Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Canada Reduces Debt : America Increases Debt

I believe, strongly, that this administration has no intention of reducing the national debt or slowing the deficit spending. The goal of this administration is to reduce the ability of the population to govern itself and increase it's dependency on the federal government for most of it's needs. This is the face of European socialism

The result will be a population that will vote for anyone that will continue to support dependency, even if it means having to live a life far below expectations. The incentive to excel will be replaced by a natural instinct to just survive.

Think this isn't happening right now? The latest poll shows Obama with a 50% approval rating. Believe it when 48% of working class in this county receives compensation from the government.

Follow Canada's Lead to Reduce Federal Debt
Source: David R. Henderson and Jerrod Anderson, "Canada's Reversed Fiscal Crisis," Mercatus Center, May 2011.

In 1996 Canada's debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio was approximately 67 percent -- just slightly higher than the United States' current ratio of approximately 62 percent. Canada's Liberal Party was in charge of the federal government at the time and set out on a determined course to cut Canada's federal deficit and reduce the federal debt as a percent of the economy's GDP.

The plan was hugely successful, and when Finance Minister Paul Martin became prime minister in 2003, he continued the policy of spending restraint until he left office in 2006. Martin's successor, current Prime Minister Stephen Harper, continued that policy for the next two years. The result: by fiscal year (FY) 2009, the federal debt had fallen to 29 percent of GDP, say David R. Henderson, an associate professor of economics, and Jerrod Anderson, a second-year master's fellow, at the Naval Postgraduate School.

The federal government achieved these reductions in debt not with large tax increases, but with substantial cuts in government spending. While Martin's 1995 budget did increase some taxes, the budget called for six to seven dollars in expenditure cuts for every dollar of increased taxes.

Between FY 1995 and FY 1998, federal government program expenditure (government spending minus interest payments on the federal debt) decreased from C$123.2 billion to C$111.3 billion, a decrease of C$11.9 billion.

Lessons for the United States:

Starting in 2013, raise the age eligibility for Medicare in incremental steps (for example, two months every year) until it equals the Social Security age.

Starting in 2014, allow doctors to "balance bill" under Medicare instead of having the so-called doc fix under which payments to doctors would be increased.

Begin making Medicaid payments to states via block grants.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chrysler Sales Up On SUV's : Obama Wrong Again

Who knew? Obama is wrong again - when the government presumes to know what is best for the market, everything gets screwed up. Socialism never, ever works.

But when a complete Marxist socialist comes along like Obama, and people stop believing in what has brought this country to where it is, leading the world in so many different areas, only disaster can follow. We are witness to America becoming a third world country.

As seen in countries overseas that have been destroyed by socialism, why do so many in this country still believe a pure socialist can fix out problems?

Chrysler Still Dependent on Truck Sales
Source: Henry Payne, "SUVs saved Chrysler," Detroit News, May 24, 2011.

Convinced that Americans craved small cars to fight the global warming scourge, the president demanded Fiat bring its best-selling 500 Eurobox to the States as part of the acquisition deal. Obama was convinced that Fiat could reform the immoral, gas-swigging, SUV-dependent Chrysler.

The exact opposite occurred, says Henry Payne, editor of TheMichiganView.com.
Two years later, the little 500 is about to go on sale in dealer "boutiques" -- but it is the resurgence of America's appetite for trucks that has brought Chrysler back from the dead.
Chrysler Group reported sales were up 17 percent to 1.1 million vehicles in 2010 on the strength of its wildly popular, redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs.

For CEO Sergio Marchionne, the SUVs success in the U.S. market has been a revelation and he is planning to expand the SUV lineup into Europe with Alfa Romeo and Maserati-badged trucks.
Marchionne has realized that trucks like the Cherokee typically rake in twice the per-vehicle profit of cars (thus the beleaguered company's speedy repayment of U.S. loans).

Chrysler's truck sales have also been good to UAW workers as Chrysler's Detroit assembly plant is now at full, three-shift capacity.

Chrysler has been here before. After it repaid its 1980s loans under the legendary hand of Lee Iacocca, Chrysler was unable to diversify into smaller vehicles. Today, as the truck boom fades before the specter of $4-a-gallon gas, Chrysler is still heavily dependent on truck sales, says Payne.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recovery Act Money wasted, Again

How much of the money that Obama threw at the country to by votes got actually used to help recovery? Yeah, that's what I think as well = zip!

Recover Act Recipients Owe Hundreds of Millions in Taxes
Source: "Thousands of Recovery Act Contract and Grant Recipients Owe Hundreds of Millions in

Federal Taxes," Government Accountability Office, April 28, 2011.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("Recovery Act") enacted on February 17, 2009, appropriated $275 billion to be distributed for federal contracts, grants and loans. As of March 25, 2011, $191 billion of this $275 billion had been paid out. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to determine if Recovery Act contract and grant recipients have unpaid federal taxes.

At least 3,700 Recovery Act contract and grant recipients are estimated to owe more than $750 million in known unpaid federal taxes as of September 30, 2009, and received over $24 billion in Recovery Act funds. This represents nearly 5 percent of the approximately 80,000 contractors and grant recipients in the data from www.Recovery.gov as of July 2010.

Federal law does not prohibit the awarding of contracts or grants to entities because they owe federal taxes and does not permit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to disclose taxpayer information, including unpaid federal taxes, to federal agencies unless the taxpayer consents.
The estimated amount of known unpaid federal taxes is likely understated because IRS databases do not include amounts owed by recipients who have not filed tax returns or understated their taxable income and for which IRS has not assessed tax amounts due.

GAO selected 15 Recovery Act recipients for further investigation. For the 15 cases, GAO found abusive or potentially criminal activity; that is, recipients had failed to remit payroll taxes to IRS.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Obama Energy Policy : Higher Gas Prices/Green Energy

That Obama and his cohorts want to increase gas prices to support 'green energy' doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. Even when he was running for president back in 2008 he said with his policies electrical rates will "skyrocket". Did anyone care? Of course not. Does anyone on the progressive left care now knowing what he said before the election he would do and has done?

Green energy is a dead item given the demands of our economy today. Are their alternatives to fossil fuel, sure, but for now, and the foreseeable future, it's gas, coal, oil and nuclear.

If you believe we can do without it, turn off the power to your house and show the world how it's done. Don't just talk the talk, walk the walk with green energy, live it!!

Report Finds Administration Policies to Blame for High Energy Prices
Source: Andrew Stiles, "Report Finds Obama Policies to Blame for High Energy Prices," National Review, May 23, 2011.

A new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform details a disturbing "pattern of evidence" indicating that not only are the Obama administration's energy policies responsible for higher oil and gas prices, but that the administration's energy policy, in fact, is higher gas prices, says the National Review.

Among the report's findings: Key administration officials, including President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, have gone on record in support of higher energy prices as a means to promote "green" technology by making it more economically viable.

The United States currently boasts the largest domestic energy resources on earth -- "greater than Saudi Arabia, China and Canada combined." New technology has allowed for greater access to these resources -- with the potential to increase domestic production by up to 40 percent -- but government regulations threaten to severely limit or restrict development.

Current administration policies have limited the domestic production of oil by restricting access to resources located along the outer continental shelf, even before the Gulf oil spill.

President Obama's proposal to increase taxes on the energy industry (and transfer some of the money to "green" energy) will severely impact the independent operators responsible for 95 percent of domestic oil and gas production. The proposed tax hikes would cost these firms a combined $12 billion in the first year alone.

Many of the "green" energy sources promoted by the administration "create unintended environmental, security and economic consequences," for example, by increasing the demand for Chinese "rare earth" materials, which subsequently boosts harmful coal production because that's where more than two-thirds of China's energy comes from.

Medicare Saved by Paul Ryan : Medicare Destroyed by Democrats

"Know the truth and the truth will set you free" - the truth here is ObamaCare will send seniors of today into poverty, and those coming from the 55 year olds into depression, while the 45 year olds into opening savings accounts as they will be left out in the cold.

How to stop this, easy, Ryan's plan will save the seniors of today from death panels as they will actually have some income, and the rest of the retirees will have a modified plan to 'help' them, not support them, in their later years.

It's Ryan's plan or Medicare is done. You chose.

Mediscare: The Surprising Truth
Source: Thomas R. Saving and John C. Goodman, "Mediscare: The Surprising Truth," Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2011.

The Obama administration has repeatedly claimed that the health reform bill it passed last year improved Medicare's finances. This claim is true only because ObamaCare explicitly commits to cutting health care spending for the elderly and the disabled in future years, say Thomas R. Saving, a senior fellow, and John C. Goodman, president, at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Almost no one familiar with the numbers thinks that the planned cuts are politically feasible.

But suppose the law is implemented just as it's written. In that case, according to the Medicare Trustees, Medicare's long-term unfunded liability fell by $53 trillion on the day ObamaCare was signed. But at what cost to the elderly?

Under the new law, the average amount spent on people reaching age 65 this year over the remainder of their lives will fall by about $36,000 at today's prices; equivalent to about three years of benefits.

For 55-year-olds, the spending decrease is about $62,000 -- or the equivalent of six years of benefits.

For 45-year-olds, the loss is more than $105,000, or nine years of benefits.

In terms of the sheer dollars involved, the law's reduction in future Medicare payments is the equivalent of raising the eligibility age for Medicare to age 68 for today's 65-year-olds, to age 71 for 55-year-olds and to age 74 for 45-year-olds. Are there better ways of solving the problem? Yes, say Saving and Goodman.

First, there must be general system reform.
Second, if federal spending is to be contained, young people need to be able to save in tax-free accounts during their working years in order to replace the dollars they will not be getting from Medicare.

Finally, providers need to be able to repackage and reprice their services under Medicare in ways that lower costs and improve quality.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vermont Tries Single Payer Option

The 'public option', single payer, should be a state by state option - this way, when it fails, it won't take down the entire country. Howard Dean started this rolling and the results are as predicted. Need more proof of failure of government run health care? Massachusetts.

Now the citizens of Vermont can see first hand how health care run by government will function. The nation will be watching as well.

Vermont Tries the Public Option
Source: David Gratzer, "Vermont Gives the 'Public Option' a Clinical Trial," Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2011.

This week, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont will sign a bill doing what President Obama and his allies have hoped to do all along: sell a public insurance option alongside competing private insurance as a first step toward a single-payer, government-run system, says David Gratzer, a physician and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

The last time Vermont's health system gained national attention was in 2004, when Howard Dean, then governor of the state, ran for president. As governor, Mr. Dean expanded public insurance eligibility, struggling to get as close to single-payer health care as he legally could.

New regulations pushed out private insurers, reducing competition. The result?
The number of uninsured Vermonters barely budged, but costs sure moved -- in the wrong direction.

From 1991 to 2004, according to the Kaiser Foundation, Vermont's health costs grew by 7.6 percent annually.

Across the United States comparable costs grew only 5.5 percent on average.
From 2005 to 2008, in data cited by Dr. William Hsaio, a Harvard consultant, growth in Vermont's health costs grew 8.2 percent, against a national average of 5.7 percent.

Debt Solutions : Think Tanks Proposals

This is really good news - good solid proposals to fix our economy from reliable sources. Given the media hype that we don't have a debt problem, so why worry about it, this short article will drive progressives to break into a sweat.

This coming from the Washington Post is something of a shocker.

How to Fix the Debt

John Irons of the Economic Policy Institute, Zachary Kolodin of the Roosevelt Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Cneter for American Progress also offered plans to cut America's debt.

With U.S. debt projected to grow more than 275 percent by 2035, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation asked six think tanks to find ways to address the nation's long-term budget challenges, says the Washington Post. Below are details of two of the six plans.

Heritage Foundation, Stuart Butler:
The key is to transform the relationship between the federal government and individuals in a way that restores individual opportunity and national prosperity. That requires a single, flat-tax rate that collects revenue without economic distortions. Butler's plan refocuses Social Security and Medicare into real insurance programs that protect seniors from poverty while no longer debt-financing benefits for the rich.

Joseph Antos, Andrew Biggs, Alex Brill and Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute:
Their plan fundamentally reforms the tax code while aggressively cutting federal spending to hold down the debt. Medicare is converted to a premium support program and the tax break for employer-provided health insurance is replaced by a refundable tax credit to buy insurance, with the largest subsidies going to those with greater financial need or higher health risks.
Medicaid is converted to a block grant program, giving states greater flexibility, accompanied by greater responsibility. The plan also modifies Social Security to offer a flat, poverty-level benefit to all beneficiaries, and adopts a consumption tax to replace the individual and corporate income taxes and the estate tax.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unions Face Public Inspection : More Light Less Smoke and Mirrors

In Wisconsin the public unions see their power diminished or gone when Gov. Walker signed the labor bill into law. The Democrats, that are the beneficiaries of most the union money for their reelection bids, howl about the 'rights' to collective bargaining of the worker.

Under the new law, workers now don't have to have the union dues taken out of their salaries automatically, it's voluntary. Lose of money and power for the unions and Democrats. hmmmmm

But what is really important, everyone has forgotten about who will represent the people that pay the salaries of the public sector workers. Oh wait, not everyone. Hello Scott Walker!!

Public-Sector Unionism: A Review
Source: Eileen Norcross, "Public-Sector Unionism: A Review," Mercatus Center, May 2011.

In 2009, membership in public sector unions surpassed membership in private sector unions for the first time in U.S. history. The growth in public sector unionism is part of a 60-year trend fueled by a decline in private sector union membership and the legalization of public sector unionization.

The shift in American labor unionism from a private to a public sector movement has been described as a structural break in American labor unionism with implications not for the profitability of firms but for the solvency of governments, says Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The rising cost of funding public sector pension plans and health benefits -- and stories of exorbitant salaries enjoyed by some public sector workers -- has occurred during a period of slow economic growth, high unemployment, weak tax revenues and rapidly increasing levels of federal debt. The discussion about how to control spending on the state, local and federal levels has sparked a debate about the role public sector unions have played in the growth of spending over the past several decades.

Public sector unions are able to affect governments' fiscal and budgetary policy by exerting influence through the collective bargaining process and through political activity by backing candidates likely to support the union's agenda. Several studies indicate public sector unions are more politically active as a group, with state and local employees more likely to vote than private sector or federal workers.

Curbing collective bargaining laws may or may not have the effects intended by reformers if the political activity of unions is a far more powerful influence over spending.

Some important questions remain to be explored, including testing the link between collective bargaining and the political activity of unions and their effects on pension funding, pension shortfalls, budget gaps, and overall state and local indebtedness.

Americans Living On the Edge : Need More Will Power

Why are so many people living from day to day not sure if they will make enough money to buy their next meal? To make a payment on the car or mortgage will draw their personal income down to nothing for the unexpected.

I always wonder how many of these people buy lottery tickets, eat out two or three times a week or smoke? How many drink more booze then milk or water. How important is an 'accepted' life style - living a champagne life on a beer salary.

How many of these people know who they truly are, and what they are doing each day to try and find out the answer. Not many.

Nearly Half of Americans Are "Financially Fragile"
Source: Phil Izzo, "Nearly Half of Americans Are 'Financially Fragile'," Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2011. Annamaria Lusardi, Daniel J. Schneider and Peter Tufano, "Financially Fragile Households: Evidence and Implications," National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2011.

Nearly half of Americans say that they definitely or probably couldn't come up with $2,000 in 30 days, according to new research, raising concerns about the financial fragility of many households, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Annamaria Lusardi of the George Washington School of Business, Daniel J. Schneider of Princeton University and Peter Tufano of Harvard Business School used data from the 2009 TNS Global Economic Crisis survey to document widespread financial weakness in the United States and other countries.

The survey asked, "If you were to face a $2,000 unexpected expense in the next month, how would you get the funds you need?" In the United States, 24.9 percent of respondents reported being certainly able, 25.1 percent probably able, 22.2 percent probably unable and 27.9 percent certainly unable.

The $2,000 figure "reflects the order of magnitude of the cost of an unanticipated major car repair, a large copayment on a medical expense, legal expenses, or a home repair," the authors write.

On a more concrete basis, the authors cite $2,000 as the cost of an auto transmission replacement and research that reported low-income families claim to need about $1,500 in savings for emergencies.

Financial fragility isn't limited to low-income groups. "A material fraction of seemingly 'middle class' Americans also judge themselves to be financially fragile, reflecting either a substantially weaker financial position than one would expect, or a very high level of anxiety or pessimism," the authors write.

Lusardi, Schneider and Tufano also looked at how different countries compare.
"Perceived capacity to cope with an emergency is lowest in the U.S., U.K. and Germany."
"The highest levels of coping capacity are found in Canada... Netherlands... and Italy."

Marriage Humor : Laugh Now - Stress Later

Take a break and laugh a little - it makes the day go by much faster. heh

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.

Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.'Careful,' he said, 'CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the! salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!'

The wife stared at him. 'What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?' The husband calmly replied, 'I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving.'

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

State Control of Tax Revenue A Winner

What a great idea, use tax revenue for what they were intended. WOW! Who knew? This is just like the Social Security 'lock box' that was fed to us for so many years. Washington stole the money from us to fund special projects in their districts and to help themselves get reelected.

Why is this so hard to fix? The bill that is proposed here is a good one in that the idea the states can control the money better is a no-brainer. Any time we can take the control of revenue funds out of the hands of Washington will be a winner for everyone.

Gas Tax Funds Special Programs
Source: "Patching Potholes," Investor's Business Daily, May 19, 2011.

Washington collects as much as $25 billion in federal gasoline taxes a year. Ideally -- and ethically -- every penny of those taxes should be spent on federal roads, repairing the old ones and building new ones where needed. But it isn't. Only about 60 percent is used for federal highways and bridges. The rest is spent on whatever Washington decides to use it for, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

In many cases the taxes fund museums, bike paths, trails and lighthouse repair.
A good chunk of the federal gasoline tax is also used to subsidize public transportation -- when the tax was hiked by a nickel in 1982, a penny of that increase was committed to urban transit.
Meanwhile, car commuters are stuck in traffic, and ruining tires and suspensions on cracked asphalt and broken concrete.

In separate bills, a couple of state lawmakers in Michigan, Paul Opsommer and Tom McMillin, have introduced resolutions asking Washington to let the states keep the revenues from the federal gasoline tax rather than round-tripping the money around the Beltway.

No doubt, politics and grasping bureaucrats are also at the state level, but states are better suited for making the right decisions about where the money is spent. They know what the right priorities are, and state lawmakers are more accountable to the voters because they still live down the street or across town.

Letting states keep and spend the revenues would also make the dollars go further, says IBD.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Economic Freedom IS The Winning Formula

This has always been the foundation of our way of life, freedom to pursue a dream of a better life for your self and your family. It has been working for the last 235 years here in America, only now, under the Marxist leadership of the 'new progressives', has it come under fire as being "unfair".

The general population in this country is beginning to wake up to the fact socialism, income redistribution, taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive, isn't our way of life.

Hard work and individual freedom is the winning formula. Our history is full of success stories where those that sought freedom of choice found it in America. It is imperative that we don't waste it now by being lazy or uncommitted to preserve our most basic freedoms.

Prioritizing Economic Freedom over Social Entitlements
Source: Jean-Pierre Chauffour, "On the Relevance of Freedom and Entitlement in Development," World Bank, May 2011.

Freedom and entitlement are largely two different paradigms to think about the fundamentals of economic development. Depending on the balance between free choices and more coerced decisions, individual opportunities to learn, own, work, save, invest, trade, protect and so forth could vary greatly across countries and over time, says Jean-Pierre Chauffour, lead economist in the International Trade Department at the World Bank.

For a given set of exogenous conditions, countries that favor free choice -- economic freedom and civil and political liberties -- over entitlement rights are likely to growth faster and achieve many of the distinctive proximate characteristics of success that include: leadership and governance; engagement with the global economy; high rates of investment and savings; and mobile resources, especially labor.

In contrast, pursuing entitlement rights through greater state coercion may be deceptive and even self-defeating in the long run.

These findings, which tend to support earlier results from the empirical literature, provide potentially important policy lessons for all countries: For developed countries, they suggest that prioritizing economic freedom over social entitlements could be an effective way to reform the welfare state and make it more sustainable and equitable in the long run.

For middle income countries, such as countries in the midst of the Arab Spring but also countries in Asia and Latin America, they indicate that the quest for civil and political rights but also economic freedom implies the reduction of existing privileges and entitlements to create new social contracts.

For low-income countries (as well as the international community), they provide an opportunity to reflect upon the achievement under the Millennium Development Goals and the potential role of economic freedom, along with other fundamental freedoms.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Daniels Out : Sarah Palin In

With Mich Daniels out maybe it's time for Sarah to get into the mix for President - I like Herman Kane as well -

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Free Market Solutions for California : Oh No! Not That

Oh No! Using the 'free market' to save the parks in California, this is going too far. How is it possible that government has failed to be all things to all people and at all costs? Will Californians decide to have a change of heart, that maybe the free market can save their state from complete collapse? Maybe, but don't hold your breath!

Lease State Parks
Source: Harris Kenny, "Don't Close State Parks; Lease Them," Orange County Register, May 13, 2011.

With the state's perpetually tight budget, funding for education, health care and the state's powerful prison guards union usually get top priority, leaving parks out in the cold year after year. The state has let the parks deteriorate to the point that they now need $1 billion in repairs and maintenance, according to the California State Parks Foundation, says Harris Kenny, a policy analyst at Reason Foundation.

There are private companies out there that will see California's parks wasting away and envision a way to bring them back to life. For example, some facilities, like Tecopa Hot Springs County Park in Death Valley, operate under whole-park concession agreements, a remnant of California's once-innovative past where the state leased some parks to private companies.

Under these lease agreements, recreation companies manage and maintain the parks.
The government can set any quality and maintenance standards it desires and hold the private company accountable to them with a performance-based contract.

The companies collect park user fees to fund their operations, maintenance and labor costs.
And they pay a set percentage of revenue back to the state as an annual lease payment.
This offers the opportunity to minimize, or potentially eliminate, taxpayer subsidies to the parks, while keeping them open for public enjoyment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Green Energy in Europe as Security : NOT!

Why is it people still believe if you wish hard enough for something it will happen? Global warming and 'green' energy proposals that crush economic recovery seem to be the way politicians want to go even though they know it is a losing agenda.

The mere fact that the facts have been shown global warming as a result of human consumption of petroleum products, doesn't effect the earth temperature, means nothing. The 'experts' that have been vocal have been proven wrong, frauds. They lied!

The bottom line here is 'Global Warming' or climate change is a faith based religion. Those sitting in the pews believe, by faith along, that they are right. And because so many politicians believe this is a good way to get votes, they buy into this fraud. Goodness sakes alive!

The Myth of Green Energy Security
Source: Bjørn Lomborg, "The Myth of Green Energy Security," Project Syndicate, May 17, 2011.

Against the backdrop of the financial crisis, and as public support for climate change policies scrapes new lows in many developed countries, we hear less from leaders about the threat of global warming and more about the supposed economic benefits of climate policies. This shift is hardly surprising, given the increasing number of analyses that demonstrate that current -- unilateral -- climate policies will have virtually no impact on the rise in global temperature, says Bjørn Lomborg, an adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School.

The European Union offers a classic illustration of this point. Its "20-20-20" climate plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, ensure that renewable energy delivers 20 percent of energy consumption, and cut primary energy use by 20 percent.

An analysis of the costs and benefits of the policy in 2010 by climate economist Richard Tol showed that the annual price tag would be around 210 billion euro (nearly $300 billion).
Running the policy through the RICE climate-economic model reveals that by the end of this century, it will reduce temperature rises by just 0.05 degrees Celsius (0.1 degree Fahrenheit).
Undaunted by the policy's utterly feeble impact on global warming, politicians have declared that the policy will at least enhance the EU's energy security.

In many Western countries, policies are increasingly being wrapped in promises of greater energy security rather than in threats of climate catastrophes. But, because energy security is such a vague concept, these policies are seldom subjected to rigorous scrutiny to determine whether they will live up to politicians' claims, says Lomborg.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Medicaid Costs Skyrocket : Reform A Must

The Medicaid problem is just one more mess that the Democrats refuse to address, and with good reason, they see this as just another way to keep more people close to the hand that feeds them. The fact that there isn't anymore money to give them means nothing. All the liberal Democrats have to do is lie to those that are dependent, telling them more is on the way just to get their vote one more time.

When the whole system collapses, the liberal Democrats will cry they did everything they could but to fix the system, but the Republicans didn't care enough to do anything to help fix the problem other than to cut off the funds to those that need them the most.

As the saying goes, if you tell a lie loud enough and long enough it will become truth. Will this be the case for Medicaid? Only time will tell if the public is wise to the liberal management of the information.

Medicaid in Crisis
Source: Brian Blase, "Solving the National Medicaid Crisis," Heritage Foundation, May 6, 2011.

Unsustainable spending growth, enormous crowd out of private coverage, perverse incentives that discourage work and financial planning, and cost control mechanisms like low provider payment rates that limit access for enrollees and contribute to a low quality of care have left Medicaid in crisis, says Brian Blase, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

Between 1990 and 2010, national Medicaid spending increased from $72 billion to over $400 billion. Federal spending alone has increased from $40 billion in 1990 to an estimated $271 billion in 2010.

At the state level, Medicaid spending has increased four times faster than elementary and secondary education spending, five times faster than higher education spending, and nine times faster than transportation spending over the past two decades.

Several states reimburse Medicaid providers at extremely low rates, some lower than one-third of commercial rates. Medicaid also requires an enormous amount of paperwork with lag times for payment twice as long as those for Medicare or commercial insurance. Moreover, the denial rate for Medicaid claims is three times that of Medicare and commercial insurance.

As a result, only about half of all physicians accept new Medicaid patients.

Washington can no longer afford to kick the can down the road on serious Medicaid reform. Its unsustainable spending, inferior access to quality care, massive crowd out of private coverage, and perverse incentives that discourage work and financial planning all underscore the need for fundamental Medicaid reform, says Blase.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

British Health Care NHS to Limit Treatment for Smokers

Even though this is from Britain the results will be the same in this country - that is, a committee will decide what and who will be treated under ObamaCare even though the people that contributed into the system for a life time will be denied medical care.

Britain's health care system is called 'Socialized Medicine', our system will be called 'ObamaCare' or, dah, socialized medicine. The British system is a failure by our standards today. Why would we not believe such a system of total federal mandated care not fail in America? History says it will fail as all such systems have failed.

In the face of over whelming facts, proven throughout history, do we continue down this destructive path? Just look at all the people that still believe in global warming!! Have we lost our ability to make rational decisions based on rock solid facts?

Britain's NHS Seeks to Limit Care for Smokers and Obese Individuals
Source: Kenneth Artz, "UK's NHS Seeks to Limit Care for Smokers, Obese," Heartland Institute, May 13, 2011.

Great Britain's government-run health care system, the National Health Service (NHS), has long considered limiting coverage for people with illnesses deemed to be lifestyle-related. In 2005 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), NHS's guiding body, advised that smokers and obese people be refused health care. Now NHS North Yorkshire and York are preventing certain operations for the obese and smokers because they say unhealthy lifestyles lower their chance of success, says the Heartland Institute.

According to Patrick Basham, director of the Democracy Institute and a Cato Institute adjunct scholar: The government is overstepping its bounds by preventing people from having operations on the basis of their lifestyles. The NHS is funded by British taxpayers, and throughout their lives they are told that it will be there for them when they need it.

Now the government is saying that although you've paid into the system throughout your life, unfortunately you will not be receiving treatment because the NHS has checked off some boxes when you were admitted to the hospital and find that you are a second-class citizen because you smoke, drink or are obese.

Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, says that although everyone is supposed to receive "free" health care from the NHS, NICE determines the level of benefit from a certain drug or procedure. Based on research, the local trusts may decide the cost of a certain cancer drug is too high or not effective enough so they won't buy any or will ration it in some areas of the country.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Environmentalists Hate Natural Gas Now : Competition for Green Energy

The Environmentalists have only one consideration in mind and that is self preservation of their personal agenda - everyone has to give up most of their ideas of success and much of their personal happiness to save the planet. They demand others must do what they believe is best.

This is brought to light in Texas, and other southern states, of late when the EPA shut down oil exploration and drilling along the southern boarder because they found a lizard that they believe might become extinct if not allowed to exist without interruption from outside forces. That the nation might become extinct without more oil sources for economic growth means nothing at all.

One has to wonder what the environmentalist uses for a moral compass. Maybe that's the problem with their agenda, they have no morals and why the liberal Democrats are on the same page with the environmentalist. It's about power to control the lives and fortunes of others. competition

Environmentalists Reverse Opinion on Natural Gas Fracking
Source: Ronald Bailey, "Environmentalists Were For Fracking Before They Were Against It," Reason Magazine, May 10, 2011.

Until a decade ago, experts believed that it would be technically infeasible to exploit the potential resource base of natural gas locked in 48 shale basins in 32 countries around the world. Then horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, was perfected.

The shale gas rush was on, and last year the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued an analysis revising its estimates of available natural gas dramatically upward, says Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine's science correspondent.

Given its greenhouse gas benefits, environmental activists initially welcomed shale gas. That was then, but this is now. The environmentalist community has now collectively decided that natural gas is a "bridge to nowhere." Why? In an overview published last week by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation, journalist Matt Ridley explains: "As it became apparent that shale gas was a competitive threat to renewable energy as well as to coal, the green movement has turned against shale." Indeed natural gas is cheaper than renewable sources of energy even if one includes the costs of carbon capture and sequestration.

Electricity produced using natural gas in a combined cycle generating plant comes in at $66 per megawatt-hour. If one includes carbon capture and sequestration, basically burying carbon dioxide underground, the cost rises to $89 per megawatt-hour.

In contrast conventional coal costs $95 per megawatt-hour rising to $136 using carbon capture and sequestration.

Monday, May 16, 2011

ObamaCare : Pay More Get Less

This is how ObamaCare works, pay more and get less. The next generation will be on the wrong side of health care. The good part is they know it and are doing something about it.

Paul Ryan is coming to town.

How Health Reform Affects Current and Future Retirees
Source: Courtney Collins and Andrew J. Rettenmaier, "How Health Reform Affects Current and Future Retirees," National Center for Policy Analysis, May 12, 2011.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will fundamentally alter Medicare. If its provisions remain in place, in the long run it will dramatically reduce Medicare spending relative to recent projections. This change will lower the burden for future taxpayers, but it could also reduce access to care for future beneficiaries, say Courtney Collins, an assistant professor of economics at Mercer University, and Andrew J. Rettenmaier, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

The difference the ACA makes in aggregate spending can be calculated by comparing the projections in the 2009 Medicare Trustees Report (which assumes that Medicare spending will largely keep pace with health spending for the country as a whole) with the 2010 report (which reflects the cuts required by the ACA).

Over the next 75 years, the ACA reduces total Medicare spending by about 24 percent.
The impact of these changes on individuals born in different years can be quantified:
In the absence of the ACA, today's new retirees would have received $53,500 in lifetime benefits over and above lifetime taxes and premiums paid.

Because of the ACA, however, they will now receive about $20,700 less in net benefits.

The impact of the ACA will be even greater on younger workers. For example:
In the absence of the ACA, individuals who are 45 years old today would have received $44,900 in net benefits at retirement. With the ACA reforms, however, they will pay $11,400 more in lifetime taxes and premiums than they are expected to receive in benefits.

Their reduction in net benefits due to the ACA reforms is about $56,000.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Leon Panetta Brings Down Bin Laden? Not Obama?

Interesting article on just who was responsible for the operation to kill O bin Laden - the main stream media, and to the best of my knowledge, Fox hasn't said much about this coup as well, that is, leaving Obama out of the loop until it was well under way.

Leon Panetta started the balling, along with Hillary Clinton, while leaving Valerie Jarret and Obama out of the picture, bringing them in only at the end.

Truth or fiction, you decide.

Australian PM Takes Stand on Sharia Law?

Goodness - I don't know if this is for real, but like Dan Rather's statement when he was referring to George Bush's National Guard service release, "well it's not true, but it ought to be". I sure hope she actually made this statement.

I can't confirm this statement, but it sure would be something we wish she had said, and that it would be fantastic if our own politicians would say as well. We need leadership in Washington now, not next year.

Oh well, take heart, we have some good people coming along the way, maybe Sarah Palin will be the one to take a stand. She is the only one that isn't a career politician. Goodnews!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard - Australia
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote:
'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'
'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.'
'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'
'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'
'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'
'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'
'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Medicaid : Abused/Underfunded/Broken

Medicaid is broken and abused - the question that remains is why are there so many people that need Medicaid? What is it, from our past, that we did or didn't do to cause this crush for medical aid from people that are destitute or fiscally or mentally unable to pay for their own medical care?

What can we do now to solve this problem for the person unable to pay their bills, and the person soon to be unable to pay the bills, the taxpayer? The next generation wants answers.

Medicaid Doesn't Provide Quality Care
Source: Brian Blase, "Medicaid Provides Poor Quality Care," Heritage Foundation, May 5, 2011

While targeted public assistance can work, Medicaid has become far too large and unwieldy to serve those who truly need it. The Medicaid expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act will further weaken the program -- hurting those who really need it, as well as unduly burdening the taxpayers who pay for it, says Brian Blase, a policy analyst in the Center for Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

Low provider payment rates in many states mean that Medicaid recipients have a hard time finding a doctor, forcing many to rely on expensive and overcrowded hospital emergency rooms for non-emergency care. Medicaid patients also frequently receive inferior medical treatment.
Blase says Medicaid must be fundamentally reformed because it is failing current enrollees and taxpayers.

Although the states and federal government spent more than $400 billion last year (up from less than $72 billion in 1990) on Medicaid, there is a lack of academic studies showing that the program provides recipients with quality health care.

The observational studies show that even uninsured individuals often have better outcomes than individuals with Medicaid. In many areas of the country, Medicaid cards do not guarantee access to health care.

Diversification for 401(K) : Common Sense

If you have been following your 401 at all, and read anything about investing, you will know that putting all your 'eggs' in one basket is foolish. Take a minute and review your investments, and if you don't understand the system, locate someone that can help you make the right decisions on investing.

Twenty years from now you'll be glad you did.

The Case against Company Stock in 401(k)s
Source: Alex Brill, "The Case against Company Stock in 401(k)s," American Enterprise Institute, April 2011.

Given that some employees have 401(k)s heavily invested in company stock and given the inefficiencies of nondiversified investment, policy measures for protecting workers from this kind of risk are worth considering.

Policies guiding 401(k) diversification would address two related issues: the risk from being overly invested in one's employer, and the risk from being too invested in any other single stock. While the policy objective is clear and straightforward -- ensure adequate 401(k) plan diversification -- implementing it may prove more difficult, says Alex Brill, a research fellow at American Enterprise Institute.

The 401(k) accounts that pose the greatest risk are accounts heavily invested in company stock and held by older workers. To avoid another Enron, rules would need to be established to bring current 401(k) plans into compliance with new diversification protocols. This would require mandating that employees sell company stock and buy more diversified assets.

But this may result in the exact outcome the policy is attempting to avoid -- forcing workers to sell company stock when it is inopportune.

One way to address this problem is to establish rules governing future 401(k) contributions and to prohibit workers from purchasing additional company stock with existing plan assets. This policy is likely more workable but would not address the most pressing risks of current and near current retirees.

Short of mandating diversification, establishing default 401(k) settings to promote investment allocations that exclude company stock (and possibly narrowly constructed mutual funds) could help steer workers toward more sensible investing. A related option is to impose diversification requirements in 401(k) plans similar to those imposed on mutual funds themselves.

While there is a clear precedent for these diversification criteria, one drawback is the difficulty for employees to rebalance their portfolios on a regular basis. These problems could be avoided if the worker's 401(k) assets were invested only in mutual funds.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Solar Power Rising But New Technology Needed

Solar generated electrical energy will never become a cost effective renewable source of energy without significant technological advancements. The only thing that keeps solar alive is subsides.

This article is correct in that solar must compete with other energy sources if it is to become a true new player in the energy mix. At the same time, it is imperative that the environmentalist influence that drives energy prices higher be reigned in. For the cost of energy to come down, all sources must have an open market to seek their own level of effectiveness.

Without the open market, with regulation, we will not be able to afford to heat or cool our homes or run our economy. It's that simple. It's just common sense.

Solar Power Prospects
Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "Solar Power Prospects," National Center for Policy Analysis, May 11, 2011.

The production of electricity from renewable energy technologies is growing much faster than the electric power supply as a whole. Solar power is among the fastest growing segments of the renewable energy market, says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Globally, grid-connected solar capacity increased an average of 60 percent annually from 2004 to 2009, faster than any other energy source. Solar electricity production grew 15.5 percent in 2009 alone.

Today, however, solar power still accounts for less than one-half of one percent of the world's electric power output.

Despite its impressive growth, and even with significant subsidies, solar power is substantially more expensive than conventional power sources in most locations. Analysts agree that if solar is to become a significant power source, it must compete with other energy sources -- in markets without subsidies to any form of energy, barriers to the entry of new producers or discriminatory price regulations.

According to projections of future energy costs by the International Energy Agency (IEA):
Over the next decade, with continued government support, solar power prices will decline sufficiently to compete with conventional electric retail prices in a "few" countries by 2015 and "several" countries by 2020.

The IEA projects that the cost of solar electricity in 2020 will range from $0.13 to $0.26 per kilowatt-hour for commercially produced solar power and $0.16 to $0.31 for electricity produced by residential systems.

If the IEA's estimates are correct, the price of solar power will still be higher than the cost of conventionally produced electricity in 2020.
With major technological breakthroughs that significantly reduce the cost of solar power production and the imposition of new environmental mandates that raise the price of electricity generated by other sources, solar could reach grid parity in some areas of the United States by the end of the decade.

Health Care Massachusetts Style : ObamaCare

If you ever wondered what ObamaCare will look like if we have to use it, look no further than Massachusetts.

Long Waits for Doctor Visits in Massachusetts
Source: Ros Krasny, "In Massachusetts, Long Waits for Doctor Visits," Reuters, May 9, 2011. "2011 Patient Access to Health Care Survey," Massachusetts Medical Society, May 9, 2011.

Almost everyone in Massachusetts has health insurance under a state mandate, but many doctors do not accept the subsidized insurance programs available to low-income residents, according to a new study. Residents in some areas also face long waits in getting doctors' appointments, or find that overstretched primary care practices are not taking on new patients, says Reuters.

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) issued its annual Physician Workforce survey on May 9.

Massachusetts, like much of the nation, has a severe shortage of doctors in primary care -- internists and family physicians -- because those fields are less lucrative. Many primary care doctors do not accept MassHealth, the state's version of Medicaid, and even less accept Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice, programs for low- and moderate-income residents.

More than half of primary care practices are not taking new patients, especially patients for whose treatment they will be paid at a much lower level than for those carrying private health insurance.

Long wait times are common -- almost seven weeks, on average, for a non-emergency appointment for internal medicine.

The average wait time for pediatricians was 24 days.

New patient wait times in Massachusetts jumped between 2006 and 2007 after the initial implementation of the state health care reform law, and have remained high. As a result, the rate of emergency room visits to receive care has also stayed high.

More lucrative specialist practices -- gastroenterology, cardiology, obstetrics/gynecology and orthopedics -- were in most instances taking new patients, although long wait times were still seen, MMS said.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Postal Service in Crisis : Huge Deficits No Money

This just more of the same - a government sponsored entity that can not pay it's bills. What is the problem here? - dah! Why can't so many other public institutions not make ends meet these days and the answer is same for all of them - retirement benefits are huge, totally out of control.

Federal and state retirement benefits have been out of control for decades, and now that the money is gone and the taxpayers are tapped out, the public institution and their employees look like a deer in the headlights - what do we do now.

Is this just one more example of a public institutional 'dependent' organization that has relied for decades on taxpayers for it's survival no matter how bad it functioned?

U.S. Postal Service Must Streamline
Source: Greg Beato, "The Post-Postal Society?" Reason Magazine, May 2011.

Nearly forty years ago, on July 1, 1971, the Post Office Department evolved into the United States Postal Service (USPS), a federal but independently operating entity that sustains itself with no direct support from taxpayers. To cover years in which it operates at a deficit, it has a $15 billion credit line with the U.S. Treasury, says Greg Beato, a contributing editor at Reason Magazine.

In 2006 the USPS processed and distributed 213 billion pieces of mail. By 2010 that number had dropped to 170 billion, and according to forecasts commissioned by the USPS, the total will sink to 150 billion by 2020.

In March 2010, postal administrators announced that the USPS could run up a cumulative deficit as high as $238 billion during the next decade. To cut expenses in the face of eroding revenues, the postal service floated the idea of reducing delivery to five days a week and stepped up its efforts to shutter underperforming post offices and branches. This year, it hopes to close as many as 2,000 of its approximately 32,000 outlets.

Closing a small-town post office, or even a couple thousand small-town post offices, isn't going to put much of a dent into the $8.5 billion deficit the USPS recorded in 2010 or the $3.8 billion deficit it racked up the previous year.

The postal service's most pressing fiscal crisis arises from a provision in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that requires it to prefund its Retiree Health Benefits Fund at the rate of approximately $5.6 billion a year from 2007 to 2016; the agency has not been able to make those payments without running up huge deficits.

If the USPS wants to maintain its self-sustaining status in the face of declining demand for its most lucrative monopoly, first-class mail, it must shed personnel, streamline infrastructure and cut services, says Beato.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Government Control of Supermakets Like Schools : Failure

This scenario could be applied to any other business and the outcome would be the same - if it was run like the government, it would fail - Why do we accept this as just a matter of fact when it is in our power to stop the insanity and make intelligent decisions to vote in people that will change the way government operates?

This isn't rocket science - all we have to do is open our eyes and ears to what the politicians are saying and then chose the best ones that promise to brings us back to sound Constitutional values. If we sit back and let this all go to someone else's decision making agenda, we lose the most important aspect of life, the power to determine our own destiny. It can and will happen if we do nothing.

Actually, it's happening right now!

What If Supermarkets Were Like Public Schools?
Source: Donald J. Boudreaux, "If Supermarkets Were Like Public Schools," Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2011.

Teachers unions and their political allies argue that market forces cannot supply quality education. Yet Americans would find the current politicized and monopolistic approach ludicrous if applied to other vital goods or services, says Donald J. Boudreaux, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center.

Suppose that groceries were supplied in the same way as K-12 education.

Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. Nearly half of those tax revenues would then be spent by government officials to build and operate supermarkets. Each family would be assigned to a particular supermarket according to its home address.
And each family would get its weekly allotment of groceries -- "for free" -- from its neighborhood public supermarket. Of course, the quality of public supermarkets would play a major role in families' choices about where to live.

Being largely protected from consumer choice, almost all public supermarkets would be worse than private ones. In poor counties the quality of public supermarkets would be downright abysmal. Poor people -- entitled in principle to excellent supermarkets -- would in fact suffer unusually poor supermarket quality.

Responding to these failures, thoughtful souls would call for "supermarket choice" fueled by vouchers or tax credits. Those calls would be vigorously opposed by public supermarket administrators and workers, says Boudreaux.

In reality, of course, groceries and many other staples of daily life are distributed with extraordinary effectiveness by competitive markets responding to consumer choice. The same could be true of education.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Employment Not Important : Dems See More Votes

What's happened to common sense here is the government has decided that spin is the best way to expand the gulf between those that 'have' and those that 'don't have' - that is, if those that 'don't have' gets big enough, the Democrats will have a voting base that will support them for decades to come. important

Dependency will become a 'right' and with 99 weeks of unemployment and with more to come, this is sure to impact future elections.

Where's the Recovery?
Source: Tim Cavanaugh, "The All-New Failure of the New Economics," Reason Magazine, May 2011.

If you have been pinning your job-search hopes on the conventional wisdom that employment gains follow an economic recovery, you have a problem right now. The so-called Great Recession has been over for almost two years, but unemployment remains about where it was before the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared that the recovery had begun, says Tim Cavanaugh, a senior editor at Reason Magazine.

In June 2009, the month NBER has pinpointed as the end of the recession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' unemployment rate stood at 9.5 percent; in early 2011, the unemployment rate was 9 percent.

To put this feeble recovery into perspective: Just eight months after the job-loss peak in the 1948 recession, which saw unemployment increase by 5.2 percentage points, all of those jobs had been replaced. Less than a year after the trough of the 1958 recession, the economy had reversed an unemployment spike of more than four percentage points.

In 1981-1982, job growth more than erased a 3.1 percentage point increase in unemployment within 11 months, leaving the rate lower than it was before the recession.

Economists have rolled out an alphabet soup of justifications and neologisms to explain all this: the "w-shaped" or "l-shaped" recession, the "double dip," the "jobless" or "job-loss" recovery, and so on.

But there are really only two possible explanations: Either the recovery isn't happening, or there's something wrong with our assumptions about the economy, says Cavanaugh.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

School Voucher Actually Work : Oh No!

What insight - facts that prove vouchers do work and students that get them and those that don't make them better - how? - competition!

This would be a huge stumbling block for the progressive left but it will never see the light of day as the media will spike it. Anything that doesn't fit the agenda has to go into the dumper.

School Vouchers Work
Source: Jason L. Riley, "The Evidence Is In: School Vouchers Work," Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2011.

When President Obama first moved to phase out the D.C. Opportunities Scholarship Program, which finances tuition vouchers for low-income kids to attend private schools, his Education Department was in possession of a federal study showing that voucher recipients, who number more than 3,300, made gains in reading scores and didn't decline in math. The administration claims that the reading gains were not large enough to be significant. But the program's merits don't rest on reading scores alone, says the Wall Street Journal.

In a study published last year, Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas found that voucher recipients had graduation rates of 91 percent. That's significantly higher than the D.C. public school average (56 percent) and the graduation rate for students who applied for a D.C. voucher but didn't win the lottery (70 percent).

In testimony before a Senate subcommittee in February, Mr. Wolf said that "we can be more than 99 percent confident that access to school choice through the Opportunity Scholarship Program, and not mere statistical noise, was the reason why... [voucher] students graduated at these higher rates."

The positive effects of the D.C. voucher program are not unique.

A recent study of Milwaukee's older and larger voucher program found that 94 percent of students who stayed in the program throughout high school graduated, versus just 75 percent of students in Milwaukee's traditional public schools.

And contrary to the claim that vouchers hurt public schools, the report found that students at Milwaukee public schools "are performing at somewhat higher levels as a result of competitive pressure from the school voucher program."

Thus vouchers can benefit even the children that don't receive them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Dogs Have Stress Too - Great Video!

If you ever wanted something to get you started in the morning, this is the ticket - even if you aren't a dog lover, anyone can identify with the humor here. If not, then you are lost forever!


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Wind Farms Are Not Good Alternative : Really? Who Knew?

Again, this is not news to most of us that are paying attention - wind and solar are not ever going to be a driving force in energy generation.

Everyone has heard about the 3 billion to oil companies as a subsides and how the liberal progressives howl, but what about the 16 billion for Ethanol?

How Efficient Are Wind Farms?
Source: "Wind Farm Efficiency Queried by John Muir Trust Study," BBC News, April 6, 2011. Stuart Young, "Analysis of UK Wind Power Generation," John Muir Trust, March 2011.

Wind farms are much less efficient than claimed, producing below 10 percent of capacity for more than a third of the time, according to a new report. The analysis also suggested output was low during the times of highest demand, says BBC News.

The research, carried out by Stuart Young Consulting for the John Muir Trust, analyzed electricity generated from UK wind farms between November 2008 and December 2010.
Statements made by the wind industry and government agencies commonly assert that wind turbines will generate on average 30 percent of their rated capacity over a year.

But the research found wind generation was below 20 percent of capacity more than half the time and below 10 percent of capacity over one third of the time. The study also challenged industry claims that periods of widespread low wind were "infrequent."

The average frequency and duration of a "low wind event" was once every 6.38 days for 4.93 hours. During each of the four highest peak demands of 2010, wind output reached just 4.72 percent, 5.51 percent, 2.59 percent and 2.51 percent of capacity, according to the analysis.

It concluded wind behaves in a "quite different manner" from that suggested by average output figures or wind speed records.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Energy Development Thru Competition

Where ever and when ever competition is introduced into the market in place of the government, great things happen. There are exceptions, of course, to the rule, but one thing is a sure thing, when the government is in control, everyone loses.

The Consumer Benefits of Electric Power Competition
Source: Carl Johnston and Lynne Kiesling, "Turning on the Lights 2011: The Consumer Benefits of Electric Power Competition," National Center for Policy Analysis, April 29, 2011.

For most of the 20th century, electric power was generated by utilities with legally protected monopolies in geographically defined service territories and sold to captive consumers at state-regulated rates. Meanwhile, in the 1970s and 1980s, deregulation of other network or utility-type industries -- including natural gas, telecommunications, airlines, trucking and railroads -- reduced prices at least 25 percent below prereform levels. This experience led to expectations that electric power competition would provide similar consumer benefits.

Thus, beginning in the late 1990s, a number of states restructured their retail power markets, say Carl Johnston, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Lynne Kiesling, a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at Northwestern University.

Restructuring generally means that prices are set competitively, utilities shed generating plants and transmission lines, and consumers have a choice of providers. Two-thirds of the U.S. population lives in states that have introduced competition and choice.

Electricity prices in these states reflect the actual cost of production better than politically determined rates.

Overall, electricity prices have adjusted more quickly in restructured states to changes in fuel costs and demand than in unrestructured states. As a result, in response to market demand as indicated by price, restructured states have added efficiency improvements, plant upgrades, additional generation and transmission capacity at a faster pace than nonrestructured states.

In competitive markets, consumers may pay less for electricity than they once did under monopoly -- for example, Texas retail customers in some competitive markets paid up to one-third less in 2010 than in 2001, after adjusting for inflation.

However, many states are not ready for the revolution. Among the steps necessary to realize the potential of the new technologies and markets:

Continue the process of state restructuring.
Allow retail market competition.
Devolve or divest federal power generating and transmission assets.
Build a national transmission grid.
Give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to site long-distance transmission lines.
Implement smart technologies.
Avoid preferential subsidies or mandates for particular forms of energy.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Liberal Thought Psychosis Explained

Goodness - just what the doctor ordered to help understand the liberal thought process.


Obama's Living Large : Others Must Sacrafice

This is just a small portion of his article. It is well worth the effort to read the entire article as it brings a good understanding of black Conservative thought.

Of course, it's not just black Conservatives who think this way, millions more of all colors see Obama for what and who he is.

When will Obama crack in public?
Mychal Massie

At a time when many Americans can barely afford Burger King and a movie, Obama boasts of spending a billion dollars on his re-election campaign. Questioned at a recent appearance about the spiraling fuel costs, Obama said, "Get used to it" – and with an insouciant grin and chortle, he told another person at the event, who complained about the effect high fuel prices were having on his family, to "get a more fuel-efficient car."

The Obamas behave as if they were sharecroppers living in a trailer and hit the Powerball, but instead of getting new tires for their trailer and a new pickup truck, they moved to Washington. And instead of making possum pie, with goats and chickens in the front yard, they're spending and living large at taxpayer expense – opulent vacations, gala balls, resplendent dinners and exclusive command performances at the White House, grand date nights, golf, basketball, more golf, exclusive resorts and still more golf.