Daily Archives: July 3, 2010
Yet another foolish move by the city of Baldwin Park. The city, with its taco stands, pawn shops and liquor stores on every corner, is and had been a ghetto for years. Its no surprise to me that they would shoot themselves in the foot and deny one of their biggest contributors to city coffers a new restaurant. I guess its better than being drive by shot at, which has become the norm in BP for years.
The birthplace of California’s drive-through craze has had its fill of fast food restaurants.
Amid complaints of obesity and lines of idled cars stretching into neighborhood streets, this blue-collar town is banning new drive-throughs in hopes of shedding its reputation as a haven for convenient, fatty foods.
It’s an ironic development for a community that proudly claims to have opened California’s first drive-through restaurant more than 60 years ago — a little joint named, appropriately enough, In-N-Out.
“We here in Baldwin Park have taken strides to create a healthy community, and allowing one more drive-through in is not going to meet that goal,” said Baldwin Park city planner Salvador Lopez, who helped craft the ordinance that takes effect Fourth of July weekend.
Lopez estimates the town’s drive-throughs and liquor stores outnumber sit-down restaurants and grocery stores six to one.
And with 90,000 people crammed into 6.5 square miles, this suburb east of Los Angeles is concerned that its 17 drive-throughs are causing traffic jams stretching outside its parking lots.
Still, this being the semiofficial birthplace of the drive-through fast-food movement, not everyone is happy with the ordinance.
“They ought to put in more drive-throughs, not stop them,” said Isaac Colin immediately after ordering burgers and fries for himself and his wife, Christine, at the Baldwin Park In-N-Out. “It’s a waste of time getting out of your car, finding a parking spot, going in, ordering your food.”
Maybe cities in other states should cut back on drive-throughs, he said, conceding they might cause traffic problems.
“But not here. This is California,” he said.
The restaurant he stopped at is a shrine of sorts to drive-through aficionados, located literally a stone’s throw from where the original In-N-Out, the one believed to be California’s first such eating emporium, was erected in 1948.
“I used to eat at that one, it was right over there,” said another customer, Trinidad Zuniga, as he pointed to Interstate 10, the mammoth freeway that runs from the California coastline to Jacksonville, Fla.
That modest first stand, which had no tables or chairs, was torn down some years ago to make way for the freeway.
And although there is no authoritative record-keeping outfit to say it really was California’s first drive-through chow palace, In-N-Out says it was and that’s good enough for pretty much everyone here.
“Definitely it was the original,” said Mayor Manuel Lozano. “It’s one of our icons.”
Nevertheless, Lopez said, the city needed to cap the drive-through craze that In-N-Out started so many years ago.
The City Council, following the lead of several Canadian municipalities that in recent years have restricted drive-throughs, voted unanimously last month to put a nine-month moratorium on opening any more drive-through restaurants.
That same week, officials opened an outdoor fitness center they say will be dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.
The changes are being welcomed by some residents.
“To be honest, yeah, we have too many drive-throughs,” said Fabian Olguin. He works at the barbershop across the street from the In-N-Out and says he’s seen traffic back up from its drive-through onto neighboring residential streets.
“Sometimes I can’t even get out on the street,” he said, adding when that happens he’ll walk over to get his fast-food fix from the restaurant’s sit-down section.
The ordinance will take effect on a busy holiday weekend when people begin pulling into their local drive-throughs in huge numbers, loading up on things like burgers and fries to take to the beach, said Daniel Conway, a spokesman for the California Restaurant Association.
At this point Conway says his industry group isn’t worried it will start a statewide trend.
Just about the same time Baldwin Park adopted its moratorium, the city of San Juan Capistrano, where In-N-Out has been looking to put a restaurant, moved to ease similar restrictions it put in place several years ago.
Well, it looks as if Hillary Clinton has rounded the bend into the wonderful world of insanity. Is Hillary crazy? Its the same story here in America, where anyone that disagrees with Obama is called everything from stupid to racist.
We have a national media in America that runs stories about children and the poor to get American coalesced into a bunch of pansies and idiots that will just go along with the group think mentality.
We have the democrat party that seems hell bent to stymie freedom of thought, speech and religion. Hillary Clinton, one of the wealthiest women in Washington, takes great pride in calling America’s corporate leaders “greedy” and Tea Party members “racists and Nazi’s.”
This is the norm right here in America. There is enormous pressure brought to bear on anyone that does not go along with the group think mentality.
Amazingly enough, it has taken almost a year and a half for most Americans to admit that they have been sold a bill of good by the democrats for electing President Obama.
Clearly Obama doesn’t have a clue as to how to lead the nation. Obama has surrounded himself with a bunch of political activists in his cabinet that are openly hostile to the private sector.
Corporate America is constantly under threat of being regulated out of existence or “NATIONALIZED” by the administration.
All of this is at the behest of people like Hillary Clinton who attack the very activists she claims are being crushed in other countries.
Clinton should look inward and see what her own words over the years have done to quash freedom and activism right here in America before she traverses the world at the taxpayers expense to ridicule other nations. JD
In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:
First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief
In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:
Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:
- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%
Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.
Second Wave: Obamacare
There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:
The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).
The “Special Needs Kids Tax” This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.
The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.
Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes
When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired. The major items include:
The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.
Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”
Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.
Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.
Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.