Monday, June 29, 2015

The ObamaCare Wreckage

Premiums are skyrocketing and choices are shrinking.  By 
An excerpt,
Despite the Supreme Court decision to uphold the subsidies for private insurance in King v. Burwell, the fundamental problems with the Affordable Care Act remain. Ironically, it is the growing government centralization of health insurance at the expense of private insurance that must be addressed.  
The 107 million people on Medicaid or Medicare in 2013 will increase to 135 million by 2018, a growth rate tripling that of private insurance, according to projections by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. At the same time, private health-care insurance premiums are expected to skyrocket in 2016, many by more than 30%.  
This will not improve American health care. Private insurance is superior for both access and quality of care. Reforms should therefore be focused on how to maximize the availability and affordability of private insurance for everyone, regardless of income or employment, rather than put more people into government insurance while causing private insurance to become unaffordable to all but the affluent . . .   
Reforming America’s health care rests on reducing costs while improving access to the best doctors and hospitals. That comes from private insurance, not government insurance.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Federal Government Should Not Be in the Marriage Business At All

Rand Paul: Government Should Get Out of the Marriage Business Altogether - Rand Paul


I acknowledge the right to contract in all economic and personal spheres, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a danger that a government that involves itself in every nook and cranny of our lives won’t now enforce definitions that conflict with sincerely felt religious convictions of others . . .

Justice Thomas is correct in his dissent when he says: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”

The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage . . . 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Property Rights Raisin in the Sun!

The Supreme Court strikes a major blow for property rights.  Wall Street Journal - an excerpt

It only took 78 years, but on Monday the Supreme Court overturned a New Deal relic that confiscated private property in order to raise prices. Hear, hear. The 8-1 decision is an important vindication of the Fifth Amendment as a bulwark against the abuse of government power. . .  Full Story

Monday, June 22, 2015

Government Eats Internet

Obamanet Shows its Fangs -  by L. Gordon Crovitz, WSJ.  An excerpt . . . 
‘No, no, no, no!” Tom Wheeler shouted at the moderator. The Federal Communications Commission chairman was speaking at an Internet industry conference in March, soon after the FCC voted to regulate the Internet. His bureaucrats, he insisted, would never set rates, rule on tariffs or otherwise treat the Internet like an old-fashioned utility. 
Make that “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” 
The regulations went into effect earlier this month . . . The FCC now claims authority over the entire system, and Mr. Wheeler’s assurances to the contrary were known to be false when he made them. 
Among Mr. Wheeler’s whoppers: He claimed in Wired magazine: “There will be no rate regulation.” The FCC’s fact sheet on the new regulations repeated the claim, adding that “broadband providers shall not be subject” to rate regulation and that the new rules don’t include “utility-style rate regulation.” 
The truth is that the core of President Obama’s demand for change is the replacement of technologists operating freely in the market with rules and rates set by bureaucrats. . . 
Full Story

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blow Up the Tax Code and Start Over!

"Apply a 14.5% flat tax to personal income and to businesses. Cut deductions. Watch the economy roar." Says Rand Paul - WSJ. An excerpt,

So on Thursday I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. I call this “The Fair and Flat Tax.”

Opinion Journal Video

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Committee to Unleash Prosperity Co-founder Steve Moore on the U.S. economy and why GOP candidates are embracing the flat tax. Photo credit: Getty Images.
President Obama talks about “middle-class economics,” but his redistribution policies have led to rising income inequality and negative income gains for families. Here’s what I propose for the middle class: The Fair and Flat Tax eliminates payroll taxes, which are seized by the IRS from a worker’s paychecks before a family ever sees the money. This will boost the incentive for employers to hire more workers, and raise after-tax income by at least 15% over 10 years. - Full Story

Friday, June 12, 2015

Outside Liberal La La Land, Obamacare is Sputtering

It's not easy to make medical socialism work - Reason Magazine,  | June 12, 2015.  An excerpt . . .

ObamaCare's supporters would like everyone to believe that with Healthcare.gov now functioning, everything is just fine and dandy. Contrary to what the conservative press (which I guess would include me) has been saying about the many problems of ObamaCare, Vox's Ezra Klein declared last September that "in the real world, it's working." In February, his fellow Voxland inhabitant Sarah Kliff rattled off eight ways in which the law had proved its critics wrong. 
But has it? Not really. 
For starters, the exchanges have enrolled about 3 million fewer people than the Congressional Budget Office projected in 2010. And far fewer of the enrollees are from the ranks of the uninsured than hoped. Medicaid enrollment is lower too, for the simple reason that states refused to expand the program. 
The core of President Obama's sales pitch to America was that the program, which he called the Affordable Care Act, would "bend the health care cost curve" and save an average family $2,500 on their premiums each year. How would it accomplish this feat? Essentially, he said, by forcing uninsured "free loaders" who show up in the emergency room to obtain free care to either buy (subsidized) coverage on the insurance exchange or sign up for the expanded Medicaid program. The point was that if they had coverage, they'd get cheaper care sooner in a doctor's office rather than more expensive care later in a hospital emergency room. 
Things don't seem to be working out that way. ObamaCare is indeed bending the cost curve, but up, not down . . .  Full Story 



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Income Equality

MSNBC’s Reverend Al Sharpton cited a New York Time’s pol that says the majority of Americans believe that income inequality is on the rise.  According to Reverend Sharpton the poor earn too little and the rich earn too much. The Reverend says income inequality is unfair and immoral and that government must use force to re-distribute income in a way that addresses this social injustice.  Income inequality must be replaced with — income equality.

Before we roll out the tanks to impose income equality I would like to ask a few questions.

Income inequality posits that it is not fair that some people earn more money than other people. If this is correct then what is the mathematical formula for achieving income equality?  Would we achieve income equality if the highest earners were forced to surrender 80% of their earnings, 90%? 99%? Should CEOs, business owners, rock stars, NFL quarterbacks and television talk-show hosts earnings be capped at a maximum of $1,000 per hour, $100 per hour, $20 per hour? or how about $15 per hour?  What equality of outcome formula would achieve the Reverend’s definition of a moral and fair re-distribution of income?

Does income equality have a mathematical low bar for unskilled labor?  Would a federally mandated minimum wage of $15 per hour achieve income equality between high and low earners?  No?  Well, how about $20 per hour? $100 per hour? or maybe $1,000 per hour? How shall a fair distribution of income that insures income equality be determined? What equality of outcome formula would satisfy the Reverend’s scale of a moral and fair re-distribution of income?

Does income inequality mean that a rich person such as the aforementioned Reverend Sharpton is immoral because he has earned more than a relatively poor person such as I?  Does income inequality mean that the government should use force to take that which the Reverend has earned and give it to me? If so, how is that moral and fair?  What entitles me to take by force that which the good Reverend has earned?  What entitles anyone, rich or poor, to take by force that which someone else has earned? How is taking that which does not belong to you moral and fair?

Mark Van Schuyver