America Fast Forward Kicks Off Tomorrow

Gary Toebben on March 29, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In November 2008, as the Great Recession was gripping our nation, 68 percent of the voters of Los Angeles County agreed to increase the county sales tax by one-half percent to fund road and mass transit
projects over the next 30 years. The voters spoke loudly in support of traffic relief and the new jobs that would be created through dozens of high priority projects outlined in a master plan.arrowRead More

Budget Deficit IV Now Showing in L.A.

Gary Toebben on March 22, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When Hollywood produces a sequel, it is because the first film was a hit. This spring's Budget Deficit IV, starring the City of Los Angeles, does not fall into that category. What started out as a PG rated show three years ago and gained little attention has turned into a horror movie that should scare every resident and taxpayer of Los Angeles ...arrowRead More

How to Send Texas and Other States Back Home

Gary Toebben on March 15, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The recent headline, "Texas isn't rustling from State" in the Los Angeles Times implies that few California companies are picking up and moving their operations from California to Texas. That's good news, but it is not the end of the story and it does not indicate that California can rest on its massive assets and assume that the world will beat a path to our door. 

In any given year, very few corporations relocate their headquarters or major operations to another state. Corporate boards and CEO's in California and elsewhere try every strategy possible before undertaking the costly and dramatic decision of moving to another state. Business CEOs are particularly concerned about the possible loss of existing employees and the value that these employees bring to the company.arrowRead More

What Happens When City Retirees Outnumber City Employees?

Gary Toebben on March 8, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Today is Election Day and we encourage all registered voters to go to the polls. Tomorrow, we encourage those same registered voters to vigorously press on incumbents and newly-elected office holders that reducing the publics' cost of pensions and health care for retirees should be the top priority in balancing the 2011-12 budgets that will go into effect on July 1, 2011. 

In the City of Los Angeles, the budget deficit for 2011-12 begins at $350 million fueled in large part by the rapidly growing cost of pensions and health care for retirees. Last week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for two significant reforms to keep the problem from getting worse. He called for raising the retirement age for non-sworn city employees to 65 and he urged the members of the Fire and Police Pensions Board to reject a 7 percent increase in the health care subsidy given to public safety retirees. The current health care subsidy for fire and police retirees is $1,025 per month and the 7 percent monthly increase would add another $4.8 million dollars to the City's budget deficit. The Chamber and other business and community organizations joined the mayor in support of both proposals ....arrowRead More