Corruption Leftist Virtue(!) Links from other news sources. Reprints from others.

Why are employers being forced to pay off California’s defaulted loans?

Views: 7

California business owners received an unpleasant surprise in filing their taxes this year — the state of California has defaulted on its $18.5 billion federal unemployment insurance loans, and as a result, every employer in California is being forced to pay additional federal taxes to make up the difference until the loan is repaid in full. If you found this news baffling, you’re not alone. I did too.

Federal unemployment insurance loans were essential to helping Californians weather the COVID-19 pandemic, and in fact, most states participated in the federal loan program. As the state mandated business closures for months on end, these payments helped Californians who were out of work to put food on the table and keep the lights on. However, out of the 22 states that were forced to take federal loans during the pandemic, California is one of only four to fail to repay its loan, and it owes the largest amount of any state by far.

When states across the country received loan-free federal aid as a result of the federal government’s unprecedented emergency spending packages, most chose to use at least a portion of those funds to pay back the federal loans they’d been forced to take to support their unemployment programs. California received $15.3 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds, but allocated none of it to repaying its outstanding loans.

Even more baffling is the fact that last year California declared a historic $97.5 billion budget surplus after passing a $300 billion budget in May. That budget surplus was enough money to repay the federal government loan more than five times over. Instead of making the fiscally prudent decision to pay off the debt with part of this vast surplus, California has instead allowed its loan obligations from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund to go unfulfilled for two years in a row, triggering a provision that transfers responsibility for repaying the debt from a state government to that state’s employers.

As a result of California’s failure to repay its debt, millions of our state’s employers will be required to pay penalties to the federal government this month in the form of higher Federal Unemployment Act (FUTA) taxes. FUTA imposes a 6% gross federal unemployment tax rate on the first $7,000 paid by employers for each employee. This results in a maximum federal tax of $420 per employee per year. Typically, California employers receive a credit which reduces the tax paid per employee to only $42 per worker per year.

When a state fails to repay federal unemployment insurance loans it takes from the Federal Unemployment Trust for two or more consecutive years as California has done, the FUTA credit is reduced for that state, meaning every businesses in the state is forced to pay progressively more in FUTA taxes for each year the state remains delinquent on its loans. After five years, a different FUTA credit reduction calculation kicks in, levying an even bigger penalty on the state’s employers and its economy.

The last time California was in arrears on these Title XII loans, it took seven years to repay them, meaning that in the final year of repayment (2017), every employer in California was forced to pay an extra $147 per employee in FUTA penalties. That amounted to thousands of dollars for the average small business that could have instead been used to grow employment in our communities.

Small and large companies in California alike are already reeling from economic instability, high interest rates, and skyrocketing inflation. They’re also still struggling with supply chain fluctuations and recovering from one of the longest state-mandated COVID-19 economic shutdowns in the country. Forcing a higher tax burden on our employers as a result of California’s gross fiscal mismanagement will undermine job creation and drive prices even higher.

To add insult to injury, it is notable that better fraud enforcement by the Employment Development Department alone could have repaid the state’s federal loans.

A LexisNexis data analysis performed by the reporters at KCRA showed that California paid out at least $32.6 billion and counting in fraudulent disability and unemployment compensation during the pandemic, much higher than the department’s publicized $20 billion number. But by either statistic, the state would have had more than enough to repay its loans from the federal government if it had only administered its programs correctly.

It was the state’s own actions that shut down businesses and caused much of the resulting unemployment that California faced, and yet it is our small businesses that will once again be forced to pay the penalty for California’s mismanagement. Forcing Californians to pay higher federal taxes because of the state’s failure to either prevent rampant fraud or repay its debts in a year when the state had a multibillion-dollar budget surplus is nothing short of theft.
This baffling mismanagement of our state’s finances is totally unacceptable, and our small businesses and employers should not be forced to pay the price. I am leading eleven members of the California congressional delegation in sounding the alarm on this issue and calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature to act immediately and repay California’s outstanding federal unemployment insurance loans to prevent this burden from unfairly falling on California employers. It is the state’s duty to take fiscal responsibility for its actions. Failure to do so could jeopardize the financial stability of millions of California’s small employers.


Links from other news sources. Racism Reprints from others.

Blame Macron for Europe’s migrant crisis, not Meloni To have accused Italy of mishandling it could be construed as hypocrisy of the highest order.

Views: 4

Blame Macron for Europe’s migrant crisis, not Meloni. To have accused Italy of mishandling it could be construed as hypocrisy of the highest order.

France and Germany have fallen out again after the French interior minister Gérald Darmanin accused Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni of incompetence in her handling of the migrant crisis. In response, Itay’s foreign minister, Antonio Tajani, has canceled a meeting in Paris scheduled for Friday and he is demanding an apology from Darmanin for his “vulgar insults.” Meloni has put on hold her own visit to Paris, which was due to take place next month, according to the Italian press.

It’s not the first time the interior minister has outraged a neighbor. Twelve months ago, Darmanin was accused of wrongly laying the blame for the chaos that erupted in Paris during the Champions League final on Liverpool fans. In fact, they and the Real Madrid supporters were the victims of the lawlessness that has come to characterize the French capital in recent years. It took many weeks before Darmanin issued an apology through gritted teeth.

It’s not Meloni Darmanin should be attacking but the leader of his own country

His latest blunder is more serious, given the gravity of the situation in the Mediterranean: so far this year an estimated 40,000 migrants have crossed into Italy. This is having ramifications for France with a record number of unaccompanied minors breaching their border with Italy in March.

But instead of trying to work together to resolve the crisis, Darmanin used a radio interview on Thursday morning to attack Italy. Asked about recent comments made by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party regarding the worsening crisis on the Franco-Italian border, Darmanin retorted, “Madame Meloni, a far-right government chosen by Madame Le Pen’s friends, is incapable of solving the migration problems on which she was elected.”

Darmanin first angered Rome in November when he and Meloni had words following Italy’s refusal to allow an NGO migrant vessel to dock. France directed the ship to one of its ports, but not before the Italian prime minister criticized Darmanin’s “aggressive, incomprehensible and unjustified” reaction towards her country.

Tajani’s visit to Paris was supposed to be part of the reconciliation process, but that now lies in tatters thanks once more to Darmanin.

“The insults towards the government and Italy uttered by minister Darmanin are unacceptable,” announced Tajani in a tweet. “This is not the spirit in which common European challenges should be addressed.”

His French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, clearly embarrassed by the row, spoke subsequently to Tajani on the phone. “I told him that relations between Italy and France are based on reciprocal respect, between our two countries and their leaders,” she said. “I hope to be able to welcome him in Paris soon.”

Many commentators in France were surprised Darmanin survived the Stade de France scandal, and this latest diplomatic disaster will once again raise questions over his suitability for office. His petulant comments are perhaps an indication of the huge strain he is under, domestically and internationally. The police handling of the pension reform protests has drawn criticism from home and abroad, most recently from the United Nations. Then, last week on the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte (a French Department), Darmanian was humiliated by a local court which put a stop to his attempt to evict illegal immigrants.

To have accused Italy of mishandling a migrant crisis could therefore be construed as hypocrisy of the highest order, a point made by Jordan Bardella, the president of the National Rally.

“With Gérald Darmanin as minister of the interior, France is beating all immigration records,” he tweeted. “A record that disqualifies him from giving the slightest lesson in firmness to our Italian neighbors.”

As undiplomatic as Darmanin’s remarks were, they hit a nerve in Rome, where there is growing despair at the soaring numbers of migrants landing on their shores. Last month, Italy declared a six-month state of emergency. But what unfolds in southern Europe will inevitably have repercussions in France and Britain, two of the most popular destinations for those making the voyage across the Mediterranean.

France’s response to all this seems to be insults and inertia; in February, Darmanin made a great play about the tough new immigration bill that would address the crisis. It was supposed to be presented to the Senate in March; then it was pushed back to the early summer. Last week, prime minister Elisabeth Borne announced it won’t be examined until the fall at the earliest. She cited a lack of cooperation between the governing Renaissance party and the center-right Republicans as the reason for its delay; their support will be needed in parliament. In reality, the division is within Macron’s own party, many of whom are opposed to any stringent crackdown on illegal immigration.

Herein lies the bitter truth for Darmanin, one of the few ministers in Macron’s government who genuinely understands the seriousness of the migrant crisis. It’s not Meloni he should be attacking but the leader of his own country. Macron has been in office longer than most EU heads of states, and since the departure of Angela Merkel in December 2021 he has regarded himself as the Union’s senior statesman. He therefore should take the initiative in co-ordinating a robust response to the chaos in the Mediterranean.

That was the ambition outlined by Macron in one of his first major speeches as president in September 2017. In an address entitled “Initiative for Europe,” Macron stressed both the urgency of the situation and the need for co-operation.

“In the coming years, Europe will have to accept that its major challenge lies there,” he said of the migrant crisis. “So long as we leave some of our partners submerged under massive arrivals without helping them manage their borders; so long as our asylum procedures remain slow and disparate; so long as we are incapable of collectively organizing the return of migrants not eligible for asylum, we will lack both effectiveness and humanity.”

But Europe has proved incapable of accepting the challenge. The number of migrants grows, and so do the insults between member states. Instead of effectiveness and humanity there is just ineffectiveness and humbug.

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.



Links from other news sources. Politics

This is why the DOJ is doing anything and everything to stop Trump. Trump Crushing Biden and DeSantis in New WaPo/ABC News.

Views: 27

This is why the DOJ is doing anything and everything to stop Trump.

Trump is crushing both Biden and DeSantis. Also DeSantis is crushing Biden. This is not me saying this, but the latest Washington Post/ ABC News Poll. Yes information coming from the MSM.

President Trump is crushing Joe Biden and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) in a new Washington Poll/ABC News poll released at midnight. Trump leads Biden in a head to head match-up 49%-42% among supporters and leaners in the general election and bests DeSantis 51%-25% in a field of six potential GOP primary candidates with the others in single digits. The poll also shows DeSantis beating Biden by a similar margin, 48%-41%.

Black and Hispanic support for Trump has increased substantially from 2020, with 27 percent of Black voters supporting Trump, compared to 12 percent in 2020. 43 percent of Hispanics support Trump compared, to 30 percent in 2020.

Black and Hispanic support for Trump has increased substantially from 2020, with 27 percent of Black voters supporting Trump, compared to 12 percent in 2020. 43 percent of Hispanics support Trump compared, to 30 percent in 2020.

And on the Economy?



Links from other news sources. Reprints from others. Uncategorized

Biden tells Muslim judge to ‘hush up, boy’ at Eid celebration

Views: 11

Biden tells Muslim judge to ‘hush up, boy’ at Eid celebration

Joe Biden’s wet nurses clearly did a poor job of vetting the audience as a heckler managed to derail his speech, which was annoying, because Biden was planning on derailing it himself, probably. Except this time the heckler was a federal judge. Biden’s attempts at calming the situation failed, leading to a slightly exasperated and condescending ‘hush up, boy!’

Things could only have gotten more awkward if the judge were Muslim and it was supposed to be an Eid celebration. Wait, it was?

Ah, for the days when Muslims could shut a president up by throwing a shoe.



Education Links from other news sources. Reprints from others.

School board settles religious discrimination suit against Christian university after blasting ‘Jesus’ values One school member was concerned about ACU’s agenda to advance the values of Jesus Christ.

Views: 25

I want to thank FOX for this great article.

School board settles religious discrimination suit against Christian university after blasting ‘Jesus’ values One school member was concerned about ACU’s agenda to advance the values of Jesus Christ.

An Arizona School District settled a religious discrimination case Thursday two months after it was accused of illegally terminating a contract while its members blasted the Christian “Jesus” values of a university.

The Washington Elementary School District was sued in March for allegedly impugning on the religious rights of Arizona Christian University for terminating a partnership that had been ongoing for 11 years after multiple board members attacked them for their religious beliefs.

On Wednesday evening, the board restored a contract with the university. A settlement agreement also likely will include that the district will be responsible for thousands in legal fees.

Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented the university, said the school board “showed blatant hostility to ACU’s beliefs” when it questioned how one could “be committed to Jesus Christ” and yet, at the same time, respect LGBTQ students and board members.


Washington Elementary School District

Washington Elementary School District (Washington Elementary School District)

One of the board members mentioned in the suit, Tamillia Valenzuela, describes herself as “a bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent Queer Black Latina… who loves a good hot wing (but only with the right ranch) and things that sparkle.”

“My concerns, [is] when I go to Arizona Christian University’s website, [they are] ‘committed to Jesus Christ, accomplishing his will and advancements on earth as in Heaven,'” she said. “While I full-heartedly believe in the religious freedom and people being able to practice whatever faith that they have, I had some concerns regarding looking at this particular institution… And I think it’s a really good time for us to take a moment and really pause about where our values lie.”

“Part of their values is… [to] ‘transform the culture with truth by promoting the Biblically-informed values that are foundational to Western civilization, including the centrality of family, traditional sexual morality, and lifelong marriage between one man and one woman,'” she said.

Washington elementary school board Arizona christian university

Washington Elementary School Board voted for a motion to dissolve their partnership with Arizona Christian University. (Fox News Digital)

“Because if we’re bringing people in whose mission [has]… been with their institution’s education that very plainly on their website… that above all else, it was to influence people to Biblically-minded. How does that hold space for people of other faiths? How does that hold space for our members of the LGBT community? How does that space for people who think differently and do not have the same beliefs,” she said.

School board member Kyle Clayton blasted the university for “teaching with a Biblical lens.”

“I, too, echo what Ms. Valenzuela said when I… looked into not only their core values, but the statement of faith… [which they] ask their students to sign and live by,” he said. “Proselytizing is embedded into how they teach. And I just don’t believe that that belongs in schools.”

Arizona Christian University

Arizona Christian University sued a district for allegedly violated their First Amendment rights.  (Curtesy of Arizona Christian University )

ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation David Cortman of Alliance Defending Freedom said, “By discriminating against Arizona Christian University and denying it an opportunity to participate in the student-teacher program because of its religious status and beliefs, the school district was in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution, not to mention state law that protects ACU’s religious freedom.”

“At a time when a critical shortage of qualified, caring teachers exists, the Washington Elementary School District board did the right thing by prioritizing the needs of elementary school children and agreeing to partner once again with ACU’s student-teachers.”



Links from other news sources. Uncategorized

Oh my! No more Whopper? Burger King to Close 400 Stores Nationwide

Views: 45

Oh my! No more Whopper? Burger King to Close 400 Stores Nationwide.  So BK who’s been around since 1954 is cutting back on the number of stores? Most of the locations like McDonalds and Wendy’s are franchise. So that will be interesting to see how this is done.

The popular fast food chain Burger King plans to close up to 400 restaurants before the end of 2023, confirmed.

This week, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International Inc., which owns Burger King, said they are preparing to close between 300 and 400 locations.

The CEO, Joshua Kobza, said in a call announcing Q1 earnings results, that the company “historically” closes “a couple hundred” Burger King restaurants each year.

So far this year, several large Burger King franchisees have filed for bankruptcy: Illinois-based Toms King, Michigan-based EYM King, and Utah-based Meridian Restaurants Unlimited.

According to a Restaurant Brands International release announcing the earnings, 124 Burger Kings have already shuttered this year, bringing the total number in the United States to fewer than 7,000.




COVID Links from other news sources.

Ding Dong the CDC Witch is gone. Don’t let the door hit you in the Ass.

Views: 22

Ding Dong the CDC Witch is gone. Don’t let the door hit you in the Ass. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced Friday she is stepping down from her role. Praise the Lord. All she did was ignore science and go with Junk Science. She will not be missed.

Walensky just continued the Panic. The Pandemic really started to end in January of 2021. But the Biden Administration, WHO, CDC, FDA, and the NIH created a two year panic.

Walensky stated several times that they had consulted parents’ needs for the guidance despite her calendar showing ONE 30-minute meeting. And while parents were granted just one session, teacher unions had constant access to her and other high-level CDC officials while influencing last-minute changes to the guidelines. Good  riddance to bad rubbish.




Corruption Links from other news sources. The Courts

Race Baiters and White Progressives complain about Thomas and Roberts. What about Sotomayor?

Views: 32

Race Baiters and White Progressives complain about Thomas and Roberts. What about Sotomayor? Recently we’ve been hearing about Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas. Especially about Thomas having a rich friend. A friend who hasn’t had any cases before the court. But what about one of the race baiting Justices?

Sotomayor did not recuse herself when her publisher had cases before the court. But look what I found. In 2013, Sotomayor voted in a decision on whether the court should hear a case against the publisher called Aaron Greenspan v. Random House. Now-retired Justice Stephen Breyer, who had received money from the book publisher, recused himself in that case.

What say you?

Joe Scarborough responds to the latest Clarence Thomas non-scandal by saying “imagine what would happen if it were Justice Sotomayor” and “everybody at this table would be shocked and outrage and had be critical if this were a liberal justice” Who wants to tell him?

— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) May 4, 2023




Links from other news sources. Public Service Announcement Reprints from others.

Friday Funnies: The New Face of Marxism “It’s a suicide note to the World”

Views: 39

Thank You Dr. Malone.

Friday Funnies: The New Face of Marxism “It’s a suicide note to the World”

Today’s videos are not comedies, but after four days in Brussels and experiencing the European Parliament in person – my mood is heavy. I worry for the world.

Orwell’s final warning – Picture of the future (On Rumble)

‘Net Zero is taking the world’s population backwards’ (On Rumble)

This week, I have been at the EU Parliament and it is not joke that “Net Zero” messaging dominates at the EU Parliament –

“It is a suicide note to the world” – Neil Oliver

This video seems apropos, given Orwell’s final message (above) to the world.

(BTW: I am looking forward to being on Neil Oliver’s show tomorrow with my friend Dr. Kat Lindley -Saturday, May 6th).



COVID Links from other news sources. Opinion Reprints from others.

Just putting this out there. COVID Drops to Fourth Leading Cause of Death, CDC Says — Virus-linked deaths in 2022 dipped below those caused by unintentional injury

Views: 9

by Sophie Putka, Enterprise & Investigative Writer, MedPage Today

Just putting this out there. COVID Drops to Fourth Leading Cause of Death, CDC Says — Virus-linked deaths in 2022 dipped below those caused by unintentional injury.

COVID-19 dropped to the fourth leading cause of death in 2022, down from third place in 2020opens in a new tab or window and 2021opens in a new tab or window, according to provisional mortality data from the CDC.

Taking its place was “unintentional injury,” which followed heart disease and cancer as the longstanding top killers, reported Farida B. Ahmad, MPH, and colleagues in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reportopens in a new tab or window (MMWR).

Unintentional injury deaths, driven in large part by drug overdose deaths, actually dropped slightly compared with 2021, but COVID-19 deaths dropped more — by 47%. COVID-19 was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of 244,986 deaths (61.3 per 100,000) in 2022 compared with 462,193 deaths (115.6 per 100,000) in 2021.

The overall age-adjusted death rate also decreased 5.3%, from 879.7 to 832.8 per 100,000 from 2021 to 2022 (P<0.05).

The decrease in COVID-19-associated deaths came as “a welcome relief, given the overall burden of the pandemic since its global eruption in late 2019,” said David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and a member of the MedPage Today editorial board.

The highest weekly numbers of overall and COVID-19-associated deaths happened in the early months of 2022; they have since fallen furtheropens in a new tab or window in 2023.

Though Aronoff predicted that the CDC will keep providing guidance on preventing COVID-19, “cancer, heart disease, and unintentional injuries (including drug overdoses) remain major causes of illness and death, and it is likely that these will remain front and center in public health improvement strategies led by the CDC, state, and local health departments.”

Ahmad and colleagues suggested that their data “can guide public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing mortality directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and among persons most affected, including persons who are older, male, or from members of certain racial and ethnic minority groups.”

Both COVID-19 and overall death rates were highest among non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people.

COVID-19-associated death rates were higher in males than females (76.3 vs 49.8 per 100,000), which was true for deaths overall as well. Of people who had COVID-19 on their death certificate, around 76% had it listed as the primary cause, while 5.9%, 3.9%, 1.6%, respectively, had heart disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease listed as the primary cause, as was detailed in a related MMWRopens in a new tab or window.

In 2022, heart disease caused 699,659 deaths, cancer caused 607,790 deaths, and unintentional injury caused 218,064 deaths. The number of unintentional injuries was slightly higher in 2021, at 219,487.

Deaths from drug overdose have more than doubled since 2015, according to CDC dataopens in a new tab or window, and rose from 2021 to 2022. Deaths from opioids and synthetic opioids like fentanyl have increased dramatically, and hit 106,699 in 2021opens in a new tab or window — a rate of 32.4 per 100,000.

The report drew on National Center for Health Statistics’ (NCHS) National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), which is based off of U.S. death certificate data. It uses provisional data, or an early estimate of deaths before a final release of data, based on the flow of death certificate data to the system. Trends in deaths throughout the year used the number of deaths each week from all causes and from COVID-19.

COVID-19-associated death rates decreased for many demographic groups in 2022, but increased for those younger than 15opens in a new tab or window. They decreased in those ages 85 or older, although still remaining higher than in other age groups.

A higher proportion of COVID-19 deaths occurred at homes, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities. The proportion of inpatient hospital deaths decreased but still made up most of the COVID-19 deaths.

Limitations to the study included the use of provisional data, which are estimates. The authors also mentioned the variation in timeliness of death certificate date by jurisdiction and the potential for misclassification of some categories of race and Hispanic ethnicity reported on death certificates.

  • author['full_name']

    Sophie Putka is an enterprise and investigative writer for MedPage Today. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Discover, Business Insider, Inverse, Cannabis Wire, and more. She joined MedPage Today in August of 2021.



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