Thursday, February 28, 2013

Free Markets for Electricty Generation Expand Accessiblity

To express ones opinion on the free market as a good way to provide prosperity will be met with hate and personal attack from the progressive socialists. Individual freedom is not acceptable as this will crush the agenda of the progressives and stop dependence and poverty.

Using the Free Market to Expand Access to Electricity
February 26, 2013
Source: Paul Ballonoff, "Providing Access to Electricity for the Unserved: A Free-Market Solution," Cato Journal, Winter 2013.

For the world's 1.4 billion people without access to electricity, the traditional solution to the problem seeks to improve and expand service from an established monopolistic electricity supplier.  However, free market solutions to electricity development could be more effective at expanding access to electricity, says Paul Ballonoff, a specialist manager in the emerging markets practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP.
  • In many emerging markets, private free market suppliers of electricity are illegal and the established monopolies are often government owned and operated and frequently unreliable.
  • These monopolies are legal monopolies, not natural monopolies, and as such do not compel consumers to voluntarily purchase the regulated monopoly provider's electricity.
  • Instead, consumers opt to pay higher prices for free market insurgent provider s' electricity or consumer-reliable alternatives like kerosene, which have no natural monopoly attached to them.
Worldwide electricity demand is projected to grow by 2.2 annually, driven by developing countries and electric car expansion.
  • Though existing monopolies offer lower prices, competition drives reliability -- a key factor in transitioning developing countries from kerosene and other alternatives to electricity.
  • While counterintuitive, the bottom of the pyramid, which comprises 80 percent of the world's population, has substantial spending power and would willingly substitute current energy sources for electricity, provided that distribution networks and competition make it possible.
  • Electricity consumers pay for reliability more than for volume of electricity.
In current electricity systems, highly regulated grids, artificially low prices and heavy subsidization create prices that do not reflect the real cost to consumers. Even with regulation of principal suppliers in these systems, costs are much higher than regulated costs because consumers have to purchase backup energy to ensure reliability.

Ballonoff proposes that local distribution systems evolve according to local economic conditions and that each local grid be isolated from adjacent grids' instabilities by creating direct current connections as opposed to alternating current connections. Doing so would ensure reliability and harden local distribution systems against system wide failures like the blackouts that India experienced in 2012.

Affordable Care Act Over Reach Will Kill Health Care

It has been shown that the Affordable Aare Act will cost nearly 2.1 trillion dollars in ten years. Is this what Obama told us would happen if the act was passed? Didn't he say we all would save at least $2500 dollars on our health care? We would loose our doctors?

As that infamous representative said during the state of union address a few years ago, "you lie" fits here to a tee. Government over reach into our health care will be it demise.

Federal Government Releases List of Health Benefits Insurers Must Offer
Source: David Morgan, "U.S. Releases List of Health Benefits Insurers Must Offer," Reuters, February 20, 2013. -

The Obama administration issued its long-awaited final rule on essential health benefits that insurers must offer consumers in the individual and small-group market beginning in 2014 under the health care reform law, says Reuters.
  • A cornerstone of President Barack Obama's plan to enhance the breadth of health care coverage in the United States, the mandate allows the 50 states a role in identifying benefit requirements and grants insurers a phased-in accreditation process for plans sold on federal health care exchanges.
  • The rule included few changes from previous administration proposals, a fact that could help states and insurers as they prepare for new online state health insurance marketplaces, known as health care exchanges, scheduled to begin enrolling beneficiaries for federally subsidized coverage on October 1.
  • The exchanges are expected to cover as many as 26 million people within 10 years and seem likely to dominate individual and small-group insurance markets.
  • Another 12 million people are expected to receive health care coverage through an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The Affordable Care Act sets out 10 benefit categories that must be covered by most plans at the same level as a typical employer plan. The categories range from hospitalization to prescription drugs to maternity and newborn care.

Insurers will use the government's final word on these required benefits as they design plans and set premium prices ahead of the exchange launches.

The administration also gave insurers the chance to phase-in requirements for plans sold on federally facilitated exchanges and denied requests from groups that wanted to exempt low-cost community health plans and Medicaid managed-care plans from the accreditation process.

Affordabel Care Act Exchanges : Health Care Lost

Here it is again, the Affordable Care Act will be a mine field for states that opt for the federal exchanges. The system is so huge and out of control, fraud will be the prime mover that will destroy the entire system.

The federal government can't run anything without over regulation and fraud, why would anyone think that something as huge as 'single payer' heath care, comprising one sixth of all our expenditures, not be a complete disaster. Medicaid payments are nearly 40% fraudulent. Go figure! Add all the fraud in Social Security and Medicare into the mix and you still believe the ACA will not be just one more huge pit of fraud?

Worse, knowing this to be a fact, why would any state actually think they will be able to survive federal control of their health care through these exchanges? The feds are broke!

Health Insurance Exchanges Create State Problems
February 18, 2013
Source: Tom Miller, "Bumpy Rise Ahead for Insurance Markets," The Hill, February 12, 2013.

Opposition to state-based health insurance exchanges may be politically convenient in the short term but in the long-term, opposition should rely on a sounder theoretical basis, says Tom Miller, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Exchange opponents should root themselves in the fundamentals of choice and free-market competition.
  • Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), regulatory control of the health insurance market is expanded, which facilitates substantial income redistribution through new taxes and subsidies.
  • The mandate also invokes greater voter loyalty from constituencies who are increasingly reliant on the government to provide health care.
The costs and complexities involved with implementing the state-based health exchanges kept many governors from embracing the new system, which will limit competition from private-market alternatives. The exchanges create the appearance of private-sector delivery but instead create politically favored monopolies.
  • Despite hundreds of pages of regulations, Miller expresses skepticism that exchanges will be free of deceptive marketing, untested mechanisms and unchecked bureaucratic discretion.
  • The Obama administration has reiterated that it will be able to install exchanges in the states unwilling to establish their own.
  • There are doubts about whether federally-created exchanges will be able to track data, handle payments or provide adequate customer service after 2014.
Miller makes three recommendations for those states that oppose the exchanges and for those states that do not want to take the blame when poorly-administered federal exchanges impact their citizens.
  • States should initiate litigation that challenges the Internal Revenue Service's ability to distribute the ACA's premium assistance tax credits to enrollees.
  • States should insist that rulemaking for ACA exchanges operate through more formal and final legal channels.
  • States should refuse to be tax-collecting branch offices for the federal welfare state's new insurance mandate.

Affordable Care Act Problem : Doctor Shortage

Allowing anyone with a license, real or fraudulent, to provide care is not only unwise as this will lead to criminal intervention into the health field, this will lead to a complete collapse of the hearth care system. Trust will be lost in who will be able to provide our health care. This is insane.

Just because someone put up a sign on their porch saying they are qualified, and on their wall is a diploma saying they having the needed training means nothing. All they need is a good scanner and printer and walah, they are a professional health care provider. What department of the California nightmare will know who is doing what across the state?

I wonder who will take the reasonability for the first death from this insanity? I can understand this happening in California as that state is headed for the ash heap anyway, but some other states that are trying to figure out how to comply with the ACA demands instead of taking control of the health care problem on their own, will find themselves going broke if they aren't already broke.

Why would any state believe the federal government will provide funds to support millions of new patients in the ACA when the feds are broke. It won't happen. If the states don't figure out how to do this on their own as many have, they will be crushed under the weight of huge new costs for the expanded care.

 Who voted for this last November? Who are these people? Are they completely unaware of our slide into progressive socialism and the disintegration of the American dream?

States Seek to Redefine Who Can Provide Care
February 14, 2013
Source: Michael Mishak, "State Lacks Doctors to Meet Demand of National Health Care Law," Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2013.

As states expand health care coverage as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are likely to experience a shortage of doctors in attempts to treat an influx of newly insured patients. States are taking various measures to solve this problem, says the Los Angeles Times.
Take California, where state Senator Ed Hernandez says there will not be enough doctors to treat new patients.
  • Sen. Hernandez has made proposals that seek to redefine who can provide coverage.
  • The new proposal would allow physician assistants to treat more patients, nurse practitioners to set up independent practices and pharmacists, and optometrists to act as primary care providers.
  • Hernandez's proposed changes would shake up the medical establishment in California and could affect the success of the ACA in California.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that since January 1, more than 50 proposals have been launched in 24 states that alter what health professionals are licensed to do.  The new proposals join the more than 350 laws that have already been enacted in the last two years.
  • Just 16 of California's 58 counties have the federal government's recommended supply of primary care physicians, with more than 30 percent of the state's doctors nearing retirement.
  • It takes more than a decade to train a physician and the pace of expected graduates will not keep up with the expansion in patients needing care.
  • Doctors say physician assistants and other midlevel professionals are best deployed in doctor-led teams and that allowing these health workers to set up independent agencies would create voids in the clinics, hospitals and offices that they currently work in.
Whether or not these midlevel professionals are granted new responsibilities that are within their training, the fundamental problem of not having enough doctors to treat the growing number of patients in the U.S. health care system still exists.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pentagon Cuts Political Theater : Politics Riff In Military

This is not something that might surprise anyone that our progressive socialist government is not telling us the truth about anything that they have done in the past, doing now or what they want to do in the future.   

The track record of this government has a history of doing things that are not in the best interest of the general public. Mr. Obama told us things on the campaign trail in 2007 and 2008 that have not come true, or in fact were understood to maneuver the public into believing something that was not true but needed to be told in such a way to gain political advantage. Mr. Obama has continued this agenda of managing information through a complicit main stream media.

So to believe anything from even the Pentagon to be true, that is, in the best interest of us all, begs "a willing suspension of disbelief". Trust in the government has always been low, but now with the progressives in power for the last 4 years, it has completely vanished.

For many of us, we have become enemies of the state. Not a good thing in the 21st century and the prospects for belief in the continuation of American dream.

Byron York: Budget hawks question Pentagon's doomsday scenarios
February 21, 2013 | 8:00 pm
Byron York, The Examiner's chief political correspondent

There's no doubt President Obama is using the so-called Washington Monument maneuver in the fight with Republicans over sequestration budget cuts. It's a time-honored tactic of bureaucratic warfare: When faced with cuts, pick the best-known and most revered symbol of government and threaten to shut it down. Close the Washington Monument and say, "See? This is what happens when you cut the budget." Meanwhile, all sorts of other eminently cuttable government expenditures go untouched.

So now Obama is warning of drastic cuts in food safety, air traffic control, police and fire protection -- in all sorts of services that will allegedly be slashed if the rate of growth of some parts of the federal budget is slowed. But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a "gold watch." It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued -- a gold watch -- that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.

"Already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf," Obama said at a White House appearance on Tuesday, in case anyone missed the news.
Some military analysts were immediately suspicious. "A total gold watch," said one retired general officer who asked not to be named. Military commentator and retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters called the Navy's move "ostentatious," comparing it to "Donald Trump claiming he can't afford a cab."

And Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is worried not only about the Truman decision but also the Navy's announcement that it cannot afford to refuel another carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. "I am concerned that these decisions are being made for the purpose of adding drama to the sequestration debate," Hunter wrote in a Feb. 12 letter to the Pentagon, "given the continuation of other programs that are worthy of cost-cuts or even elimination."

Meanwhile, with a budget higher than it was even at the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Pentagon is resisting attempts to force it to audit its own finances. Congress passed a law back in 1990 requiring such an audit, to no avail. Last year, Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced the Audit the Pentagon Act, which would try again to force a look inside the maze of Pentagon spending.

Now, with the Defense Department sounding the alarm about sequestration, some budget hawks on Capitol Hill are doubtful. "It's difficult to take these doomsday scenarios seriously when the Pentagon can't even audit its own books," says a spokesman for Coburn. "We would argue that the Defense Department has the authority to reprioritize funding toward vital needs and away from less vital spending. As Sen. Coburn has detailed, the department spends nearly $70 billion each year on 'nondefense' defense spending that has nothing to do with our national security."

If the sequestration cuts go into effect, many members of Congress will be watching the Pentagon closely. Hunter, for example, will monitor the Navy's "Green Fleet" biofuel initiative that cost $170 million in 2012-2013, as well as a troubled battlefield software system that has cost $28 billion. Others will be watching for conventional waste. When sequestration came, what did Pentagon leaders cut?
"If you laid off these people, or you diverted this aircraft carrier, then why did you go ahead and travel to a conference in Bermuda or continue to pay contractors' inflated salaries?" says one Senate aide. "Those are the questions we are going to ask."

All the lawmakers involved would rather see more carefully considered budget cuts than are called for in the sequestration law. And all realize the unique and respected nature of the Defense Department's mission; one visit to Arlington National Cemetery proves that.
But budget hawks also know that the Pentagon houses some of the most accomplished bureaucratic infighters in government. And with sequestration nearly here, they know a gold watch when they see one.


Federal Spending Skyrockets Since 2008 : Who Knew?

This gets into the weeds of our financial mess a little bit but if you spend just a few minutes it will make good sense, although I'm afraid it is depressing.

Bottom line is we all have taken a punch to the gut all the while our new progressive socialist government has their collective hands in our pockets steal our present and our future.

But don't despair too much as the majority of our great nation voted to make this happen last November. Ignorance reins supreme!

Real Federal Spending Up $822.90 Per American Since 2008
February 22, 2013
By Terence P. Jeffrey

( - Inflation-adjusted per capita federal spending went up $822.90 from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012, according to official data from the U.S. Treasury and the Census Bureau.

Real federal spending also increased $2437.64 per household between 2008 and 2012.
In constant 2012 dollars, the federal government spent $3,176,376,470,000 in 2008 and $3,538,446,000,000 in 2012, according to the U.S. Treasury. (The 2008 spending number was adjusted to 2012 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)
On April 1, 2008 (the midpoint in the federal fiscal year which ends on Sept. 30), there were 303,381,938 people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and on April 1, 2012 there were 313,336,712.

The $3,176,376,470,000 that the federal government spent in fiscal 2008 equaled $10,469.89 for each of the 303,381,938 people who lived in the United States that year. The $3,538,446,000,000 the federal government spent in fiscal 2012 equaled $11,292.79 for each of the 313,336,712 people who lived in the United States that year.
Thus from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012 inflation-adjusted federal spending per person increased by $822.90.

That means that over the past four years, the federal government has increased its spending on average by about another $206 each year for every man, woman and child in the country.
There were 111,115,000 households in the country in April 2008 (the midpoint in the fiscal year) and 114,055,000 households in April 2012. The $3,176,376,470,000 the federal government spent in fiscal 2008 equaled $28,586.39 per household. The $3,538,446,000,000 the federal government spent in fiscal 2012 equaled $31,024.03 per household. Thus from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2012 inflation-adjusted federal spending per household increased by $2437.64.

That means that over the past four years, the federal government has increased its spending on average by about another $609.41 each year for every household in the country.
In order to cut real federal spending in fiscal 2013 back to the level it was at in fiscal 2008, the federal government would need to cut actual spending this year to a level that is $362,069,530,000 below what it was last year.

Chinese Sneak Attack : Digital Bombs Incoming

Political Cartoons by Robert AriailTo ignore the Chinese stealing many or all of our intellectual secrets, and now they are attack us with their digital bombs, and all the while we just keep our collective heads down, clicking away on our phones wondering want our friends are doing tonight, is to accept second class nation status. 

Do we know what is happening?

I wonder sometimes if we have a chance to make it passed this time in our history, where so many among us are totally unawake of the perils of being disconnected from reality. Is there life beyond the IPhone?

Free Market Health Care in Doubt : Progessives Win?

Some good ideas here to resolve our health care problems, but the problem the authors have is they don't seem to understand the new mind set of the new 'norm'. The new norm is 'more free stuff' less responsibility. ' They also don't understand that Conservatives have produced several good alternatives to ObamaCare, only no one knows about them as the main stream media makes sure they are left on the spike.

Has anyone ever heard what Paul Ryan had to say for the last four years? Many Republicans had Conservatives have put forth bills for reform but they never saw the light of day thanks to Harry Reid in the Senate.

If you are confused about the progressive's take on the new norm of 'you give, we take', here it is -'We all have a right to the free stuff. You own it to us because you all have more stuff then the rest of us.'

If you have a problem with this new norm, or don't believe it, just take a few seconds and think back to last November when 'free stuff' was on the ballot and won.

The Future of Free Market Health Care
February 25, 2013
Source: Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy, "The Future of Free Market Health Care," Reuters, February 20, 2013

For far too long, conservatives have failed to coalesce around a long-term vision of what a free market health care system should look like. Republican attention to health care, in turn, has only arisen sporadically in response to Democratic initiatives, say Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, and Avik Roy, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute.

ObamaCare is the logical byproduct of this conservative policy neglect. The great irony of Obama's triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented health care agenda.

The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending.

Similarly, conservatives can use ObamaCare's important concession to the private sector -- its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces -- as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.
There is a way to use health insurance exchanges to both reform our health care entitlements and reduce premiums for those with private insurance. This transition could take four steps.
  • The first is to replace or reform ObamaCare's exchanges, which are larded with costly mandates and regulations.
  • Second, Republicans in Congress should put the size, scale and growth of ObamaCare's insurance subsidies on the table in all current and future budget talks. The subsidies should end at 300 percent of the federal poverty level, as they do in Massachusetts, instead of 400 percent. And they should not grow at a faster rate than the economy, as they are now designed to do.
  • Third, we should use the insurance exchanges in the service of Medicare reform. Instead of bothering with complex legislation, Congress should raise the eligibility age for traditional Medicare by three months each year -- for the foreseeable future. Medicaid-eligible seniors should also be offered exchange-based coverage, to improve the quality and coordination of their care.
  • Fourth is to gradually shift the remainder of Medicaid's low-income enrollees into the exchanges. The exchanges would allow workers to climb up the income ladder while maintaining their insurance, instead of discouraging them from working.
The end result would be a fiscally sustainable, fully reformed set of entitlement and insurance programs that place American families in charge of their own health dollars.

Fracking for The Future : Over Regulation Destroys Innovation

This subject of  Fracking, is it good or is it bad for the country is a mute question - fracking is here to stay as it is a God send for our energy needs. Now all that is needed is common sense and intelligent debate on how to regulate and expand this great procedure for processing our largest natural resource. Innovate or die.

Ignore and demonize fracking at your own peril. Just as coal has been demonized and nearly completely destroyed by ignorance and ideology, if we allow the same individuals and organizations to dominate this discussion, then we deserve to become a second or third rate nation. There has to be some place and time where intelligent people have to take a stand, and that time is now.

Dividing Fracking Regulation Efficiently
February 25, 2013
Source: Lee Lane, "Institutional Choices for Regulating Oil and Gas Wells," Hudson Institute, February 2013.

Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") of shale gas has increased domestic onshore U.S. gas exploration and production substantially. It also serves to boost the nation's economy for decades to come as estimates of recoverable reserves and exports have increased. Recent bills like the Safe Drinking Water Act, dubbed the FRAC Act, seek enhanced federal regulatory control in response to widespread public concerns about the environmental impact of fracking.

When considering the how to regulate fracking, it is important to consider which level of government is best suited to maximize society's welfare, says Lee Lane, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Lane seeks to answer whether fracking problems extend beyond borders, if uniform standards would protect the gas industry, which level of government possesses the best information, and which government -- federal or state -- is the most attentive to public welfare.
  • Despite claims that fracking produces significant increases in pollutants found in ground and drinking water adjacent to fracking sights, Lane cites a four Government Accountability Office studies that determine that there is no evidence that fracking operations cause serious or widespread contamination of drinking water within or across political boundaries.
  • Discussion surrounding the FRAC Act contends that uniform regulation is beneficial to the industry but in the case of the FRAC Act, it fails to create any specific standards that would minimize the impact of diverse regulatory regimes.
Lane concludes that developing U.S. natural gas resources will be beneficial for the economy, national security and the environment. The current regulatory regime has many flaws but by dividing the labor between the federal and state government effectively, each form of government could address the problems it is most suited to handle.

For the federal government, it means concentrating on regulatory issues when transborder effects are strong. For state governments, it means becoming better regulators and encouraging innovations aimed at reducing the environmental impact of fracking.

Foreign Drug Quality in Question : Cheap Is Better?

Knowledge is a powerful thing - to ignore information that you can use to make rational decisions will increase your chances of finding yourself on the ash heap of history. Being forewarned is being forearmed.

Foreign Discount Generic Drugs Lacking in Quality and Oversight
February 25, 2013
Source: Roger Bate, "Cheap Indian Generic Drugs: Not Such Good Value After All?" American Enterprise Institute, February 19, 2013.

Though consumers may receive significant savings, overseas pharmaceutical companies in developing countries offer products of questionable integrity. With the rise in online pharmacies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot monitor all incoming pharmaceuticals. This means that consumers need to be more careful and pharmaceutical companies need to divulge more information about the quality of their product, says Roger Bate, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • A Pew survey shows that 54 percent of Americans distrust Indian drugs and 70 percent distrust Chinese drugs.
  • Some companies, particularly in India, substitute cheaper ingredients and skimp on good manufacturing practices in order to reduce costs and drive profits.
  • U.S. consumers and pharmacists have little ability to stay informed as to the quality of the drugs.
The United States should place strict sanctions on companies that fail to keep adequate records of their manufacturing processes. Currently, pharmaceutical manufacturers in developing countries face low demand for quality control, a weak regulator and significant competition, which increases the risk that drugs are substandard.
  • Americans commonly believe that U.S. companies will spot any irregularities and that the FDA is able to regulate the incoming drugs.
  • Unfortunately, the FDA cannot regulate everything, and the process of regulating overseas in one of its 15 worldwide offices is complicated by local governments and advance notice to manufacturing plants, which allows them to cover up some problems.
  • In 2012, Ranbaxy, one of the largest and most respected Indian drug companies, recalled its generic version of Lipitor after possible glass particles were found in the medicine.
With a long history of questionable drug manufacturing, the case of Ranbaxy raised concerns about Indian regulators. The Indian government found in its own report on India's regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, that substantial corruption exists in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, though the finding was disputed.
  • One source of the problem is Indian patent law, which protects Indian interests at the cost of foreign pharmaceutical companies and regulatory oversight.
  • In order to improve quality for U.S. consumers, Bate calls on Indian companies to self-regulate and disclose information to the end consumer, but he is skeptical this will happen.
  • To create additional pressure, poor-quality drug manufacturers should be threatened with banishment from the marketplace if quality does not improve.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Progressives Taxing for Political Gain : Long Term losses

Bottom line, take away the money needed to create more jobs that only the rich can make, you also take away revenue that the feds would have collected in taxes from the new jobs. Is this rocket science to most Americans?

The rich aren't rich because they are stupid - they will take their money to some place where they can make a profit. Oh no, not that. This is how the system works. To believe otherwise only makes our current predicament of failing economics worse. Hello progressive socialist Democrats.

I wonder who voted last November to make things worse ?

Taxing Rich Ignores Underlying Problems
February 21, 2013
 Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Soaking the Rich," Reason Magazine, March 2013.

In the context of the political debate that surrounds America's fiscal crisis, Democrats often propose raising tax rates on the wealthy to increase revenue. This strategy is mistaken, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.
  • In the short-term, tax increases might provide much needed revenue without damaging the economy, but in the long-term there are effects of tax increases that proponents ignore or do not comprehend.
  • President Barack Obama has proposed raising taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and singles making more than $200,000, which represents the top 2 percent of taxpayers.
  • Warren Buffet famously said that tax rates for those making more than $500,000 should be increased and that the rich will continue to invest and make money regardless of the tax rate.
Economists are unsure of how people's behavior changes when taxes are increased. If taxes don't influence behavior, higher taxes at least discourage people from becoming wealthy through entrepreneurship and career choices.
  • Some literature suggests that, regardless of tax rates, individuals will work the same hours to earn the same income to support their families and the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.
  • Other literature suggests that people work more hours when marginal tax rates are lower, a phenomenon that is readily identifiable as the difference between Americans who work more hours than Europeans who have higher tax rates.
  • Studies have also shown that women are more responsive to tax rate changes.
Increasing tax rates may raise short-term revenue, but in the long-term it will keep people from entering the top earning brackets by disincentivizing hard work.

Raising taxes is a politically expedient way to raise revenues without dealing with the major financial challenges facing the United States. The simple fact is that there are not enough rich people to pay for America's current spending habits.

Public Spending A Waste of Money : Low Returns on Investments

Spending on public projects has little or no effect on productivity? What? Mr. Obama's entire progressive socialist agenda is based on government taking the lead on spending to solve all problems, not just roads and bridges.

Mr. Obama believes that ever higher taxes on productive individuals and then spending that money to make sure all other individuals have the same opportunities for the good life. But as the productive find they are no longer able to pay the increased taxes required by the all consuming general public, the ranks of those receiving the unearned rewards grows faster then those that are footing the bills.

As anyone that was paying attention, the last time the 'shovel ready' stik was used to spend hundreds of billions of dollars saw a total waste of money as even Mr. Obama said, he joked about this, there wasn't as many shovel ready jobs as he thought. The entire jobs council found this funny as well. Who knew?

Results, $852 billion of taxpayers money, borrowed money, was completely wasted, much of it was lost to fraud and outright theft through self serving legislation. All it really accomplished was to shore up the progressive voter base by supporting big labor unions at the state and federal level that saw their pensions in dangers. General Motors, Chrysler (UAW) and others that contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to progressive Democrat campaigns. This, in reality, is called money laundering of tax dollars.

I know, "what difference does it make anyway", what's important it feels right that Mr Obama should raise more taxes to broaden his voter base. No? hmmmmm  I wonder why the majority voted last November to continue this spending of money we don't have, and a ready and willing acceptance of a decline in their life style. Why would they knowing do this? I guess maybe they just have no clue what's going on right before they eyes. or just don't care. As long as they have their IPhone, life is good.

Public Expenditure Fails to Improve Labor Productivity
February 20, 2013
 Source: Melissa Yeoh and Dean Stansel, "Is Public Expenditure Productive? Evidence from the Manufacturing Sector in U.S. Cities, 1880-1920," Cato Journal, Winter 2013

The federal government and local municipalities often claim that public sector spending increases labor productivity. However, there is no relationship between public expenditure and labor market productivity, say Melissa Yeoh, an assistant professor of economics at Berry College, and Dean Stansel, an associate professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University.
  • Yeoh and Stansel use three econometric models to determine if there is a relationship between public expenditures and labor market productivity in the manufacturing sector.
  • While other studies have examined states or nations, this is the first study to examine municipal spending.
  • It uses a data set that includes information on 45 of the largest cities in the United States between 1880 and 1920.
The models account for public expenditure, private capital, year, city population, city size, real wages and ethnic fragmentation. Yeoh and Stansel also control for outliers in specific cases where the data does not fit in with overall averages for a particular city.
  • According to their multivariate regression, the authors report that they did not find a positive relationship between public expenditure and productivity.
  • Despite analyzing a period of rapid expansion in both public expenditure and productivity, Yeoh and Stansel's results show that higher levels of productive public expenditure by city governments have no statistically significant impact on labor productivity in the manufacturing sector.
  • For every public dollar spent, labor productivity did not rise by a certain amount.
The results are consistent with other findings and have important implications for policymakers when considering contemporary policy issues.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, U.S. federal spending grew by more than $1 trillion as an attempt to improve economic conditions.
  • Yeoh and Stansel's results suggest that spending on infrastructure projects at the state and local level, along with other public expenditures, fail to produce the desired benefits.
  • The authors say an effective strategy for municipalities to revive their local economy would be to keep tax burdens low.

Taxes to Save Us From Sin : Soda Is Bad - Hallelujah

If there is no appreciable effect on outcomes from inflecting a sin tax on such items as cigarettes and sodas, and there seems to be some proof of this, why continue to tax the hell out it to change the behavior of those addicted to them?

And as the tax goes higher, many victims of these terrible sins decide to change their life style of crime of consumption of large sodas and smoking, and there by the tax revenues for special programs to help society in general goes down, this leaving taxpayers to make up the difference. After all, once a tax is instituted, it never goes away.

A good example, just think how much money is spent on the campaign to get people to stop smoking? How do you think this will effect the tax revenue collections to pay for all the grand social programs that depend on these taxes?

The nanny state is here for the foreseeable future, and will continue to find ways to prove to all of us just how ignorant we really are, as it imposes even more taxes on stuff that we enjoy to save us from self ruin. New York city - the mayor's war on salt and soda? 

It just can't get better then that, right? How lucky we are to have so many people that are in power to take the time and effort to make sure we are all doing what's best and right.

The Wages of Sin Taxes
February 20, 2013
 Source: Christopher Snowdon and Michelle Minton, "The Wages of Sin Taxes," Competitive Enterprise Institute, February 4, 2013.

"Sin" taxes, typically taxes on alcohol, tobacco, sugar, gambling and fat, aim to alter behaviors and internalize negative externalities. These taxes do not limit the use of such "bad" products and do nothing to reduce societal costs, says Chris Snowdon and Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • The federal government has always relied on selective excise taxes in one form or another to generate revenue from the use of "sinful" items.
  • Politicians frequently cite the gargantuan costs of certain products, which include life years lost, earnings forgone and product expenditures, but all of these costs are borne by the individual, not the taxpayer.
  • Despite claims that consumers of unhealthy products place an excessive burden on public services, the evidence shows that, on average, smokers and the obese are less of a drain on public services because they draw on pensions, prescriptions and nursing home benefits for a shorter period than the healthy.
Alcohol is different than cigarettes because there are externalities, such as violence, drunk driving and property damage, that result from drunkenness. Still, the tax revenues from alcohol taxes for each state make up for the costs of drinking with several billion dollars to spare.
  • Behavioral change could be arrived at through much more effective methods than sin taxes, which bluntly create unintended consequences that damage health and stoke criminality.
  • Many sin taxes are on goods with inelastic prices, meaning that as the price goes up, demand does not change.
  • This disproportionately affects low-income consumers who are more likely to use sin goods than those with higher incomes.
  • In addition, studies show that "fat taxes" and "soda taxes" have little or no effect on rates of obesity.
Sin taxes equate to the government's overreaching desire to interfere with an individual's mode of life. By regulating and restricting such small details, an individual's freedom becomes the victim of the will of the majority.

Even if the intention is to help improve the health of their fellow man, sin taxes result in greater harm to those they are meant to help.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Progressive Democrats History : Demagoguery and Deceit

This is a little long but so very informative and a must read - in fact, this is something to make a copy of and stick on one's refrigerator, and look at each day to remind yourself of just who the progressive socialist liberal Democrat are and how their history made them who they are today.

20 Of The Most Embarrassing Moments In The History Of The Democrat Party
 John Hawkins      Feb 23, 2013          
For example, one will virtually never hear that the Palmer Raids, Prohibition, or American eugenics were thoroughly progressive phenomena. These are sins America itself must atone for. Meanwhile, real or alleged “conservative” misdeeds — say McCarthyism — are always the exclusive fault of conservatives and a sign of the policies they would repeat if given power. The only culpable mistake that liberals make is failing to fight “hard enough” for their principles. Liberals are never responsible for historic misdeeds because they feel no compulsion to defend the inherent goodness of America. Conservatives, meanwhile, not only take the blame for events not of their own making that they often worked the most assiduously against, but find themselves defending liberal misdeeds in order to defend America herself. -- Jonah Goldberg

1) The Trail of Tears (1838): The first Democrat President, Andrew Jackson and his successor Martin Van Buren, herded Indians into camps, tormented them, burned and pillaged their homes and forced them to relocate with minimal supplies. Thousands died along the way.
2) Democrats Cause The Civil War (1860): The pro-slavery faction of the Democrat Party responded to Abraham Lincoln's election by seceding, which led to the Civil War.
3) Formation of the KKK (1865): Along with 5 other Confederate veterans, Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest created the KKK.
4) 300 Black Americans Murdered (1868): "Democrats in Opelousas, Louisiana killed nearly 300 blacks who tried to foil an assault on a Republican newspaper editor."
5) The American Protective League and The Palmer Raids (1919-1921): Under the leadership of Woodrow Wilson, criticizing the government became a crime and a fascist organization, the American Protective League was formed to spy on and even arrest fellow Americans for being insufficiently loyal to the government. More than 100,000 Americans were arrested, with less than 1% of them ever being found guilty of any kind of crime.
6) Democrats Successfully Stop Republicans From Making Lynching A Federal Crime (1922): "The U.S. House adopted Rep. Leonidas Dyer’s (R., Mo.) bill making lynching a federal crime. Filibustering Senate Democrats killed the measure."

7) The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972): Contrary to what you may have heard, Democrats in Alabama did not give black Americans syphilis. However, the experimenters did know that subjects of the experiment unknowingly had syphilis and even after it was proven that penicillin could be used to effectively treat the disease in 1947, the experiments continued. As a result, a number of the subjects needlessly infected their loved ones and died, when they could have been cured.
8) Japanese Internment Camps (1942): Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order that led to more than 100,000 Japanese Americans being put into "bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards."
9) Alger Hiss Convicted Of Perjury (1950): Hiss, who helped advise FDR at Yalta and was strongly defended by the Left, turned out to be a Soviet spy. He was convicted of perjury in 1950 (Sadly, the statute of limitations on espionage had run out), but was defended by liberals for decades until the Verona papers proved so conclusively that he was guilty that even most his fellow liberals couldn't continue to deny it.
10) The West Virgina Democrat primary is rigged by John F. Kennedy (1960): From an interview with the late, great Robert Novak.
John Hawkins: You also said that without question, John F. Kennedy rigged the West Virginia Democratic primary in (1960), but that the Wall Street Journal killed the story. Do you think that sort of thing is still occurring with great regularity and do you wish the Journal had reported the story when it happened?
Robert Novak: In my opinion, they should have. They sent two reporters down to West Virginia for six weeks and they came back with a carefully documented story on voter fraud in West Virginia, buying votes, and how he beat Humphrey in the primary and therefore got the nomination. But, Ed Kilgore, the President of Dow Jones and publisher of the Wall Street Journal, a very conservative man, said it wasn’t the business of the Wall Street Journal to decide the nominee of the Democratic Party and he killed the story. That story didn’t come out for many, many years — 30-40 years. It was kept secret all that time.
11) The Bay of Pigs (1961): After training a Cuban militia to overthrow Castro, Kennedy got cold feet and didn't give the men all the air support they were promised. As a result, they were easily defeated by Castro's men and today, Cuba is still ruled by a hostile, anti-American dictatorship.
12) Fire Hoses And Attack Dogs Used On Children (1963): Birmingham, Alabama's notorious Commissioner of Public Safety, Democrat Bull Connor, used attack dogs and fire hoses on children and teenagers marching for civil rights. Ultimately, thousands of them would also be arrested.
13) Stand In The Schoolhouse Door (1963): Democrat George Wallace gave his notorious speech against integrating schools at the University of Alabama in which he said, "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." 14) Escalation In Vietnam (1964): Lyndon Johnson dramatically escalated our troops’ presence in Vietnam while he simultaneously put political restrictions in place that made the war unwinnable. As a result, 58,000 Americans died in a war that ultimately achieved none of its aims. 15) Chappaquiddick (1969): The Democrats’ beloved "Liberal Lion" of the Senate, Ted Kennedy ran off the road into a tidal pool with passenger Mary Jo Kopechne in the car. Kennedy swam free and then spent 9 hours plotting how he would reveal the news to the press while she slowly suffocated to death.
16) Democrats Deliver South Vietnam To The North (1975): "In 1975, when there were no Americans left in Vietnam, the left wing of the Democratic Party killed the government of South Vietnam, cut off all of its funding, cut off all of its ammunition, and sent a signal to the world that the United States had abandoned its allies." -- Newt Gingrich
17) The Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1981): 52 Americans were held hostage by the government of Iran for 444 days. After Jimmy Carter’s disastrous, failed rescue attempt, the hostages were finally released after Ronald Reagan's inaugural address.
18) Bill Clinton turns down Osama Bin Laden (1996): In Bill Clinton's own words, "'Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan. And we’d been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start meeting with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.' — Bill Clinton explains to a Long Island, N.Y., business group why he turned down Sudan’s offer to extradite Osama Bin Laden to America in 1996." Had Bill Clinton accepted Sudan's offer, 9/11 would have likely never happened.
19) Bill Clinton was impeached (1998): Clinton became only the 2nd President in American history to be impeached after he lied under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
20) America loses its AAA credit rating (2011): The United States was first given its AAA credit in 1917, but it couldn’t survive Barack Obama's record breaking spending. In 2011, America lost its AAA credit rating.

Sequester Cuts Makes Chicken Little Run for Cover

Political Cartoons by Gary VarvelLittle did we know just how bad the cuts would be according to the progressive socialists in our media and our controlling government.

 And if the fire storm over these little cuts, 3 cents out of a dollar, is this crazy, we will have no chance of really cutting the out of control maniacal spending that is  federal flood of make believe money from the treasury.

Of course, not having a budget for the last four years leaves the door wide open for our fearless leader to misuse his power to destroy our future and that of the next several generations.

Who actually would knowingly and willingly vote for such insanity?  The ignorant? The poorly informed? The lazy? Or the mass of humanity just believing it's easier to get along, you go along.

Good grief.

Gun Violence From Violent Gaming Psychosis?

The game plan for the Obama administration concerning gun control apparently relies on what will sell the fastest among the general public and what the administration can use to advance their progressive socialist political agenda. Remember what a prominent progressive liberal said in 2009 while serving as chief of staff for Mr. Obama, " never let a good crisis go to waste". The mass killings at Sandy Hook school was such a crisis for the progressive's to demagogue.   

To actually have to figure out what is really causing these killers to go crazy would require a lot of work, and if passed experience of trying figure out how to stop the rampaging of shooters was a failure, why try now when it's so much easier to just attack your political opponent with deception and lies. And with the main stream media ready and willing to do the bidding of the progressive left in out government, what is the down side for the war on guns?

Little wonder then the Obama administration's war on gun owners has taken on a life of it's own. Attack the legitimate gun owner, blaming  the gun its self as the problem and the second amendment right to keep and bear arms for self protection. That psychosis and our antiquated laws on mental health might be the problem never enters the conversation.

'Dialogue' Required for Violent Video Games
Brent Bozell                

The Obama administration's assault on the Second Amendment in reaction to Newtown is not a serious solution. It's a Band-Aid on cancer. The NRA's call for armed guards in every school also misses the point. When is anyone going to get serious? The problem is violence, a violence of monstrous and horrific proportions that has infected America's popular culture.

The Hartford Courant reported on Sunday that during a search of Newtown grade-school killer Adam Lanza's home after the shootings, "police found thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games." Detectives are exploring whether Adam Lanza might have been emulating the shooting range or a video game scenario as he moved from room to room at Sandy Hook Elementary.

In California, 20-year-old Ali Syed went on a carjacking and shooting rampage, killing three before turning the gun on himself. Syed was a loner and a "gamer" who spent hours holed up in his room, Orange County authorities said. "He took one class at college, and he did not work, so that gives him most of the day and evening, and most of the time in his free time he was playing video games," reported county sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

After Newtown, President Obama and other officials insisted the country needed a "dialogue" about "gun violence," but there's been remarkably little exploration of the role of video games and even less of movie and TV violence.

Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia requested a study from the National Science Foundation and was disappointed that Obama's State of the Union only focused on gun control. "While I recognize the potential constitutional issues involved in tackling media violence, mental health parity and gun control, I am disappointed that mental health issues and media violence were left out of the president's address," Wolf said.

The NSF report acknowledged that a link between violent media and real-world violence can be contentious, but explained, "Anders Breivik, who murdered 69 youth in Norway, claims he used the video game 'Modern Warfare 2' as a military simulator to help him practice shooting people. Similarly, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 13 fellow students in Colorado, claimed they used the violent video game 'Doom' to practice their shooting rampage."

Tea Party Alive and Well in Wisconsin

What a good reason to believe the Tea Party is strong and still active in our communities. This is what grass roots looks like, real people that have a vision for the future that actually makes sense for out country's prosperity.

The Tea Party has been proclaimed as 'dead on arrival' because of Mr Obama's reelection and other progressive Democrats winning elections in Wisconsin, as well as for the next election in 2014 by the main stream media.

But as even the most dim witted among us on the liberal life, it just aint so. Meg Ellefson is the face of who we are in America, and thank God for her dedication to standing up for our right to the American dream, being what ever we want to be without an over reaching government getting in the way.

Who is the Tea Party?

Published: 6:40 AM February 22, 2013

In 2006, when my husband and I first moved our family from Minneapolis to Central Wisconsin, many people asked if it was difficult to leave the big city, all of its amenities and the place I’ve always called home. Although it was hard to say goodbye to family and friends, the familiarity of our daily routines, favorite restaurants and variety of activities, we quickly appreciated the "small town" north-woodsy-feel of Central Wisconsin. The people were welcoming and friendly, there was no gridlock during rush hour and our children quickly settled in to their new home, school and surroundings. This would be the first year that both of our children would be in school full time, which left me in transition from stay-at-home mom to something else.

It didn’t take long to discover some interesting political facts about Central Wisconsin. At that time, with the exception of one lone Republican (then State Representative Jerry Petrowski), our district was dominated by Democrats.
Democrat Congressman Dave Obey had ruled Wisconsin’s 7th District from his home in Washington, DC for four decades. That alone was incentive for some much needed change. Little did I know what was coming in 2009.

Growing up in a politically 'divided’ household certainly had its challenges and I sometimes refer to my political upbringing as schizophrenic. I remember my mother’s bias against President Ronald Reagan, which was aided and guided by the usual suspects in the mainstream media and popular culture. Conversely, I will never forget my father’s adoration of The Gipper and appreciation for his strong leadership and cheerful optimism during his presidency. My parents are certainly no Mary Matalin/James Carville team, but there were many heated exchanges which left me with questions for both sides.

My father instilled in me the principles of personal responsibility, a reward system based on hard work and a respect for individual achievement. As I got older, I never questioned these values, probably because they made so much sense. By my 16th birthday, I had a part-time evening/weekend job at a local retailer which lasted throughout high school. I added a full-time summer job at a downtown insurance company and by the time I graduated from college, I was working 3-part time jobs to help pay for my tuition and living expenses. As a new graduate, I was excited to be offered a position with a publishing company and looked forward to supporting myself and living on my own, without having to rely on anyone else for help.

Fast forward to 2009 - I had watched Rick Santelli’s "Rant of the Year" online and came to the conclusion that I needed to get involved. My resolve went beyond personal responsibility and extended to my children and the children of future generations. I picked a venue in Wausau, found some like-minded citizens and we planned a tea party rally. People came out of the woodwork to donate their time and resources to make the event a success on April 15, 2009. The objective was straightforward. We gathered to voice our concerns about our government’s spending problem. We recognized the parallel of the colonists in Boston who had stood up to the British government because of their frustration over taxation without representation. We were upset that our elected officials were not listening to us and were stealing the futures of our children and grandchildren. Quiet conservatives everywhere had found their voices.

We all know what happened next. Instead of doing their jobs as journalists with integrity, the mainstream media demagogued, smeared and slandered the tea party and its members. Their beloved Party (that could do no wrong) and its members would not stand for any criticism, no matter how glaringly accurate it was. They took it personally. 'The government has a spending problem?’ The media instantly went on the defense, responding with personal attacks, class warfare rhetoric and charges of racism.

They quickly spun a narrative to destroy the reputations of average, hard-working, tax-paying citizens who had found their voices through the tea party and were simply exercising their 1st Amendment right to speak out against government officials whom they believed were not acting in the best interests of America.

It has been a whirlwind 4 years. Our persistence has paid off. We have had victories - and defeats. But I remain dedicated to the cause of spreading common sense conservatism to as many people as I can. As my father’s guiding principles live on in me, the message of conservatism remains simple and clear – personal responsibility and rewards based on individual achievement; a constitutionally limited government that exercises fiscal responsibility and liberty and economic freedom for all. Conservatism is alive and well in Central Wisconsin and beyond. Slow and steady wins the race.

-Meg Ellefson lives in Rib Mountain, WI. She founded the Wausau Tea Party in 2009 and continues leading grassroots efforts promoting conservatism in the Central Wisconsin area. She works as a Field Coordinator for Americans For Prosperity-Wisconsin, an organization focusing on issues of economic freedom.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wind Farms Destroy Natural Landscapes : Climate Change Answer Going Wrong?

Here's just one solution to climate change that is  part of the insanity that we face a solution to save the planet. Yeah, well there really isn't any climate change that we can change but no matter, it feels like the right thing to do.

As the warranties are running out and local communities are faced with repairing these monsters, what will they do with no money to repair them. A transmission will cost $600,000.

Maintenance will run in the millions a year but so what , we're saving the planet but destroying the country side and our economy. Our government and the environmentalists know what best for us, so just shut up and pay the bill. "What difference does it make anyway" the taxpayers can always pick up the tab.

By the way, where the hell is the eco-fascists that are on the march recently to stop the XL Keystone pipeline? Why aren't they marching on these huge wind farms that have destroyed the natural landscape?

Where's the outrage! Why no hair on fire! Where's the media demanding we stop destroying our natural resources?  hmmmmm Maybe it because they are all in the same bed along with our progressive socialist liberal Democrat government?

Climate Change (Global Warming) Marches On : Insanity on Parade

Please explain how we can have a balanced approach to climate change when we don't have the resources or the ability to change natural reoccurring events on our planet? More, there is no proof that there is any 'man made' climate change, none!!!  And yet, even Reason magazine believes we need to address this problem of how to control natural events on our planet?

Is there really no end to insanity? Who are these people? How did they become so easily lead into a state of idiocy? Spending billions to try and change the weather? Really? That isn't insane? We have already spent billions on global warming, that didn't work so they changed the name to climate change, and other countries have spend even more then we have with out any change what so ever. The bad weather still happens, Oh no, we have to spend more money.  It is what it Is!!!

Isn't this the defination of insanity, doing something over and over but expecting a different outcome?

The planet will do what ever it wants no matter what some idiots in Washington devises to stop the weather, or some pundit from Reason Magazine dreams up. Hey guys, you're giving your magazine a bad name. Where's the Reason?

STOP with the insanity already. Don't we have enough real problems to solve without exposing ourselves to such nonsense as trying to find out how to control the weather with billions of taxpyarers money?

A Balanced Approach to Climate Change
February 22, 2013
Source: Ronald Bailey, "The Climate and Energy State of the Union," Reason Magazine, February 15, 2013.

During his State of the Union speech, President Obama advised that Americans must take steps to cut emissions based on scientific evidence and claimed that recent weather phenomena are the effects of global warming. He said that heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and floods are becoming more frequent and more intense. Historical trends lend validity to some of Obama's statements, but undermine others, says Ronald Baily, Reason Magazine's science correspondent.
  • Analysis of global heat wave data shows that the last 12 years rank among the 14 warmest since 1880; however, in the United States, heat waves were dramatically more severe during the 1930s.
  • According to the Palmer Drought Severity Index, droughts were most widespread through the 1930s and 1950s, with the last 50 years having been generally wetter on average.
  • Forty million to 50 million acres burned annually in the 1930s compared with an average of 3.7 million acres burned between 1960 and 2000.
  • Data from the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that the magnitude of flooding has not increased over the last 127 years, though the Environmental Protection Agency notes that extreme precipitation events are increasing over the contiguous United States and globally.
The data shows that while President Obama's claims about heat waves were accurate, his claims about wildfires, droughts, floods and hurricanes were largely inaccurate.
  • To reduce global warming, Congress has considered numerous cap-and-trade schemes that raise the price of fossil fuels and incentivize consumers to improve their homes' energy efficiency and inventors to seek out and develop low-carbon and no-carbon energy sources.
  • The president also promised to speed up new oil and gas permits, hinted at the possibility implementing a carbon rationing scheme through executive order and lauded green energy advances.
If President Obama is right about global warming posing a serious threat to our wellbeing, his proposals won't do much to help. Some have already been tried and failed, others do not account for the "energy rebound effect" (i.e., energy and money saved in one place gets used someplace else) and finally, his solutions are national but the causes of warming are global. Indeed, ending all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States prevents less than 7 percent of the expected warming.
According to Bailey, the best idea -- that is, least economically damaging scheme -- assuming the federal government is going to do something about climate change, would be to remove all regulations on carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate all energy subsidies and tax breaks in exchange for a revenue-neutral, full rebated carbon tax.

Regulations Designed to Slow/Stop Natural Gas Production

The frustration level with the duplicity of our government is growing at a pace unseen in our history. People just can't seem to get their minds around the fact that our government actually wants our country to stagnate, to become less prosperous and willingly force dependence on the population.

It seems impossible to believe this is actually is happening to us now. Are we actually living in a real time 'fundamaental change' to third world status? This just happens only in real 'third world' countries ruled by tyrants and despots bent on total control of the cultural and economic aspects of its citizens, but not America.

Given what the EPA, DOJ and the DOE are doing, Mr Obama, do you see any real world comparisons to what is happeining in our country and what happens when a country is ruled by a tyrant?

What happens next?

Regulations Slow Beneficial Natural Gas Exports
February 22, 2013
Source: Nicolas Loris, "U.S. Natural Gas Exports: Lift Restrictions and Empower the States," Heritage Foundation, February 11, 2013

Advances in hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") have led to the shale gas revolution and an abundance of affordable liquefied natural gas (LNG). Domestically, the United States has experienced job growth and lower energy prices as natural gas extraction has expanded rapidly.

 Despite a surplus of LNG, the Department of Energy (DOE) is delaying the authorization of export licenses, which is holding back tremendous economic growth, says Nicolas D. Loris, the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.
  • With more than 2.5 trillion cubic feet of recoverable reserves, the United States has more than 100 years of natural gas, which currently produces 30 percent of America's electricity.
  • The National Economic Research Associates found that exporting LNG would result in a $10 billion to $30 billion increase in revenue, as well as increases in welfare and real household income.
  • The Council on Foreign Relations estimates that U.S. gains from trade would total $4 billion annually.
The Environmental Protection Agency's regulation (EPA) is overreaching, as individual states are adequately ensuring that companies operate their fracking operations in a safe manner.
  • Contrary to some claims, LNG exports will raise domestic prices only minimally and the free market will respond to this demand by increasing extraction and supply.
  • Due to such large reserves and extraction capacity, exporting LNG is unlikely to elevate domestic prices to a globally set, higher level.
In 2012, the EPA issued its first air-emission rule for methane emissions from fracking despite a roughly 38 to 1 cost-benefit ratio. Congress is also attempting to expand regulation of fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Additionally, the DOE's review process for applications of companies wishing to export LNG takes an inordinate amount of time and considers the transactions based on the "public's interest."
  • The DOE is currently reviewing 17 applications to build LNG export terminals in the United States as other nations have begun building 20 new export terminals.
  • Loris believes that the DOE review process and regulations are "onerous" and preventing exporters and the economy from reaching its potential.
  • To allow export facilities to come online faster, the DOE should lift free trade restrictions on LNG-recipient countries, stop determining the appropriateness of LNG exports based on public interest, and encourage states to become involved in the review and permitting process of export facilities.

Economic Growth Stalls : Businesses Wait & Watch

The uncertainty comes down to politics and politics alone - the progressive socialist Democrats are driving the agenda to slow the economy by redistribution of wealth, that is, taking from those that are industrious and hard working and distributing to those that are not.

High and ever higher taxes and over regulation are the driving forces used by progressives to bring 'fairness' to our country. Translation, America is not a country that treats everyone with the respect they deserve, so the progressives believe the only way to change this is by making sure everyone has all the necessities of the good life whether they can afford them or not.

The fear of the working people is they don't know just how much the progressives will take from them in the form of these higher taxes and basic costs for food, energy and health care. Items that are necessary for survival.

The result is a decline in our living standard and forced dependence on others. This is not how it's suppose to be in this country, but the reality is a majority believes it's okay.

You want proof? Last November the majority voted for decline and a subsistence life style.

Policy Uncertainty Undermines Economic Recovery
February 22, 2013
Source: Nicholas Bloom, "Killing the Economic Engine: Is Policy Uncertainty Stalling U.S. and Canadian Economic Growth," Fraser Institute, February 2013.

Partisan gridlock and debates over the debt limit, spending and taxes send signals to Americans and businesspeople that the future of economic policy is uncertain. For an economic recovery, this uncertainty can slow economic growth and employment, says Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University.
  • Though uncertainty is a subjective concept, Bloom created a proxy measure called Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU). It indicates that uncertainty has increased and remained high since 2008.
  • The EPU measure quantifies newspaper coverage, expiring tax code provisions and disagreement about economic forecasts among the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Survey of Professional Forecasters.
  • The indicator shows that tax, government spending and health care policy uncertainty are the main drivers of uncertainty since 2008, while monetary policy uncertainty has little effect, presumably because of stable inflation and low interest rates.
Policy uncertainty leads to forecasts of decreasing economic growth and employment in the future. The statistical model accounts for the effects of EPU factors, interest rates, inflation and stock-market levels on gross domestic product growth and employment.
  • The results indicate that the average increase in policy uncertainty between 2006 and 2011 led to a 2.5 percent drop in industrial production and 2.4 million fewer jobs in the United States.
  • The effects of uncertainty in the model are significant enough to give confidence to the findings.
  • Though it is hard to determine whether policy uncertainty precedes economic downturns or vice versa, a 2012 National Federation of Independent Business small firm survey reported that 35 percent of small firms complained about the uncertainty of government actions as a critical problem affecting future decisions.
Unfortunately, the upcoming policy agenda and political polarization suggests that policy uncertainty is likely to continue for some time. Upcoming debate over federal debts and deficits, health care and the debt ceiling limit indicate that the United States is likely to continue from one policy crisis to the next.

Redistricting has pitted members of the same party against each other, which in turn keeps politicians from moving to the middle between election cycles. The result is a lack of common ground, which will continue to make passing legislation difficult. Given the interdependent nature of the world economy, Blooms says that U.S. policy uncertainty will continue to affect economies worldwide.

Keystone Pipeline is Doomed to Politics : Still More Failure

It seems simple enough, just sign the release and 25,000 jobs appear and the price of gas will go down. Right?  Won't happen. Mr Obama said he wanted to see gas prices over $5 as this would force everyone to buy electric cars and heat and cool their homes with solar panels.

Interesting enough he doesn't explain how we will be able to buy these items without jobs. With the price of gasoline going higher and higher, families will have to allocate more of their discretionary funds for fuel which in turn will force many into poverty.

 No matter, the progressive socialists believe soup is cheap and there are a lot of card board boxes to live in, so how cares. "What difference does it make anyway" who lives or dies, it's the agenda of getting and keeping power that matters. Nothing else even comes close for the progressive socialist Democrats.

Remember, "by any means necessary" was the motto of Mr Obama used in 2008, "get in their faces and bring a gun to the knife fight" and we found out he meant it. Worse, we saw he was serious about his agenda of destruction and "fundamental change" which brought our economy and our country to it's knees, but many of us decided last November this was a good thing and reelected him to finish the job.

National Center for Policy Analysis
Keystone pipeline. About 35,000 protesters showed up to march in Washington this week against the Keystone pipeline. As the Obama Administration nears a decision on whether to allow the pipeline, pressure is building from environmental groups who want a return on their investment in President Obama. The 1,700-mile pipeline would transport crude oil from Canada to oil refineries in Texas. It is projected to create about 20,000 jobs and lead to about $20 billion in private sector investment. Secretary of State John Kerry must approve the plan before it can proceed.

Friday, February 22, 2013

ObamaCare Forges Ahead : Insurers Ready Policy Changes

Goodness - given all of the hype over how everyone will have such good health care after ObamaCare takes effect next year is in for a surprise, and the surprise will make us weak in the knees and are wallets scream for relief.

Adding 38 million more people to the rolls of federal and state mandates for health care will bankrupt the country. But wait, this doesn't take into effect the 15 to 20 million new immigrants that will be arriving at the clinics and hospitals in the next ten years due to making all of the illegals citizens this year.

Hey, more good news, all of the new citizens will be able to bring into the country their relatives as well. How cool is that?

Just think of it, all these new voters for the progressive socialist Democrats which means more mandates for more of the good free stuff. Doesn't this make you feel like we are all doing the right thing? It just can't get any better then this.

Federal Government Releases List of Health Benefits Insurers Must Offer
February 21, 2013
Source: David Morgan, "U.S. Releases List of Health Benefits Insurers Must Offer," Reuters, February 20,

The Obama administration issued its long-awaited final rule on essential health benefits that insurers must offer consumers in the individual and small-group market beginning in 2014 under the health care reform law, says Reuters.
  • A cornerstone of President Barack Obama's plan to enhance the breadth of health care coverage in the United States, the mandate allows the 50 states a role in identifying benefit requirements and grants insurers a phased-in accreditation process for plans sold on federal health care exchanges.
  • The rule included few changes from previous administration proposals, a fact that could help states and insurers as they prepare for new online state health insurance marketplaces, known as health care exchanges, scheduled to begin enrolling beneficiaries for federally subsidized coverage on October 1.
  • The exchanges are expected to cover as many as 26 million people within 10 years and seem likely to dominate individual and small-group insurance markets.
  • Another 12 million people are expected to receive health care coverage through an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The Affordable Care Act sets out 10 benefit categories that must be covered by most plans at the same level as a typical employer plan. The categories range from hospitalization to prescription drugs to maternity and newborn care.

Insurers will use the government's final word on these required benefits as they design plans and set premium prices ahead of the exchange launches.

The administration also gave insurers the chance to phase-in requirements for plans sold on federally facilitated exchanges and denied requests from groups that wanted to exempt low-cost community health plans and Medicaid managed-care plans from the accreditation process.

Texas Believes in Energy Free Markets

Again, here Texas leads the country with common sense and good judgement, not more taxes and out of control spending. When a problem does arise it can be traced to government intervention.

Want a good example of insanity on the economic front, how about California and Illinois? Totally out of control and headed into bankruptcy just as most states that are controlled by progressives socialist.

If you don't understand what I mean here by contrasting Texas and California, then you need to pay closer attention to what is happening to our country as a result of the Obama agenda.

Competitive Market Forces Serve Texas' Electricity Needs
February 21, 2013
Source: Andrew Kleith and Robert Michaels, "Does Competitive Electricity Require Capacity Markets? The Texas Experience," Texas Public Policy Foundation, February 2013.

The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) administers a power market in Texas unlike any other in the country. New proposals are considering turning the Texas market into a "capacity market," where the government rather than the market determines when supplies of electricity are adequate to meet long-term reliability needs. Given the flawed logic behind capacity markets and the ability of the current ERCOT system to meet demand for electricity, any change to the system would be an unwise transition, say Andrew Kleit and Robert Michaels of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
  • The debate centers on whether electricity markets can provide adequate generation to reliably power society's needs without government intervention.
  • Proponents of the capacity market argue that free markets do not properly price social returns, such as system wide reliability.
  • This argument is narrow because it does not account for the ability of demand to respond to shifts in supply.
In capacity markets, sellers of power to end-users must own or have contractual access to generation capacity sufficient to cover their loads as determined by the government, not the market. This creates a system where electricity prices are based on levels of available capacity, not actual demand. The prices are administratively set and have little connection with economic efficiency.
  • The process of pricing capacity, reliability and deliverability is wrought with subjective assumptions and theoretical ideals that bear little relation to actual market effects.
  • Official estimates expect that ERCOT will usually fall dangerously short on reserves but market forces have invariably succeeded in restoring its generation adequacy.
  • While official calculations predict ERCOT to be unprofitable, investments continue to keep up with demand and produce profits.
The few existing problems in the ERCOT system stem from the result of intervention that has limited the ability of the free market to develop innovative solutions to the highly complex issues facing the power market. With this in mind, Kleit and Michaels reject the push to transition Texas' current power market into a capacity market. Less intervention, rather than more, is the catalyst needed to allow the market to work more efficiently at providing actual energy, not just capacity, to the market.

Texas Grows by Millions That Want Prosperity - The Good Life

WOW! - Who knew? Government getting out of the way has shown to work for prosperity and growth. How can this be without big government making all the decisions. This has to be stopped. Growth and people making a good living is not in the best interest of the progressive socialist Democrat agenda.

Texas and the Recipe for Growth
February 21, 2013
Source: Wendell Cox, "The Texas Growth Medicine," City Journal, Winter 2013.

State governments around the country could learn a thing or two from the Lone Star State. Despite the 2008 financial meltdown and the Great Recession, labor data shows that Texas has created jobs at an accelerated pace throughout the past few years and could be a model for spawning growth, says Wendell Cox, an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that the number of jobs in Texas has risen by 31.5 percent since 1995 compared with the national average of just 12 percent.
  • Following the financial crisis, when the overall job growth rate was 0.4 percent, Texas' job market grew by 2.4 percent.
  • From 2002 to 2011, Texas created nearly 33 percent of the country's highest paying positions despite having only 8 percent of the country's population.
One factor driving such incredible growth is a population explosion driven by interstate migration. Droves of people, particularly from the Midwest and Northeast, have flocked to Texas' biggest cities. In 2011, Houston, with 6.1 million people, surpassed Philadelphia as the country's fifth largest metropolitan region and joins Dallas-Fort Worth, with 6.5 million people, in making Texas the first state to have two metro regions in the top five. Additionally, the city of Austin was the fastest growing metropolitan region from 2010 to 2011.
  • Cox attributes much of Texas' success to its pro-business climate, which provides low taxes and sensible regulations, a high-quality workforce and a pleasant living environment.
  • Texas also has a low cost of living, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis ranks at 97.1 in regional price parity compared the national level of 100.
  • When adjusted for cost of living, Texas' per capita income is higher than California's and nearly as high as New York's.
  • Most of the cost-of-living difference is explained by housing costs.
  • More than 1 million people have moved to Texas from other states than have left the state.
Given these favorable trends and the pro-business policies that Texas has in place, Cox says that Texas is poised for further growth. He notes that Texas may stand to gain from an expansion of the Panama Canal set to be completed in 2014, which could bring Asian commerce to Texas ports.

Tax Increases Again and Again Will Crush Prosperity

To bring this idea down to where we all came come to grips with it, that no matter how much money we want to take from the rick, there will always be more to take, is just how much blood can one whirring out of a turnip?
Raising taxes on the rich and for that matter on all of us is for one reason and one reason only and that is to spend more money on shoring up the progressive socialist base of voters. That this will cause harm to the country is not part of the equation, it's all about power, getting it and keeping it no matter the consequences.

As the saying goes, when was the last time someone was hired by a poor person, taking more and more money from the makers will ultimately decide the fate of our country. Once the takers have out numbered the makers, the agenda of the progressive socialist liberal Democrats will be realized and the decline of our country will compete.

With 49% of the population receiving government subsides in the form of food stamps, unemployment checks, social security, medicaid, medicare, social security disability and many other forms of support from state and local governments, we are nearing that point of no return right now.

Just think what it will take to turn this country around after four more years of progressive socialism that will drive unemployment into double digits, a foreign policy that allows our enemies to do what ever they want, the middle east and north Africa in total chaos and China in charge of the world economy, does anyone believe it will be possible to fix such a nightmare as this without a sacrifices that we have not seen in this country ever.

And how many of us will be willing to say, 'sure what ever it takes'? I believe the citizens that will be willing to do what ever it takes to get our country back will be few. Most will be willing to stand in the soup line blaming others for our catastrophic failures of judgement, certainly not themselves. No matter how bad things get, it will always be at the other end of the pointed finger, even to our complete demise. Always!

The liberal progressive mind cannot be compromised.

Taxing Rich Ignores Underlying Problems
February 21, 2013
Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Soaking the Rich," Reason Magazine, March 2013.

In the context of the political debate that surrounds America's fiscal crisis, Democrats often propose raising tax rates on the wealthy to increase revenue. This strategy is mistaken, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.
  • In the short-term, tax increases might provide much needed revenue without damaging the economy, but in the long-term there are effects of tax increases that proponents ignore or do not comprehend.
  • President Barack Obama has proposed raising taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and singles making more than $200,000, which represents the top 2 percent of taxpayers.
  • Warren Buffet famously said that tax rates for those making more than $500,000 should be increased and that the rich will continue to invest and make money regardless of the tax rate.
Economists are unsure of how people's behavior changes when taxes are increased. If taxes don't influence behavior, higher taxes at least discourage people from becoming wealthy through entrepreneurship and career choices.
  • Some literature suggests that, regardless of tax rates, individuals will work the same hours to earn the same income to support their families and the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.
  • Other literature suggests that people work more hours when marginal tax rates are lower, a phenomenon that is readily identifiable as the difference between Americans who work more hours than Europeans who have higher tax rates.
  • Studies have also shown that women are more responsive to tax rate changes.
Increasing tax rates may raise short-term revenue, but in the long-term it will keep people from entering the top earning brackets by disincentivizing hard work. Raising taxes is a politically expedient way to raise revenues without dealing with the major financial challenges facing the United States. The simple fact is that there are not enough rich people to pay for America's current spending habits.