The Willits tree-sit fallout

Sen. Noreen Evans isn't happy with Caltrans

I just spoke with state Sen. Noreen Evans, who represents the Willits area, about the forcible eviction of five tree-sitters -- and by forcible, I mean firing projectiles (first reported as rubber bullets, later as bean bags) at a protester holding onto tree limbs 70 feet in the air. She's not happy.

The Willits Weekly has been reporting in depth on this whole mess, and quotes an Evan statement:

I am shocked and dismayed at what seems to be an excessive use of force on unarmed protestors. Thus far, I feel Caltrans and CHP have been slow to respond to my questions and quick to act regarding the Bypass Project.

By the time we talked, she'd calmed down a bit and wasn't ready to second-guess the CHP tactics. "I'm not in law-enforcement," she said. "It could have been much worse."

But she did say she was still furious about the timing of the raid. "The mayor of Willits has been trying to get information out of Caltrans, and has been having trouble, so I asked for a meeting. I wanted to know, is there some way they could handle this protest peacefully?

"I learned about the events half an hour before the Caltrans director was supposed to be in my office. I was not happy."

Evans told me that Caltrans blamed the CHP -- but the CHP wasn't having it. "I called the commissioner of the CHP, who told me the order was given by Caltrans," she said.

So the bulldozing continues -- but this isn't going away.



So naturally US corporations would seek to mitigate that.

If our corporate tax rate were more reasonable, Exxon would repatriate more profits and pay more US tax.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

We all know that corporations don't pay anything close to the nominal rate. Many of the largest corporations pay nothing at all. The loopholes built into the system are so big you could pilot an aircraft carrier through them.

Posted by Greg on Apr. 06, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

When I did bookkeeping for a corporation there were a fair amount of taxes that could not be avoided.

Do you mean nothing by $0 dollars at any level? Or do you mean nothing by corporations paying their share of payroll taxes and nothing after that?

Posted by Matlock on Apr. 06, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

How about nothing in the sense that you pro-business types say 47% of the population pay nothing.

(i'm being generous here -in reality, the 47% probably pay a larger share of their income than many of these companies)

Posted by Greg on Apr. 06, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

payroll tax. So they do pay something and there is no way to escape it. No corporation pays zero in taxes if they have employees. I could come up with some schemes for board members of non profits to cut their taxes though... anyways.

Various industries have various fees as well, for example oil, tobacco and alcyhol. The business I did bookkeeping for could not avoid payroll taxes and at the end of the year broke even by design. The people who got the money paid their taxes on that income. The company paid sales taxes and all the other fee's and taxes associated.

I honestly have no idea why some banks and financial institutions get a deal from the state/city on various levels to avoid certain taxes. Still all businesses that employ people pay payroll taxes. Many "liberals" are confused by the fact that business matches the taxes the employee pays. This is what I think confuses you.

Companies pay out money to individuals in different ways, all of these ways are taxed. Payroll, Dividends, Management Fees, returns on investment, bonuses etc... all are beholding to the tax code in some way. A privately held company may give out money to the owners but they are required to pay taxes on it. Public held companies operate the same way with different terms.

You may not like the tax levels paid, but all companies pay taxes, they take advantage of the tax code, just like you do when you claim your deduction... or like when progressives don't pay more when they expect the rest of us to do it.

Posted by Matlock on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 1:46 am

Payroll taxes are payed by employees in that wages are depressed by the amount required to pay the tax. No work, no payroll tax.

Sales taxes, likewise, are passed on 100% to the customer.

Corporations pass all taxes onto people, that's their job, to externalize and recover all costs.

I don't mind taxing the hell out of corporations to cover the costs of their various footprints, incorporating those costs into the price of what they sell, and allowing customers to choose based on full price sensitivity what business practices they'll subsidize.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 7:34 am

but corporations do not "pass all taxes onto people" any more than any other type of economic entity. Otherwise, good points.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 8:45 am

Corporations pass all taxes onto the customer that they can and then market forces act on price to constrain the amount of profit they can make. When corporations whine about taxes being passed onto corporations, they are really whining that it crimps their margins. That you accept their framing at face value and automatically gainsay it without contemplating the systems at play reflects something else than the economics at work.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:09 am

seeking another destination where the desired margins are present, or at least where the risks are lower.

That is where Lilli's argument falls down. He assumes that a business has to be in operation but, even where the asset cannot vanish, e.g. rental buildings, the use of that asset will be changed into a more profitable one if the margins are constrained.

I suspect that Lilli has never worked in the private sector and so quite simply doesn't understand how it works. Just like Avalos, in fact.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:43 am

Good, those are market forces in action. They work in multiple directions. You just want them to work in one and your hair catches on fire otherwise.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

do not pass on the cost of higher taxes since they always charge the most the market will bear anyway.

But you're right, of course, it's ultimately always someone else who pays business taxes, and if it's not the customer, then it's the employee or the shareholder.

In the end, only people and not things can pay taxes. So we could reduce corporate taxes to zero if we were willing to raise other taxes equivalently.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 8:48 am

The market functions on price at the margins.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 9:26 am

increase, any persistance in that inability will lead to that business line being shut down.

This is exactly what we see with SF rentals, where the rent controls prevent the maintenance of the desired ROI, leaving Ellis change of use as the only logical path.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 10:21 am

If the real cost to run a business does not pencil out, it is better that the business shut down than externalize their costs onto others for free.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:10 am

But Walmart is the worlds largest corporation and it is a parasite on every level.

So theory is nice but reality has kicked theory in the balls again.

When I read things like this I think of Acorn litigating to keep from having to pay minimum wage in California.

Posted by Matlock on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

-- nor is he my ally. His commentary is just a slicker form of matlocky.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 10:07 am

And everyone except you is wrong and bad?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 10:24 am

I was simply refuting the premise that marcos is my colleague. Upon closer examination it has become clear we're not on the same team.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 10:42 am

Walk into any bar and you'll find lots of gasbags and amateur pundits spouting off about government, the politicians, and those hated insiders who get the big contracts and have government paid jobs. Gasbagging is the lazy response for the disenfranchised and discontented, but has as long a history as the social structure it rails against, where the government, wealthy asset owners, and political insiders exercise most of the economic and political power over the huddled masses, and change is either slow or non-existent.

The internet allows the gasbags a broader audience, but most of us behave just as we do when we hear them in the bar. We ignore them and their latest prononcements.

The fact that lilli thinks there are people who are on "his team" wins the joke of the day award. It appears lilli never learned that no team wants an incessent loudmouth, no matter how righteous the pronouncements from the loudmouth. If lilli didn't learn this on the playground, one wonders what else he didn't learn during those formative years.

All organizations are flawed because people and groups of people are flawed. But the most promising and hopeful way to try to influence the political debate is through organizing, not rantings on a chatboard. If neither lilli nor marcos can organize a few others - like thousands of groups have done in the past - to help push their particular agendas, then it's likely they are just lazy, incompetent, or enjoy playing jokesters on a local political chatboard.

Congrats lilli. You finally figured out that everyone is alone in this world. Now if you could also figure out that whenever you're posting here, including reposting your masterpiece - 50 Troll Lies - it means you're a failure for not being out on the pavement looking for existing orgnaizations to connect with to foster the changes you want, or creating your own organization to actually try to make a difference in the world.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:39 am


Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:59 am

dogmatic ideologs theu infighting, that is hardly surprising.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:41 am

Disagreements between marcos and I are no more noteworthy than disagreements I have with matlock.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

I somewhat had your views years ago.

When I started diving into tax code, fee permit process, the various levels of government's mandates and taxes, the strange fee's, the busy body bureaucrats and their uselessness... I figured out that all that theory was non sense. As Walmart shows, the public doesn't care about the shitty actions of corporations, the public isn't going to pay more for anything because the corporation is nice, pays people more and keeps jobs in a high tax state or nation. So taxes are all on the company, all that theoretical nonsense has no value in the real world when doing the nuts and bolts of the real world.

The corporation pays the taxes, the corporation pays workmans comp, the corporation pays the fee's and all of that. The employees want raises, the government wants it's cut and the public wants the lowest price, it's up to the corporation to stay in business in this equation.

Posted by Matlock on Apr. 07, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~Cree Proverb





Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2013 @ 1:02 am

This project has several major problems, which, for lack of proper public forum, the tree sitters were attempting to address through peaceful means.

The bypass, a $400 million boondoggle that Caltrans has rammed down the throat of the Willits community, was intended to address severe traffic congestion in the town resulting from the convergence of Hwy 20 and Hwy 101. Many in the community were eager for the project and were enthusiastically participating in the planning process.

However, the project that came to be - due to the heavy-handed management of Caltrans with absolute disregard for the community they are paid by and supposed to be working for - is damaging to both the economy of the community (which, according to Caltrans, will lose an estimated 20% of its businesses in the first few years after the project is completed - draining the lifeblood out of a community already struggling to survive in this economy) and to the environment - draining a valuable wetland that is protected, BY LAW, under the migratory bird treaty act - with a distinct possibility of altering the water table so drastically for the town that the water supply may be irrevocably damaged or lost. So, for those of you who leap to the defense of the law enforcement members involved, you should know that laws are being broken on both sides. But only one set of people are being held responsible for their actions.

In addition to all of this, the project as it was originally approved was to be a 4-lane bypass, incorporating Hwy 20, with off-ramps to allow easy access to the town for businesses and for the safety of the community. Instead, Cal-trans has performed a bait-and-switch on the town after the project was approved, and is now building a 2-lane bypass (with a massive 4-lane footprint), with no access to Hwy 20 and the only off-ramps miles outside the city limits. This is dangerous, because it does not allow first responders from Willits access to the bypass in the case of emergency, such as fires, accidents requiring medical assistance, or toxic spills from the transport trucks that Cal-trans has supposedly designed the bypass to accommodate. Of course, it's still going to cost $400 million. Even though it doesn't do anything that it was supposed to, and may kill the economy of a vibrant town with the sort of community feeling that has made the fabric the USA so strong in the past. This is big government at its worst.

So please, before you all leap to the conclusion that these hippie tree hugging weirdos are just a bunch of @**hole law-breakers who deserve what they got, imagine it was your back yard, your community, your livelihood, and that of your children that was being taken away by a government organization that made it clear that they didn't care about you or your neighbors AT ALL, and you might be desperate enough to go sit in a tree yourself. Do you think they didn't know it was a last-ditch effort, doomed to fail? That people would make fun of them? That they would appear foolish to people who don't bother to find out what the situation is before launching into vitriolic tirades? That they decided to go sit up there for fun, knowing it would end in their arrest? This is the 21st century, not the 70's - people only do this sort of stuff if they feel they have no other recourse.

I don't live in Willits, and this project doesn't directly affect me. But these people are my neighbors and valuable members of their community, and they're desperate, in a way that I hope you will never truly understand. So don't be mean.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2013 @ 9:27 am

They were trying to obstruct thru illegal means a democratically-approved project.

If it were right-wingers doing that about, say, democratically-approved gun control laws, abortion laws or gay marriage, you'd be all for zero tolerance of illegality.


Posted by anon on Apr. 11, 2013 @ 9:41 am