Day: May 26, 2020

California gives too many unchecked tax breaks. It’s time to shine a light on them

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is pushing a bill that would enlist a team from UC Berkeley to examine "tax expenditures" or tax breaks. <span class="copyright">(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)</span>
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) is pushing a bill that would enlist a team from UC Berkeley to examine “tax expenditures” or tax breaks. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California’s state government is dishing out $73 billion in tax breaks annually to millions of people and hundreds of interests. But there’s no evidence that this generosity is good or bad for the state.

Does it create jobs? Attract businesses to California? Help companies expand?

You’d think Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature would want to know whether the levy largess has been beneficial for California or just a giveaway.

That’s especially true now as state politicians face a projected $54-billion budget deficit because the economy was straitjacketed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Tax receipts are projected to plummet by $41 billion through June 2021.

“We don’t have a clue” about the effectiveness of tax breaks, says

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The Immature Photographer

I like to think that I am a bit more mature now. Don’t we all? I’m not sure it is really true, perhaps it’s just a change of perception.

Thinking back, I was very naive and, yes, immature in the past. My first camera was a Zenit E. It weighed a ton but it took photographs. After I had bought it and loaded the film, I set about taking photographs.

I didn’t stray far. No further than my house really. The result was a hundred or so pictures of my cat, the garden vegetation and any human that dared to come near me.

I felt on top of the world. I had made it at last. When, a few months later, I set up a darkroom in my bedroom, I felt that my talents were complete.

Only ther weren’t. because my pictures lacked sparkle and charm. They suffered from overexposure, … Read More