Thursday, July 04, 2013

Cruising the Web

Happy Independence Day, everyone! The Declaration of Independence is just as radical today as it was back in 1776.

Don't think that postponing the employer mandate for a year will solve Obama's problems with his health care monstrosity. James Capretta explains how this is just the beginning of his problems.
For starters, the delay confirms precisely what the critics have been saying all along: That Obamacare is a huge burden on the economy that will reduce employment and stifle wages. By delaying enforcement of the mandate, and citing complaints from employers as the reason, the Obama administration is essentially conceding this point. How do Democrats defend the law now that the administration has admitted it has the potential to harm business vitality and job growth?

And if the law has that potential now, why wouldn’t it have it in a year? Next year, with the mid-term election approaching, how would Democrats resist pushing the employer mandate back again, to 2016, or 2017? A one-year delay will also be interpreted by the business community as the first step in the ultimate repeal of the mandate, and such an expectation could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At the same time, the law without the mandate becomes even harder to justify. It will, for one thing, be more expensive. In assessing Obamacare’s cost before it was enacted, the Congressional Budget Office assumed the employer mandate reduced its cost, because although employer-provided insurance is tax-preferred, it still costs the federal government less than Obamacare’s exchange subsidies.

But above all, the delay leaves Obamacare with an individual mandate but without an employer mandate, which could well prove politically untenable for the Democrats.

The administration’s announcement made no mention of changing the enforcement schedule for the “personal responsibility requirement.” So, with the delay, employers are under no obligation to offer insurance to workers but the IRS can still impose a tax on workers who don’t have qualified insurance in 2014. The Obama administration therefore wants to let big businesses off of the hook but not hard-pressed working families. How do Democrats defend that position? And how do they vote against a bill to delay the individual mandate? This is a huge opening for Republicans, and it would be political malpractice not to pursue it. The GOP can now quite credibly push for a delay of the entire law for a year, or at the very least attach a delay of the individual mandate to a statutory delay of the employer requirements.

Timothy Carney explains how we ended up with the craptastic Obamacare employer mandate in the first place.

Basically, the administration is admitting that Obamacare will kill jobs - just as critics have been saying from the beginning.

It's not a sign of success when the administration announces a delay of a major part of the bill in a blog post by a deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy on the eve of the Fourth of July holiday. Since when should major changes be announced in blog posts anyway? Did they think no one would notice? And do they really think a year's delay will also delay the dampening effect that the policy has on employment? Employers aren't stupid. And add this on to the list of laws that the administration is choosing to selectively enforce.

Here's a suggestion of how Jennifer Lopez can redeem herself for her performance for the dictator of Turkmenistan.

It's taken a century for Democrats to think that there is a problem with the requirement that nonprofits had to devote 50% of their efforts to social welfare activities even though it's always been unclear.

Here's another motivation for Dwight Howard to go to either the Mavericks or the Rockets instead of staying with the Lakers or going to Golden State.
But as Tony Nitti has noted in Forbes, this picture looks a lot different once the tax man cometh: "Howard would pay nearly $12 million in California tax over the four years if he signs with the Lakers, but only $600,000 in state tax should he sign with Houston. This means that a four-year deal with Houston would actually yield an additional $8 million in after-tax income."

California has the highest top rate for personal income in the nation, while Texas has no state income tax. The difference is even greater if cost-of-living is taken into account: California's is the fourth-highest in the nation, while Texas's is the second-lowest.
Why does the IRS pay 201 employees to work full-time as union reps? Why should the taxpayers pay for union employees to do union business?

Why would we want to spy on the European Union in the first place?

More hilariously bad videos being created by government employees as some sort of frivolous group activity for the GSA. Judicial Watch has obtained the videos through a FOIA request. Apparently, the same sorts of people who didn't think it was bad form to spend over a million dollars on a costly Las Vegas blowout conference didn't think it was dumb to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars making videos of GSA employees jogging through the halls or doing a parody "Mission Impossible" video to join the silly "Star Trek" parody.

Will there ever be another good action movie?