October 31, 2010
Most of you know I spent most of my career in the insurance business. The new ‘Obama Care’ is a good start and long overdue. If you have the interest, check out: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html. Feel free to share it with your friends. It’s definitely the most thorough review I’ve seen. It’s going to take years to break up the health insurance monopoly (5 companies), but this is a start.
October 19, 2010
(sent to me by my cousin John Upton) Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation Making California the National Leader on Health Care Reform
California is First State in the Nation to Create Health Benefit Exchange
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed AB 1602 by Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and SB 900 by Senator Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) creating the California Health Benefit Exchange, an entity that will help California consumers and small businesses shop for and buy affordable health insurance starting in 2014. The Governor’s action makes California the first state in the nation to enact legislation creating a health benefit exchange under federal health care reform. Read the rest of this entry »
October 6, 2010
Subject: Rework Estate Taxes – Boost Spending
The following is a response to the article (
written by William B. Fuller and printed in the San Jose Mercury – Oct 5th, 2010.
William B. Fuller’s piece on reworking Estate Taxes to boost consumer spending includes three great tax ideas to boost the economy: #1. Bring estate tax back with a vengeance to 55%, #2. Defang the gift tax and #3, Tame the Generation Skipping Tax (GST). Number 4 could be to eliminate or reduce capital gains when selling a home over and above the $250,000 per person exemption. Surely, it would stimulate billions of dollars of home sales while increasing property tax revenue in the process here in California. Revenue needed so badly for schools.
October 6, 2010
Re-post – Opinion: To save the economy, federal taxes should encourage giving while we’re alive By William P. Fuller Special to the Mercury News Posted: 10/05/2010 12:01:00 AM PDT
We’ve just endured the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and are now facing a potential “double dip” and an excruciatingly slow recovery. In just two and a half years, we have witnessed the metamorphosis of the U.S. from a nation of irrational spenders and consumers into a nation of irrational savers and scrimpers. Economists agree that until we get people to spend more, the destructive cycle of less consumption, leading to anemic corporate performance, leading to less demand for labor, leading to higher unemployment, leading to even less consumer spending, isn’t likely to correct itself. Read the rest of this entry »
September 20, 2010
Subject: Estate Planning for the State
SJR-20 Resolution 57
Gas taxes, local taxes, auto fees, sales tax revenue, tolls for bridge traffic and lastly property taxes aren’t cutting it. Hopefully, the economy will turn upward and billions in new revenue will enter the system. Unfortunately, the interaction between property taxes and capital gains taxes in California are unique because of Prop 13 and won’t increase much even though the economy may start an upward trend. Property taxes are the primary source of income for schools and local governments – close to 72%.
What to do about it?
Seniors have had enough tax breaks over the last 40 years, which is true. Fortunately, the problem is the solution to creating billions in property tax revenue early. Allow those very seniors to sell without paying capital gains, or possibly double the exemptions. Remember, there is the escape tax legislation called the ‘Step-Up-Basis-at-First-Death’ that avoids capital gains completely for the survivor. Read the rest of this entry »
September 20, 2010
State Senator Elaine Alquist, Santa Clara , CA – Chair Senate Subcommittee on Aging and Long-Term Care
State Senator Lois Wolk, Yolo County , CA – Chair Assembly Revenue & Taxation Committee.
Subject: DISAPPOINTING FINAL FORM for SJR-20 Resolution 57
Summary: We originally proposed what became SJR 20 for two primary purposes:
1. To correct an estate tax inequity that exists between senior couples and surviving spouses to the very limited extent of its application to selling their primary residence.
2. By correcting the inequity, also motivate senior couples (age 65 & over) to change their place of residence, if doing so meets a personal need. Because many senior couples are in pre-Proposition 13 ownerships positions, the likely effect would be increase property tax revenue, and help reduce state and local government budget deficits.
The final SJR 20, as modified from our original, accomplishes neither objective. Read the rest of this entry »
August 31, 2010
Clearly, these analyses were made up after the bill was amended from what we had given the senior legislature.
a. Was it changed first by the senior legislature? If so, was Ann Mack aware of this?
b. Both analyses refer to an “author”; senate says “author’s office”, assembly says “author’s statement.” Who is this “author?” Both analyses refer to “as amended May 5, 2010.
c. Was it changed after the senior legislature acted on it, and by whom? When did the senior legislature act – before May 5?
d. If changed after the senior legislature, why didn’t the analysis indicate that it was not what the senior legislature had acted on? Why wasn’t Ann Mack made aware that a significantly different bill was what the legislature was considering?
* The senate analysis:
a. paragraph #1 completely fails to make the point about the inequity between the first death step up vs senior couples.
b. paragraph #2 should say senior “couple”, not senior “citizen.”
c. The argument in support notes the insufficient exclusion being a disincentive to plan for care needs, but misses the idea that it is a disincentive to make other lifestyle changes, such as a smaller home in a location nearer to grandchildren, etc. Read the rest of this entry »