Author Archive: K. Lloyd Billingsley

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

California Straw Man Runs in the Family

Monday February 12th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:14am PDT   •   0 Comments

California assemblyman Ian Calderon has proposed a bill that would make it illegal for restaurant staff to give customers a plastic straw unless they ask for one. Unrequested straws would draw a fine of $1,000 or even jail time. This measure has led some to wonder about those little plastic umbrellas in drinks, or…
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Rocket Tax Reveals California’s Tunnel Vision

Thursday February 8th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 1:41pm PDT   •   0 Comments

This week Elon Musk launched his Falcon Heavy skyward, with a Tesla roadster along for the ride. A power pack of 27 Merlin engines boosted the takeoff with five million pounds of thrust, the most by a conventional rocket since the Saturn V moon mission. As USA Today reported, “within a half-hour of the…
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Fe Fi Foe FISA

Wednesday February 7th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 3:22pm PDT   •   0 Comments

Last month president Trump signed the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, extending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until December 31, 2023. The law “allows the Intelligence Community, under a robust regime of oversight by all three branches of Government, to collect critical intelligence on international terrorists, weapons proliferators, and other important foreign intelligence…
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Government Finally Violates No-Fire Zone

Friday February 2nd, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 3:04am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we noted, EPA “policy advisor” John Beale told his bosses he really worked for the CIA and shirked his duties for a decade. During this time, EPA bosses never fired Mr. Beale but they did pay him generous retention bonuses. EPA boss Gina McCarthy presided over the massive toxic spill on Colorado’s Animas…
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Oroville Dam Costs Soar to $870 Million

Wednesday January 31st, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:43am PDT   •   0 Comments

Last February 7 during heavy rains, the Oroville Dam’s concrete spillway failed, launching fears of a complete dam failure, and forcing the evacuation of 188,000 people downstream from the structure. As the anniversary approaches, the total costs of the spillway reconstruction, including emergency response, have risen to $870 million according to the state Department…
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Attack of the Bridge-Eating Microbes?

Tuesday January 30th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:42am PDT   •   0 Comments

According to an NBC report by Jaxon Van Derbeken, “Caltrans is investigating whether microscopic organisms are attacking critical welds on the submerged foundation of the new Bay Bridge tower, potentially endangering the projected 150-year lifespan of the troubled $6.4 billion structure.” Brian Maroney, Caltrans’ chief engineer on the project, told NBC that experts report…
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Should Taxpayers Pay Tab for Government Sexual Abuse?

Tuesday January 30th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 3:11am PDT   •   1 Comment

As we noted last month, sexual abuse has been thriving in Hollywood, Congress, the media, and in the California legislature. Senate boss Kevin de Leon sought to hire an independent legal firm to investigate but the latest revelations come from a different source. According to an investigation by the Sacramento Bee, “the state paid…
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Jerry Brown’s Statist Curtain Call

Friday January 26th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 12:05pm PDT   •   1 Comment

Before Jerry Brown’s 16th and final State of the State address Thursday, the New York Times wondered if he would use the address to “push for reforms in California’s notoriously dysfunctional tax system, hamstrung by Proposition 13 and a heavy reliance on volatile capital gains tax revenues.” Brown did no such thing but he…
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Taxoholism Goes Epidemic

Friday January 26th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 4:47am PDT   •   1 Comment

As we noted, California has the highest top marginal income-tax rate of 13.3 percent and the highest base sales tax rate of 7.5 percent. The state also deploys a corporate tax rate of 8.84 percent but now state Democrats Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting want a constitution amendment that would slap any company with…
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Tuesday January 23rd, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:45am PDT   •   0 Comments

On Thursday, December 28, 2017, a Los Angeles publication mailed me a check via the United States Postal Service. I received the check on January 18, 2018, a full 21 days after it had been mailed, so the cost worked out to just pennies a day. On the other hand, in 21 days I…
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