Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the need for young and healthy to have insurance:

"The real reason Obama insists upon making the young and healthy buy insurance they don't want is not the relatively minor free-rider problem, but the potentially ruinous adverse selection problem: The most expensive patients are the ones who are most likely to sign up for coverage. To keep the official 10-year price tag of his plan below that magical $1 trillion threshold, he needs to balance sick people who rack up big bills with healthy people who pay for insurance but don't use it. Instead of acknowledging this reality, Obama portrays the healthy uninsured as irresponsible leeches. Even if Obama could make a plausible moral argument for the unprecedented step of demanding that all Americans buy insurance -- not in exchange for a particular privilege, such as driving on public roads, but simply by virtue of being alive -- he would be hard pressed to cite the constitutional authority for such a mandate. ... Obama might be on firmer ground if he portrayed the levy imposed on people who decline to buy insurance as an exercise of the congressional tax power. But he does not want to admit he is forsaking his campaign promise to refrain from raising taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year. That's why ... he insisted that the 'excise tax' imposed on the uninsured by the Senate health care bill he supports is not really a tax. How so? After Obama signed a bill raising the federal cigarette tax, his press secretary explained that the tax pledge was still intact because 'people make a decision to smoke.' Likewise, Obama might argue, people make a decision not to buy health insurance. The lesson is clear: If you don't want to pay higher taxes, don't make any decisions." --columnist Jacob Sullum

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In praise of Capitalism - "I, Pencil"

Leonard E. Read wrote an essay, "I, Pencil", told from the perspective of an ordinary #2 pencil, and all the things that go into making it. It's a good read. http://fee.org/library/books/i-pencil-2/

Friday, September 18, 2009

My new favorite quote?

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." -- English writer G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Rich not paying their share"?

"The belief that the tax code is skewed to benefit the rich is one that many Americans share. When pollsters ask whether high-income people are paying too much, too little, or their fair share in federal taxes, 60 percent or more of respondents routinely answer: too little. But the data tell a different story. By any reasonable standard the rich pay far more than their fair share. According to the latest (2007) IRS data, the top 1 percent of US taxpayers earn 22.8 percent of adjusted gross income but pay 40.4 percent of all federal income taxes. By contrast, the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers, who earn 62.5 percent of the income, pay just 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. That bears repeating: The income tax burden of the top 1 percent, who comprise just 1.4 million taxpayers, now exceeds that of the bottom 134 million combined. While economic resentment makes a potent political brew, the hangover it leaves can be fierce. Democrats should resist the clamor to soak the rich, and remember instead Paul Tsongas's admonition: 'No goose, no golden eggs.'" --columnist Jeff Jacoby

Just useful to remember.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Ten Cannots

"In 1916, a minister and outspoken advocate for liberty, William J. H. Boetcker, published a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots:

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves."

Found this at the Patriot Post and it describes a lot of the disgust I have with current government.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Part of the foundation for my opposition to ANY government program

"President Obama and congressional supporters estimate that his health care plan will cost between $50 and $65 billion a year. Such cost estimates are lies whether they come from a Democratic president and Congress, or a Republican president and Congress. ... At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee, along with President Johnson, estimated that Medicare would cost an inflation-adjusted $12 billion by 1990. In 1990, Medicare topped $107 billion. That's nine times Congress' prediction. Today's Medicare tab comes to $420 billion with no signs of leveling off. How much confidence can we have in any cost estimates by the White House or Congress? Another part of the Medicare lie is found in Section 1801 of the 1965 Medicare Act that reads: 'Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize any federal officer or employee to exercise any supervision or control over the practice of medicine, or the manner in which medical services are provided, or over the selection, tenure, or compensation of any officer, or employee, or any institution, agency or person providing health care services.' Ask your doctor or hospital whether this is true." --economist Walter E. Williams

They never get the costs nor the total effect right.