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July 18, 2011

I asked for love, but got DOOM! instead....


Noemie Emery at The Weekly Standard posts a good piece on why privileges should not be conflated with "rights". This is an important point about the modern welfare state that people (especially liberals) fundamentally misunderstand: a "right" comes from nature (or God), not from the pen of a politician. Emery uses healthcare as an example of a privilege that the left has conflated into a "right" over the years. Well-meaning it may be, but it is a sure road to ruin.

Keith Hennessey breaks down the current state of the debt-ceiling talks. (Isn't it strange how this formerly boring procedural motion has turned into a high-stakes game of statesmanship between intractable opponents? I keep expecting President Obama to take off his shoe and start banging it on the table, chanting, "We will break you!")

Too much debt means the economy can't grow. Well...debt is one reason, but there are others. Demographics, regulation, monetary and fiscal (tax) policy also play large parts.

Get ready for a 70% marginal tax rate. I don't think voters -- especially Democrats -- really comprehend how high tax rates (on everyone, not just "the rich") would have to go up to support the current level of public spending indefinitely.

Even optimists are revising their GDP numbers down. This matters in lots of ways, but especially so for returns on investments like pension funds. I've been saying for a long time that public-sector pension funds are over-estimating their returns in order to reduce the amount of contributions required by the government and employees. Public-sector actuaries are projecting far higher return rates than the GDP numbers seem to warrant, which means that the underfunding of public-sector pensions is likely to continue.

Why employers are so slow to fill jobs. Uncertainty, government hostility to private enterprise, a poorly-educated and -trained workforce, over-regulation, over-taxation, and international competition. It's not all that hard to understand.

Alas, poor Euro! I knew him, Horatio, a currency of infinite possibility, of most excellent potential. He hath bought my lunch a thousand times, and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it.

Who do we blame the Great Recession on today? (Shakes the Magic 8 Ball.) Let's see...Ben Bernanke and The Fed! There was no single cause for the Great Recession -- lots of people did lots of stupid things, in the public sector and in the private sector. There's plenty of blame to go around. But I think it is true that the Fed's policies have made the situation worse rather than better.

It's nothing we don't all already know, but it bears repeating: the problem isn't too little income, the problem is too much spending. More on this from the TaxProf.

The Dodd-Frank legislation isn't quite the runaway success that its Democrat authors hoped it would be.

UPDATE 1: "Fiscal child abuse." California Democrats are, naturally, horrified. Not at the situation, mind you; no, they object to the term. California, thou art boned by thine own stupidity; verily, even unto death.

UPDATE 2: Senator Tom Coburn is preparing a $9 trillion debt plan. It won't go anywhere, of course, but it's yet another stick to hit the Democrats with -- they're blocking GOP budget plans without coming up with any of their own.

UPDATE 3: The "Gimme Mine" Mentality and the American Spirit.

UPDATE 4: Angela Merkel calls for a Greek debt-default (whether she realizes it or not).

UPDATE 5: Turbo Tax Timmah has turned being a chump into a real art-form. It's not just that he's a partisan Administration shill, but that he's so bad at it. He's like some ten-year-old kid trying to imitate his dad.

UPDATE 6: Barone (a national treasure, in my opinion) lays it out -- the real debate is over the size and role of the federal government. This is the true victory of the Tea Party. It's made this central point clear. The "blue model" is failing, as it was always destined to do.

UPDATE 7: There's too much good stuff to post today; I can't keep up with it all. Walter Russell Meade (one of my favorite essayists) posts this gem: "Why Blue Can’t Save The Inner Cities Part I". Do read it all.

I find your lack of Friskies disturbing.

digg this
posted by Monty at 09:04 AM

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