Saturday, July 30, 2011
Boston Scientific, the maker of medical stents for clogged arteries, is cutting 1200 jobs - Boston.com
When ObamaCare passed people expected the tax on medical devices to impede production and jobs. Wall Street Journal - Today we see evidence.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I don't like how the current plan by Speaker John Boehner puts all the spending cuts in the future, but it's the best plan that has a chance. Thomas Sowell agrees in IBD...
The children mess around:
What did the people of Minnesota expect when they allowed Al Franken into the US Senate? They expected nastiness and dumb antics. What else? So we all suffer. Distinguished Senator Franken held up a sign "Welcome Terrorists" in the US Senate yesterday, July 27, as covered by CSPAN-2 - Pajamas Media
Senator Patty has also been doing empty gestures - name calling in her case.
Monday, July 25, 2011
The networks continuously talk about their poll results. But this week they are very selective: they are not telling that their own polls show favor for the Republican positions:
- A CBS poll showed that 49% of the public opposes raising the debt ceiling. [Link corrected]
- CNN polling (pdf) finds 66% of Americans support the House GOP's 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan and that 74% support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. (Questions 23 and 25 on the poll.)
They are tilting the discussion in favor of Obama by hiding what the public is telling them. An accident? Not likely.
A well-known radio host calls CBS and CNN and their kind the "government-controlled media." They are serving their master Obama.
Media Research Council has been exposing this shameful behavior.
President Obama warned us that he might not pay Social Security benefits if the debt ceiling is not raised. Huffington Post
“I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
But that is not true. Social Security has a trust fund that guarantees payment.
Prof. McConnell at Advancing a Free Society blog explains:
Why did Obama make an untrue statement on Tuesday, July 12, and again Friday, July 22, 2011? He is trying to scare seniors. Cheap trick.
As recently explained in much more detail by legal scholars Mark Scarberry and Nancy Altman, and by the aptly-named Thomas Saving, a former public trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, reaching the debt ceiling will not affect the ability of the Social Security Administration to pay its obligations.
The Social Security trust fund holds about $2.4 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds, which its trustees are legally entitled to redeem whenever Social Security is running a current account deficit. Thus, if we reach the debt ceiling (which I continue to think is a remote prospect, even if less remote than it seemed a week ago), this is what will happen. The Social Security trust fund will go to Treasury and cash in some of its securities, using the proceeds to send checks to recipients. Each dollar of debt that is redeemed will lower the outstanding public debt by a dollar. That enables the Treasury to borrow another dollar, without violating the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is not a prohibition on borrowing new money; it is a prohibition on increasing the total level of public indebtedness. If Social Security cashes in some of its bonds, the Treasury can borrow that same amount of money from someone else.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
... From the recession’s low point in January 2009 until April 2010, when Obamacare went into effect, the private sector created about 67,600 jobs a month. After the president signed PPACA into law, that number slowed to a meager 6,400 jobs a month — a more than 90 percent decrease or less than one-tenth the previous rate.
Original source: Heritage Foundation
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Let's see how long it takes to upload these few sentences. Time now is 9:00.
Emails without graphics are small, so email worked pretty well. But nothing else. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with AT&T technical support. They tried, but it didn't help. The service was occasionally mediocre - pages loading slowly - but usually near-dead - couldn't load a web page.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Todd Myers at Red County http://www.redcounty.com/content/jay-inslees-failure-learn-his-faulty-biofuel-predictions
As part of Congressman Jay Inslee's gubernatorial announcement [recenctly], he stopped at biofuel manufacturers, citing biofuel production as part of what he hopes will be, as he put it in his book Apollo's Fire, "no less a challenge than reorienting the entire U.S. economy."
Inslee has long been an advocate of government regulations and subsidies that favor biofuels. As part of his announcement, when asked about potential future tax increases, Inslee would only say “We don’t know what the future brings.” By way of comparison, Inslee has been quite bold about his predictions regarding the future of biofuel technology. In 2008, when his book was published, he and his co-author confidently wrote:
It would be comforting to avoid the prospect of being proven wrong by the passage of time. But your authors are built of sterner stock. We refuse to take refuge in the privilege of punditry to cloak our comments in vague surmises. ... About 2011, plug-in hybrids will start to hit the roads just at the same time that meaningful amounts of cellulosic ethanol are becoming available at service stations across the country.
Here in 2011, cellulosic ethanol has not emerged as a significant alternative. ,,,
Sunday, July 10, 2011
In Juneau I took the budget bus-only tour to Mendenhall Glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls which has massive flow.
Photos: Sapphire Princess. "Small" St. Nicholas photographed from deck 14 of Sapphire Princess, off for a closer view. My wife in white and I in green are the closest people on the right railing on the top deck. Bears coming. Click to enlarge.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Sunday, July 03, 2011
This is a rush post. I need to read a into it a bit, but I am off on a big trip today...
Should Congress put limits or even completely do away with the tax incentives that make saving within a 401(k) or some other tax-advantaged retirement plan attractive in order to cut the deficit?
The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis conclude that these retirement planning programs will cost the federal government about $600 billion in lost revenue over the next five years.
Here's what they suggest instead:
Bipartisan Policy Center Debt Reduction Task Force -- Maintain existing accounts but cap tax-preferred contributions to the lower of $20,000 or 20 percent of income.The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, or ASPPA, says the government's math is fuzzy because it doesn't accurately figure deferred revenue -- savers eventually take the money out and pay taxes on it. Based on its calculations, the government would only gain about 25 percent more in taxes and the price would be reduced income and security for people living in retirement.
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform -- Consolidate the various retirement accounts and cap tax-preferred contributions to the lower of $20,000 or 20 percent of income.
A separate study by the Stanford University Graduate School of Business says that the introduction of 401(k)s has had an enormous impact on how people invest in stocks and bonds. At the end of World War II, individual citizens owned 90 percent of the stock market; by 2006, they owned only 30 percent. The other 70 percent was held by institutions, including mutual funds, insurance companies and pension funds.
Ilya Strebulaev, associate professor of finance and primary author of the study, recommends that tax reformers consider making the tax rate on capital gains equal to the tax rate on equities held in tax-advantaged accounts. Now, of course, the capital gains rate is 15 percent for most people -- less for low-income people, while the rate son equities in tax-advantaged accounts are the same as for ordinary income. This would level the playing field and potentially make it less attractive to hold stocks in a tax-advantaged accounts. He believes that among other things, holding stocks outside of institutional accounts would encourage individual investors to pay more attention to how their money is invested. "Institutional investors are very passive. They delegate their vote. It's not the best social outcome," Strebulaev says.
Strebulaev dismisses the idea of limiting the tax advantages of retirement accounts to increase revenue. "What I think what our research delivers is that all these small twists in taxation are very unlikely to work."