Monday, September 26, 2011

Cruising the Web

Check out the 10 most gerrymandered districts from the most recent redistricting. Note that three of them are in my state, North Carolina, where the Republicans took over both houses of the legislature in 2010.

Ed Morrissey points to the moment when Herman Cain won the debate. He had the best answer in attacking Obamacare to explain why the Democrats' plan is bad for everyone.

People who need to use over-the-counter inhalers are going to be the newest victims of environmental overreach. As Ed Driscoll writes, this would have been a great opportunity for Obama to triangulate if he overruled this regulation.

Merrill Matthews reminds us of the Texas solution to Social Security.
To highlight the problems facing Social Security, Texas Gov. and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is pointing to three Texas counties that decades ago opted out of Social Security by creating personal retirement accounts. Now, 30 years on, county workers in those three jurisdictions retire with more money and have better death and disability supplemental benefits. And those three counties—unlike almost all others in the United States—face no long-term unfunded pension liabilities.

Since 1981 and 1982, workers in Galveston, Matagorda and Brazoria Counties have seen their retirement savings grow every year, even during the Great Recession.
Eat your heart out, the rest of the country!

John Steel Gordon exposes
"Five Myths About Millionaires." There's a lot there for the media and Barack Obama to learn. Gordon explains the fallacies behind the Buffet argument and the myth that all conservatives are Republicans. And finally, he eviscerates the President's promise that the Obama "millionaires' tax" won't hurt investment.
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told reporters that the president’s plan wouldn’t hurt growth. “I am very confident that the modest changes we’re suggesting in terms of revenues . . . would make the economy stronger in the long term, not weaker in the long term,” he said.

Geithner’s confidence is somewhat misplaced. According to a 2001 congressional study that confirmed a basic tenet of macroeconomics, “each $1 of marginal tax rate cuts would save the private economy at least $1.25 as deadweight losses fall and economic efficiency increases.” Taxes distort investment decisions. Why throw money into productive assets — corporate securities, a rental property or new employees for a small business — if the income they generate will be taxed away?

Taxes on the rich are taxes on people who create jobs. And jobs are an unalloyed good thing for an economy. Excessively taxing the capital that makes the economy go is poor public policy. And we have a recent example of how the opposite works well: Unemployment declined by a third in the four years after the Bush tax cuts were fully implemented in 2003, dropping to 4.2 percent from 6.2 percent. Meanwhile, federal revenue increased 44 percent in those years. If these tax cuts put people to work and generated money for the government, shouldn’t Obama consider the possibility that tax increases should be avoided?
Nope. Obama won't consider that because, ideologically, he believes that such taxes are a matter of fairness. And also...a good source of demagoguery.

How cozy that President Obama can go out to Missouri for a fundraiser alongside a businessman whose company got a $107 million federal tax credit for developing a wind power facility.

Ron Radosh notes that Joe Klein
has been traveling around the country talking to people that the media usually ignore. And he's been finding a lot of people who are upset about big government. And Klein seems to have learned a bit from actually sitting down and talking to those people showing up for tea party events.
Anyway, what Klein finds is what concerns most people he met are not the contested social issues like abortion, evolution or immigration. Instead, he writes, the talk was “all about too much government: too much governing regulation, too many people dependent on government.” One of the mayors complains to Klein about Social Security disability payment, which he says is giving drug addicts and drunks “three times the amount my father-in-law does on Social Security retirement.” And another person tells him that children with ADD can get Social Security disability payments also. Says the woman: “I don’t believe we have any legal or moral obligation to pay any money to people too drunk to work or lazy to work.”

Another gripe was the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which one builder explained prevented him from receiving bank loans he always used to be able to get, known as “character loans,” since he had a good repayment record. Now, a deal fell through because he needed a quick loan, and Dodd-Frank prohibited him from moving on the process for a six week period. By then it was too late. Similarly, another businessman told Klein how for similar reasons, he could not expand his nursing home business. He even heard the same complaint from a banker who is the mayor of Hope, Bill Clinton’s home town. Not a Tea Party supporter like the people in Texarkana, this banker explained how impossible it was to give anyone home loans anymore.
Klein seems to have been partially enlightened about why people are upset with the Democrats' policies and the overreach of government though he still has to get in some digs at those who think Obama is a socialist. But partial enlightenment for one MSM-er - even temporarily - is a step forward.

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame annihilates
liberal criticisms of conservatives.

Glenn Reynolds linked to this story. Apparently, according to a Wisconsin circuit court judge, it is constitutional for people to make their own decisions about death with dignity or abortion or reading pornography in their own homes. But they don't have any rights to drink the milk that their own cow produces.