How Bad Is it in California?

 

Very, very, very bad.

An article brought to my attention by a friend–who, like half a dozen Californians with whom I’ve spoken over the last couple of days, is looking for property in Nevada or Texas:

John Smithton, Sacramento

 TimesUpdated 12:19 p.m., Thursday, November 8, 2012LOS ANGELES – Democrats after gaining a two-thirds majority in both theCalifornia Assembly and Senate following Tuesday’s election, will bebringing several new laws forward, all without the need for Republicanvotes.

The most striking of these is a bill which would restrict wealthy Californiawage earners from leaving the state without facing a large penaltyassessment on their real estate and financial assets….

“It’s time to start anew and to live within our means but at the same timeinvest in the cornerstone of our future and of our economy. We need thosefortunate enough with higher incomes to continue paying their fair share,and if that means making them pay dearly if they decide to leave our stateso be it,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said ina telephone interview….

State Democrats have also proposed forming a new branch of the state police,to be known as the “STASI” or “State Team Action to Stem Income” which wouldbe staffed with volunteers from every community, monitoring residentscontemplating moving out of the state. The staffers would report onneighbors and family members with moving plans or otherwise actingsuspiciously….

UPDATE: Searching online, I’m unable to find the original, so I’m to suppose the article a hoax. If so, I’m relieved. On the other hand, what does it say about the present political climate here in the Golden State that neither I nor the friend who sent this to me feels–well, entirely sure?

If any among the Ricochetti can figure it out one way or the other–this thing seems to be floating around cyberspace, but, again, I’m unable to find the original–I’d be grateful.

UPDATE on my UPDATE: Fool that I am, I only just now remembered that the paper in Sacramento isn’t the Times but the Bee. John Smithton? No such journalist seems to exist. This is a hoax. And, for about ten minutes, yours truly fell for it.

Lord. Rob Long will never let me live this down.

All right, all right. That’s enough chortling, everybody. Go off and stuff start basting your turkeys.

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Members have made 36 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    Being from Sacramento myself I was a little confused by the Sacramento Times but I figured you knew something I didn’t and moved on without checking it out. I guess I’m just as gullible. 

    • #1
    • November 22, 2012 at 1:28 am
  2. Profile photo of Instugator Thatcher
    KingsKnight1
    ParisParamus: Paging Prof. Yoo: Is it not unconstitutional to penalize citizens for leaving a state? Commerce Clause? Something? Bueller? SOS! · in 0 minutes

    Good question. It passed my mind too. · 4 hours ago

    If you were military and claimed California as your home of legal residence then the entire time you served outside California your income was not taxed.

    If you failed to return to California upon completion of your military service they have contemplated assessing a penalty, but I am unaware if it has ever passed.

    • #2
    • November 22, 2012 at 1:58 am
  3. Profile photo of BlueAnt Member

    When it’s not the outlandish quote from the legislator that is a tipoff, but the abbreviation of the program… you know you have lost faith in the legislature.

    • #3
    • November 22, 2012 at 2:11 am
  4. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    In the 1980s and early 1990s the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB—state income tax enforcers) would routinely go after executives who left California to take a job in a low- or no-tax state. They claimed that the individual had never “broken domicile” and still owed income tax to California, since obviously he or she would eventually return to California.

    This happened to me when I left California to take a job in Switzerland in 1991. I ended up spending US$36,000 in legal and accounting fees over three years and having to disclose essentially all of my private financial information (bank and investment statements, credit card bills, travel records, utility bills, etc., etc.–the whole pile was about 8 cm thick) over those years. At the end of this, I “won”: California “suspended” the investigation, reserving the right to go after me again. I’ve heard nothing from them since.

    At the outset, my lawyer said that they had never lost a case like this, but that many people in this situation ended up making a one-off cash settlement to make the FTB go away rather than fight—classic shakedown.

    • #4
    • November 22, 2012 at 5:54 am
  5. Profile photo of RightinChicago Inactive

    That fake article is plausiblr because we’re talking about California. Some aparatchik in Sacramento gets a whiff of this, and you’ll see a bill like this someday. Though they probably won’t call it the STASI.

    • #5
    • November 22, 2012 at 6:31 am
  6. Profile photo of Frederick Key Inactive

    I wonder if that Lex Luthor plan from the first Superman picture would work? We’ll warn Peter and Rob to get out first.

    • #6
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:21 am
  7. Profile photo of BrentB67 Inactive

    The amazing thing about a democratically elected republic is that immediately following every election we get the government we deserve – well done California.

    • #7
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:34 am
  8. Profile photo of Southern Pessimist Member
    Peter Robinson: State Democrats have also proposed forming a new branch of the state police,
    to be known as the “STASI” or “State Team Action to Stem Income” which would be staffed with volunteers from every community, monitoring residents contemplating moving out of the state. The staffers would report on neighbors and family members with moving plans or otherwise actingsuspiciously….

    · 1 minute ago

    Peter, I never know when you are just kidding. Tell me this is a joke.

    • #8
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:37 am
  9. Profile photo of Sister Inactive

    This is incomprehensible to my American mind.

    • #9
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:38 am
  10. Profile photo of Pencilvania Member

    Truly? STASI??

    That’s not from The Onion?

    • #10
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:39 am
  11. Profile photo of John Murdoch Member

    This shows the failure of the public education system in California: the article, clearly intended for publication on April 1, didn’t make it into print until 7 months later. 

    There’s simply no way that this is anything but an April Fool’s Day joke.

    • #11
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:40 am
  12. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Southern Pessimist
    Peter Robinson: State Democrats have also proposed forming a new branch of the state police,
    to be known as the “STASI” or “State Team Action to Stem Income” which would be staffed with volunteers from every community, monitoring residents contemplating moving out of the state. The staffers would report on neighbors and family members with moving plans or otherwise actingsuspiciously….

    · 1 minute ago

    Peter, I never know when you are just kidding. Tell me this is a joke. · 4 minutes ago

    It is a joke. 

    I can only explain that the election reduced me to a jelly-like state of gullibility.

    • #12
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:42 am
  13. Profile photo of Nobody Inactive

    Until the mention of “STASI” it was entirely believable. That’s what is truly sad.

    • #13
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:49 am
  14. Profile photo of Reese Member

    “UPDATE on my UPDATE: Fool that I am, I only just now realized that the paper is Sacramento isn’t theTimes but theBee. This is a hoax. And, for about ten minutes, yours truly fell for it. ”

    Took me ten minutes, too. Sadly, and especially in this case, good spoofing must contain a bit of believability. Onion quality.

    • #14
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:55 am
  15. Profile photo of Sumomitch Inactive

    In other news, Peter has been contacted by a representative of a Nigerian prince who needs a bank account to transfer a considerable fortune out of his country, in exchange for sharing a third of said fortune. Will he keep this opportunity to himself, or be sharing with all of us the chance to be of assistance to (naturally conservative) Nigerian royalty?

    • #15
    • November 22, 2012 at 8:55 am
  16. Profile photo of Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Sumomitch: In other news, Peter has been contacted by a representative of a Nigerian prince who needs a bank account to transfer a considerable fortune out of his country, in exchange for sharing a third of said fortune. Will he keep this opportunity to himself, or be sharing with all of us the chance to be of assistance to (naturally conservative) Nigerian royalty? · 9 minutes ago

    Edited 9 minutes ago

    In the words of Jack Benny–who knew I’d be able to tie the two posts together?–“Now, cut that out!”

    • #16
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:05 am
  17. Profile photo of HeartofAmerica Member

    The sad thing is this story is so plausible. I would totally believe that California is contemplating such a thing.

    • #17
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:06 am
  18. Profile photo of Jim Ixtian Inactive

    There’s no need to post fiction Peter. Just post what is really happening in the People’s Republic of California. It’s so bizarre and troubling it is as if California has become Sweden.

    Legislation designed to pave the way for a private retirement plan affecting millions of California private-sector workers was signed into law Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    The goal is to create a savings program in which workers who have no access to a pension can count on a guaranteed rate of return for contributing about 3 percent of their salary.

    or this;

    Taxpayers in San Francisco, California will now pay for “gender-switching,” transgender surgeries to “help ease the mental anguish of people who feel they are trapped in bodies of the wrong gender.”

    If one considers that there are about 4 million or so people in California who reliably vote Republican(2010 & 2012) I think what other red states should do is implement a refugee program for beleaguered(& outnumbered) conservatives in California.

    • #18
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:06 am
  19. Profile photo of KingsKnight1 Inactive

    The STASI were the East German state police. Should have been a tip off.

    • #19
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:13 am
  20. Profile photo of Nathaniel Wright Inactive

    On another note, it IS California law that one must listen to “California uber Alles” while reading this article.

    • #20
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:15 am
  21. Profile photo of wilber forge Inactive

    Amusing in a way, save nothing about California is a suprise anymore. Expect a hefty excise tax on UHaul trucks leaving the state for starters.

    • #21
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:18 am
  22. Profile photo of Sabrdance Member
    KingsKnight1: The STASI were the East German state police. Should have been a tip off. · 10 minutes ago

    On these grounds, Audi never would have made the Green Police Ad, but lowe, they did.

    • #22
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:30 am
  23. Profile photo of BrentB67 Inactive

    I bought off on it right away and still don’t think there is anything in Peter’s story that sounds too far fetched from what is coming for California.

    • #23
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:35 am
  24. Profile photo of ParisParamus Member

    Paging Prof. Yoo: Is it not unconstitutional to penalize citizens for leaving a state? Commerce Clause? Something? Bueller? SOS!

    • #24
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:36 am
  25. Profile photo of Brasidas Inactive

    Peter, read this after finishing our traditional pre-Thanksgiving crab dinner. Gave me a start. Delighted to see it’s a hoax, but didn’t aid the digestion.

    • #25
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:36 am
  26. Profile photo of Scott R Member

    Don’t feel bad, Peter. A few years ago NPR did an April Fool’s piece on “exploding maple trees” in Vermont (they were becoming too engorged with sap during syrup season), complete with recordings of distant ka-booms. I called a friend who has a modest syrup operation to alert him of the danger, and, well, that call is now legend.

    • #26
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:37 am
  27. Profile photo of KingsKnight1 Inactive
    ParisParamus: Paging Prof. Yoo: Is it not unconstitutional to penalize citizens for leaving a state? Commerce Clause? Something? Bueller? SOS! · in 0 minutes

    Good question. It passed my mind too.

    • #27
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:38 am
  28. Profile photo of John Hanson Thatcher

    As a former Californian, and one who voted for the Jarvis-Gann ammendment to the CA constitution that reformed property taxes, the thing I would fear most for current Californians who are now under total liberal dominance would be a repeal or partial repeal of Prop. 13. There is just to much OPM involved there for good liberals to ignore, so I expect some form of property tax law rewrite, likely presented as “fairness for the children” to be shoved through the legislature and signed by the 2013 version of Governor Moonbeam.

    • #28
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:45 am
  29. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    Don’t feel too bad, Peter. In today’s climate, the article DID sound plausible until the STASI thing. And frankly it wouldn’t shock me one bit if the Democrats did indeed pass a “Hotel California” law (“… you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave[with your property intact]”). Considering how blue states are bleeding people and jobs to red states… especially the South… I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a number of laws, state and federal, that penalized or prevented people from leaving or from moving factories and jobs. All in the name of fairness.

    • #29
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:48 am
  30. Profile photo of CBryce1050 Member

    I’m sure someone will post a link, but recently the estimable Walter E Williams had a great tongue in cheek column about just sort of device being the only solution to California’s budget woes. A East German style border guard to empty the pockets of the departing wealthy. Peter, at least you have the wonderful weather & scenery. Most of us are not so lucky as we face the financial ruin of our respective individual states & jointly held nation

    • #30
    • November 22, 2012 at 9:52 am
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