Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cruising the Web

Harsh. Politico says that Democrats are "now in the bargaining stage of Obamacare grief, but it's shaping up as a prelude to a November depression."

Mie Gonzalez at The Heritage describes how the fragmentation of media has helped to lift the left's stranglehold on news. And the Left is still pretending that having a leftist media is what the civilized norm should be.

Timothy Carney reminds us of how Obama's stimulus has just been an opportunity for special interests to gobble up federal handouts.

Some Democrats don't mind making war on women.

Boy, the White House economists must be really ticked at the CBO. First the CBO issued a report about how two million people would move from full to part-time jobs due to Obamacare and they had to try to spin this as a positive development that the federal government should be funding. Now the CBO has come out with projections of how raising the minimum wage as the Democrats have been pushing to do would increase unemployment by 1 million jobs. The CBO is supposed to be the nonpartisan gold standard of economic projections. But the reality that raising the minimum wage might lead employers to hire fewer employees is just the sort of realism that the leftists reject. Kathleen Sebelius is still trying to deny reality by claiming that there have been no jobs lost under Obamacare. Even the Politico can't resist reminding her of the CBO report that directly contradicts her claim.

The federal government in just one year made over $100 billion in improper welfare payments. And that data comes from the OMB itself. Why can't these problems be addressed? It just goes on and on. It's not a partisan problem, but an administrative problem.
This isn’t new, of course – OMB and GAO have been reporting this numbers for years. But it’s still astonishing that people tolerate such high levels of improper payments. The reality is that federal spending has grown too massive to be adequately overseen, and the resultant waste, fraud, and abuse squanders public resources and undermines trust in government.
George Will is particularly persuasive in heaping scorn on union officials who are scrambling trying to find Republicans to blame for their defeat in unionizing the VW plant in Chattanooga.
UAW officials blamed last week’s failure on “outside special-interest groups,” which describes the UAW in Chattanooga. In a characteristically shrill and clumsy intervention before the voting ended, Barack Obama accused Tennessee Republicans of being “more concerned about German shareholders than American workers.” He missed the detail that the shareholders’ company favored the UAW. The UAW, too, blamed Tennessee’s Republican politicians. Well.

VW received $577 million in tax breaks and other incentives to locate in Chattanooga, so Tennessee officials surely were entitled to speak about how unionization might harm the investment already made and might diminish the likelihood of additional help. Nowadays, however, liberalism responds to its unpersuasiveness by trying to get government to silence (as with the Internal Revenue Service) or punish (it is the National Labor Relations Board’s turn) speech by liberalism’s critics. So, the UAW may ask the NLRB to overturn the vote because of unfair labor practices, which supposedly amount to the fact that the UAW was not the only speaker during the debate before the vote. Anti-UAW billboards noted Detroit’s current prostration, and Sen. Bob Corker called the UAW “a Detroit-based organization.” Its headquarters, Solidarity House, is in Detroit....

In November, a prescient UAW organizer said the union would “probably lose” in Chattanooga if workers were granted a secret-ballot election. That is, the UAW favored a “card check” faux election, whereby unionization is approved when a majority of employees, confronted individually by union organizers, sign a card. The UAW could not prevent a proper election, but with the NLRB’s permission the campaign was compressed to nine days. This minimized the time for UAW opponents to make their case.

Despite the UAW’s attempt to do for the South what it has done to Detroit, the South can continue to practice entrepreneurial federalism. Capital is mobile. It goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is well treated, so states compete to create tax and regulatory environments conducive to job creation. Liberals call this a “race to the bottom.” Conservatives call it a race to rationality.
Richard Epstein explains how cities need to adopt pension reform before their fiscal problems lead to collapse. Too many cities are in danger of becoming Detroit.

It's a good question: why do environmentalists prefer Iran to Canada?

Harry Reid has his own set of values.
It’s really very simple: if you advocate freedom, free enterprise and equal opportunity for all, you are anathema to Reid and people like him. If you stand for cronyism and special privilege, you are a hero. Those are the perverse values of today’s Democratic Party.

As always, the White House celebrates national heroes by tweeting out pictures of Obama. It wouldn't be Presidents Day without pictures of Obama at the Lincoln Memorial.