Archive for May, 2009
Another one bites the dust. If Queen had been watching Maryland’s economic high rollers over the last year that is precisely what they would be singing. Maryland, who in 2008 had roughly 3,000 millionaire tax filings. Now? Closer to 2,000. This is no phenomenon. Maryland is joining the ranks of other tax fleecing states that soak the rich such as California, New Jersey, and New York.
The tax and spend redistributionists will point their crooked fingers at the recession, which may share some blame, but their missing the mark. Each of those states (and I am certain that there are more – I just don’t have numbers on them yet) have soak the rich tax codes and redistributionist policies. Coincidence? I think not.
The successful and wealthy are simply tired of carrying more than the lion’s share of state burdens, and who can blame them. They are punished for their success and their earnings are fleeced, swiped, stolen and captured… in the interest of fairness.
Is it really fair that successful people who are productive and already carry the burdens of the unsuccessful and unproductive leachers be required to pay even more? I don’t think so, and apparently neither do they. The productive and successful people, who provide jobs, income and tax revenues have no fear of packing their bags and moving to a less bloated and punitive state.
When the wealthy leave, the middle class is forced to take up the slack for the burgeoning population of bureaucrats and entitlement leeches. Inevitably, the middle class either runs out of money or runs to another state. See New Jersey, New York and California. All of which are on the verge of collapse. Maryland is next, if it doesn’t straighten out its act – and by that I mean kick the statist left out of office and replace them with solid conservatives.
These events should put every state with a bloated government on notice…. You’re next!
…and another one gone, another one gone, another one bites the dust.
Netanyahu and Obama met last week to discuss the Israel and Hamas conflict - I sincerely hope that big O was taking notes. Netanyahu, a man with a steel spine and big cast iron balls, made perfectly clear that Israel will rightfully protect its sovereignty. Obama, a noted placater and apologist, is a proponent of the implausible two-state solution – which isn’t a solution at all. Pay attention, Barack, take photos, draw diagrams, whatever – this is what a spine looks like.
From Wall Street Journal:
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Thursday that all of Jerusalem will always remain under Israeli sovereignty, taking a hard line on a key Israeli-Palestinian peace issue just hours after his forces removed an unauthorized settlement outpost in the West Bank.
The twin moves came a day after Netanyahu returned from talks in Washington, where President Barack Obama backed creation of a Palestinian state and urged an end to Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, setting up a potential confrontation between Israel and the U.S.
Netanyahu has refused to endorse Palestinian statehood, and his uncompromising statement about Jerusalem focused attention on another issue that could cause friction between Israel and Obama’s administration.
Not only did Benjamin refuse to capitulate, he backed up his word with deed. See Barack, that’s what enforcing the law looks like. He didn’t tear down a settlement outpost because “The One” demanded it… he tore it down because it was an unauthorized settlement. Benjamin will no doubt continue to authorize some settlements – as it is Israel’s sovereign right to settle its own land.
More over, Netanyahu refused to yield to the two-state solution proposal that’s being rammed down his throat. And rightfully so. The two-state solution has been pushed for decades now and to no avail. Not from lack of effort or good will on the part of Israel though. It is Hamas that continues to reject peace – because peace and statehood are not their goals. The demolition of Israel and the removal of Jews is. Netanyahu knows this. He knows from decades of experience with them. Rightfully, Netanyahu demands that Hamas recognize Israel’s statehood before he will even begin to approach the table. He recognizes that the fight isn’t about a “Palestinian” state. It’s about preventing Hamas from killing innocent Israelis in the name of a “Palestinian state.”
I hope that the Capitulator-In-Chief was paying close attention… Perhaps if he sees what a spine and a pair looks like – he may eventually grow them himself.
On Tuesday the people of Calee-for-nya delivered a decisive blow against the Governator’s plans to hike even more taxes to pay for the ever-growing state debt. Debt that has been run up through decades of political abuse, entitlements, illegal aliens and above all liberal union back-scratching.
Long ago when Arnold first arrived on the scene in California… He kicked open the door Terminator style and went after the wasteful and bloated spending of state politicians. Unfortunately, Cali is a solid deep dark-blue state. As such, the deeply entrenched liberal left whipped out their very own T-2000 in the form of various unions and delivered lethal blow after lethal blow to the then Governator. Union-T-2000 soundly beat down the Governator’s reforms, and reduced the would be Action-Hero turned politician, to nothing more than a common governor and politician. Since then, Ahnuld has adopted the RINO stance as a matter of survival. Unfortunately, in so doing he has effectively helped kill his state.
All is not lost though! For yours truly, in true conservative form, has a solution. Instead of following through on the doomsday threats to cut education, emergency services and human services – which won’t fly anyway, thanks to the death grip of unions. Let’s try something far more novel.
For starters, the obvious tax cuts. Income tax, sales tax and property taxes should be hacked to death. Then move to cut funding of entitlement programs. First up would be state funded services for illegal immigrants – they shouldn’t be receiving them to begin with. There are enumerable programs that can and should be cut… permanently. They can be identified by seeing what: a) redistributes wealth and b) what gives something for nothing. Cut ‘em, give those programs a death sentence by stopping, immediately, all of their funding.
Next up we’ll move on to the environmentalists. California is a veritable corn-of-copia of environmentalist nutbag regulations… let’s dispose of those – and recapture all of that funding. They aren’t necessary. Especially when compared to keeping police on the streets and preventing the shut-down of fire stations across the state.
Then move on to beauracrats. Take a look at numerous “red state” governments… see where California has an overabundance of agencies and beauracrats – then terminate them with extreme predjudice. Also consider that once the environmental regulations are cut to resemble more reasonable states, and funding for numerous tree-hugger programs are cut, there will be entire departments within the government that can be cut.
It’s a novel approach to balancing the budget. Instead of under-funding the essentials. Cut funding from the non-essential. From entitlements to regulations and regulators all the way to Sacramento itself, there is a smorgasbord of profligate spending that can be removed completely. Oh, and if you still want to sell state property… once those unessential and wasteful agencies have been cleared – you can sell off the buildings to productive businesses, that will no doubt return if the taxes get cut.
This plan will work, Arnold. All you need do is upgrade your systems to T-3000, gird your loins, stiffen your spine and rack up some testicular fortitude. You will no doubt take a political beating… but the Governator can take it. Of course, you may also want to invest in a comfy couch at home – but then, that’s your fault for marrying a Kennedy to being with.
Married black President seeking politically correct Justice with empathy for the downtrodden and innate hatred for the successful. Willing to rewrite Constitution and legislate from the bench. Also likes long walks on the beach.
If Barack Obama took out a “Wanted ad” in the classifieds for Supreme Court nominee, that’s what it would look like. Or so it would seem because every potential nominee on the various “short lists” appear to be the kind of kooks that come along with personal ads.
As of Tuesday May 20th the President has been interviewing possible picks for the nomination.
President Barack Obama began interviewing potential Supreme Court candidates Tuesday, while a senior White House official defended the president’s stated preference for a nominee who will give the powerless “a fair shake.”
As discussed previously, “a fair shake” is not only a minimal qualification for Obama it is also the crux of a larger problem. Judicial activism. Obama wants a judge that uses their personal empathy when interpreting law. The trouble is – law doesn’t use empathy… if it did then it wouldn’t be law. Laws are rules to be obided by all who are under them and upheld by those appointed to the courts. Laws aren’t to be re-written or re-interpreted by the courts. The U.S. Congress does that. It is for Congress to write laws, the President to sign them, and the Judiciary to uphold them. If a judge seeks to follow their heart and not the letter of the law when deciding cases, then in essence a lawless society is created. One that is governed not by reason and law, but a soft tyranny that is governed by platitudes and emotions. There is no justification for this sort activism… and no excusing the support for it. But that doesn’t stop our Oligarch-in-Chief’s Minister of Propaganda from trying to.
“Fidelity to the Constitution is paramount, but as with any document that was written no matter how brilliantly centuries ago, it couldn’t possibly have anticipated all the questions that would be asked in the 21st century,” Mr. Axelrod said.
The duplicitous nature of Axelrod’s statement should be readily apparent to any reasonable and learned individual. He states with certainty what is the general consensus amongst the statist left. That the Constitution is a living document to be changed at their whim. And that it is also an old, out-of-touch and outdated document in need of revision. This is simply not the case. The Constitution is not living and breathing. It is a limiting charter written in stone, 10 Commandments style. Doubtlessly, the statists would love to see a “The 10 Commandments” style breaking of the tablet - with a judge in place of Charlton Heston, less melodrama and of course, they’ll keep the Golden Calf. It just wouldn’t be right to throw stone tablets at “The One.”
Colorful imagery aside, if Obama manages to push his empathetic nominee through the Senate Confirmation hearings, much less one or two more later, a breaking of the tablets is precisely what will happen. It is readily apparent that judicial legislation, soft tyranny and social justice are the intent – given that Obama believes that difficult cases should be decided “on the basis of one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.” We can look forward to class warfare being not just the rule of Democrat politics, but also the rule of law.
Non-vicitim groups, gird your loins!
Forgive the tardiness of this post. As said in a separate post – I suffered catastrophic hardware failure and spent the better part of the weekend and yesterday recovering files and re-installing my operating systems and programs.
Without further ado I give you the weekly Full of Win winners. Normally there is only one winner and I typically restrict it to non-professional blogs (i.e. Wall Street Journal online, etc are professional). However, this week we saw a very humorous post from IowaHawk and got special treat from Peter Heck at OneNewsNow.com. IowaHawk delivered some laugh out loud hilarity – which, sadly, is all also very true. I had tears reading it… My sides still hurt.
Our next winner here brings back a more somber tone with an eloquently delivered “shame on you” to Barack Obama for his Apology tour. Frankly, no one has said it better than Mr. Heck. I encourage you all to read it. It’s worth it!
(Please click the bolded titles to read the whole post at the winner’s site)
The Barack Obama Celebrity Roast
(Thundering tympanies, swirling spotlights)
Live! From the fabulous Turtle Bay Ballroom at United Nations Headquarters, it’s the Rat Pack of Evil All-Star International Celebrity Roast of President Barack Obama!
(orchestra fanfare: ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’)
From Peter Heck at OneNewsNow.com
As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he’s been out of the U.S. Navy, that’s still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, “We saved that continent twice…how dare my president apologize for this country’s arrogance.” My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.
Many appologies to my readers for lack of updates. I am afraid that my computer has suffered complete hard drive failures… With those failures came the catastropic loss of data. I have spent the better part of the weekend recovering that data and am currently in the process of installing my operating systems and then software. Once completed I should be back up and running.
In the mean time please feel free to make use of the recommended reads links. Those sites are great!
Wish me luck. Once again, a thousand pardons for the outage.
Thomas “Nanny” Frieden has been appointed to head the CDC by Nanny-in-Cheif Obama. Frieden is hailed by the administration as an expert in epidemic prevention and electronic health records. He is also an expert on making us tempestuous children eat our veggies, cut out fat and quit smoking. This may sound like a good thing to the granola munching bicycle riding health activists… but it sounds like a recipe for disaster to yours truly.
Here we have a guy who is on a crusade. A crusade to rid us mere infants of the hazardous choices of life. Worried about caloric intake? Fear not! There will be a calorie listing right next to the menu item at your local restaurant chain. Worried about trans fats? Fear not! Nanny Frieden will ensure that all local restaurants rid their foods of the unhealthy substance. Worried about carcinogens? Fear not! You’ll be bombarded with tobacco taxes, stop smoking commercials, anti-smoking legislation and smoking bans until you submit.
Like a naughty child subjected to an old school English nanny, you’ll be bludgeoned and bullied into doing what’s “right,” whether you like it or not! Nanny Frieden believes in public shaming as well. For if you disobey and find yourself with diabetes… your name and blood sugar levels will regularly be submitted, on-line, to various physicians. Like a report card to your parents.
Nanny Frieden has gleaned a bit from the education system as well. So there is no shock in knowing that there will be community finals testing. Whereby you children will take part in a Health and Nutrition Exam Survey. This will help your parents on Capital Hill decide what further sanctions to impose upon us infantile children… of course, it’s for our own good. Because we are children, under the ever watchful eyes of our politician parents, and far too naive and ignorant to know that fast food is fattening, smoking is bad for our health, exercise is important, and that we should cut fats and eat our veggies.
Let your worries be eased and rest your weary eyes, children. For Nanny Frieden will ensure that nothing bad happens to you. He won’t let the boogie men get you. You won’t ever have to worry about doing something unhealthy… because you won’t ever have to make the choice. Nanny Frieden will do it for you.
If you think this is far fetched or can’t happen… it already did in New York, and soon in a community near you!
“Hush little babies, don’t say a word…”
Orszag Needs A Proctocolectomy… To safely remove his head from his arse. Because that is where it seems to reside – if he thinks anyone with any kind of sense buys the bull his incontinent bowls are spewing. Orszag put pen to paper for an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, allow me to state for the record that there is such a thing as a wrong opinion. You need look no further than Orszag’s diatribe to find a prime example.
The Medicare and Social Security trustees’ reports released this week show that health-care costs drive our long-term entitlement problem. An example illustrates the point: If costs per enrollee in Medicare and Medicaid grow at the same rate over the next four decades as they have over the past four, those two programs will increase from 5% of GDP today to 20% by 2050.
First, “long term entitlements” are a huge part of our collective problems to day. Orszag basically defines why when he drones on to tell us that in 40 years at current growth rates Medicare and Medicaid will consume 20% of GDP. I’ve talked about this before. It is a certain sign of an ignorant or otherwise foolish person to use the prime example of what is wrong with federal entitlement programs… to argue the case for MORE federal entitlement programs.
We don’t seem to be getting anything in exchange for the extra costs except more intensive tests and procedures, and additional days in the hospital — and who would want any of that if the additional tests and procedures do not actually help to promote health?
No one would want excessive and useless tests with more hospital time. No one does. Not even the doctors that are performing the tests. But they don’t have a choice, because if they don’t some shyster trial lawyer will sue the doctor and hospital for millions and win. Thus the high cost of malpractice insurance, and therefore, higher cost of care.
While Orszag may have a point about excessive testing… but he’s also using it to frame his argument for government rationed health care. The stench of statist mouth sewage is wafting from the statement. Swimmers beware!
Health-care costs are already so high and the power of compound interest so strong that reducing the growth rate by 1.5 percentage points per year would save substantial sums. It would reduce national health expenditures by more than $2 trillion over the next decade — and could help to put roughly $2,500 in the pockets of the average American family every year.
Excellent point! What Petey, here is forgetting to mention is that much of those costs are driven up because of government regulations that prevent competition in the industry. These numbers also come from a more Capitalist system – one which is vastly more efficient and effective than a bureaucratically driven system. So, if the overly burdensome costs and compound interest are so oppressive now… one can hardly fathom what it would be like with nationalized health care. Wait, yes we can! Just take a look at the current entitlement programs. Or virtually any program run by the bureaucrats. Inefficient. Ineffective. Piss poor.
A slower growth rate in overall health-care spending would help to promote and sustain a slowdown in Medicare and Medicaid spending, too. If cost growth slowed by that much in the future, Medicare and Medicaid spending would reach only about 10% of GDP by 2050 — half the level than if historical growth rates continued.
Lesser health care costs sure would lower the.. uh.. cost of health care. You don’t say? Perhaps if the Democrats stopped supporting trial lawyers and started supporting legislation that would seek to end frivolous lawsuits we’d be off to a great start. Then the statists could do something completely against their nature, like opening up the entire industry to competition – which always causes lower pricing and higher quality. Sacrilege!
“…only about 10% of GDP…” Only? Last time I checked, 10% was still a whole freakin’ lot. Perhaps, just perhaps, instead of blowing 10% of GDP on an entitlement program that is best left to the private sector… we could actually make it 0% by actually turning it over to the private sector. Oh, and lest we forget the agenda here… If Medicare and Medicaid – which is only used by a fraction of the population – is on track to consume more than 10% (up to 20%) of GDP, what is Obamacare going to consume?
How can we move toward a high-quality, lower-cost system? There are four key steps: 1) health information technology, because we can’t improve what we don’t measure; 2) more research into what works and what doesn’t, so doctors don’t recommend treatments that don’t improve health; 3) prevention and wellness, so that people do the things that keep them healthy and avoid costs associated with health risks such as smoking and obesity; and 4) changes in financial incentives for providers so that they are incentivized rather than penalized for delivering high-quality care.
1) Yes, let’s give the bloated bureaucrats a nice database with ALL of our personal health information… yeah, that’ll be good.
2) Translation – Let’s have the bureaucrats ration our health care in whatever manner they see fit. How’s that working out for the UK?
3) Like punitive taxes to discourage us from doing what the statist jackals don’t want us to do? i.e. Soda taxes, alcohol taxes, tobacco taxes, fat taxes, and soon how about a breathing tax. What if we don’t cover our mouths when we cough or wash our hands, Mr. President? Will we be taxed in the name of health care costs? Or perhaps they’ll just plain outlaw everything that they don’t want us to do - but then where would they get their money.
4) How is it that they are penalized now? Ohhhh, because they get more money for seeing more patients. Which leaves the victim seeking statist to believe that this lends to shoddy care. So let’s reverse that and pay them more to see less patients. Yeah, that’s a great idea.
In February, the president signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is providing resources for electronic medical records, patient-centered health research, and prevention and wellness interventions so that we have the infrastructure in place to lower health spending in the long run.
The Generational Theft Act provided a nice chunk of change to GE (whom also received TARP monies) to research and create this great nationalized health care database. Coincidentally,this is the same company that owns the All Barack Worshiping Channels. Better known as NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. Can we say political pay-off?
The president’s budget also put forward a set of quality-enhancing changes in incentives in Medicare and Medicaid, such as paying hospitals less when they don’t get patient treatment right the first time so we can reduce the number of patients who have to endure readmission to a hospital.
There is an old joke – “It’s called practicing medicine for a reason.” There is no certainty in diagnosis… it is a guessing game based on symptoms. If the all-seeing all-knowing government chooses to penalize doctors for NOT getting it right on the first try, they will start refusing to see patients. OR include even more excessive testing and longer stays to ensure that they get it “right” on the first visit. “We’re ready for your colonoscopy Mr. Smith.” “But I came in because I have the sniffles.” Isn’t this precisely what Petey-boy was just whining about?
But more must be done. To transform our health-care system so that it improves efficiency and increases value, we need to undertake comprehensive health-care reform, and the president is committed to getting that done this year. Once we do, we will put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path and build a new foundation for our economy for generations to come.
Riiiiggghhhhtttt. There’s that statist stench we all know and hate. As mentioned previously. If Medicare and Medicaid as so completely utterly wasteful, expensive and inefficient – why would anyone with common sense believe that a national system just like Medicare and Medicaid - but for everyone – would be any different? Perhaps Mr. Orszag has been sitting on his head for too long.
Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and savor the irony as the Obama administration and his minions on the hill consider funding Obamacare in part by taxing what he said (while campaigning) should not be taxed - Employer based health care benefits, which is currently tax exempt. If you recall John McCain’s health care reform plan involved taxing employee health care benefits to fund a tax credit for people to go out and buy their own health care insurance. You will also recall that Obama railed against such a tax saying that it would hurt low income and middle class families. However, the idea is gaining steam in Congress as they have estimated that removing the tax exemption could generate up to $297 billion in tax revenues.
The idea of taxing employee health-care benefits to raise money for an overhaul of the health system is gaining strength in Congress, although it drew criticism from Barack Obama when he was campaigning for president.
Experts lined up Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee and said it is one of the best ways to pay for a health-care overhaul. Many top Democrats support the concept.
Not so coincidentally taxing the benefits to pay for Obamacare is also another nail in the private health care coffin – which Obama and his statist Congress are building – and another way to help ensure the inevitability of single-payer nationalized health care. The major road block for Obamacare is funding. The overwhelming costs of his health care initiative cannot be funded from just one place…
A comprehensive plan that would include coverage for those now without insurance is expected to cost about $1.2 trillion over 10 years. So far, the government has identified where it will get about half of that sum.
The sheer magnitude of funds needed for Obamacare means that Obama and Congress are going to have to get creative with their taxation. As discussed earlier here they are also considering a Soda Tax and naturally, another alcohol tax. Falling short of the currently projected $1.2 trillion over 10 years, the currently estimated $297 billion annually is starting to look mouth-watering good. However, that doesn’t mean that removing the exemption will fly in Congress.
Leading Democrats say they still want the benefits to have some tax advantages. “To be honest, I don’t think we’re going to repeal the exclusion,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said at Tuesday’s hearing. Instead, they are considering placing a cap on the amount that is tax-exempt, and higher-income employees could see the tax benefit curbed.
“I don’t see how you put a package together…unless you touch the exclusion,” Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, said at Tuesday’s hearing.
Translation – more class warfare. My prediction is that targeted voting blocks (poor and lower middle class) will probably keep their exemptions while the middle class will probably see partial exemptions. The upper middle class will see less, if any, exemptions and those vile, evil, rich people will get no exemptions and/or possibly pay even more.
Call me cynical but I highly suspect that Obamacare will cost well above $1.2 trillion – which of course, means that those initially kept expemtions will be slowly stripped away. And should these exemptions be stripped we can look forward to an acceleration towards a complete single-payer system. The irony is that by killing exemptions to pay for Obamacare and usher in the single-payer system, once private health care is dead and buried… how will it be paid for?