Author Archive: K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is Communications Counsel at the Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

Government Give and Take is Mostly One-Way


Tuesday February 9th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:01am PST   •   0 Comments

Contrary to what many politicians seem to believe, government makes mistakes. For example, as the intrepid Jon Ortiz of the Sacramento Bee notes, the state of California recently overpaid some 20,000 employees. The overpayments amount to $37 to $101 per employee and, overall, about 5 percent of all state paychecks in a single month....
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Pillage People Pick Off Professionals’ Pay


Monday February 8th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:18am PST   •   0 Comments

The Denver Broncos took the game 24-10 but the real winners of Super Bowl 50 were California’s pillage people. This is due to the state’s “jock tax” on players and coaches for their “duty days” in the state. As Matthew Artz notes in the San Jose Mercury News, California’s jock tax is highest in...
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California Still High on Taxes


Wednesday February 3rd, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:19am PST   •   0 Comments

With all this excitement over national elections, taxpayers may have lost count of how much their state government is taking from them. Fortunately, veteran Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters has been keeping track. By his count, “California’s state and local governments hit us with about $250 billion in taxes every year, $6,000-plus per Californian.”...
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Government Waste Terrible for Taxpayers


Friday January 29th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:26am PST   •   0 Comments

As we noted in 2014, the State Board of Equalization (BOE) headquarters in Sacramento has been dubbed the “Terror Tower,” with good reason. It has been plagued with invasive mold, leaking windows, burst pipes, unreliable elevators, falling glass and traces of toxic substances. Someone was looking the other way when this atrocity was built,...
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Bridge Over Water Troubles?


Tuesday January 26th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:00am PST   •   0 Comments

The stylish new eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge cost $6.4 billion, about $5 billion more than the original estimate, and came in ten years late. As we noted two years ago, all that time and money could not prevent hundreds of leaks during the first winter storm. A supposedly watertight steel...
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Fire the Coastal Commission, Not Just the Boss


Monday January 25th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:24am PST   •   0 Comments

As Tony Barboza notes in the Los Angeles Times, the California Coastal Commission is “the most powerful land-use agency in the nation” and some of the 12 commissioners want to fire the boss, Charles Lester. This action should serve as a timely reminder for Californians of the abuse they face at the hands of...
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Pension Reform Rollback Shows True “State of the State”


Friday January 22nd, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:01am PST   •   0 Comments

Long before his latest State of the State address, governor Jerry Brown has been proclaiming that California is back, and as City Journal California associate editor Ben Boychuk notes, there is some ground for optimism. The Golden State has enjoyed impressive job growth over the past three years and this year might overtake Brazil...
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Ruling Class Reactionaries Set Back Pension Reform


Wednesday January 20th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:00am PST   •   0 Comments

A major statewide pension reform measure will not, as expected, be on the 2016 ballot. That is bad news for California’s working taxpayers. As Lawrence McQuillan notes, California accounts for $550 billion to $750 billion of the nation’s total unfunded pension liabilities. In his research for California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s...
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Governor’s Tunnel Vision Gets Worse


Monday January 18th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:40am PST   •   0 Comments

As we have noted, governor Jerry Brown wants to drill two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The total cost of his Delta conservation plan is $25 billion, but based on projects such as Boston’s “Big Dig,” and a highway tunnel project in Seattle, the cost would be much higher. A coalition...
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More Money, That’s What They Always Want


Thursday January 14th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:29am PST   •   0 Comments

In a Detroit studio, way back in the day, Barrett Strong sang, “Money, that’s what I want.” Many artists have since covered the tune and government bureaucrats croon it every day. As David Siders shows in the Sacramento Bee, they jack up the volume around budget time. The California Department of Conservation, for example,...
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