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California’s 10-Year Exit Tax

Posted March 10, 2023

Matt Insley

By Matt Insley

California’s 10-Year Exit Tax

“Matt, I find America stumbling into war in Ukraine to be near ‘dejá vu’ of what I sensed happening in the 1960s in Vietnam: an undeclared, unconstitutional war, triggered by a bogus provocation,” says veteran U.S. Navy Reservist Eddie M. 

“In Vietnam, it was the now-discredited Gulf Of Tonkin incident. President Biden seems hell-bent on finding his own ‘incident’ to yet again circumvent the constitutional requirement of a ‘Declaration Of War’ by Congress — but with even more disastrous results for America than what President Johnson brought about sixty-some years ago.” 

Robert T. adds: “Putin will win as there is no other option for him. We should have been the ones pushing for peace, not China! War of attrition? Who has more people?”

Our reader’s question might be rhetorical, but we’ll play along. According to Worldometer, as of March 7, 2023, Russia’s population clocks in at 146,101,432. Ukraine: 43,033,895. So, not a fair fight. (We can’t discount NATO, however.)

Bob S. makes another remark about the war in Ukraine: “I’m not a hawk or dove,” he says, “but I can’t understand how ANY sovereign nation like the United States could allow the takeover of a fellow sovereign nation, treaty or not. 

“Economic sanctions don’t work when dealing with the wealthiest president in the world and his fellow oligarchs. They are unaffected and insulated. 

“While I appreciate that selling/giving ‘old’ war machines and military equipment to Ukraine for its own defense allows the United States to buy newer stuff and save on decommissioning expenses, this only benefits the military-industrial complex (and provides better targets for Russian troops to destroy). 

“Additionally, this conflict has emboldened China to invade Taiwan. With the Sino-Russian relationship growing stronger, get ready for the invasion of Taiwan.” 

It sounds as if our reader is deeply conflicted — as are many Americans. One year into this thing, where do you stand? Have your views on the war in Ukraine changed? Hit us up

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Friday, March 10, 2023...

“Cali World”

We’ll share one more missive today from our digital mailbag, this time about California’s Forgivable Equity Builder Loan assistance program for first-time, low-income buyers. 

“Sounds a bit like the Obama/Biden ‘Cash-for-Clunkers’ program and the $15,000 tax credit for buyers during the 2009 - 2012 real estate depression,” says realtor Mike T. “This free money will only increase the cost of lower-priced homes in California. It sounds good, but, as usual, it will backfire.” 

And this “free money” comes at a cost… 

A Tax Foundation article notes: “Lawmakers in seven states that collectively house about 60% of the nation’s wealth — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Washington — are introducing wealth tax legislation.” 

Including this sample: 

  • In California, home to about 25% of U.S. billionaires, “Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San José) has reintroduced the tax on extreme wealth [AB 259],” according to a press release. This tax “will apply a 1% tax on extreme wealth of $50 million or more per household and 1.5% on wealth in excess of $1 billion. The proposed plan will be a constitutional amendment [ACA 3] because the California Constitution currently limits the tax rate on personal property to 0.4%” To further clarify, California wants to tax all assets of the wealthy — think stock portfolios, artwork and even “intangible assets” like trademarks. 

“The constant across all seven states,” the article concludes: “wealth taxes are economically destructive, their base is almost impossible to measure accurately and they create perverse incentives and promote costly avoidance strategies.” 

As well as the most drastic avoidance strategy of all: MOVING. In the past decade, “six of the seven high-tax blue states have had a net loss of population to other states, totaling nearly five million residents,” says a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. 

“They’ve also lost almost a quarter-trillion dollars in cumulative taxable income: California $50 billion, Connecticut $14 billion, Illinois $47 billion, Maryland $14 billion, Massachusetts $13 billion, New Jersey $26 billion and New York $79 billion.” 

Here’s the kicker: In an effort to claw back some of these losses, proposed California legislation is taking a cue from The Eagles’ song, “Hotel California.” (You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.) 

According to Assembly Bill 2088, California could levy taxes against wealthy defectors… even after they leave the state… for up to 10 years; particularly, if they still have “California-source income.” 

The WSJ piece closes: “Rather than doubling down on the highest taxes in the land and conjuring up new ways to soak the rich, wouldn’t it be wiser for the highest-tax states to start imitating the winners?” 

When it comes to California, who said anything about “wiser”? 

Market Rundown for Friday, March 10, 2023

S&P 500 futures are up 0.25% to 3,965. 

Oil’s barely in the green, priced at $75.83 for a barrel of WTI. 

Gold is up 0.70% to $1,847.40 per ounce. 

And Bitcoin’s chopping lower, down 3% to $19,930. 

Send your comments and questions to,

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