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California Reaps Google Windfall 61

theodp writes "The SF Chronicle reports that California took in a record $11.3B in personal income tax receipts in April, $4.3B more than it collected last April, attributing a significant chunk of the surprise windfall to Google employees. Fourteen of Google's top execs and directors sold $4.4B worth of stock last year, including founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, each of whom unloaded about $1.3B."
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California Reaps Google Windfall

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @08:48AM (#15300136)
    California ought to take this "windfall" and invest in the hospitals in southern California. The alarming rate at which they are closing is, well, alarming.

    I'm sad to think that the government of California would be more likely to squander the cash on pet projects rather than bolstering their ability to help people unable to pay for health care.
    • I'm sad to think that the government of California would be more likely to squander the cash on pet projects rather than bolstering their ability to help people unable to pay for health care.I'm sad to think that the government of California would be more likely to squander the cash on pet projects rather than bolstering their ability to help people unable to pay for health care.

      Yes. I am interested in hearing more. I wonder if there is anything politically going on in Southern California that makes hosp
    • Thats communist talk. They should invest it in rejuvenating Hollywood and in giving tax breaks to the rich in the next fiscal year.
    • Oooor, instead of throwing money out the window into a huge fire, they could do something useful with the money - like stopping the influx of illegal aliens through the southern border.

      You do realize that's why the hospitals are closing, right? They're required to provide healthcare to anyone who "needs" it - all the way from triage to birth to cancer treatment - regardless of whether or not the person can pay. Thus, illegals eat for free.
      • Closing the borders won't reopen hospitals. However, a two-pronged approach to the problem, funding hospitals and beefing up the borders, would be within the realm of feasibility.

        If a hospital is closed, no one can see the doctor. At least with the doors open, services will still be available for those who need it.
      • So, why do the illegals go to the emergency rooms rather than the much cheaper and more efficient walk-in clinics? Is it because the clinics are not required to treat them if they can't pay? That would be both counter-productive and mean-spirited.

        • People walk in to the ED because it's open 24x7, and it's easy to find. Just follow the signs to 'hospital'.

          Clinics are not open 24x7 and are harder to find. Also, many many many people just don't "get" what a clinic can do for them. They know that if they have a problem, to go to the ED for 'free' treatment. They don't know (or don't care) about going to a clinic.

      • Like stopping the influx of illegal aliens through the southern border

        Good luck. It'll never happen... until they pull an East Germany and put full time sniper towers every couple hundred yards with orders to shoot to kill on sight. If you think that's a good idea check how it's fared historically.

        I'd rather they make health care public (which has been shown to work well) and completely open the borders so that immigrants (which we'll have in any case) can at least get jobs and be productive members of so
        • Good luck. It'll never happen... until they pull an East Germany and put full time sniper towers every couple hundred yards with orders to shoot to kill on sight. If you think that's a good idea check how it's fared historically.

          You seem to be forgetting that the Berlin Wall was intended to keep people in not keep people out. Sort of an important part to leave out. But then again when you try to invoke fear by using words like "sniper" I don't think facts mean much to your argument.

          • From a logistical perspective how does it matter whether we're keeping people in Mexico or out of the US? I wasn't saying that this is the same thing as the Berlin wall... the politics and context are totally different. I'm just saying that short of prison level security, how do we propose to keep all these immigrants out? I don't think I'm invoking fear, I'm just looking at it pragmatically. Show me how we can otherwise secure a border that size. Give me historical examples where people were kept from
            • Actually I do agree that a wall alone will not completely stop people. I read an interview with Immigration and they say they are already finding 200-foot tunnels, which a wall isn't going to stop. I wanted to stress that the existence of a wall alone is not really cause for concern.

              What is preventing folks from entering the country legally? It is an honest question as I do not know the procedure to do so.

              • What is preventing folks from entering the country legally?

                Government mandated quotas: The US only lets a small number of people enter from each country. The number allowed from each country varies, but for many countries it is not enough, so a person from that country would have to stay where they are or enter the US illegally.

                Cheers.
        • I'd rather they make health care public (which has been shown to work well)

          Ever since I read this comment by Descalzo, I've been looking for an excuse to link to it.

          http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=185703&cid=153 27448 [slashdot.org]

          Plus, I would disagree with how well socialized health care works.
          The comedians in Britain sure critisize it a lot. (I know, I know, comedians aren't exactly an unbiased scientific source, but what the comedians expect people to find humorous is telling.)

          One of the main troubles with

          • It's true, I don't have much trust in the government. But I don't have any more trust in corporations. I don't have a big picture solution to health care... does anyone? But it seems from looking around that socialized medicine is marginally better.

            Cheers.
      • You do realize that's why the hospitals are closing, right? They're required to provide healthcare to anyone who "needs" it - all the way from triage to birth to cancer treatment - regardless of whether or not the person can pay.
        I get that, but I don't understand how it would be "useful" to keep illegal immigrants from coming into the country instead. Unless you define "useful" in a particularly greedy and selfish manner...
      • Oooor, instead of throwing money out the window into a huge fire, they could do something useful with the money - like stopping the influx of illegal aliens through the southern border. You do realize that's why the hospitals are closing, right?

        No, actually, its not. Immigration has not taken a sharp rise in the last few years to trigger the recent wave of closures; what has risen is the proportion of the population uninsured, which is what has driven up ER costs and consequently closures. Now, one migh

  • Yay Google! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @08:50AM (#15300150)
    In other news Washington state was heard to mutter -- "Damn, if only we had state income tax!"
    • They don't? w00t!

      (I'm moving there from Pennsylvania, where the 3.07% state income tax is in addition to Pittsburgh's 3% city income tax)
      • No state income tax, (Gates woudn't have paid all that until the special dividend--he doesn't sell that much stock). They do have an 8%+county and city surcharges sales tax. Much nicer for savers.
          • In Washington, we pay sales taxes.

          • In Oregon, they pay income taxes.

          • Californians pay both income taxes and sales taxes.

          • Alaskans don't have income or sales taxes (as long as oil prices stay above $40 per barrel).
          • You forgot the big one: Oregonians pay scary property taxes. I'm unclear about the other states' property taxes
            • I've oftwondered if there are very many people who live and work in Washington (close to the border) and do the majority of their shopping in Oregon. With the nearness of Vancouver, WA and Portland I would think that a few people must get away with paying very little in state taxes.
      • What? Leave the wonderful Keystone State? The one with almost the worst roads in the nation (I think we're 49th) yet PennDOT insists the roads aren't that bad?

        Just wait and see if Swanny gets in. All that sponging off of the rest of the Commonwealth that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia do will skyrocket! He'll be funneling so much money to the two southern corners that that 3% city tax will be mandatory for the rest of us just to pay for all the swag you'll be getting.

        *Sigh* Sorry if I sound a bit cynical.
        • I'm originally from Long Island, where one prominent crackpot started hanging signs reading "GET OUT OF NEW YORK STATE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!" I'm told that for workers in New York, especially in and around the City, the taxes are just oppressive. (And if you smoke, don't be caught without a pack in NYC or you have to pay $8+ for a pack)

          But in PA we already have a governor who's a troublemaking Eagles fan [wikipedia.org], so it only follows that the Steelers have to take their turn too. :)
      • (I'm moving there from Pennsylvania, where the 3.07% state income tax is in addition to Pittsburgh's 3% city income tax)

        I live in Suburban Pittsburgh. My job requires me to travel on long term contracts out of state. In thos contracts, I frequently pay taxes to the state I am working in. I can tell you from personal experience that Pennsylvania's state income tax compares very favorably to NY, NC, IL, SC, GA, MA, NJ, CT and MN. In fact, PA income tax compares favorably to most states (with the obvious

        • The problem with states that have no income tax is that they usually have a high-sales tax...

          In California we actually get an income tax and a sales tax. Maybe they'll take the windfall and lower the sales tax? Yeah, right. Sorry, I'm old enough to remember when the sales tax was only 6%.

          • In California we actually get an income tax and a sales tax. Maybe they'll take the windfall and lower the sales tax? Yeah, right. Sorry, I'm old enough to remember when the sales tax was only 6%.

            When my wife (who grew up in Florida) complains about PA Taxes, I remind her that we could always move to California. That usually shuts her right up. :)

            Actually, PA has a 3.07% flat-rate income tax and a 6% sales tax (Philly and Pittsburgh have an additional 1% in sales tax). But, no sales tax on grocery-store

        • The problem with states that have no income tax is that they usually have a high-sales tax and a sales tax tends to be regressive (some states tax food and clothing and that makes sales tax very regressive).
          • Which of those states tax food?
          • Which of those states do not tax clothing?

          Sales taxes might be regressive, but they do not discourage savings like income taxes do.

          I prefer paying sales taxes with no income taxes in the state of Washington. But not everyone likes that system.

          Most people in Oreg

          • * Which of those states tax food? * Which of those states do not tax clothing?

            Here [taxadmin.org] is a list of states and their sales tax policies on food. Those without an asterisk tax the sales of food. As for clothing, I do know that Pennsylvania does not have a sales tax on clothing. I don't know of any other state that does not tax clothing, but I am sure that there are others.

            Sales taxes might be regressive, but they do not discourage savings like income taxes do.

            But, who can afford to create savings

        • add SD to your list of no income tax states. I'd rather pay sales tax than income tax.
  • Changing politics? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @09:04AM (#15300233)
    I keep hoping that the California software industry starts outpacing the entertainment industry. That way the politicians there will start introducing legislation backed by folks like Google and not folks like the RIAA.

    Of course, a few billion dollars is chump change to the entertainment industry. There's a long way to go.
    • If only they'd introduce legislation backed by folks like the folks.
    • What makes you think the software industry is less rotten than the entertainment industry? There will always be suits with dollar signs in their irises playing dirty for personal gain whatever it be money or power. They can't help it. Some people are just like that.
    • Of course, a few billion dollars is chump change to the entertainment industry. There's a long way to go.

      That depends. You can break it down a bit. IIRC, the music industry makes about 1-2 B$ a year in the US. It was speculated that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, when combined, have enough cash on hand to just buy the music industry.
    • That way the politicians there will start introducing legislation backed by folks like Google and not folks like the RIAA.

      Did you mean to say that lobbying for expansion of the scope of software patents is preferable to lobbying for expansion of the scope of copyrights?

  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:14AM (#15300705) Homepage Journal
    As a CA resident, this is good news. The state as a whole has been bitching about budget gaps and junk loans and a poor credit rating for the last 5 years, well since the end of the dot bomb days. This should either a) fix the problem in a big way or b) identify the real problem in an even bigger way.

    'A' will happen if the legislature and Governor use the windfall responsibly and pay off huge amounts of existing loans (there's probably 20 billion or so still outstanding) cutting them by a 3rd or more and making them manageable debt instead of out-of-control debt.

    'B' will happen if they simply add an additional 6 billion or more to the existing spending budget for next year, with the hopes that somehow this will happen again in the next year or two, essentially throwing away the opportunity to be responsible.

    I'm hoping for A obviously and hoping that Arnold is the one to do it.. he preached fiscal responsibility all through his campaign, he better stand up and enforce it or get thrown out trying to, no matter what they say about him (Arnold won't give money to education, he wants to pay off those fat-cat loan companies instead, think about the children!).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you're from B.C. you'd know that the state of California (or I should say the people of) owes B.C. just over a billon, maybe more for electricity we had sold them. Is that going to be paid back? Good luck there, we have to try and collect it from bankrupt companies. It'd be nice to see that paid back, but no, Americans are just a bunch of bums...
  • Mono- D'oh!
  • In other news today; the state of Washington reported a loss of revenue - the main cause of which is reported to be the mass migration of top-level executives from Microsoft to Google!

    In another *unrelated* news; Microsoft has lobbied for a "Law Against Defection" in Washington

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