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You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life - Albert Camus
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Wisconsin Aftermath
Remember the Democratic talking point as you read this: the reforms in Wisconsin were all about union-busting, not the budget. Got that? Good.
There’s a lot going on in that budget and I suggest you read the whole thing. School funding is cut, but so are tax subsidies to businesses. Some money is shell-gamed from reserved funds. It also ends a state income tax credit for poor people that offsets the FICA payroll taxes—said taxes theoretically going to their own retirement.
There’s plenty to criticize if you’re a liberal or even just leftish. But what can’t be criticized is the math—the budget is coming into line. That’s more than you can say on the federal level, where S&P issued a new warning about US debt and our politicians have found the amazing courage to “consider” cutting tax subsidies for the environment-ruining, car-destroying, poor-people starving boondoggle called ethanol.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/19/11 at 12:08 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
All The Statements that Are Fit to Sign
What irritates me about this story is not so much that Obama has broken another promise—I expect that. It’s what he’s broken a promise over:
I don’t know the history enough to know where the Constitution ends up on this. Congress controls the purse strings, but the President control the executive. But that’s a fight for the Courts or the floor of Congress. For the President to essentially line-item veto a provision—and not really for a Constitutional reason—is the sort of thing we used to deservedly bash up Bush for.
And this is what Obama breaks his promise for? White House czars? Really? There’s nothing more objectionable that Congress has done in the last two years that he could have broken that pledge on? He’ll tolerate the destruction of the DC voucher program, let stand provisions on prisoner treatment, countenance endless encroachments on personal and economic liberty ... but, by gum, he won’t put up them with telling Ron Blum to take a hike. This time, Congress has gone too far!
Lee’s words are looking more prophetic with each day. The powers that Bush assumed were not the problem: it was the power he passed on to his successor, power that successor is more than eager to embrace.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/19/11 at 11:14 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
What’s costing the government so much
I posted recently about how the problems we have right now are caused because government has simply been spending too much, not because, as the leftiods will tell scream at you, government isn’t taxing us enough. In fact, I pointed out that at the current rate of spending, they are going to have to sock it to the middle class, and sock it to them hard. Of course, the leftists will deny that and lie about how they can confiscate enough from the “rich”, but the key here is what will qualify as rich so they can steal enough cash from the people.
Anyway, now I am going to give you some details of what the big spending problems are all about, and I am going to reference a great article from someone that knows numbers and money. And here is in a nutshell the obvious:
The left will constantly tell you the problem isn’t spending, both now and in the future, but that government simply is letting people keep too much of their money. No, that wasn’t a mischaracterization, these collectivists really believe that anyone with an arbitrary amount they think is too high only got it illegally and someone else’s expense, and that they have to correct that imbalance and get that money back to those that deserve it more. That’s the whole “social justice” concept in a nutshell. And now all this stuff has become absolute and must have spending. Well, there is a consequence as the article points out.
Get that? The problem is with the entitlement obligations, which get worse when you look at the following graph
For those that miss it, the point is that the debt obligation on Medicare & Medicaid is staggeringly higher than anything else, and only kept from being realized through gimmickry. Those are some scary numbers. What does this mean?
The people that gave us Enron were far less criminal and destructive than our entitlement driven US government, and yet, the left wants government in charge of everything, particularly these costly entitlement programs, so they can get more and bigger. The fact is that we don’t have the money to keep this up, and unless we reform entitlements – to cut the obligations and outlays – drastically, we are doomed economically. But then again, that might be precisely the strategy of the crooks that have got us here. Great society my ass. It’s our doom.Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/19/11 at 10:54 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Server stuff, your opinions needed
Okay, so here’s the deal. Y’all might have noticed the server is continually going down these past couple of weeks. It’s the same old bug in the Qmail server, and no amount of troubleshooting or technical support from the provider seems to fix it. The only thing that works is to reboot the machine, catch it before it goes haywire and run a cleaning script to clear the mail queue & associated folders. Then we wait for the problem to happen again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
This server still costs the same $254 a month it always has. So this constant crashing is grating on my last nerve. Also, the box gets about $0 in Blogads per month. That is primarily (okay, exclusively) mainly due to my abandoning most of the sites that it houses. However, truth be told, I have lost my heart for daily grinding on politics, and that is not likely to change any time soon. I simply can’t take maintaining the levels of anger and vitriol one needs to be effective in this current blog world.
Worse, I cannot afford to keep carrying the cost. Thanks Obama! (Oh look, there’s the anger.) But, I have found a more affordable place that will allow me to scale up and down in need & cost, and they seem to be far more capable than our current provider, and I hope to move stuff in the next two weeks so as to avoid the new billing cycle and that $254 charge. However: I have almost no interest in trying to upgrade all these ExpressionEngine sites and trying to import them and keep them running. I propose the following:
1. Create a new RTFLC out of Wordpress, and attempt to create an archive out of the current EE site with link structure and searchability intact. If that doesn’t work, this is the one site I am willing to do the work on to move over. I’ll probably have to weed out old comments, maybe older than 12 months though, because the database is MASSIVE, and the server won’t let me FTP a copy of it for whatever reason. It times out before it ever finishes (this has always been true, and no one can tell me why). So older comments might be lost, but not the posts. Your opinions on this plan are encouraged!
2. Create a static archive of LeeInChina, with the domain name, and keep that forever. That’s just smart, since no one is - or should - ever post to that domain again.
3. Static archive of Moorewatch, attach it to a sub-domain of RTFLC and break all Google links to it., This is more for professional reasons than anything else. MW is an albatross around my wife’s neck, and she’s about to embark on a career that really takes her reputation into account. Unfortunately that fat asshole attached her name to something she had no part in, and while at the time we never imagined it would matter that much, that fat fucking douchebag has created a situation that may affect her and her future client base, so I want to break the Google link between her name, his name and the site. Hell, it won’t hurt me to have my last name severed either, I can imagine some people wouldn’t hire me to show them how to lift weights just because of that piece of shit film....on the one hand fuck those people, but on the other hand, I need to earn a living. - Again, your opinions and suggestions on this plan are encouraged. Also, revive forums here and invite all MW forum users over to RTFLC to save what is left of the community.
4. If I host a site for you, I’m sorry but that’s gonna have to stop. It’s not a question of money: it’s a question of time and tech support.
Basically I just want to know if anyone has any ideas re: 1 and 3 that I haven’t thought of. I need to get rolling on this pretty much this week, so barring any new ideas, this is my plan to be implemented sometimes at the end of the week, probably starting this coming weekend.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Why Polls Don’t Matter
OMG!! Trump is leading the GOP field. It’s the end of the world. The Republicans are all racist birthers!
Um, no. The PPP polls is next to useless. Concentrate on the important number up there: 26% The Donald does not even command a majority of GOP support. He has an unconstrained plurality among eight different candidates. Name recognition and the stimulation of birther enthusiasm can explain all of that. If we get into the debates and it becomes clear that Trump doesn’t know fuck all, if we get to the point where his shady personal and financial history have come up, and he still leads the field (with something interesting like 40% against two other candidates), then we can panic.
Polls a year and a half before an election are stupid, anyway. Four years ago, Hillary and Rudy Giuliani were guaranteed to face off in 2008. Four years before that, Howard Dean was going to be the Democratic challenger. Four years earlier, John McCain was going to be the next President. By this point in 1991, no one had heard of Bill Clinton. By this point in 1975, no one had heard of Jimmy Carter (and by this point in 1979, everyone wished they still hadn’t.)
Polls mean shit. Early polls mean shit. Unconstrained pluralities with eight names mean shit. PPP is giving the Donald the only thing he really wants out of this election—attention.
The left will HAVE to rob the middle class to keep their spending up
That’s what becomes obvious from this WSJ article about where the tax money is.
There you have it: the middle class will have to be socked, because that’s where the money is. Don’t take my word for it. Here is the WSJ article explaining the problems the left have when they tell the lie they can cover their massive spending by just confiscating the wealth of the rich:
And there you have it. The rate at which the cost of these entitlements are growing so far surpasses that of even the wealthy to produce new wealth, that the middle class will have to be raped to cover the gap between outlays and receipts. The left’s been trying real hard to tell you that all they need to do is bend the rich over the barrel and play “Deliverance” with them - after all, these crooks stole their money! And that’s just social justice to take it back – to close the gap, but that’s bullshit. The rich don’t have the money to cover these expenses, even if we take it all each year, and that’s a fact. And note that so far we have NOT looked at the added cost of Obamacare in these calculations, which means that the outlays from government are going to be far higher than these baslines while the available pool of cash isn’t. Obamacare is going to be the proverbial bullet to the head.
So cut it anyway you want, in the end the collectivst nanny staters will have to soak the middle class they are pretending to be doing all of this for, and soak them hard they will. At the rate that the cost of the nanny state is growing, we simply do not have the wealth to sustain it, even after we soak the middle class as well, to keep it up. Collectivism just serves to make everyone but the elite masters live in poverty and misery, as history has shown repeatedly, but these morons simply refuse to give up on their egotistical belief that they will actually be the first to bend reality to their ideological will. My guess is that these collectivist scum know that they can’t fix the problem by ripping the rich off, but they don’t care as long as it helps the greedy and jealous moonbats that buy this shit continue to froth at the mouth.
In the mean time the real world keeps moving on, wealth keeps getting destroyed while people’s life long investments get wiped out, and Emperor Nero keeps fiddling while Rome burns. The Cloward & Piven group currently running the country into the ground keeps winning however. The lesson is simple: the nanny state is unsustainable. We are too close to running out of other people’s money to make it keep working. And that’s not going to change no matter how hard the left hopes it will or pretends it can make it so. Broke is broke.
Is it April first today?
That’s what I thought when I saw that WaPo’s “Outlook” section had an article today - April 18th, tax day 2011 - by Walter Mondale of all people, entitled ”How to Raise Taxes Without Losing Votes”. Walter Mondale? The moron that lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan in 1984 after he got caught telling his VEEP on a mike they didn’t know was on how they were going to tax our asses off when they won? That Walter Mondale? He is giving advice on how to make taxes election year gold? My guess is that he is going to propose more class warfare rhetoric and meaningless platitudes despite his advice to donkeys to “In particular, avoid generalities, and clearly link taxes to addressing concrete national needs”, something I would love to see the left try after the fiscal discipline displayed by the demcorats over the first two years of the reign of Obama. That’s going to be a hoot.
But I had to laugh my ass off when Mondale tried to make the argument that he had lost the election but won the argument against Reagan, because Reagan was forced to raise taxes anyway. Well sure Walter, but ignore the fact that Reagan had to allow congress to raise taxes because when they saw that his tax cuts had spurred some massive economic growth and had set the economy on fire, raising government income drastically, they tripled if not outright quadrupled their spending, mostly on the expansion of the welfare state, leaving no other option but to hike taxes. And that’s where we are today. The left has known that despite the fact that almost 50% of Americans don’t pay taxes, taxation, no matter how it is sold by the marxists class warfare mongers, pisses those that work instead of just vote for a living, off.
But please Walter, carry on. And I so hope demcorats follow your advice. Tell the American people that you have promised the impossible and without confiscating most of, if not all our wealth, can’t deliver. Even in the short term. Because that’s the truth. Man, this one sure as hell was one funny April fools joke of an article.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/18/11 at 10:22 AM in Deep Thoughts Elections Fun and Humor Left Wing Idiocy • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I started this post by writing “The Obama Administration, in an appalling over-reach”. But really, do I need to type those words anymore? Almost everything these guys do is an overreach.
Congress, in 2006, passed a very stupid bill trying to outlaw internet gambling. The Bush Administration went to absurd lengths to enforce it, even arresting one online poker exec while he was changing international flights. All to protect adults from betting their own damned money. Yes, there are people who many bankrupt themselves gambling. But is preventing that—or more likely, shunting that to even shadier operators—worth creating a society in which the government is constantly looking over our shoulder onto our laptops, slapping our fingers and saying, “No. Baaad citizen.”?
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts. The gambling sites were, at minimum, trying to slither around the law. That may be enough for the charges to stick. The government will get what it wants—moral grandstanding and a lot of cash—never forget the money. But the net benefit to Americans? Minimal. The benefit to compulsive gamblers? None. It’s the fucking internet, guys. You can’t stop people from doing what they want on the internet. All you can do is make it riskier. Or put it into government hands.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/17/11 at 05:53 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Friday, April 15, 2011
Kloppenburg crashes & burns.
It’s official: Kloppenburg loses vs. Possner despite a nationwide mobilization by unionists and donkeys all the way up to the WH, Kloppenburg fails to steal the election. The move not to report a whole town and let the donkey hang themselves with jst enough cheater votes, whether preplanned or not, was brilliant. Sure there will be a recount, but as of now this is how it stands:
The margin of victory is just to big to overcome with even 2 or 3 trunks full of “suddenly found ballots”, so I doubt this goes the other way. However, considering the amount of money & effort by the unions, and the likely cheating by the left to try to close the gap, this is a huge victory for Walker and what he is doing. There might yet be hope for America if we are willing to stop these crooks from raping the tax payers of WI over a “negotiating table”.
Of course, here in CT it is starting to look like our governor lied when he said he would lay off union state workers if he couldn’t get concessions from them, and there is even tlak now that this is all a giant ruse to keep people distracted until the heavy taxe increases in his new bill go into effect. It seems like my state was the only one to actually double down on a surfire losing hand. Damn.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/15/11 at 07:52 PM in Deep Thoughts Elections Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The lesson in this tragedy is….
Well, can’t say I am surprised to learn that an evil person did research to make sure a state had no death penalty before committing a heinous murder, as this story says he did:
Of course, the people that don’t like the death penalty will tell you it is never a deterrent, and when horrors like this happen and we discover the lack of the death penalty did factor in, they will ignore it because realty shouldn’t be allowed to mess with that narrative. Me, I understand the death penalty, because some people plainly need killing.
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/15/11 at 05:54 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Refereeing the Budget Bullshit Match
There are lot of numbers flying around about the various budget proposals. Thankfully, we have the internet—a realm in which people are not so beholden to the political class and can therefore cut through the deceptions.
First, on the GOP’s $38.5 billion in cuts, which some sources are saying as low as $352 million:
I haven’t delved into this as deeply as Ezra Klein has, but I would think that budget authority can be redirected in many circumstances. I know, having worked for contractors who have unspent budget authority, that having it clawed back is a big deal.
But I’m afraid the GOP’s budget deception is nothing compared to the hokus pokus Barack Obama unveiled. Hennessey:
As for those failsafes?
In other words, 90% of the budget is exempted from these automated cuts. This is same bullshit politicians have been doing for thirty years. I remember the days of Graham-Rudman-Hollings, which supposedly triggered “across the board” spending cuts. It never did because Congress simply ignored the automatic spending cuts or over-rode them. This is even worse.
What the failsafe really amount to is across-the-board automatic tax increases. This is sort of the inverse of “starve the beast”—hope that tax hikes will scare Congress into controlling spending. But if history is any guide, Congress will simply over-ride the automatic tax increases too (except maybe for “the rich").
But at least it cuts defense spending. Only it doesn’t. Under Obama’s plan, defense spending would increase more than it does under the Ryan plan. But at least it cuts Medicare spending. Only it doesn’t. Peter Suderman has the details on Obama’s laughable plan to rein in Medicare spending with a really awesome
As I said last night, this isn’t a plan. It’s less of an insult than his previous FY2012 budget and it at least acknowledges the elephant on its way off the Empire State Building. But it is still a proposal built on budget bullshit. As politics, it might be a winner. As policy, it’s a loser.
We need a little bit more than that.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/14/11 at 07:35 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The Sandy Springs Model
An interesting mini-documentary from Reason.
The Sandy Springs model is not perfect, of course. Doubtless, contracts will have politics involved. And while the model works in an affluent suburb, it may have more problems in a big crime-ridden city. However, the big crime-ridden cities aren’t exactly being run like models of efficiency. Given the choice of tradeoffs, I know which one looks better.
PS - You know half the reason I put this up is because I grew up in Atlanta and the accents make me feel like I’m home.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/14/11 at 05:15 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The Prez’s New Plan
A few thoughts on Obama’s volley on the Burgeoning Budget Battle. I will not describe it as a “plan” since it clearly isn’t one. It’s more of a rebuttal with a little ground given.
First, I think conservatives are wrong to respond to this so negatively. While the President isn’t giving as much ground as I’d like, his proposal has three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax hikes. It’s a huge step from his earlier joke of a budget proposal and a big step toward the Simpson-Bowles plan that is, I think, clearly becoming the most likely thing to happen.
(To be fair, the Democrats went completely non-linear when Ryan unveiled his proposal. Compared to Pelosi et al.’s rhetoric about starving seniors to death, the GOP response to Obama has been comparatively mild).
The main conservative opposition stems from an opposition to any tax hikes whatsoever. While I sympathize, I just don’t think that’s a realistic point of view. We’ve made commitments to seniors, to our creditors and to the defense of this country. That alone can not be sustained at the current tax rates. However, any tax hikes, as I said below, need to come with enough reform to, on balance, reduce the deadweight loss to the economy—that being the bargain Reagan struck when he raised taxes to attack the deficit. And they need to be broad-based. The pitiful returns one gets from raising taxes on just “the rich” exposes the main driver of Democrat support for tax hikes—economic control, not revenue.
The biggest problem with the Obama proposal, for me, is its reliance on magical thinking for reducing Medicare spending. It doesn’t raise the retirement age and certainly doesn’t cap spending the way Ryan’s plan does. It relies on Congress to control itself in issuing coverage mandates and for Committees of Wise Men to decide what treatments should be covered. Obama and his liberal allies support these ideas because they believe that people are stupid, the market is useless and government is benevolent and wise. My attitude can be easily discerned from my tone. If we leave spending restrain in the hands of Congress, rather than the market, there will be no spending restraint whatsoever. And committees of wise men will not decide healthcare spending based on science or cost-benefit analysis; they will decide based on politics and influence peddling.
Finally, it’s important to remember something in this budget debate—anything we do is only binding today. Relying on future Congresses to somehow show the spending restraint we refuse to exercise now is simply kicking the can down the road. Increasing spending now, projecting that future Congress will rein it in and counting that as a “spending cut” is simply bullshit. While long-range plans are the key to deficit control, the commitment to that control is what Congress does right here and right now. That’s why raising the retirement age or cutting current spending or even raising taxes is important—it’s something that would actually happen right now rather than something we kinda sorta hope future leaders will make happen.
In the end, this is not really a serious proposal or a serious speech. It does not even attempt to project spending over the timeline that Ryan does nor does it restrain spending as sharply. Indeed, it has the usual blather about pointless “investments” in useless stuff like high-speed rail. I suspect that if the CBO scored this, they would find that it doesn’t work at all without a broad-based tax hike.
All that having been said, I think today’s speech is a good sign. It’s a sign that we’ve got the Democrats pointed somewhat in the right direction. Every time the President speaks, he’s moved a little bit closer to reality. The Democrats have now admitted the scale of the problem—something they spent years denying. They’re acknowledging the kinds of steps that need to be taken. They’re still laboring under the delusion that tax hikes on the rich and magical medicare thinking can fix the problem. But the CBO will continue to put the lie to that.
As I said, the Democrats are getting pointed in the right direction. A bit more turning and a strategically placed boot in the ass and we might actually get somewhere.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/13/11 at 06:56 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
How Budget Cuts Tally
Hmm. Looks like the media has discovered baseline budgeting:
You should really read the whole thing. For example, the cuts include not extending a 1-year $350 million dairy price support program from FY2009. In another instance, simply capping a fund allows the entire thing to be counted as saving. They estimate the amount of real cuts is closer to $14 billion than $40 billion.
This is not exactly surprising. Congress has used spending gimmicks like this for decades to weasel out of budgetary restrictions. And it is worth pointing out that Pelosi’s Congress would almost certainly have spent these funds, one-year programs or no.
In the end, however, all of this amounts to pennies on the dollar. The real money is in defense, entitlements and taxes (and with the latter, only over the broad base, not just on “the rich"). Cutting the last one would be reckless in the middle of a fiscal year. Cutting the second requires statutory changes. And raising taxes shouldn’t happen without big spending cuts and a massive overhaul of the tax system that results in a net decrease in deadweight loss on the economy.
As I said, the real fight is for FY2012.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/13/11 at 10:49 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Romneycare shows future for Obamacare
And the future looks like it portends shitty quality and access of care, at much higher prices for all the peasants and fools.
Higher costs, rampant abuse by locals & illegals, bigger annual state budget deficits, and from people that are actually subjected to Romneycare that I know, this all comes with reduced access – longer wait times caused likely from the government’s need to ration - and lower quality to boot. Of course, those that still support Romneycare, and Obamacare as well for sure, will tell you that it’s the people’s right to get free healthcare!
Those of us that know better understand there is no right to healthcare, this isn’t free, and in general we all lose when we try to do stupid shit like this, because universal “free” healthcare not only forces the bureaucrats running the show – if you go by the people you meet in other government functions they will be uncaring and mad with their own power, making insurance company employees look like angels - to ration and lower the quality of care to keep their ballooning costs down, but seems to hinge on forcing everyone to pay into a system that sucks and they would rather avoid. Well in the case of who pays and is subjected to the shitty care, the politicians in MA as the ones in DC have exempted them and many of their key constituencies – the ones that donate big time- from such requirements the rest of us peasants will have to deal with.
Don’t worry, Obamacare will be the one government bureaucracy that will reverse the trend and actually do more good for less. Obama, the donkeys, and the CBO – working of one of the most blatantly rigged scores delivered by proponents ever - said so! Pay up suckas!
Posted by AlexinCT on 04/12/11 at 08:52 AM in Health Care Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
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