“Some 200,000 jobless Californians have already lost their unemployment benefits, and that figure is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of the year without an extension from Congress. California’s unemployment rate stands at 12.4 percent, among the highest in the nation.
California’s unemployed will also feel the pinch. Cheryl Hunt, a tech support worker from Berkeley who lost her job last year, said she recently received a letter from the state unemployment office that her benefits are about to expire. — Mercury News
“I’m totally dependent on this extension,” said Hunt, who is trying to refinance her mortgage. “I’ve exhausted my savings.”
Some 200,000 jobless Californians have already lost their unemployment benefits, and that figure is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of the year without an extension from Congress. California’s unemployment rate stands at 12.4 percent, among the highest in the nation.
The bill also included provisions that directly affect Silicon Valley. A research and development tax credit long employed by high-tech firms expired Dec. 31 but would have been extended an additional year. It now could be lost for good, said Ralph Hellmann, a senior vice president at the Washington, D.C.-based Industry Technology Industry Council.
Tech firms “rely on these incentives to keep and expand research and development here in the U.S.,” Hellmann said.
On the other side of the ledger, the measure’s defeat gave the venture capital industry a reprieve from a proposed tax increase on so-called “carried interest.”
Both of California’s senators, Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, voted in favor of the jobs and tax bill.
Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who is running to unseat Boxer in November, said through a spokeswoman that she would have sided with Republicans in blocking the measure.
“While there are some worthwhile programs that are funded under this legislation,” the spokeswoman, Julie Soderlund, said in a statement, “it needs much more work to ensure that it does not further hinder job creation.”
Soderlund said Fiorina favors extending unemployment benefits and making permanent the research and development credit, but she believes both items should be offset with spending cuts.
California’s constitution requires a 2/3 majority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Despite returning solid majorities of Democrats to the legislature election after election there is a very hard core cadre of die-hard Republicans who manage to say above 1/3 of the legislature and absolutely will not vote for any tax increase for any reason.
Further, California has a property tax freeze (since the 1970s) which freezes your taxes at the last sale price. If you live in your home for 20 years, you’re essentially not paying a realistic amount to cover your community’s goods and services. Overtime, this has bled the state’s income.
So 1/3 of the state gets to hold the other 2/3 hostage. It is profoundly undemocratic and has led, inexorably to this result. The Republicans want to return to an 1800s vision of the State, where it is everyone for themselves.
So the choice facing the democrats was to let the government shut down completely, or agree to the demands of a bunch of well off people with no consciences who represent wealthy parts of the state.
California is about to become a 3rd world country. This is entirely the fault of the two party facade who have engineered this “shock doctrine” tactic. Many people are delighted to see the elderly and disabled cut off from support and the poor denied health care.