Monday, January 24, 2011

Thomas Sowell on State Bankruptcy

Read the whole thing for other interesting bits.  I just want to address this one issue...

We're getting very close to the point where we could have states default on their debts for the first time. What should happen then? 

They should go bankrupt. I'm looking forward to it. 

There are three possibilities -- bankruptcy or bailouts or ruinous taxations. Of the three, bankruptcy is the one that makes the most sense because it's the one that conveys the most accurate knowledge -- which is that they've run out of money and couldn't cover all the promises they made. That fact should be revealed to all for future reference. The other thing about bankruptcy is that it's the only thing I know of that can get rid of these ruinous public sector union contracts with these extravagant pensions. Those pensions are so popular because the politicians can promise the pension now and get votes now without losing the votes of taxpayers now, because they don't set aside enough money to cover the pensions. Then they simply kick the can down the road and leave it to somebody else to figure out what to do when the money runs out.

I greatly admire Thomas Sowell, and I would never contradict him on economics, but I think he's ignoring the constitutional issues with state bankruptcies.  States are sovereign -- there's no current legal way for them to go "bankrupt".  They can simply refuse to pay theirs debts, as some did after the Civil War.  I think it would take a constitutional amendment to allow states to go bankrupt.  That's probably a good idea, but it seems unlikely to happen as long as Democrats are in power.  They'll go for a federal bailout so that they can protect their political allies.  Look for the bond holders to take a severe haircut.  Ask the Chrysler bond holders how that worked out for them.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Greg Mankiw's Blog: Give me $1 billion to cut the budget deficit

(via instapundit)

> I have a plan to reduce the budget deficit. The essence of the plan is the federal government writing me a check for $1 billion. The plan will be financed by $3 billion of tax increases. According to my back-of-the envelope calculations, giving me that $1 billion will reduce the budget deficit by $2 billion.
>> Now, you may be tempted to say that giving me that $1 billion will not really reduce the budget deficit. Rather, you might say, it is the tax increases, which have nothing to do with my handout, that are reducing the budget deficit. But if you are tempted by that kind of sloppy thinking, you have not been following the debate over healthcare reform.

If everybody would just accept government bail-outs, we'd all be on the road to prosperity in no time at all.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

GOP Leaders Unveil Bill To Gut $2.5 Trillion In Government Spending - HUMAN EVENTS

Return spending to the 2008 levels, and, after that, force discretionary spending down to 2006 levels. 

Return unspent “stimulus” money. 

Slice the civilian government workforce by 15%. 

Eliminate government subsidies to the Public Broadcasting System, the National Endowment for the Arts, Amtrak, the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among other agencies and programs. 

Prevent funding from going to the implementation of ObamaCare as well as restrict taxpayer money from being used by government lawyers to defend any provisions of the healthcare bill in court. 

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House repeals healthcare law

The House voted on Wednesday to repeal the sweeping healthcare law enacted last year, as Republicans made good on a central campaign pledge and laid down the first major policy marker of their new majority.

The party-line vote was 245-189, as three Democrats joined all 242 Republicans in supporting repeal.

That's a bipartisan vote to repeal Obamacare.  Also, note that there were more votes for the repeal than there were in favor of the original bill.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

John Podhoretz on the civility non-sequitur

John Podhoretz on the civility non-sequitur:
Thus, as we continue to gather more evidence of Loughner’s schizophrenia, the continuing rhetorical calls for the need for “civility” are now turning into nothing less than cover. They’re a dodge, a means by which those responsible for the slanderous accusation that somehow the Tea Party and Sarah Palin and the right were responsible for the massacre have been excused for hurling their grievously unjust charge. For, you see, they were only calling for a “new tone,” for “civility,” and who could be against those?

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

George F. Will - A Congress that reasserts its power

The idea of American exceptionalism is obnoxious to progressives, who, evidently unaware of the idea's long pedigree (it traces to Alexis de Tocqueville) and the rich scholarship concerning the idea, assume it is a crude strain of patriotism. America, Tocqueville said, is unique because it was born free - free of a feudal past, free from an entrenched aristocracy and established religion.

The American Revolution was a political, not a social, revolution; it was about emancipating individuals for the pursuit of happiness, not about the state allocating wealth and opportunity. Hence our exceptional Constitution, which says not what government must do for Americans but what it cannot do to them.

Americans are exceptionally committed to limited government because they are exceptionally confident of social mobility through personal striving. And they are exceptionally immune to a distinctively modern pessimism: It holds that individuals are powerless to assert their autonomy against society's vast impersonal forces, so people must become wards of government, which supposedly is the locus and engine of society's creativity.

Two years into Barack Obama's presidency, we now know what he meant about "hope" and "change" - he and other progressives hope to change our national character. Three weeks into his presidency, Newsweek, unhinged by adoration of him and allowing its wishes to father its thoughts, announced that "we are all socialists now" and that America "is moving toward a modern European state." The electorate emphatically disagreed and created the 112th Congress, with its exceptionally important agenda.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Charles Krauthammer - Massacre, followed by libel

Rarely in American political discourse has there been a charge so reckless, so scurrilous and so unsupported by evidence.

The origins of Loughner's delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Krugman's?

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Journalists urged caution after Ft. Hood, now race to blame Palin after Arizona shootings

Byron York on the shootings in Arizona:

"None at all," Yellin responded.  "And there is no evidence that this was even inspired by rage over health care, broadly.  So there is no overt connection between Sarah Palin, health care, and the [shootings]."

Indeed, there is no "overt" or any other sort of connection between Loughner and Palin. If such evidence came to light, it would certainly be news. 

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Instapundit on the Arizona shooting

Let me be clear, as a great man says: If you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Sarah Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting — which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie — or you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. So which is it?

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Time to Rethink Public Employee Unions

For the large majority of our history, public employee unions have been illegal. It is only since the 1960s and 1970s that they have been allowed. Currently, they are legal in roughly half the states. The United States has carried on a four-decade experiment in legalization, and the results are in: public employee unions are a cancer on our country.

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