Odds and Ends – July 10, 2008

A few Odds and Ends from this past week:

HJTA’s Coupal on Legislative Spending Limits

Check out this piece that ran over the weekend at Flashreport, a commentary by Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association calling for Legislative spending limits to help deal with Sacramento’s seemingly continual budgeting problems.

McCain’s $300mil Battery Prize could jumpstart US Alternative Energy Innovation

A lot of people didn’t quite know what to think last week when Senator McCain proposed a $300 million taxpayer-funded cash prize to whomever could develop a battery that would leapfrog the efficiency of currently available technology, providing the same amount of power at 30% of the cost. Reactions from both Republicans and Democrats were mixed, and presidential rival Barack Obama dismissed the idea as a ‘gimmick’.

Just about everyone must admit that the same thought had crossed their mind – how serious is the cash prize plan, and does it have a chance of success? The short answer – yes, there’s a very good chance that Senator McCain’s proposal could result in the development of a new generation of efficient and cost effective battery technology.

I was tempted to just leave it at that, but there is indeed a very good reason for why the aforementioned plan will succeed. By shedding the chains of bureaucracy and special interests that generally accompany funding of this nature, it exits the grey area of the government subsidy and provides a true incentive for innovation — produce results, get the prize. In adopting this mindset, the McCain plan takes aim in the same direction that technological innovators already have in the recent past, valuing efficiency and demanding results.

State could make money if it stopped taxing itself

For a great example of runaway bureaucracy at work, check out this article in today’s Orange County Register, which outlines a keen observation by Board of Equalization Member and F&H Blogger Michelle Steel on how the state is wasting millions of dollars by charging itself sales tax.

Governor Commits to Preserve R&D Tax Credit

Check out today’s commentary by Flashreport editor Jon Fleischman: Governor Commits to Preserve R&D Tax Credit In State Budget

An excerpt:

The credit should not only stay in place, but California government should be looking for more opportunities to reduce regulation and costs to business in California to encourage research and expansion. 

I agree wholeheartedly; California must strive to maintain its role as America’s leader in technological innovation, and in order for that to happen, we must reduce costs for the businesses who are working hard to keep our state in the lead.

CA will benefit overall as Roski and NFL move toward LA Stadium deal

As a 49ers fan, I had a good laugh in 1994 when the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Raiders both fled their home city in the same season as the likelyhood of new or renovated stadiums for the two teams became increasingly unlikely, despite several promises to the contrary. Nearly 15 years later, it’s no longer a laughing matter.

Los Angeles, the country’s largest media market, has been without a professional football franchise since the 1994 season. The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders both play in venues that are considered to be vastly outdated by modern standards, and the San Francisco 49ers still play at Candlestick Park, which has not undergone a major renovation since 1971 and is widely considered to be the most dilapidated in-use venue in American professional sports.

The news last week that the NFL is warming to developer Ed Roski’s recent LA stadium proposal could serve as the catalyst to turn this situation around.

A stark contrast

Two events took place at the State Capitol yesterday that may prove to be of particular significance to California taxpayers. Inside the building, Democrats led by Senator Don Perata held a press conference calling for the legislature to raise taxes in order to balance the budget. Outside, on the west steps, several Republican legislators including Assembly Leader Mike Villines and Senator George Runner joined grassroots taxpayer advocates Americans for Prosperity and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in staging a rally demanding ‘No New Taxes!’

Check out this video from the Sac Bee’s CapitolAlert/CTNS:

Odds and Ends

A few Odds and Ends from the weekend and this morning:

  • Please welcome Matt Klink, who joins the F&H blog starting today. His first post today comments on the LAUSD Teachers’ Strike.
  • F&H Editor Joel Fox penned a piece on the 30th Anniversary of Prop 13 for the San Francisco Chronicle, which ran this past Friday – Click here to take a look.
  • The Sacramento Bee ran a story today entitled Governor’s economic adviser helps shape fiscal policy, which profiles Schwarzenegger Advisor and F&H Blogger David Crane.
  • Board of Equalization Member and F&H Blogger Michelle Steel has written a piece today for the FlashReport detailing how taxes could possibly be raised without a 2/3 legislative vote. Click here to take a look.
  • Finally, an article in today’s Wall Street Journal written by John Fund comments on the McClintock-Ose primary that recently took place in the 4th district and what it might mean for the future of the GOP in the legislature.