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April 07, 2011

Hunka hunka burnin' DOOM!

Would you take a Social Security haircut? Alex J. Pollock over at The American wonders how much most people would accept as a settlement for their SS "entitlement". Pollock floats an 83-cents-on-the-dollar estimate, but I'd be happy with fifty cents on the dollar. (In fact, I'd settle right now for what I could get, because I'm likely to get nothing if I wait until retirement. Better something now than nothing at all later.)

Paul Ryan answers his critics, then pats them on the back and says "There, there" when they start crying.

Matt Miller at the WaPo isn't nutty about Paul Ryan's "path to prosperity" plan. Like most liberals, he complains that it is "unfair", while at the same time conceding that it is at least better than anything Obama and the Democrats are offering. But he really puts his foot in it here:

[...]Paul Ryan’s “path to prosperity” would leave America with 50 million or 60 million uninsured (as he’d repeal Obama’s health-care plan while funding no alternative coverage extension), and with decrepit roads, bridges, sewers and airports, lagging R&D and a middling teacher corps. Apart from 30 million fewer uninsured, Obama’s plans don’t adequately address these nonelderly priorities either.
Miller suffers from the usual liberal confusion about relationship of health insurance to health care -- he, like many other liberals and "centrists", tend to assume that good health insurance somehow translates to better health care. It doesn't. In fact, too much insurance is in many ways more harmful than too little, because it deforms the individual's risk-vs-reward calculations. And this is quite apart from the perverse social incentives that mandated insurance plans bring about. "Insurance" is a magical word in the liberal's ear; it is a medicine that cures all ills, apparently. ([UPDATE] Commenter goy has some good insights about this issue.)

[UPDATE] I also wanted to note that the "decrepit roads, bridges, sewers and airports, lagging R&D and a middling teacher corps" is the status quo -- this is the Obama age you're soaking in! So really his objection is that Ryan's plan simply maintains the same failures.

You can have the best health insurance in the world, but if you fall off of a tall building you're still going to die. You know what the best "insurance" would have been in that situation? Watching where you were going, that's what. And best of all, that kind of insurance is absolutely free!

The Europeans liked America's subprime meltdown so much that they've decided to have one of their own.

New Jersey state workers experience a blinding glimpse of the obvious.

I love it when public-safety unions put service to the public above petty political squabbles. It's all about community and public spirit with those folks. It brings a tear to this old sea-dog's eye, it does!

California, chairman and founding member of the Loyal Order of the Terminally Boned (LOTB), receives some advice from the Modesto Bee: Union leaders should listen to Brown before it gets worse. As a certain wise man named Clark W. Griswold once said: "Worse!?! How can it get any worse, Helen? We're in the ninth circle of Hell!"

California dreamin', indeed.

While the government shutdown looms, Obama waves his arms wildly and goes, "Yibba yabba yock! Homina ho-bang bajang! Fluh! Buh! Larg blarg slurg blah!" Or words to that effect.

Portugal starts bailout talks while Spain threat "eases". Remember back last fall when the Portuguese default threat was "easing"? Good times, good times.

[UPDATE 1] Citizen: "Mr. President, gas prices are too high!" President Obama: "Suck on it, peasant!

[UPDATE 2] Bawl, baby, bawl, baby! Lookit the baby BAWL!

[UPDATE 3] POP! goes the corn. Just make sure you don't get any of the burny-bottoms or unpopped kernels.

[UPDATE 4] There's nothing like a greeting card to raise your spirits. It's those little magical moments that make life worth living.

[UPDATE 5] Reason's Steve Chapman on reforming Medicare.

"Your time will come, you ridiculous little abomination. Soon. As Sartre once wrote: Les jeux sont faites."

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posted by Monty at 09:03 AM

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