Monday, November 21, 2011

The billionaire's beauty and barber shop tax proposal

Hmmmmmm. How do we get these weird political things in California???

Apparently we could see an initiative proposal from a 50-year-old foreign-born billionaire investment banker that, if approved by the voters, would collect a service tax on beauty and barber shop charges while giving a tax breaks to international corporations and billionaires.

And according to A Blueprint to Renew California: Report and Recommendations Presented by the Think Long Committee for California, we should create a "non-partisan" and "independent" Citizens Council for Government Accountability to further overload us with opinions, made up of nine members appointed by the Governor, two appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, two appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly from (one each from the state's two largest political parties) and the Governor's Director of Finance, plus the elected State Treasurer, State Controller, and Attorney General. This would be a non-partisan group???

The proposal comes from a Committee under the umbrella of the Nicolas Berggruen Institute, chaired by the Paris-born international investment banker Nicolas Berggruen, who wants to submit an initiative to the voters. He's made a $20 million commitment to jump start an initiative campaign.

According to a Washington Post Bloomberg profile published two weeks ago:

At the poolside restaurant of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the billionaire investor glances at the lunchtime crowd drifting over from their sun loungers. He fidgets. Polishing off a cappuccino, he suggests we move....

Berggruen, 50, lives his whole life this way, always on the move, as he seeks out companies to buy, from Berlin to Bangalore to Brisbane. For the past decade, the dual American and German citizen has had no fixed home address. He roams the world on his Gulfstream IV jet, living out of five-star hotels. Most of the time, he carries only a small tote bag containing clothes and his BlackBerry.

If you think the story is slanted, here's who he thinks he is from the Institute's web site.

How does this stuff happen? Would anyone read it if I and 16 friends and relatives drew up an Alternative Blueprint to Renew California? I think I could find $20 to help put it on the ballot.

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