Thursday, June 28, 2012

Largest tax hike in world history

The Obamacare health insurance mandate is unconstitutional according to SCOTUS:
The individual mandate, however, does not regulate existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce. Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority:
But, says John Roberts, it's OK if you think of it as a tax hike instead. So, SCOTUS just passed the biggest tax hike in all of time, in the middle of a severe economic downturn. Talk about judicial activism.

Whatever happened to paying heed to the intent of the legislators, who roundly denied the mandate was a tax, going so far as to eschew the word entirely in a 2,000 page bill?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

True that

"When the entitled elect themselves, the party accelerates, and the brutal hangover is inevitable."

-Dr. Michael J. Burry at UCLA Economics Commencement 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Clown the Cop and the Clown

New York Times blogger Timothy Egan, in a post titled The Clown and the Cop, attempts to demonstrate why “Tea Party” types are ignoramuses whose priorities are fatally skewed because of addiction to FOX News. Instead, he demonstrates over-immersion in the Statist echo chamber, and reveals a general allergy to principle.

The first Clowns of the title are GSA employees who dropped nearly a million dollars on a party in Vegas. The Cop is the guy the GOP wants to "put on the street," and not in an employed way. In between there's mention of a $642 billion dollar defense appropriations bill ("$8 billion more than the Defense Department asked for.").

These introductory themes are somewhat loosely coupled by Egan's disdain and blind faith.

  • Disdain for the GOP's hatred of public employees in general, and Mitt Romney's deplorable views in particular.
  • Blind faith that Barack Obama is not responsible for anything that happens on his watch.
Oh, and there's a slap or 3 for FOX News - really for anyone possessed of the temerity to disagree with the NYT narrative.

Egan: [M]ost people are unaware that the Republican majority, the same politicians who rode into office in 2010 (on a pledge of not spending beyond our means, voted to run up the deficit last month on behalf of those parochial projects.
The Republican majority?  Egan is apparently unaware that the Democrats control the Senate and the White House as he writes, and in 2010 also controlled the House, where they, like the Democrat Senate, were busy not passing budgets.

Egan: "[Obama] has been stymied by a Congress that wants to end his presidency by sabotaging the economy"
The Democrat majority Senate has a poor record in resisting this sabotage. It voted 0-0 for a budget in 2010 (no budget was considered in the Democrat House or Democrat Senate). The president's proposed budgets were defeated in the Democrat Senate 97-0 (2011) and 99-0 (2012). The Democrat Senate has not performed their legal budgetary responsibility since April of 2009. 

The president has tried to kill the Keystone pipeline, encouraged the EPA to classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant (Obama's stated plan was that electricity rates “would necessarily skyrocket”), conducted withering class warfare against job creators, wasted tens of billions picking "winners" like Solyndra, and made investors wary by demonstrating his willingness to ignore the rule of law: The 100% loss he decreed for GM and Chrysler bondholders, the shipment of firearms to criminals in another sovereign state and subsequent coverup, and suspension of immigration law in defiance of Article Two, Section 3, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution, to name but three.

Egan: "Obama is a relative miser on the [spending] growth chart"
Only because the baseline jumped so high with TARP - which the tea party opposed.  Obama, in 3 years, has run up a deficit - on top of TARP as a baseline - greater than the combined previous deficits since 1787.

Egan: on Romney “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president,” Romney said in Colorado last month. “Let’s send them back home and put you back to work.”

Again, this is simply not true.

There are, in fact, 145,000 more Federal government employees.  (You have to go to the 4th from last paragraph, that is an ABC report, after all. It's amazing they even noted it.)

Those 145,000 are the ones under president Obama. Egan disingenuously counts local and state government employees, and though that's on whom the vast majority of the stimulus money was spent, it is not what Mr. Romney was talking about.

And while I know “The private sector is doing fine,” Mr. Egan might further have noted that job losses run 11 to 1 against the private sector – 11 private sector jobs lost for every 1 government job lost, even when you consider those state and local employees.

Mr. Egan's general ignorance of principle, however, is his largest failure. He does not know that the clown and the defense department are of equal importance, because it is not the amount of money that is the point.  It's the venality on steroids, and in-your-face disrespect for the rule of law that are at issue for this administration. For example.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Petty statism isn't petty

On June-14, one Peter Cousins wrote to the Lansing State Journal in support of NY Mayor Mike “Nanny” Bloomberg's ban on 32 ounce sugary drinks. In a missive titled Avoid unhealthy foods for a longer life, Cousins writes: “I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury.”

Since the public treasury is always and only free citizen taxpayers, I would argue that those citizens have the right to reject such regulations and demand that the burdens be relieved.

If you believe government can establish a right to curtail individual freedom by overspending, you may be a Greek politician. You certainly have confused the public treasury with the public good. You likely are ignorant of d'Tocqueville:
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Cousins is right to the extent that life will seem longer.

Finally, even if Mayor Bloomberg's policy was about health instead of control, the scientists he cites in his support say it won't work.

See also: Health Care and the Dynamics of Intervention and Unintended consequences

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not #brettkimberlin's Velvet Revolution

Added to the blogroll.

Here's the initial post: Brett Kimberlin and the Justice of Google
On November 30, 2004, convicted terrorist bomber, drug dealer, and perjurer Brett Kimberlin formed a Maryland corporation for the purpose of soliciting tax-exempt donations from the public and charitable foundations, to promote an alleged “network of more than 100 progressive organizations reaching millions of people demanding progressive change through our various campaigns”. Campaigns such as offering bounties for the head of the Chamber of Commerce, the impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice, and proof that John Kerry actually won the 2004 presidential election.

This corporation was also known as the Velvet Revolution, or “VelvetRevolution.US, Inc.” according to its corporate filings.

...We believe it is a farce and a disgrace that Brett Kimberlin seeks to cloak his nefarious acts under the name “Velvet Revolution”, a name which in the rest of the world stands for courage and dignity in the face of terror.

Brett Kimberlin stole the Velvet Revolution. We’re stealing it back.
Visit them often, and it would be nice if you do so from TOC's blogroll.

Update: 3:28PM Criminal charges dropped against Aaron Walker, but gag order remains

Friday, June 08, 2012

Vulture Statist

Maybe the first three letters of "economics" and "ecostatism" being the same are confusing the president. He thinks the "private sector" is Solyndra, ethanol subsides and windmills. You know, the corporatist whores to whom he's given a hundred billion dollars, and who keep going bankrupt.
The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.

And so, you know, if Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry?
- president Barack Obama
If Republicans want to be helpful they'll be sure to vote in November.