of UC.

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We have a Tax and Spending Problem

Bonnie Reiss
Director of the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute

"We don’t have a tax problem , we have a spending problem!" We in California have heard this sold brilliantly from our Governor and economic and business leaders for 4 years. It makes a great "sound byte", but hoping those visiting Fox & Hounds have slightly more depth than viewers of Fox or CNN,

I would like to say that this is both wrong and wildly simplistic.

We have BOTH a tax and a spending problem. We rely on tax revenues that fluctuate and are unfair to the middle class. Yeah, remember the middle class, the largest group of working Americans neither dems or repubs seem to champion?

We offer some truly unfair tax breaks, like the yacht tax credit — other than Senator Dick Ackerman and a few hundred yacht owners, who cares! We don’t put enough revenue aside each year in our "rainy day fund", so on a big declining revenue year like now, we are royally screwed.

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