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Has President Trump unleashed a policy war on California?

Has President Trump unleashed a policy war on California?

Perhaps the counter-resistance has begun

https://twitter.com/jeffzeleny/status/944245880152051713

It appears that the elite media is figuring out what has been transparently clear to me: After a full year of California’s politicians waging a #WarOnTrump, the White House is now countering with its own policy blasts.

It’s Washington versus California on marijuana, climate change, offshore oil drilling and immigration this week as bubbling disagreements between President Donald Trump’s administration and California all seemed to spill over at once.

The Trump administration picked a notable moment to undo the Obama-era legal guidance that seemed to give states leeway to legalize marijuana: four days after California, the nation’s largest by population and most important state economically, officially legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.

Coincidence?

Most probably not. As Trump’s predecessor noted, “Elections have consequences.”

Of all the Obama-era policy reversals that are causing unrest among the state’s politicians, none are as unnerving as those related to immigration.

To some progressive leaders, the most terrifying threat this week came on Tuesday when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) promised to “significantly increase” the number of deportation officers in the state in direct response to California’s new “sanctuary state” law, which is meant to limit local police cooperation with Ice and protect immigrants.

“California better hold on tight,” acting director Thomas Homan told Fox News, later suggesting that sanctuary jurisdictions are breaking federal laws. Some interpreted his comments as an outrageous threat to arrest and prosecute Democratic politicians.

Saira Hussain, an attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which recently challenged Ice over its ongoing raids against Cambodian Americans in California, said: “It’s really alarming to see such an authoritarian streak coming from this administration.”

Of the potential prosecution of officials, she added, “It’s just such a gross violation of the constitution.”

One could argue that as the nation’s Chief Executive, the President is faithfully executing the laws related to immigration as passed by the US Congress as required per the Take Care Clause. Therefore if Hussain is unhappy with the rules, then she can take her complaints to her congressional representatives.

It appears the political posturing has consequences, too. Despite the many challenges to President Trump from California’s leading Democrats, beginning with an insulting letter smearing President-elect Trump from our state houses, the San Francisco 9th Circuit Court’s constant blocking of Trump’s executive orders, and capped by Governor Jerry Brown signing a quasi-treaty with China on climate change, the administration pretty much ignored the Golden State drama through 2017.

The counter-resistance has now begun, and I sense that Trump’s team has been preparing where and when to strike for quite some time.

Of course, the state’s leading Democrats are undeterred and are continuing their #Resistance. For example, the state senate just introduced legislation to make an end-run around the new limits on state income tax deductions that are poised to hit blue states hard.

The measure, dubbed the Protect California Taxpayers Act, would let California taxpayers make charitable donations to a state government fund — the California Excellence Fund — in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. The contributions taxpayers make can be deducted on their federal tax returns, bypassing the new limit on state and local income tax deductions and thumbing their noses at Republican-held Washington.

I project that this path will be full of fail. The suggestion that a state government fund could qualify as a charity is hilarious, and I can only assume the IRS officials looking at the claims will begin legal proceedings as soon as they get done laughing hysterically.

However, as many progressives worship at the altar of Big Government, perhaps the state’s arguments could work.

If I could advise the Trump administration in battle strategy, I would suggest:

  •  Investigating the State of Jefferson movement, and see if the Trump team could help it along.
  • Secretly financing a gubernatorial candidate who will actually focus on California issues instead of DC theatrics. Perhaps Kelly Anne Conway can be persuaded to supply some strategy through back channels.
  • Drive our politicians completely insane by doing a multi-stop tour during the height of the upcoming races.
  • Tweet about all the Sacramento sex-scandals.
  • Perhaps tag the most obnoxious generals in the state’s #WarOnTrump with fun, new nicknames.  “Kitty Cat Kevin”.  “Kooky Kamala.” “Nutty Nancy”. The possibilities are endless.

I predict that the real “Fire and Fury” in 2018 will be related to California!

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Comments

“The suggestion that a state government fund could qualify as a charity is hilarious…”

Oh, no. A state government fund *can* qualify as a charity. Contributions to that fund could be deducted off Federal Gross Income *if* (and this is the rub) the fund is only used for charitable purposes. Cue the giant flushing sound as State bureaucrats tie themselves up in knots and spend enormous amounts of money trying to justify state spending as charity. *That* will be the funny (or not so funny for CA taxpayers) part of the whole clown car.

(*) The author of these comments is not a tax professional, and wisely allows H&R Block to do his taxes every year without fail.

    TheAbidingDude in reply to georgfelis. | January 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I prefer H&R Spock. They can find deductions in parallel dimensions.

    Paul In Sweden in reply to georgfelis. | January 7, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    LOL, I wonder if the IRS will flag BLUE STATES and delay their applications as ‘a charity’ in the same fashion as the Obama administration flagged conservative organizations in the effort to quell opposition in the lead up to the 2008 election.

    rabidfox in reply to georgfelis. | January 7, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Is it a charity if the states have the power/authority to try individuals who chose not to donate to that ‘charity’?

      Edward in reply to rabidfox. | January 8, 2018 at 7:52 am

      As the “charity”* issues State Income Tax credits equal to the “donations”, failure to avail oneself of the “opportunity to donate” will simply require the payment of the equivalent amount to the State in Income Tax. As always, failure to pay the assessed taxes can be a basis for criminal prosecution.

      * As georgfelis indicates, this scam will fail because there isn’t any way that CA politicians can keep their grubby fingers off the “charity’s” income for general purpose operations of CA government.

TheAbidingDude | January 7, 2018 at 2:35 pm

The proposal is nothing less than a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.

OK, let’s say I donate a car to a charity, and they sell it for $5,000. All right, that’s a $5,000 charitable contribution.

Now let’s add a wrinkle: At the time of the donation, they give me a $50 Amazon gift card. I have to *OFFSET* the $5,000 deduction with the $50 consideration I was paid, thus making my deduction $4,950.

What California is proposing is to give a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit for “donations.”

That will get treated as $0 deductible by the IRS. And the tax credit will be treated as INCOME. Anyone claiming a deduction will get penalties and owe interest, and those pile right up very, very quickly.

I could very well see the legislature, the Governor, the Franchise Tax Board, and the State Board of Equalization all getting perp-walked on tax fraud charges, state assets (such as CalPERS and CalSTRS funds) getting confiscated to reimburse the government, and a whole bunch of very wealthy progtards’ assets going under the hammer.

    The donor is the person who places a value on the donated item, not the charity. It is not based on the cash that the charity receives if they sell the item.

    How you value the basis depends on the $ – the higher amount that you are trying to claim, the more documentation that you need, even submitting a written valuation of the object by a qualified appraiser.

    https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc506

      TheAbidingDude in reply to Liz. | January 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      In practice, the IRS never argues with the valuation if the item sells at that valuation. My EA tells me that’s the safest, audit-proof way to handle these things.

Conservative Beaner | January 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

The fun will begin when the IRS disallows the “charitable deduction” and they taxpayer ends up paying the higher taxes anyway. The state won’t care since it will get it’s taxes and the “charitable contributions”. Of course it will only work for one year when the populace catches on, but then again as stupid as they are they will keep falling for it.

    4th armored div in reply to Conservative Beaner. | January 7, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    i don’t think that high income people will fall for this gimmick and the medium earners will get hurt once and the next election cycle will bury the (D) — way to go, do it

    The real fun will start when the feds arrest and prosecute state legislators and governors for devising the schemes that convince people they can evade federal taxes.

TheAbidingDude | January 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Something else to consider: the whole weed kerfluffle.

California’s commercial real estate industry is incredibly powerful. They have melted down major portions of the US financial sector TWICE in thirty-five years and gotten away with it.

They’re looking at the Sessions memo and realizing that unless the God-Emperor gets what he wants, he’s going to end up seizing a good chunk of their assets for being used in the drug trade. (We’re even seeing the beginnings of Big Weed out here; there are major business ventures being run from office towers re: recreational pot.)

Somewhere, an emissary (probably not Benjamin Sisko) is making the link between California losing sanctuary state and the big commercial real estate interests being allowed to keep their property.

I suppose to be consistent the Commissars of California will let all charitable deductions qualify for a State Income Tax credit?

If not, then this is dicta to cover fraud. This proposal is nothing more than the beginnings of a conspiracy to defraud the United States. State Officials could also be prosecuted for aiding and abetting the making of a false and fraudulent claims for payment against the United States and public corruption Statutes.

If only we had an Attorney General who would clearly state the law to these Commissars.

    Paul In Sweden in reply to countrylaw. | January 8, 2018 at 3:27 am

    That is what I was thinking. Instead of paying my tax assessment to the state that abridges my rights perhaps I can donate my tax assessment to the NRA.

This war is going to end quickly when Silicon Valley abandons their posts. Without the 1% to keep the state afloat, California is in dire straits.

    Voice_of_Reason in reply to Matt_SE. | January 9, 2018 at 8:09 am

    California is probably in dire straights regardless. They are losing population even with the inflow of illegals. They are losing small businesses faster than they are being created. they have the highest rate of personal taxation, the highest regulatory burder, the hghest poverty rate, the highest food-stamp rate, public schools are in the bottom quintile.

TheAbidingDude | January 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm

“This war is going to end quickly when Silicon Valley abandons their posts. Without the 1% to keep the state afloat, California is in dire straits.”

California being in dire straits is part of the walk of life, it’s not like they’re ever going to get money for nothing and their chicks for free.

Federal preemption of California state smog / motor vehicle laws would get the message across.

i want to see ALL federal grants, loans, etc, zeroed out to ALL entities here in #Failifornia…

starting with Moonbeam’s toy train, the #HighSpeedFail project.

DieJustAsHappy | January 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Saira Hussain, an attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which recently challenged Ice over its ongoing raids against Cambodian Americans in California, said: “It’s really alarming to see such an authoritarian streak coming from this administration.”

Frequently, I hear persons who seem, willfully or not, to confuse “authoritarian” and “authoritative.” President Trump, as POTUS, proceeds “from an official source and requiring compliance or obedience.” It has yet to be demonstrated that his directives are unconstitutional, at least as far as I know.

You can’t compel charity. Is the State of California planning on making tax payments optional? Because if California does NOT make the tax payments optional, but instead the taxpayer can “choose” to donate to the fund in lieu of paying taxes, then the person “donating” to the fund is getting something in return for their “donation”, which means you cannot deduct it.

It is a catch-22 California will not be able to get around, unless they do not compel the taxpayers to pay the taxes. But then who would even pay?

    TheAbidingDude in reply to elle. | January 7, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    That’s the thing. What California is proposing amounts to income tax fraud. It’s not as if the IRS has never seen anything like this before.

Californication. Go Plan yourself.

If an illegal immigrant causes me the slightest damage, I’m suing the local officials who ignored federal immigration law. Dogcatchers, State Reps and even the governor

pablo panadero | January 7, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Nope. Anybody read “Art of the Deal”? There is a free bargaining chip sitting out there on the table., and Trump just grabbed it. Pot legalization is not a issue Trump cares about. But is isnnisssue that his adversary cares about. Will he trade building a wall for lax enforcement of pot laws? Yes. Or maybe some other issue. Either way, he grabbed the bargaining chip because it was just likeing there.

    The DEA ought to start raiding all the pot stores and destroying all the pot that is being grown in California. OMG, can you imagine the howling? Delizioso, as they say in Italia.

A fraudulent tax shelter, courtesy of the state of KKKalifornia.

The peculiar thing about all this is that if immigration law were enforced, the California state budget would be a lot less in the red.

I am neither a lawyer, nor an accountant.

I AM, however, a guy with a large back of popcorn just waiting to see how this plays out.

It should be one helluva show.

My favorite part is their horror over immigration, with the Feds taking them at their word on “sanctuary law” by flooding the state with ICE agents to make up for the “help” they’d usually receive from local agencies.

Voice_of_Reason | January 9, 2018 at 8:13 am

California’s progressive “chickens arecoming home to roost”. They are losing population even with the inflow of illegals. They are losing small businesses faster than they are being created. they have the highest rate of personal taxation, the highest regulatory burden, the hghest poverty rate, the highest food-stamp rate, public schools are in the bottom quintile despite extraordinary spending on public schools. they have zero controls on illegal alien voters, because they don’t check ID at polls and a person can register to vote with a utility bill as ID (see the ca.gov website if you don’t believe me).

oh yeah, they have massive, massive budget deficits and unfunded liabilities, but unlike the feds, they can’t print more money.

I hope Trump pushes those traitors over the edge.

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