The Repeal of Obamacare now Rests with the People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.  And found the unconstitutional Obamacare constitutional.  So that leaves the repeal of Obamacare to the people.  Starting at the state level.  Then following that up this November.  And after these five simple steps Obamacare will be no more (see How to Repeal Obamacare by Peter Roff posted 7/3/2012 on U.S. News & World Report).

1.  Stop your state from setting up an ObamaCare exchange.

2.  Get your state to opt out of the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion.

3.  Elect four additional pro-repeal Senators, which would give us a pro-repeal majority.

4.  Retain and if possible enlarge the existing House majority, which is committed to full repeal.

5.  Elect a president who will sign the full repeal bill.

Simple, yes?  And once we repeal Obamacare businesses will know their labor costs again and start hiring people.  Ending the Great Recession.  Finally.  And unlike the Recover Summer we’ll enjoy a true recovery.  Starting in November.  Growing during the winter.  And blossoming in the spring.  Giving us a summer of economic activity we haven’t seen in over four years.  And all this will take is five simple steps.

Let the steps begin.

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Thicker than Normal Arctic Ice is Delaying the Search for Global Warming Fossil Fuels

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

The search for global warming fossil fuels is delayed due to unusually cooler temperatures that have caused thicker ice than usual (see Ice, logistics delay Shell Alaska drilling plans by Yereth Rosen posted 7/6/2012 on Reuters).

Heavier than expected ice in Arctic waters off Alaska will likely delay until August Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (RDSa.L) long-anticipated exploration drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, a company spokesman said on Friday…

Sea ice is “the number one reason we won’t be drilling in July,” Smith told Reuters. “At this point, we’re looking at the first week of August.”

While sea ice cover is sparse in most of the Arctic, ice off Alaska is thicker than in recent years, and that ice is melting fast, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Interesting.  Ice is thicker than in recent years.  And this all the while global warming has been melting Arctic ice.  So I guess global warming can both melt ice and freeze water.  Much like the U.S. can suffer a heat wave while Britain suffers the coldest and wettest winter on record.  All because of global warming.  It makes one wonder if there’s anything global warming can’t do?

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Australia’s New Carbon Tax is Raising Prices and Government Dander

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

The carbon tax has arrived in Australia.  It’s raising the cost of doing business.  And raising prices.  Surprisingly, there’s not a whole lot of love for this new tax (see ACCC to probe Brumby’s for advising stores to ‘let carbon tax take blame for price rises’ by Lanai Vasek posted 7/4/2012 on The Australian).

LABOR has accused the Brumby’s bakery chain of “reprehensible” behaviour after the company advised franchisees to “let the carbon tax take the blame” for price rises.

The consumer watchdog will investigate after Brumby’s managing director Deane Priest advised store owners in her June newsletter to “take an opportunity to make some (price) moves in June and July”.

“Let the carbon tax take the blame, after all your costs will be going up due to it,” she said…

“This sort of behaviour is reprehensible. Anyone who is found to have been jacking-up prices unnecessarily and blaming the carbon tax will be subject to enforcement by the ACCC…

“Businesses are entitled to increase their prices as they see fit. It is business as usual, so long as any claims or representations made about the impact of the carbon price are truthful and have a reasonable basis…

If a business is found to have made a false or misleading claim regarding the carbon tax, the ACCC’s website says the watchdog has the power to issue infringement notices of $6600 for a corporation (or $66 000 for a listed corporation); take legal action against a business for breaches of the ACL; seek court-imposed penalties of up to $1.1 million for serious breaches of the ACL or injunctions to stop a business from making certain carbon price claims.

The controversial tax came into effect on Sunday with an initial starting price of $23 a tonne. It will move to a floating price emissions trading scheme from 2015.

My, the government appears a little testy about their carbon tax, don’t they?  Probably because they know what a fraud it is.  The people don’t want to pay it.  The businesses don’t want to pay it.  And paying it won’t do a thing to save the planet.  It’ll just transfer a lot of wealth from the private sector to the public sector.  Which is why governments like the carbon tax.  Well, that.  And the fact that you can say whatever you want about the good the tax is doing to save the planet.  I mean, if they say that the tax is responsible for preventing a 0.7 degree rise in global temperatures how are you going to argue against that?  There is no way to measure this.  There’s just no way to connect empirical observations of temperature to fiscal policy.

Weather is a whacky thing.  America just suffered through a week-long heat wave following a warm winter and a dry spring.  Proof the global warming alarmists say of global warming.  Yet Britain is suffering their coldest and wettest summer since they began record keeping.  So whatever is happening with the weather isn’t happening globally.  And it’s not climate change.  It’s just the weather.  Sometimes it’s hot.  Sometimes it’s cold.  Because there are a lot of variables that create our weather.  With sunspot activity and volcanic eruptions being high on the list of influencing factors.  While man is farther down that list.  Much farther.

That said few governments can pass up a new tax.  Especially one that has such a noble purpose.  Such as saving the planet.  And they don’t take kindly to businesses telling their customers how much the new carbon tax will cost them.  For no business ever pays a tax.  Their customers do.  And every time the government raises taxes business have to pass it on to their customers in their prices.  Because they have to cover all of their costs in their prices to remain in business.  And taxes are a cost of doing business.  As far as raising their prices higher than the carbon tax?  Well, their competition will tend to that.  That’s the beautiful thing about free market competition.  It always makes a business’ price the right price.  For if it’s too high they will lose business to their competition.  And that will happen without any government investigation. 

It is a beautiful thing.  Free market competition.

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Scientists in Singapore have found the Wip1 Gene may be Responsible for Obesity, Heart Disease and Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Businesses aren’t hiring in the U.S. because they have no idea what their labor will cost them under Obamacare.  They were hoping for a Supreme Court reprieve but their ruling went against them.  The Constitution.  And common sense.  They now look to the November elections as their last hope to remove this hiring obstacle.  But perhaps there is another way.  We can just stop being sick (see Singapore scientists discover control mechanism for obesity, cancer by Julia Ng posted 7/3/2012 on Channel News Asia).

A*STAR scientists in Singapore have made what is believed to be groundbreaking discovery of the mechanism that controls obesity, atherosclerosis and, potentially, cancer.

Scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and the Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC) said they have found a new signalling pathway that regulates both obesity and atherosclerosis.

The team showed, for the first time, that mice deficient in the Wip1 gene were resistant to weight gain and atherosclerosis via regulation of the Ataxia telangiectasia mutated gene (ATM) and its downstream signalling molecule mTor…

Obesity and atherosclerosis are accompanied by the accumulation of lipid droplets in fat cells and in foam cells respectively.

Foam cells can subsequently rupture, damaging blood vessels, and contributing to further progression of atherosclerosis.

The scientists discovered that Wip1 deficient mice, even when fed a high-fat diet, were resistant to obesity and atherosclerosis by preventing the accumulation of lipid droplets…

Together, these three pathological conditions — obesity, atherosclerosis and cancer — account for more than 70 per cent of mortality worldwide, making ATM-related pathways very attractive therapeutic targets.

Our friends in Singapore may have solved the Obamacare problem.  They may have found a way to prevent 70% of all illnesses.  Making a national health care system moot.  Imagine that.  Perhaps they and the pharmaceuticals can develop a pill therapy to remove the Wip1 gene from our bodies.  Allowing us to eat whatever we want to eat without any weight gain, heart disease or cancer.  Good for us.  Good for the over-burdened health care system.  But bad for the vegetable farmers that supply the salad industry.  Yes, salads can be yummy.  But so can a half-pound bacon cheeseburger.  And if both are just as good for you guess what people will be eating.

With such a pill there would be no reason NOT to repeal Obamacare.  Because with 70% of the stuff that kills us gone we’ll be able to afford the other 30%.  Cash out of pocket for the small stuff, perhaps via a medical savings account.  And a real insurance policy for the unexpected.  Like catching an infectious disease that requires hospitalization.  Health care problem solved.  And for far less that the trillion or so dollars Obamacare will cost us.

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Class Warfare Escalates in France to pay for Out of Control Government Spending

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Once again a government is asking the rich to pay their fair share.  Well, not asking so much.  More confiscating their wealth.  In the name of fairness (see Socialists in France Announce New Taxes by STEVEN ERLANGER posted 7/4/2012 on The New York Times).

France’s new Socialist government announced on Wednesday billions of euros in tax increases and new taxes, to be borne by businesses and the wealthy, in a revision of the 2012 budget designed to meet promised deficit targets in a period of nearly stagnant growth…

For this year alone, the government announced about $9 billion in higher taxes, with about $7.6 billion more to come next year. A freeze on government spending is expected to save $1.8 billion.

So that’s $16.6 billion in new taxes and only spending cuts of $1.8 billion.  That’s $9.22 in new taxes for every dollar cut in spending.  When the Democrats snookered Ronald Reagan into increasing taxes they dangled $3 in spending cuts for each dollar in new taxes.  A deal he accepted and lived to regret.  Because governments just don’t cut spending.  Especially if they get the new taxes up front.  For Reagan it was about the reverse of the deal they offered.  There was $3 in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts.  Guess the French are much more receptive to paying taxes than the Americans.  Or should I say, they are much more receptive to forcing higher tax rates on those who pay taxes.

Among the main new taxes is a special surcharge on the assets of individuals with more than $1.62 million of global wealth, which is expected to bring in $2.87 billion; the tax is expected to be made permanent next year, when there will also be a new tax bracket of 75 percent on incomes of more than $1.25 million a year…

There will also be a one-time tax on oil stocks, which is expected to raise $688 million and will hit refineries and gasoline stations, which supposedly have benefited from higher oil prices. About $1.13 billion is to come from ending a tax exemption for overtime income, a major effort by former President Nicolas Sarkozy to raise take-home pay, and there will be a new tax on dividends and stock options…

The figures are based on assumptions that the economy will grow by 0.3 percent this year, 1.2 percent in 2013 and then by 2 percent each year after that, which some economists find overly optimistic.

Taxing wealth.  Ouch.  This isn’t taxing capital gains on your investments.  This is taxing the value of your investments.  Even if those investments lose money.  Which means the rich may end up paying for the privilege of losing money in France.  It’s a good thing Europe is bilingual.  It’ll help the French rich as they settle in their new home.  Britain.  So those overly optimistic tax revenue figures will bring even in less revenue.  Making the French economy worse.  And the deficit bigger.  Requiring even deeper spending cuts later.

The auditors urged the government to cut spending more than raise taxes, because the latter hurts economic growth, but the prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, insisted that the key to growth was investment, not austerity. Still, spending cuts would seem to be inevitable to meet the 2013 target. For its 2013-15 budget, the government said it would reduce operating costs. It promises to balance the budget by 2017.

France’s government accounts for 56.6 percent of gross domestic product, one of the highest in the euro zone. It is projected to fall to only 56.2 percent this year and decline slowly after that.

Companies have complained that already thin profit margins are being hit and that France is losing competitiveness in a global market. The auditors said the same, and urged structural changes to better calibrate social welfare benefits to deal with France’s aging population and reduce the debt.

It’s the spending that’s too high.  Taxes aren’t too low.  In fact, taxes are too high.  They’ve transferred over half of private sector wealth to the government.  Over half!  That is an incredible burden on the private sector.  Which will simply collapse as they add the full weight of pension and health care costs of their aging population to their burden.  There will simply be no more wealth to tax.  Which will require draconian spending cuts.  Or a return to subsistence farming.

We may be witnessing the end of the European social democracy.  Which will end as all democracies end.  When the people learn that they have the key to the treasury.  And can vote themselves benefits.  When they learn this all spending restraint is gone.  And politicians pander for votes by promising to spend ever more irresponsibly.  Never worrying about the mess they’re making.  Leaving that to future generations.  Well, that future generation is here.  It’s why the Eurozone is suffering a sovereign debt crisis.  Because all of this social spending has come to a head.  And they can no longer sustain it.  But they still refuse to cut spending.  Instead, they escalate the class warfare.  And when that fails, as it will, then comes the subsistence farming.

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Charter Schools outperform Public Schools in America and Britain

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Public education today is more about politics than education.  Which is why charter schools often outperform public schools.  Because the charter schools focus on education.  While the public schools focus on politics (see A 20-year lesson posted 7/7/2012 on The Economist).

FOR decades too many educationalists have succumbed to the tyranny of low expectations, at least when it comes to those at the bottom of the heap. The assumption has been that the poor, often black, children living in some of the world’s biggest and richest cities such as New York, Los Angeles and London face too many challenges to learn. There was little hope that school could make any difference to their future unless the problem of poverty could first be “solved”, which it couldn’t.

Such attitudes consigned whole generations to the scrapheap. But 20 years ago, in St Paul, Minnesota, the first of America’s charter schools started a revolution. There are now 5,600 of them. They are publicly funded, but largely independent of the local educational bureaucracies and the teachers’ unions that live in unhealthy symbiosis with them.

Charter schools are controversial, for three reasons. They represent an “experiment” or “privatisation”. They largely bypass the unions. And their results are mixed. In some states—Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana and Missouri—the results of charter pupils in maths and English are significantly better than those of pupils in traditional public schools. In others—Arizona and Ohio—they have done badly.

Yet the virtue of experiments is that you can learn from them; and it is now becoming clear how and where charter schools work best.  Poor pupils, those in urban environments and English-language learners fare better in charters (see article). In states that monitor them carefully and close down failing schools quickly, they work best. And one great advantage is that partly because most are free of union control, they can be closed down more easily if they are failing…

It is pretty clear now that giving schools independence—so long as it is done in the right way, with the right monitoring, regulation and safeguards from the state—works. Yet it remains politically difficult to implement. That is why it needs a strong push from national governments. Britain is giving school independence the shove it needs. In America, artificial limits on the number of charter schools must be ended, and they must get the same levels of funding as other schools.

It remains politically difficult to implement because public education has two goals.  Generate union dues that can fund the Democrat Party.  And to produce Democrat voters.  The proof of the latter is that the youth vote goes to the Democrats.  There’s a reason for that.  And it’s the same reason why school kids hold picket signs with their striking teachers.  These kids don’t understand life, politics or economics yet.  They only know what their teachers tell them.  Who are not exactly unbiased when it comes to their politics.  Or their salary and benefit packages.  Which they put before their students.  At least, based on the success of the charter schools over the public schools.

There are a lot of great teachers in the public school system.  But they aren’t all great.  And it’s all but impossible to get rid of the bad teachers.  Or to close the bad schools.  And it’s impossible to pull the politics out of the educational curriculum.  Kids today can barely name the Founding Fathers or explain what republican government is but they know everything about global warming.  And everything bad America ever did as a nation.  Which just doesn’t prepare students today for the high-tech economy.  

Even the liberal elite admit public education is a failure by the fact that most of them have their kids in private school.  And these are the people responsible for the failure of public education.  They implemented their progressive views.  Because they knew better than we did.  Knew what was best for our kids.  Yet when it comes to their own kids they don’t want anything to do with the train wreck they made of public education.  If there was ever a vote of no-confidence for public education this is it.  They don’t like.  Want nothing to do with it.  But it’s not only okay for our kids but it’s necessary to rescue our kids from our bad parenting.  Because if the public schools weren’t there to make Democrat voters how can they trust parents to do that most important job?

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