Wednesday, June 12, 2019


'Very Critical Situation'-- Maine City Scrambles To Make Emergency Shelters For Hundreds Of Asylum Seekers

Timothy Meads
Posted: Jun 12, 2019 4:00 PM
'Very Critical Situation'--  Maine City Scrambles To Make Emergency Shelters For Hundreds Of Asylum Seekers
Source: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
On the same day that Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAlaneen testified that 90% of asylum seekers do not actually attend their immigration hearings, officials in Portland, Maine enacted plans to turn the Portland Expo Center, a venue typically used for concerts, sports, and other events, into an emergency shelter for the hundreds of asylum seekers via the southern border that are expected to arrive in the city this summer. 
The Portland Press Herald reports that City Manager Jon Jennings told councilors last night that emergency action was needed because of a "very critical situation" due to the influx of migrants. Jennings told media that at the beginning of the three and a half-hour meeting yesterday, 72 non-citizens since Sunday had arrived in the city, all of whom needed financial assistance. That number rose to 86 by the end of the meeting. There are currently at least 150 more on the way just this week, according to the Herald.
To accommodate these asylum seekers councilors are now turning the Portland Expo Center, home of the NBA minor league team the Maine Red Claws, into a massive shelter that will house the individuals and families until the team starts in the fall. Nearby cities like South Portland are also hosting meetings in the coming days to discuss plans to assist Portland in their emergency.
Why are so many asylum seekers attracted to Portland? It is because the city uses local tax dollars to provide income and welfare for these individuals. As such, the flow of people coming to the city is "also expected to significantly impact the Portland Community Support Fund, which is believed to be the only local, municipally funded assistance program for asylum seekers in the U.S."
The Herald's Randy Billings breaks down the program: 
via Portland Herald:
"Asylum seekers, who are fleeing violence and persecution in their homelands, are not able to work until at least six months after they file asylum applications. As a result, they often end up in Portland’s homeless shelter and rely on state-funded General Assistance or the locally funded Portland Community Support Fund for basic necessities, such as food and medicine.
Noncitizens with an active visa or pending asylum application can receive General Assistance for up to two years. But there is often a gap between a visa expiring and an application being filed, so Portland has been using local tax dollars and donations to help those people.
City officials have been lobbying the state Department of Health and Human Services to expand General Assistance eligibility for asylum seekers, but so far no action has been taken."
"The support fund was created in 2015 in response to a change in the state’s General Assistance program under former Gov. Paul LePage. As of this month, the fund’s $200,000 appropriation from the council had been over-expended by $86,000," Billings reports. 
City councilor Jill Duson says the fund is no longer becoming stable. However, her solution is not to stop giving handouts to non-Americans, rather it is to increase sources of funding for this -- a.k.a. using more tax dollars. 
“It’s not sustainable to have the only program in the whole darn country paid for by 67,000 people [who live in the city],” Duson said. “It’s not about telling people don’t come. It’s about being clear that the nine of 10 other programs we’re committed to are still here.”
These family units are typically transported from places like San Antonio, Texas. In an email Jennings sent to city councilors, the public servant said that this week was "just the beginning as there are currently between 1,500-2,000 African migrants at the border seeking asylum with the probability of more to come." 
It was reported earlier in the month that a Portland assistant city manager told San Antonio officials to stop sending asylum seekers there. However, Portland's city council obstinately rebuked this report and insisted the city wants these individuals to come. 
For those reading wondering whether or not Portland will eventually stop allowing migrants to come to the city due to lack of resources, Mayor Ethan Strimling's response to President Trump's threat of releasing illegal aliens into sanctuary cities gives a hint that that is not likely to happen anytime soon. After the commander-in-chief threatened to send illegals to these cities Strimling said,  "Bring it on." 
The city is also working with the Red Cross and other groups to make accommodations  and needed shelters.

Migrant Crossed Texas Border with Molotov Cocktail, Say Police

Joel Salinas Garcia mugshot
Police Mugshot

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican national with a history of immigration violations for allegedly carrying a Molotov cocktail as he crossed the boundary near Roma, Texas.

Border Patrol agents working near Roma came upon a Mexican national who had allegedly crossed illegally from his home country. Agents found the 53-year-old man hiding in the brush with a “homemade gasoline bomb,” Valley Central CBS4 reported this week.
Authorities told the news outlet that agents found Joel Salinas Garcia, a Mexican national, with a glass container filled with gasoline and a cloth stuffed in the top of the bottle, the news outlet reported. Officials said the situation could have turned deadly.
Public records obtained by the local CBS affiliate indicate Garcia has a history of at least two arrests for illegal entry into the U.S., the article stated.
Garcia’s mugshot reveals a heavily tattooed man with “Mexico” emblazoned across his stomach.
KRGV reported the device to be a “Molotov cocktail.” The report indicates the Mexican national is being held on an immigration violation and a charge of possession of a prohibited weapon. No one was hurt during the arrest, officials stated.
Breitbart News reached out to the Roma Police Department for more information about the incident. An immediate response from police officials was not available.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

After He Was Deported, He Sold Heroin and Ran a Brothel in Milwaukee

Terence P. Jeffrey
By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 12, 2019 | 4:29 AM EDT

The U.S.-Mexico border fence near Nogales, Arizona. (Photograph by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
When they first arrested him in North Carolina in 2006, they let him go and asked him to come back for a hearing in Georgia.
Instead, he ended up in Wisconsin.
Now he could face years in prison.
But this story does not start in North Carolina or Wisconsin. It starts in Arizona — on the border.
It should end with the federal government — which failed to prevent this man from illegally entering and re-entering our country — securing our southern border.
Will it?
Thirteen years ago, law enforcement in Charlotte pulled over a car that had "illegal window tinting." The driver, Jose Facio-Santos, did not have a license.
Twelve years later, a special agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement submitted an affidavit to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in support of a federal criminal complaint against Facio-Santos. It summarized what happened those many years ago in North Carolina.
"During the booking process, Facio-Santos admitted to being a citizen of Mexico and stated that he had entered the United States illegally in 2004 near Nogales, Arizona and had been residing in Charlotte, North Carolina since his illegal entry," said the affidavit.
"Facio-Santos was released from custody and scheduled for an immigration hearing," it said.
"On May 23, 2007, Facio-Santos failed to attend the Immigration Court hearing," it said.
Where did he go? The government did not know.
But Facio-Santos was apparently not a perfect driver.
"On February 20, 2010, Facio-Santos was encountered and arrested by the Milwaukee Police Department during a traffic stop," said the affidavit.
When Milwaukee law enforcement discovered he was "an ICE Fugitive," it transferred him to ICE custody.
At this time, Facio-Santos revealed some biographical information.
"During the booking process and as contained in the A-file, Facio-Santos stated that he was a member of the Sureno 13 and Tres Locos 13 gangs in Mexico," said the ICE affidavit.
While he was detained in Wisconsin nine years ago, the government "captured" recordings of a series of calls he made.
In these calls, Facio-Santos indicated that although "he anticipated being sent back to Mexico" he did not intend to stay there long.
"Facio-Santos stated he would take time to visit family and would return to the United States in 1 year or 1 1/2 years," said the affidavit, describing one call.
In another call, Facio-Santos said "he only needed clothes for two weeks since he was going to visit his mother and then return from Mexico."
In yet another call, he expressed a preference for the location of his deportation. "Facio-Santos," said the affidavit, "said that he wanted to be sent back to the border, so it would be easier to come back."
That is exactly where the government sent him.
"On March 12, 2010, Facio-Santos was flown by ICE to Texas," said the affidavit. "Facio-Santos was removed from the United States at the Port of Hidalgo."
That sits on the Rio Grande across from Reynosa.
Last month, Facio-Santos completed a plea agreement with Matthew Krueger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
This agreement included an "Attachment A" that described some of Facio-Santos' activities when he once again returned to the United States.
"The parties acknowledge and understand that if this case were to proceed to trial, the government would be able to prove the facts in Attachment A beyond a reasonable doubt," said the plea agreement Facio-Santos signed. "The defendant admits these facts are true and correct and establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
Attachment A indicated that by 2014, Facio-Santos was back in Milwaukee — selling drugs to a government "confidential source."
"Beginning on September 17, 2014, and continuing through December 14, 2016, a confidential source (CS), acting under the direction and control of law enforcement, purchased approximately 166 grams of cocaine and 138 grams of heroin from Facio-Santos," said Attachment A.
Facio-Santos also sold two semi-automatic AK-47 rifles to a confidential source.
Then there was what Attachment A called "his brothel."
"Facio-Santos participated in a recorded conversation with the CS regarding his brothel," said Attachment A. "In that conversation, he explained how he obtained the women, how long they stayed, how much he charged, the approximate number of sex acts performed per week, and general acts the women did."
"In a Mirandized interview, Facio-Santos admitted to selling cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and prostituting women," said this attachment to his plea agreement. "Facio-Santos also admitted to bringing women each week from out-of-state to be prostituted by him. In all, it was estimated that Facio-Santos brought over 250 women to the Milwaukee Brothel to be prostituted over the last five years."
Last Friday, U.S. attorney Krueger announced that Facio-Santos had pleaded guilty to three felony charges. These included "one count of distribution of heroin," "one count of possession of a firearm by an illegal alien" and "one count of transporting and aiding and abetting the transportation of an individual in interstate commerce with the purpose being for the individual to engage in prostitution."
When Facio-Santos was arrested for that second time nine years ago, he expressed confidence that he would be able to illegally return to the United States if deported.
He was right — which demonstrates, again, how wrong the political establishment in Washington has been in refusing to secure our border.
Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of


Last year in fact, that game was going full speed. El Salvador's remittances hit arecord $5.47 billion. Literally one out of six Salvadorans now lives in the U.S., and 680,000 of those make their home in benefit-rich California. Salvadoran politicians actually campaign for office in California, owing to the sizable number of Salvadoran voters, many of whom are here illegally., signaling that there's a lot of work to be had for the newest (and least likely to be legal) migrants in the states now, most of which is coming from California.
Here come Big Daddy, the California governor, the gringo who's already laid out a banquet of goodies for Salvadorans in California, from free health care to free education, to sanctuary state protections to enable illegals to work, coming there supposedly to find out how he can offer ... even more goodies to Salvador's uneducated lower middle classes. The idea of course is to get even more of them to come over. Big Daddy comes down with the Santa sack full of goodies. MONICA SHOWALTER

Eligibility would be determined by the same rules of Medicaid, based on annual income. As many young illegals are working off the books, for cash, they will have no official reported income regardless of how much they actually earn, insuring their eligibility for Medi-Cal.

California Says: ‘Go West, Young Illegals, Go West’

Doctors and hospitals are in the gunsights of many Democrats who want Medicare-for-all as a draconian price control scheme by government over all medical care in the US. Hospitals are told they charge too much and doctors are vilified for earning too much.
What a relief that a sugar daddy has appeared, a rich boyfriend, a benefactor with a fat wallet, ready to bestow his financial largess on financially strapped healthcare providers.
This sugar daddy is named Gavin, tall and handsome with good hair. I speak of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who finalized a deal with the California legislature, “to provide full health benefits to low-income illegal immigrants under the age of 26.”
California is the first state to provide such benefits to illegal or undocumented immigrants, depending on which term you prefer. Specifically, this group of adults, age 19 to 25 will have access to the state’s Medi-Cal program, California’s version of Medicaid.
California anticipates providing coverage to 100,000 people. I’m not sure how they arrived at this number since I’ve always heard that illegal immigrants “live in the shadows,” meaning we really don’t know how many there are. And when word gets out to the rest of the country, expect that 100,000 number to grow exponentially just as it would if California announced it was giving away cars to this same group of people.


Eligibility would be determined by the same rules of Medicaid, based on annual income. As many young illegals are working off the books, for cash, they will have no official reported income regardless of how much they actually earn, insuring their eligibility for Medi-Cal.
This scheme is to be funded by taxing those who do not have health insurance. Who might that be? Not the young illegals who how have free insurance. How about the small businessman who earns too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford an Obamacare policy with massive premiums, copayments, and deductibles? Or the struggling wannabe actors and actresses in the same financial boat as the small businessman? Or the 60-year-old retiree, not yet eligible for Medicare but unable to afford private insurance given the higher premiums at her age?
How nice of California taxpayers, those American born or here legally, having their earnings confiscated to pay the medical bills of those not here legally. Who pays the medical bills of those Americans who can’t afford their medical care?
Interestingly undocumented elderly are not covered under this new plan. Sugar Daddy Newsom opposed this, preferring the young over the elderly, likely due to the much higher medical costs for those over age 65 compared to those under age 25.
This may have to do with voting preferences. It is unknown how many illegals vote, but younger voters tend to vote Democrat compared to older voters who lean Republican. Is this healthcare scheme a form of voter outreach?
Why are doctors and hospitals across America so grateful for their new sugar daddy?
Americans subsidize health care for illegal immigrants to the tune of $18.5 billion a year according to Forbes. Imagine being able to now offload some of this care to California?
Hospitals are required by law to render emergency care to everyone, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. A pregnant woman illegally enters the US, and when she goes into labor, the hospital is required to deliver the baby, caring for both baby and mother, at an average cost of $32,000.
What if the baby is born premature and needs a few weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, or is born with a heart or bowel defect, requiring additional surgery? The costs quickly escalate into 6-figure sums.
Labor and delivery is certainly common in the 19-25 age group. So are injuries that may require non-emergency treatment, such as a retinal detachment or a ligament tear in the knee. For the doctor, these patients are considered self-pay. Despite promises to pay all of their medical bills, some patients, once reasonably stable after surgery are gone with the wind, with no way to contact them, and no payment made for rendered services.
What if doctors and hospitals, when discussing costs of medical treatment, can now give the patient a map? A few hundred years ago, newspaper editor and author Horace Greeley advised the 19 to 25-year-olds of the day to “Go west young man”. The same phrase may become popular again, particularly in states adjacent to or close to California.
When faced with patients with non-emergent medical problems, direct these patients to the nearest east-west interstate, I-40, I-70, or I-80, and drive toward the setting sun until seeing the “Welcome to California” sign. Go west and allow generous California taxpayers to pick up the tab.
Hospitals won’t be stuck with bad debt and physicians won’t be stiffed after offering their time and expertise without compensation.
Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said this about an open-border immigration policy. "It's just obvious you can't have free immigration and a welfare state." Which is exactly what California offers, providing free healthcare to living in the state against the law.
While at the same time, California has an out of control homelessness problem, many of those homeless being American veterans. They are living legally in their own country yet living on the streets, in squalor, with rats and other vermin bringing back historic diseases like typhus and typhoid fever. Where is their sugar daddy governor? Busy pandering to those here illegally.
Down on their luck Americans are told to pound sand while illegals are lavished with drivers licenses, welfare benefits, and now healthcare. California cannot care for its own residents, but is opening its doors to the world, promising goodies that will do nothing but attract more of the world, regardless of laws.
When does it end? I’ve suggested that the Trump administration send refugees and illegals to sanctuary cities, so those cities have the opportunity to live with the consequences of their virtue signaling. Now doctors and hospitals can do the same. If California wants to be an open borders welfare state, it’s the least the rest of the country can do to help out by sending young undocumented immigrants to the land of milk and honey.
Instead of “the doctor will see you now”, expect to hear, “go west young man.”
Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

California could use a management change

Over Sunday lunch, a friend was saying that he just got back from Los Angeles.  He added that he had not seen that much filth in some of the third-world countries that he visits for business regularly.  He looked at me and asked: " How do the voters put up with that?"

My answer was that voters have been voting with their feet for years.  In other words, they leave the Golden State.

California is a mess indeed, as Jim Bredo wrote:  

It has the worst ranking for homelessness, 8th worst for roads, and worst for teacher-to-student ratio. Its prisons are so crowded that the Supreme Court determined them to constitute cruel and unusual punishment, and it suffered the worst budget crisis of all the states during the Great Recession.

But residents are so mesmerized by the amazing weather and beauty of the place that they tend to overlook the quality of the services. And as a result, management does not change. The state has been under the same Democratic Party management for years. Their monopoly on power is so safe that they now hold supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature despite California’s worsening condition. Management has no incentive to change when it keeps getting re-elected.
Californians may not be voting out Democrats at the ballot box, but they have been voting with their feet. While California’s population has grown from 29 million to 39 million over the past 30 years, in each year during that period the state has seen a net loss in migration to other states.
So will things change?  I don't see any change for now, although the article points out that Latinos get more conservative as they get more prosperous.  
California will continue until they hit a financial wall or when the last taxpayer leaves the state.  In the meantime, be careful when you walk the streets of LA, and I'm not talking about thieves.
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


California Lawmakers Plan to Give Health Benefits to Illegal Immigrants


Democrat state lawmakers in progressive California have agreed to a plan that would extend health benefits to qualifying illegal immigrants residing in the state.

The legislature has a June 15 deadline and is expected to approve the deal in the coming days. It essentially extends eligibility to California’s Medicaid program to young low-income illegal immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25. The move is part of a broader budget plan, which clocks in around $213 billion.
Expanding California’s Medicaid program to low-income illegals would cost the state about $98 million per year. According to the Associated Press, roughly 90,000 will qualify.
“California believes that health is a fundamental right,” State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D) said, according to the news outlet.
A number of Democrat state lawmakers wanted to take it a step further, offering coverage for all illegals in the state, but Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected the proposal, citing rising costs.
The agreement also includes assistance for middle-income families. A family of four making $150,000 could qualify for a $100 a month subsidy from the government to help cover the cost of their insurance premium.
Democrats in the state plan to pay for the handouts, in part, by taxing those who do not have health insurance. This is, in essence, another version of Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty, which the Supreme Court upheld as a tax in a critical ruling in 2012. However, it has remained a point of contention in lower courts. Republicans in Congress worked with President Trump to scrap what they deemed to be the unconstitutional penalty in 2017.
California lawmakers say these moves are all part of the state’s wide-ranging effort to get everyone in the state – including those residing there unlawfully – covered. This comes at the time of a severe homelessness crisis in the state, particularly in Los Angeles County.
The number of homeless individuals on the streets of Los Angeles has skyrocketed during the last year.
As Breitbart News reported:
The newly released data revealed that nearly three-fourths of the homeless population, which includes 58,936 people, are sleeping in cars, tents, and other make-do shelters.
Released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to the Board of Supervisors, the data found that the majority of homeless people were residing in the city of Los Angeles, which saw an increase of 16 percent to 36,300.
About 3,800 are estimated to be veterans.

San Francisco’s homeless population has also experienced a spike, rising 17 percent in the last two years.

Democrats in California Oppose HUD Plan to Prioritize Americans over Illegals for Public Housing

 17 May 201949

A new proposed rule that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued earlier this week to enforce existing law requiring those who receive public housing to be U.S. citizens gained the ire of Democrats, including Barack Obama’s former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Solis, who is now on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, tweeted on Thursday support for 12 House members who sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson. The letter demands that the rule requiring everyone living in public houses to be in the country legally be revoked because some of those who could be affected are U.S. citizen children with illegal parents.
“Thank you @RepBarragan, @RepMaxineWaters, and other MoC for speaking out against @HUDgov’s proposal to evict families with an undocumented relative in the home. Yesterday, the #BOS approved my co-authored motion with @SheilaKuehl to send a letter against this unjust action,” Solis tweeted.

Thank you @RepBarragan@RepMaxineWaters, and other MoC for speaking out against @HUDgov's proposal to evict families with an undocumented relative in the home. Yesterday, the #BOS approved my co-authored motion with @SheilaKuehl to send a letter against this unjust action.

“The proposed rule is an unconscionable ploy by the administration to carry out its anti-immigrant agenda at the expense of thousands of families,” said Rep Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA). “Instead of addressing the homelessness problem in Los Angeles and across the country, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is admittingly attempting to put thousands of families, many with children who are U.S. citizens, onto the streets. I’m proud to lead Members of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation in speaking out and fighting against this cruel proposal.”
The letter reveals how many illegal aliens are living in public housing in just the Los Angeles area.
“An estimated 22 percent of all HACLA [Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles]-assisted households, and 31 percent of the total population in HACLA’s public housing programs, will be negatively impacted by the proposed rule,” the letter states. “Further, with nearly one in three public housing residents impacted by the rule, the economic consequences for HACLA will be immense.”
“Including public housing and Section 8 housing, this rule could displace 2,587 households, totaling an estimated 11,600 individuals,” the letter states.
But, as Breitbart News reported, critics are ignoring the law HUD wants to enforce, which Carson included in his remarks about the new rule on social media.
@HUDgov is proposing a rule to close a loophole and ensure we enforce what is already law,” Carson tweeted, adding the text of Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980.

.@HUDgov is proposing a rule to close a loophole and ensure we enforce what is already law:

“There is an affordable housing crisis in this country, and we need to make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” Carson said. “Given the overwhelming demand for our programs, fairness requires that we devote ourselves to legal residents who have been waiting, some for many years, for access to affordable housing.”
The regulation, posted on the Federal Register, states, in part, about how the Act would be amended:
The proposed rule would require the verification of the eligible immigration status of all recipients of assistance under a covered program who are under the age of 62. As a result, the proposed rule would make prorated assistance a temporary condition pending verification of eligible status, as opposed to under the current regulation where it could continue indefinitely. 
The proposed rule would also specify that individuals who are not ineligible immigration status may not serve as the leaseholder, even as part of a mixed family whose assistance is prorated based on the percentage of members with eligible status. 
HUD believes the amendments will bring its regulations into greater alignment with the wording and purpose of Section 214.
HUD provided Breitbart News with some of the statistics on how many Americans in cities across the United States are in need of housing assistance, including 1.6 million waiting for public housing and 2.6 million who are in line for housing choice vouchers:
• Only 1 in 4 qualified households currently receive housing assistance in this country. That means, 3 out of 4 families who might otherwise qualify for our programs do not get any help to pay their rent whatsoever.
• If current recipients are representative of those waiting for HUD assistance, most are extremely poor seniors or persons living with a disability.
• In some states, public housing waitlists are closed, and local public housing agencies are not even accepting new applicants.
Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting in cities like Los Angeles and New York City, according to a HUD survey.
The other Democrats who signed the letter include Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Katie Hill (D-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.


California Has Become America's Cannibal State

For over six years, California has had a top marginal income tax rate of 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation. About 150,000 households in a state of 40 million people now pay nearly half of the total annual state income tax.
The state legislature sold that confiscatory tax rate on the idea that it was a temporary fix and would eventually be phased out. No one believed that. California voters, about 40 percent of whom pay no state income taxes, naturally approved the extension of the high rate by an overwhelming margin.
California recently raised gas taxes by 40 percent and now has the second-highest gas taxes in the United States.
California has the ninth-highest combined state and local sales taxes in the country, but its state sales tax of 7.3 percent is America's highest. As of April 1, California is now applying that high state sales tax to goods that residents buy online from out-of-state sellers.
In late 2017, the federal government capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000. For high earners in California, the change effectively almost doubled their state and local taxes.
Such high taxes, often targeting a small percentage of the population, may have brought California a budget surplus of more than $20 million. Yet California is never satiated with high new tax rates that bring in additional revenue. It's always hungry for more.
Scott Wiener, a Democratic state senator from San Francisco, has introduced a bill that would create a new California estate tax. Wiener outlined a death tax of 40 percent on estates worth more than $3.5 million for single Californians or more than $7 million for married couples.
Given the soaring valuations of California properties, a new estate tax could force children to sell homes or family farms they inherited just to pay the tax bills.
Soon, even more of the Californian taxpayers who chip in to pay half of the state income taxes will flee in droves for low-tax or no-tax states.
What really irks California taxpayers are the shoddy public services that they receive in exchange for such burdensome taxes. California can be found near the bottom of state rankings for schools and infrastructure.
San Francisco ranks first among America's largest cities in property crimes per capita. The massive concrete ruins of the state's quarter-built and now either canceled or postponed multibillion-dollar high-speed rail system are already collecting graffiti.
Roughly a quarter of the nation's homeless live in California. So do about one-third of all Americans on public assistance. Approximately one-fifth of the state's population lives below the poverty line. About one-third of Californians are enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state's health care program for low-income residents.
California's social programs are magnets that draw in the indigent from all over the world, who arrive in search of generous health, education, legal, nutritional and housing subsidies. Some 27 percent of the state's residents were not born in the United States.
Last month alone, nearly 100,000 foreign nationals were stopped at the southern border, according to officials. Huge numbers of migrants are able to make it across without being caught, and many end up in California.
A lot of upper-middle-class taxpayers feel that not only does California fail to appreciate their contributions, but that the state often blames them for not paying even more -- as if paying about half of their incomes to local, state and federal governments somehow reveals their greed.
The hyper-wealthy liberal denizens of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the coastal enclaves often seem exempt from the consequences of the high taxes they so often advocate for others. The super-rich either have the clout to hire experts to help them avoid such taxes, or they simply have so much money that they are not much affected by even California's high taxes.
What is the ideology behind such destructive state policies?
Venezuela, which is driving out its middle class, is apparently California's model. Venezuelan leaders believed in providing vast subsidies for the poor. The country's super-rich are often crony capitalists who can avoid high taxes.
Similarly, California is waging an outright war on the upper-middle class, which lacks the numbers of the poor and the clout of the rich.
Those who administer California's plagued department of motor vehicles and high-speed rail authority may often be inept and dysfunctional, but the state's tax collectors are the most obsessive bureaucrats in the nation.
What is Sacramento's message to those who combine to pay half the state's income taxes and have not yet left California?

"Be gone or we will eat you!"


Why are so many people poor in the Golden State?
Economy, finance, and budgets
California—not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia—has the highest poverty rate in the United States. According to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure—which accounts for the cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income—nearly one out of four Californians is poor. Given robust job growth in the state and the prosperity generated by several industries, especially the supercharged tech sector, the question arises as to why California has so many poor people, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased roughly twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5 percent, compared with 6.27 percent).

It’s not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now. Myriad state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits, according to the California Policy Center. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments, and “other public welfare,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Unfortunately, California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to roughly one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients. The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states—principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia—initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress. The common thread of the reformed welfare programs was strong work requirements placed on aid recipients. These overhauls were widely recognized as a big success, as welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the workforce. The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, have resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as if welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55 percent of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30 percent of natives, according to City Journal contributing editor Kay S. Hymowitz.
Self-interest in the social-services community may be at work here. If California’s poverty rate should ever be substantially reduced by getting the typical welfare client back into the workforce, many bureaucrats could lose their jobs. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort, and job security. In order to keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base—to ensure that the welfare rolls remain full and, ideally, growing. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, according to Governing, California has an enormous bureaucracy—a unionized, public-sector workforce that exercises tremendous power through voting and lobbying. Many work in social services.
Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. Californians spent more than one-third of their incomes on housing in 2014, the third-highest rate in the country. A shortage of housing has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies. “Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire home-building projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon-dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. On some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50 percent higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced ‘energy poverty’—defined as energy expenditures exceeding 10 percent of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15 percent of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17 percent of median income in some areas. “The impacts on the poorest households are not only the largest,” states Winegarden. “They are clearly unaffordable.”
Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022—but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60 percent of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs, and studies suggest that it will likely cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.
Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on “remaking the world.” The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric Holder to “resist” Trump’s agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to “California values.” All this only reinforces the rest of America’s perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state’s poor residents.
California’s de facto status as a one-party state lies at the heart of its poverty problem. With a permanent majority in the state senate and the assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch, and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.
Kerry Jackson is the Pacific Research Institute’s fellow in California studie


Slum by The Bay


San Francisco is one of the richest cities it the world. It's given us music, technology and elegant architecture.
Now it gives us filthy homeless encampments.
One urban planner told me, "I just returned from the Tenderloin (a section of San Francisco). It's worse than slums of India, Haiti, Africa!"
So I went to San Francisco to make a video about that.
I've never seen slums in Africa, but I've seen them in Haiti and India.
What I saw in San Francisco looked similar. As one local resident put it, "There's shit everywhere. It's just a mess out here."
There's also lots of mental illness. One man told us, "Vampires are real. I'm paranoid as hell." San Francisco authorities mostly leave the mentally ill to fend for themselves on the street.
Other vagrants complain about them. "They make it bad for people like us that hang out with a sign," one beggar told us.
San Francisco is a pretty good place to "hang out with a sign." People are rarely arrested for vagrancy, aggressive panhandling or going to the bathroom in front of people's homes. In 2015, there were 60,491 complaints to police, but only 125 people were arrested.
Public drug use is generally ignored. One woman told us, "It's nasty seeing people shoot up -- right in front of you. Police don't do anything about it! They'll get somebody for drinking a beer but walk right past people using needles."
Each day in San Francisco, an average of 85 cars are broken into.
"Inside Edition" ran a test to see how long stereo equipment would last in a parked car. Their test car was quickly broken into. Then the camera crew discovered that their own car had been busted into as well.
Some store owners hire private police to protect their stores. But San Francisco's police union has complained about the competition. Now there are only a dozen private cops left, and street people dominate neighborhoods.
We followed one private cop, who asked street people, "Do you need any type of homeless outreach services?"
Most say no. "They love the freedom of not having to follow the rules," said the cop.
And San Francisco is generous. It offers street people food stamps, free shelter, train tickets and $70 a month in cash.
"They're always offering resources," one man dressed as Santa told us. "San Francisco's just a good place to hang out."
So every week, new people arrive.
Some residents want the city to get tougher with people living on the streets.
"Get them to the point where they have to make a decision between jail and rehab," one told us. "Other cities do it, but for some reason, San Francisco doesn't have the political will."
For decades, San Francisco's politicians promised to fix the homeless problem.
When Sen. Dianne Feinstein was mayor, she proudly announced that she was putting the homeless in hotels: "A thousand units, right here in the Tenderloin!"
When California Governor Gavin Newsom was mayor of San Francisco, he bragged, "We have already moved 6,860 human beings."
Last year, former Mayor Mark Farrell said, "We need to fund programs like Homeward Bound."
But the extra funding hasn't worked.
One reason is that even if someone did want to get off the street and rent an apartment, there aren't many available.
San Francisco is filled with two- and three-story buildings, and in most neighborhoods, putting up a taller building is illegal. Even where zoning laws allow it, California regulations make construction so difficult that many builders won't even try.
For years, developer John Dennis has been trying to convert an old meatpacking plant into an apartment building -- but it has taken him four years just to get permission to build.
"And all that time, we're paying property taxes and paying for maintenance," says Dennis. "I will do no more projects in San Francisco."
People in San Francisco often claim to be concerned about helping the poor. But their many laws make life much tougher for the poor.
John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." 

What else is new? Newsom’s 

budget calls for more spending, 

higher taxes

 California Gov. Gavin Newsom presents his first state budget during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)


To the surprise of absolutely no one, California’s new governor has proposed a state budget with billions in increased spending and lots of tax hikes. And, as an added bonus, he is proposing new mandates on businesses and local governments as well as depriving Californians of the right to vote on certain kinds of local debt. From the perspective of taxpayers, this is not a propitious start.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget envisions spending $144 billion of general fund dollars, a 4 percent increase over former Gov. Jerry Brown’s last budget, which clocked in at $138 billion. To put this in perspective, general fund spending was less than $100 billion just six years ago. In California, state government is the No. 1 growth industry.

No California spending plan would be complete without new “revenue enhancements.” And the biggest item on this list is the imposition of the “individual mandate” for health insurance. Recall that President Obama’s so-called Affordable Care Act (which was anything but affordable) imposed a burdensome tax on millions of Americans. (Indeed, it was only the fact that the ACA imposed a “tax” that saved it from a constitutional challenge).

The good news is that Congress repealed the tax at the federal level. The bad news is that Gov. Newsom wants to reimpose it at the state level in order to save Covered California from imploding. The cost to Californians for a state-imposed individual mandate with a penalty?: $700 per person, which is projected to raise $500 million in new revenue.

Other tax hikes include a monthly tax imposed on residential water use and a tax to shore up the state’s emergency 911 system. Both deal with public health and safety so one would think they would have first claim on existing general fund revenues — but, again, this is California, where budgeting makes no sense.

Another major concern for taxpayers is Newsom’s plan to deprive voters of the right to vote on local debt. Since statehood, California’s constitution has reflected the policy of allowing voters the right to approve long-term financial obligations. That policy has been eroded over the decades and Newsom is pushing it further by proposing that debt assumed by Enhanced Infrastructure Finance Districts (think “redevelopment”) would no longer need voter approval. Translation: Today’s politicians can put tomorrow’s taxpayers into debt without permission.

So, is there anything good for taxpayers in Newsom’s proposed budget? Yes. This includes Newsom’s desire to grow the rainy day fund — in order to prepare for the inevitable recession — and also paying down pension debt. He also appears cognizant of the OPEB threat. OPEB stands for Other Post-Employment Benefits, the largest of which is, of course, promises for lifetime healthcare benefits to public retirees.

Taxpayers hope that the governor will be able to resist even greater spending demands from state legislators who want $40 billion for new, more costly programs.  Nonetheless, our primary concern is that the majority party in California invariably reacts to any new problem — whether actual or imagined — with a tax increase rather than taking the more prudent course of prioritizing spending.

Finally, if there is a coda to this sad story, it is this: State Controller Betty Yee just announced that revenue is down almost $5 billion. Is this a precursor to a recession in the state that will blow up all the governor’s plans? Time will tell.