Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 3, 2012 



 Most pundits claim that California’s vote is in the bag – that the outcome 
of the presidential vote next Tuesday is a foregone conclusion regardless of 
turnout rates for Republicans or Democrats. They may well be right, but the 
Presidential contest is actually the least significant race facing Californians. 
The outcome of proposition 30 will determine California’s future over the next 
decade – perhaps even longer – and its outcome is critically dependent on 
turnout. Anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear the truth about California’s 
fiscal situation needs to turn out and vote NO on proposition 30.

 Proposition 30 is Governor Brown’s attempt to solve California’s looming 
fiscal disaster by sticking it to the citizens while enabling the addiction of 
Sacramento’s spendaholics. That’s not how he’s trying to sell the deal, mind 
you, but it is the reality. Ostensibly, the Brown plan, backed by the public employee unions, passes 
temporary tax increases which will shore up the state’s budget deficit. The bulk of the burden is 
portrayed as falling on the “rich” who “don’t pay their fare share”. The theory is that tax revenues will 
increase, spending will stay the same, the deficit will be closed and nobody will be hurt. If it weren’t 
going to cripple the state so much, this campaign line could be laughable.

 The first problem with this approach is the assumption that revenues will increase. They won’t! In 
fact, they are likely to decrease in the short term and over the long term. The proposition would 
impose a 20% to 30% increase in taxes on entrepreneurs and business owners. Of course, that 
assumes they stick around to pay the higher rate on their incomes. And therein lies the stupidity 
of this approach. Even the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office states that business owners’ responses 
to this rate increase are “difficult to estimate”. Think about this for a moment with a modicum of 
common sense. If you own a business that generates enough money to be considered “rich”, don’t you 
think you’d have enough flexibility to decide where you want to live (in California, a high-tax state, or 
Nevada, a low-tax state)? Don’t you think you’d take tax rates into consideration as you decide where 
to expand your business? Of course you would. 

 I personally know several business owners (average guys, really; not super rich), who have calculated 
that they would save enough in taxes moving to Nevada or Idaho to afford flying back and forth 
between their new home and their businesses AND pay the mortgage on their new home. As long as 
they spend less than six months in California, they wouldn’t live in California and have to pay state 
taxes. More importantly, they’re all planning to expand their businesses when the economy improves 
by opening facilities in other states.

 If Proposition 30 passes, California will lose tax revenue now and for the foreseeable future. When 
business owners decide to open a facility in a new state, they don’t reverse that decision suddenly 
when/if the state reduces taxes. The new facility, all the employment and all the future tax revenue 
will remain in the new home state for as long as the facility is productive. This is a long-term disaster 
for California.

 The other critical flaw here is the assumption that spending won’t increase. The belief that 
Sacramento’s politicians would actually use increased tax revenues (assuming there were any) to 
reduce the deficit, rather than to further increase spending, flies in the face of the historical record. 
As recently as 2009, the state’s liberals, along with a handful of fever-swamp infected Republicans and 
Governor Schwarzenegger, passed a $13 billion sales and income tax increase. Schools received less 
money over the course of the next 2 years, but entitlement and union benefits spending increased, 
and the budget deficit has grown from an estimated $9 billion to $16 billion.

 If you want to look at some specific tell-tale details, just look at Governor Brown’s threats if Proposition 
30 doesn’t pass. First up on the chopping block $500 million in cuts in higher education while $100 
million in tax credits to Hollywood producers and $360 million in interest payments for the bullet 
train remain untouched. If he, or any of the other Liberals in Sacramento, were serious, they’d tell 
Hollywood to compete like any other industry has to, and they’d cancel the boondoggle bullet train. 

 The other tell-tale statistic is the projected pension costs for public union workers. The California 
State Teachers’ Retirement System, alone, has projected that it will need $3.5 billion to $10 billion 
annually over the next 30 years. Any money raised by this proposition (again, a bad assumption) 
would go right into the coffers of union pensions – not into the schools or infrastructure.

Proposition 30 will not, cannot not, save this state. But it can drive the state to ruin faster. Ours is a 
spending problem. Sacramento has refused to deal with the issue. They continue to vote for increases 
in spending. They refuse to reform the pension system so that it is compatible with the retirement 
systems in the private sector – the place where most tax payers have to live, work and survive. They 
continue to harass, scapegoat and offend the very people (entrepreneurs and business owners) who 
generate the jobs and tax revenues. They do this because California voters do not demand real 
accountability and sanity. They do this because they believe that a California general default would 
be so unthinkable that the federal government will step in to bail us out.

 So, no matter how predictable you believe the presidential vote in California will be on Tuesday, 
the state’s own future is anything but predictable. We can stem the tide and save ourselves from the 
cliff, or we can pull a Thelma-and-Louise and push harder on the peddle to hurdle ourselves over the 
cliff. Tuesday’s voter turnout for the propositions in California is arguably more important than the 
presidential election. The U.S. still has time. California doesn’t. If we don’t vote No on Proposition 
30, we could easily make Greece look good.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic and religious organizations on 
cultural and moral issues. He lives in the Pasadena area with his wife and 3 children and is active in the community. He can 
be reached at

HOWARD Hays As I See It

“The president’s been great. I spoke with him three times yesterday; he called me for the 
last time at midnight last night. He asked me what I needed, and I said if you could 
expedite the major disaster declaration without all the normal FEMA mumbo-jumbo. 
He got right on it; I got a call from FEMA at 2 AM for me to answer a couple of questions, 
and then this morning I understand he signed the major disaster declaration for 
New Jersey. The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit. I’ve been 
on the phone with him, like I said, yesterday personally three times. He gave me his 
number at the White House, told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely 
means it. It’s been very good working with the president, and he and his administration 
have been coordinating with us great – it’s been wonderful.”

- Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) on “Morning Joe” - October 30, 2012

 Susan’s already addressed Greg Welborn’s sticking with the Fox News storyline rather than the facts 
in his column on the Benghazi consulate attack. In this campaign season, Republican partisans seem 
un-embarrassed by exposed falsehoods, figuring “Who’s gonna know?”

There’s Mitt Romney’s “building Jeeps in China” ad in Ohio, and statement that they’re “thinking of 
moving all (Jeep) production to China.” The problem is that Ohioans have a memory (and know of 
Chrysler’s plan to invest $500 million in its Toledo Jeep Complex – with 1,000 new jobs). Thanks 
to that ad, the issue now is not Romney’s being on the wrong side of the automotive recovery under 
President Obama, but that he lies about it. As a GM spokesman put it, “We’ve clearly entered some 
parallel universe.”

Greg asked us to imagine what our “reactions would be had President Bush” responded as did President 
Obama to the Benghazi attack. (I’d be surprised he didn’t use it as an excuse to invade an uninvolved 
country.) We could also imagine how Ronald Reagan would have responded compared to 
what we saw from Mitt Romney. Recalling how Reagan responded to the aborted hostage rescue in 
Iran, occurring during his own run for the presidency, he’d likely call it a “time for us as a nation and 
a people to stand united.” I can’t see his campaign sending out press releases attacking the president 
while our personnel were under siege.

Intelligence assessments on the Benghazi attack use the word “opportunistic”. It’s also a word that 
could serve as a summation of Mitt Romney as profiled on a recent PBS FRONTLINE documentary.

 Opportunism seems to have been the guiding principle for Mitt Romney. A long-time acquaintance 
recalled that when asked his view on abortion, Romney provided an answer that was “managerial”; 
framed with concern over how that answer would affect whatever goal he was pursuing at that time.

His passing healthcare reform in Massachusetts was driven not by conviction but by opportunism; 
the need for a “legacy” issue for his presidential run in 2008. The political landscape since changed, 
so what was touted as a singular achievement in 2008 is not to be mentioned in 2012.

If the word for Romney is “opportunistic”, then the word summarizing Barack Obama in his profile 
would be “community”. From Hawaii to Indonesia to L.A. to Chicago, for Obama it seems a continuous 
effort to be part of, to enhance, to expand and often to create a community. The ultimate meaning 
of the word was proclaimed in his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention; “It’s not the 
red states, not the blue states, it’s the United States of America!”

The keynote address at the 2012 Republican Convention was given by Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ); a 
loud, incendiary denunciation of President Obama.

I usually don’t start my column with such a lengthy quote; those on “Morning Joe” who asked Gov. 
Christie for an update on the disaster didn’t expect him to go on that effusively – but he did.

A week out from the election, there was no campaigning for President Obama. Those in our community 
of United States needed help, and as Americans we come together as a community to pitch in.

A scheduled Romney campaign rally in the battleground state of Ohio was cancelled “out of sensitivity 
to the millions of Americans in the path of Hurricane Sandy”. Press releases went out announcing 
that in its stead, at the same time and venue, would be a “storm relief” event - sponsored by the 
Romney campaign. Supporters were to bring canned goods, diapers, etc. (In case anyone came 
empty-handed, campaign aides picked up $5,000 worth of stuff ahead of time at a local Wal-Mart.) 

They couldn’t just drop the goods off – they had to wait until candidate Romney himself arrived, to 
make sure he got his picture taken collecting all that stuff. And – they had to sit through the 10 min. 
bio film on the candidate shown at the Republican Convention.

(The Red Cross consistently reminds they need money, not goods; but writing checks – it’s just not 
the same photo-op.)

On “Fox and Friends”, Gov. Christie repeated his praise for Obama’s handling of the disaster. When 
asked if Mitt Romney would be joining him on a tour of hard-hit areas, the Governor replied, "I've got 
2.4 million people out of power. I've got devastation on the shore. I've got floods in the northern part 
of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don't know me."

Events of the last few years, and especially of the past few days, have gotten me to think a lot about the 
words “opportunistic” and “community”. Especially over the past few days, there’s another word that 
so clearly fits Barack Obama but could never apply to Mitt Romney: President.

JOE Gandleman An Independent Voice


Everyone expected a big wind towards the end of October. But it was 
expected it’d be from the media, talk show hosts, blogosphere and 
politicians, building in a crescendo that’d end on Election Day. That wind 
did arrive – in gale force -- but what no one expected was that Mother 
Nature would also chime in by sending her offspring Hurricane Sandy.

It seems so symbolic...

Superstorm Sandy’s heartbreak is still being tabulated. At least 33 
U.S. deaths, on top of the 67 killed in the Caribbean… Millions 
of Americans without electricity…More than 16,000 flights cancelled…flooding along 
the glorious Jersey Shore… New York City transportation including subway and buses 
shut down….whopping losses to the economy due to storm damage and lost workdays.

And on top of it all, some have argued in this close election that we really don’t need that mean, old 
federal government. Turns out we do during storms. As Texas Gov. Rick Perry once said: “Oops.”

Hurricanes don’t simply appear out of nowhere. They are born when warm seawaters propel heat and 
moisture high into the air and the resulting sea evaporation moisture in the atmosphere combines 
with heat, energy and a big wind pattern.

Sort of like the political storms and political trends we’ve seen in our politics over the past two years.

There was the Tea Party political storm. The Tea Party was founded by small-government libertarians 
and serious Republican conservatives who blasted President Barack Obama, former President George 
Bush and the GOP establishment. But the Tea Party winds were harnessed by former Alaska Gov. 
Sarah Palin and the Republican Party, which turned it into a partisan appendage. It has slightly 
receded but is that due to waning influence or regrouping to return stronger in 2013?

There is the Political Truth Storm thrusting America into an era where truth is seemingly irrelevant. 
Romney has had more positions than the Kama Sutra and the erotic statues of Khajuraho combined. 
He has created a truly new template for candidates to virtually overnight discard and deny previously 
embraced tenets – without any political or substantive media consequences.

Even worse: the Romney campaign is almost gleefully running a Jeep-will-export-jobs-to-China in 
Ohio that wide variety of journalists from all political persuasions note is patently false. 

Writes the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent: “The move seems to confirm that the Romney campaign 
is making the Jeep-to-China falsehood central to its final push to turn things around in the state. 
The Romney campaign has explicitly said in the past that it will not let fact checking constrain its 
messaging, so perhaps it’s not surprising that it appears to be expanding an ad campaign based on a 
claim that has been widely pilloried by fact checkers.”

If Romney loses it’ll indicate being truthful counts for something. If he wins not having any 
consequences for stunningly swift position changes and ads widely documented to be false, then it’ll 
set the bar yet lower in for all future candidates.

As this storm over whether truth matters rages, the question is whether in American politics all that’s 
needed now to instantaneously recreate reality out of falsehood, is for someone whose pants are on 
fire to repeat a political mantra or to insist that a position that existed never existed. Uttering the 
words magically makes it so.

Meanwhile, pick your favorite pundit according to your bias who today states with certainty who’ll win 
and why. Pundits self-assuredly project who’ll win (while some partisan bloggers already KNOW). 
Much of 21st century political debate consists of new and old media pundits name calling, and trying 
to discredit or denigrate those who dare see things differently. Some political websites have suffered 
massive Denial of Service attacks that seem to be politically inspired.

When the votes are counted on election day we’ll see which of the windbags Americans listened to, 
watched, heard, and read during this political season actually lived up to their self-assured, advance 
hype. Did they prove to be big, accurate thundering pundits that took the political prediction biz by 
storm – or, in the end, merely noisy, inconsequential little drips?

The big difference between them and hurricanes? At least hurricanes quickly go away.

Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. 
He has appeared on cable news show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate 
Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists and moderates. CNN’s John Avlon named him 
as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can be reached at jgandelman@ and can be booked to speak at your event at