2012 November

October 26, 2014

Does Income Inequality Threaten Opportunity?

Some must-read research from Heritage:

Today, on the Left and on the Right, everyone talks about rebuilding, saving, restoring, defending, or rescuing an American Dream that is slipping, fading, eroding, or vanishing.

The loudest voices, all coming from the Left, fulminate against the top 1 percent of earners and blame an unfair system that allows the rich to line their pockets, leaves the poor in the lurch, and generates spectacular income disparities. To protect the American Dream, these critics call for greater government involvement to make things more equal and ensure that everyone gets their “fair share.”

This gets both the problem and its solution all wrong. Free-market economics is not about dividing up a dwindling pie, but expanding the pie to serve everyone. Those who succeed do not do so at the expense of others.

Those who focus on income inequality have embraced a very different American Dream from the one that is familiar to most Americans. They still use the traditional language of opportunity, but their new dream has very little in common with the real American Dream.

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation:      

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Time For Your “Free” Annual ObamaCare Exam

Just make sure you don’t have anything else wrong with you.  Dr. Peter Weiss writes at PJ Media:

I have now posted a notice in my office and each exam room stating exactly what Obamacare will cover for those yearly visits. Remember Obama promised this as a free exam — no co-pay, no deductible, no charge. That’s fine and dandy if you are healthy and have no complaints. However, we are obligated by law to code specifically for the reason of the visit. An annual exam is one specific code; you can not mix this with another code, say, for rectal bleeding. This annual visit covers the exam and “discussion about the status of previously diagnosed stable conditions.” That’s the exact wording under that code — insurance will not cover any new ailment under that code.

Read the rest at PJMedia


Is Thirty the new Fifty?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:     

With ObamaCare in the wings, the traditional forty- or fifty-hour work week will soon be replaced with a less than thirty-hour week for many American workers. To wit: many businesses, including ones that previously received ObamaCare waivers, are trying to avoid paying onerous fines for not providing employees with health coverage as mandated by the new law.

President Obama recently said that he won’t allow the budget to be “balanced on the backs of the middle class.” He sure did give the appearance of truly caring about these “folks,” but he failed to disclose the fact that, even if taxed at 100%, there simply aren’t enough rich people to pay for all of his big-government plans. But as Thomas Sowell points out, even at a rate much lower than 100%, higher tax rates don’t necessarily translate into higher tax revenues. So where will all this needed money come from? While Obama is targeting the group of Americans who already pay the most in taxes, the burden of his policies will ultimately break the backs of those he claims to be trying to protect.

The Obamacare mandate is just one example of how the middle class will be forced to shoulder a heaver burden, which flies in the face what Obama had promised to the American people. But in addition to this mandate (now officially a tax), a reduced work week will in essence have the same effect as a huge tax increase for those affected. Take-home pay is what ultimately matters, and losing 25% of one’s gross pay based upon a forty-hour week or about 45% based on a fifty-hour week when overtime is factored in represents an enormous hit. This hit comes before anything is even earned to tax at regular rates. And there are plenty of other hidden ObamaCare taxes that will also take a huge bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks in one way or another.

And the hits just keep on coming. ObamaCare will also take a bite out of middle-class buying power when it comes to one of America’s most popular foods — pizza — by imposing complicated national menu-labeling standards, the costs of which will no doubt be passed along to the consumer. This added cost will be in addition to any other expenses that businesses will need to add to their products due to the hefty burden of ObamaCare. (Hat tip: KSFO Morning Show with Brian Sussman)

Margaret Thatcher once said: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” The problem with Obama’s socialism is that we’re already running out of other people’s money — and Obama is just getting started.

By the time Obama and Democrats are finished with us, perhaps thirty will be the new fifty — or maybe even seventy, in terms of age and health. I suppose we can call it Extreme Makeover: Obamacare Edition.


Electoral College Review

Been hearing many complaints about the Elecrtoral College as of late.  Here is a good review from The Heritage Foundation:

Origins of the Electoral College and the Benefits of Federalism. The Founders sought a unique solution to two contradictory goals facing the new country: How could they allow the sense of the people to be reflected in the government, yet still protect the minority from the dangers of unreasonable majority rule? They accomplished their objective by creating a federalist republic in which majorities would rule, but minorities would always have opportunities to make their voices heard. The Electoral College fell into line nicely with this new governmental structure.

The federalist nature of the American presidential election system has an important benefit: It requires presidential candidates to build nationwide coalitions and to show that they will be good representatives for a diverse nation composed of both small and large sovereign states. Presidential candidates cannot succeed if they focus too narrowly on a handful of states, regions, or metropolitan population centers. Critics dispute the benefits of federalism in the presidential election process, arguing instead that state-by-state voting causes some individual votes to be “wasted” or encourages a focus on “swing” states to the exclusion of “safe” ones. Their arguments, however, do not hold up under scrutiny.

Read the rest at Heritage:     

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Mark Steyn on “Wednesday”

Mark Steyn discusses the realities of math in this National Review Online piece:

The central question of Wednesday — I mean, After America — is whether the Brokest Nation in History is capable of meaningful course correction. On Tuesday, the American people answered that question. The rest of the world will make its dispositions accordingly.

[Snip]

The good news is that reality (to use a quaint expression) doesn’t need to swing a couple of thousand soccer moms in northern Virginia. Reality doesn’t need to crack 270 in the Electoral College. Reality can get 1.3 percent of the popular vote and still trump everything else. In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There’s no one out there on the planet — whether it’s “the rich” or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return.

Read the rest at National Review Online:    

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For The Children

New AEI video designed to teach children about how entitlements are corrupting America.


A Time to Choose

My article as originally published in American Thinker:    

America is at a crossroads and it’s time to choose a path forward. Will we continue to move “Forward” along Obama’s path of “fundamental transformation” and unsustainable big-government? Or will we rediscover our Constitutional compass and chart a path back towards a sustainable, limited government?

While trying to comprehend how it is that anyone could be undecided in this current presidential election, the movie A Time to Kill came to mind.

In short:

Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) takes the law into his own hands after the legal system fails to adequately punish the men who brutally raped and beat his daughter, leaving her for dead. Normally, a distraught father could count on some judicial sympathy in those circumstances. Unfortunately, Carl and his daughter are black, and the assailants are white, and all the events take place in the South.

The scene that stood out was the one in which Hailey’s lawyer, Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) struggled to find a way to persuade the white jury to look beyond race, see the true horror of the situation and acquit a black man. His solution was to deliver a powerful closing argument designed to get the jurors to set aside their personal biases, visualize what it would be like if the tables were turned and then do the right thing.

Jake asked the jury to close their eyes and picture Carl Lee Hailey’s young daughter. He then described, in brutal detail, the horrendous abuse she had suffered at the hands of her white attackers. In conclusion, he asked the white jury to then imagine that this young black girl was instead white.

Are some undecided voters paralyzed from doing the right thing in this election due to being hung-up on race, though certainly not for the same reasons as in the movie?

Many Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 understand that the last four years have been an unmitigated disaster, yet surprisingly, President Obama still enjoys relatively decent poll numbers. Among the conflicted are surely African-Americans who gave 95% of their support to Obama in the 2008 election and will mostly continue to do so based largely upon race. Others, independent voters, who thought that Obama was a moderate, were ready for a “change” and wanted to partake in the historic election of this nation’s first African-American president, but may now feel guilty or be fearful of being labeled as racist if they don’t vote the same way in this election.

President Obama took office during uncertain economic times with the promise of “hope and change.” He came disguised as a moderate and promised to bring all Americans together, fix the economy and to heal all that ailed this nation.

Those who are still undecided should take a moment to really think about and visualize what President Obama has instead given us:

• Five trillion dollars added to our national debt in just four years.

• Yearly trillion-plus dollar deficits.

• Trillions of dollars printed right out of thin air.

• The first U.S. credit downgrade in history.

• Unemployment that is higher now than when he took office.

• Black unemployment that has risen to 14.3% from 13.4%.

• Millions of workers are no longer participating in the workforce due to a lack of opportunity.

• Household incomes that have declined by 8.2% since he took office.

• Gas prices that have more than doubled while permits to drill for oil and natural gas on public lands have been reduced under Obama.

• Billions lost on green energy boondoggles after his wealthy campaign donors received green energy loans to prop up failing companies.

• Food stamp usage that has exploded to more than 47 million recipients.

• Tax dollars used to advertize for even more food stamp users.

• Half of college graduates can’t find full-time jobs.

• Obamacare will cost at least three times more than promised.

• Waivers were given to many Obama donors to protect them from Obamacare.

• $716 billion was cut from Medicare to fund Obamacare.

• Demonization of job creators.

• Terminated the pensions of nonunion Delphi workers to protect unionized GM workers.

• Demonization of a diverse group of Americans who call for fiscal responsibility.

• Bypassed the law to enact a variation of the DREAM Act.

• A fake war on women.

• Women earning less then men in Obama’s own administration.

• Jobless rate among women up 15.5% under Obama.

• A cover up over the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.

• A massive cover-up over the Benghazi terrorist attack.

I could go on.

Imagine what your future would be like if this were to continue.

Imagine what your children and grandchildren’s future would be like if this were to continue.

Now, imagine that the President who was responsible for all of the above was instead a Republican. Would he still deserve to be reelected?

This election isn’t about one man or the color of his skin; it’s about the future of our nation. It’s not about voting for “revenge” but it is about voting for “love of country.” It’s about a return to and maintenance of the limited the roll of government. Our republic was designed this way because we can’t fully trust any one man, or any one-thousand men — of any party.

Please do the right thing this Election Day.


Krugman Gets His Disaster

Not exactly space aliens but a giant Krugman “stimulus” project none the less as Rich Tucker explains. 

Hurricane Sandy was an invader, one that splashed ashore with as much destructive power as any foreign (or perhaps interstellar) invader could hope to bring to bear against our coasts. Thus, in the opinion of economist Paul Krugman, the storm should help boost the American economy.

[snip]

Meanwhile, when considering whether Sandy’s destruction will end up boosting the economy, consider the broken window fallacy explained by economist Frederic Bestiat way back in 1848 (now that’s a forecast!). He explains that, while the money used to repair a broken item benefits the person making the repair, the rest of us lose out because that money isn’t available to purchase new products.

“Society loses the value of objects unnecessarily destroyed,” Bestiat noted. “To break, to destroy, to dissipate is not to encourage national employment.”

[snip]

“Destruction is not profitable,” Bestiat wrote a century and a half ago. It’s a big reason Keynesian economics doesn’t work, and a lesson we’ll be re-learning as the massive bills from Hurricane Sandy come due.

Read the rest at Townhall:      

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