A Three Piece Puzzle

4 03 2015

Washington, D.C.

Two pieces of the puzzle in King v Burwell, whose SCOTUS BJs have just started.

Louisiana Gov. Piyush Jindal, writing in NR:

And here’s where some on the right want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Conventional wisdom in Washington has assumed that, should the Court strike down the subsidies in 37 states under King, states will immediately act to establish their own state-run exchanges — allowing the subsidies to flow once more. Alternatively, Congress might be tempted to pass language extending the subsidies to the federally-run exchange, allowing Obamacare to comply with the Court ruling. That’s a “solution” in search of a problem. If eliminating the subsidies represents a net tax cut, then restoring the subsidies — whether by states creating their own exchanges, Congress passing new legislation, or some combination of the two — would re-impose a sizable tax increase. Americans would pay billions more in higher taxes to fund the newly restored subsidies, making Obamacare that much more entrenched. What self-proclaimed conservative of sound mind would do such a thing? Alternatively, some have talked about enacting a “compromise” that would restore the Obamacare subsidies while reforming some of the law’s new insurance requirements and regulations. But restoring the flow of subsidies means restoring the employer mandate, thus raising taxes. And even if such a “compromise” weakens or eliminates the employer mandate, the Obama administration — to say nothing of the insurance companies themselves — will hardly countenance a repeal of the individual mandate, which restoring the subsidies will only strengthen. So those seeking to restore the flow of subsidies will likely end up having to raise taxes on millions of Americans, in some way, shape, or form.

The emphasis of one given word in this quote is my own addition.

Betsey McCaughey, in the NYP:

Insurance companies will be the biggest losers

Their stock prices have soared since the healthcare.gov rollout — Humana up 66 percent; Cigna, 53 percent; Aetna, 52 percent. No wonder: ObamaCare forces the public to buy their policies.

It’s like a law requiring all Americans to buy cars, subsidizing those who can’t pay. That would send automaker stocks skyrocketing, too.

Insurers are expected to haul in over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money over the next decade. No wonder they’re bombarding the Supremes with arguments defending their cozy deal.

The third piece of the puzzle?  Look at the campaign finance reports of a lot of Republicans, and you’re going to find a whole lot of insurance PACs, 527s, if not semi-directly, then funneled through one or two intermediaries.

It’s why the Republican Party in current form is never going to make a serious run at repeal.  At “best,” they’ll just nibble around some of the worst edges.





Good Providers

26 02 2015

Atlanta

S001157

Daily Caller:

Democratic Congressman: We Need Food Stamps Because So Many Fathers Are In Jail

Democratic Georgia Rep. David Scott said that food stamps are necessary because of America’s “policy” of imprisoning families.

“First of all, the situation regarding employment and jobs, poverty, all of that. All of that has been structured into our economic, social policy over the last quarter-century,” Scott said at Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing to review the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), talking about the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs before turning to the incarceration issue.

“Our policy of sending so many of our young eligible fathers to prison. Millions,” Scott said. “Our prison population went from 300,000 in 1975 to over two million today. These are providers who are not there. This is why we have so many single female head of households. I mean, so when you look at everything we have done, we’ve got to correct some of these things first.”

Yes, that was a bad idea, for governments to round up good hard working black fathers that are good providers for their families and throw them into prisons for no reason at all at which time they’ll be costing governments money instead of providing governments tax money.





Yeah, That’s a Real Big Mystery

25 02 2015

City Hall

P-D:

St. Louis passes bills to reduce Section 8 concentration in poor neighborhoods

The Section 8 housing voucher program is designed to avoid the challenges of concentrated poverty typically associated with traditional public housing. Tenants receive rent subsidy vouchers from a local housing authority and can redeem them anywhere landlords accept them, as long as properties meet certain standards.

In the end, though, most voucher recipients in St. Louis still end up clustered in lower-income communities.

In an attempt to alleviate that concentration, the City of St. Louis passed two measures last week aimed at making it easier for landlords to participate in the program while also banning the practice of rejecting tenants because they have vouchers.

(snip)

In a study of Section 8 use in cities nationwide, Metzger found that voucher users tended to be more concentrated in poor neighborhoods than non-voucher users who earned less than $15,000 a year. She also found that voucher users were more integrated in cities where landlords couldn’t reject Section 8 tenants.

I would presume that one has to be of low income to get a Section 8 voucher.  So of course you’re going to find a very strong correlation between Section 8 voucher tenants and low income individuals.

In as much as this is a problem, and not a definition, I fail to see how these city ordinances will make it any better.





All They’ve Gotta Do Is Act Rationally

13 01 2015

Denmark

I wish right-libertarians would get off of Scandinavia’s case.

One of the things I have come to learn in life, so well that it ought to be one of my axioms, is that most people do most things they do for reasons that are rational and sane, even if you don’t agree with them, and even if you think they should be doing something else, and even if you think you wouldn’t want to do them yourself.

That doesn’t just apply to individuals.  That also applies to groups of people.

I happen to think that most Scandinavians will read this or that gripe listed in this article and the book, and conclude that these are features, not bugs.  In other words, these are the line items of the group evolutionary strategy of higher IQ low population homogeneous peoples that live in relatively harsh geography not way too blessed with natural resources but cursed with harsh climates.  If they conclude that one or more of these things is actually bad, they’ll fix it, without throwing out the whole system; an example of that is the relatively recent downscaling of the Swedish tax-and-spend welfare state cited in this piece.  Even if we don’t think these things are right for us, we have to concede that Icelandics, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns and Danes have the right and well enough ability to build sociopolitical systems and cultures to meet their needs.

The objective isn’t “happiness,” it’s group survival.

One the gripes listed here is that Scandinavians have sort of a Mendoza line when it comes to personal wealth; cross it, and you become perennially suspect.  It’s almost as if they think that excessively rich people will inevitably sell out the well being of their own group and their own people for their own selfish benefit and personal greed.  Gee, where would they get a crazy idea like that?

This part is spot on, and is something you rarely read from a right-libertarian or any kind of libertarian:

But Scandinavian cohesion may not work in conjunction with massive immigration: Almost one-third of the Swedish population was born elsewhere. Immigration is associated in the Swedish mind with welfare (housing projects full of people on the dole) and with high crime rates (these newcomers being more than four times as likely to commit murder). Islamist gangs control some of the housing projects. Friction between “ethnic Swedes” and the immigrants is growing.

Welfare states work best among a homogeneous people, and the kind of diversity and mistrust we have between groups in America means we could never reach a broad consensus on Nordic levels of social spending.

“May not” work?  More like “will not” work.  Then again, libertarianism won’t work with third world non-white people, either.

Other than our lack of homogeneity, even among American white people, we’ll never have a Scandinavian style welfare state outside of Scandinavian-American enclaves (e.g. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even some in the state where I am at the moment, South Dakota), because American whites are not of Scandinavian extraction by and large.  Bigger population, more space, more natural resources, the climate isn’t as brutal for the most part, and American whites are generally Anglo-Germanic, so the “ideal” American welfare state would be closer to what you would find in England and Germany.  Ideal, that is, if we could somehow factor out the non-white moochers.





Smart Aleck Cart

16 07 2014

Amurrika

Really?  Really.

You’ll read here that the author is worried that these things will break down often.  Before any of that, they’ll be stolen. I’m waiting to see the first homeless person pushing a talking cart with a screen.

Even if that doesn’t happen, the whole thing will be a big flop. You really expect people to be neat and tidy and studious about obeying the subdivided sections of the cart? They’ll throw anything in any part of the cart, so the “healthy” section will get filled up with junk and trash food, the cart will congratulate you on buying healthy food, and you’ll get whatever rewards they think you should get.

How will the cart be able to tell that the person doing the shopping is going to be using food stamps? This whole project is to get food stampers to buy healthy food, right? What about the scant few of us remaining who actually pay cash for food?  Can we avoid the nanny cart, or are they going to make us take one, too?

Being a St. Louisan, and also a once every few weeks patron of Soulard Market. They don’t have grocery carts, you either have to bring your own push-behind or push-ahead cart or radio flyer wagon or something, or carry what you buy. I know that most vendors there take food stamps, they display such notices proudly and prominently. So you’re telling me that all the healthy food you buy from there with food stamps won’t count toward your points or rewards or computer voiced “ataboy” or “atagirl” because there won’t be these smart carts there?

UPDATE 7/20

You knew Earl of Taint would come through.





Hablamos Español

18 03 2014

Miami

“Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

https://twitter.com/DRUDGE/status/445657313492619264

https://twitter.com/DRUDGE/status/445570405856575489





Dear Ole “Dad”

15 03 2014

Washington, D.C.

Nice theory, Michael Barone, whose illegitimate son I am sometimes lovingly accused of being. But there happen to be two big fatal problems with it:

1. Welfare reform didn’t really reform welfare, as it turned out. Sure, the replacement for AFDC was time limited. But between the passage of welfare reform in 1996 and 9/11, SSI was the fastest growing line item in the Federal budget, and has been growing quickly again in the Obama era. It should be obvious what that means: It means that SSI is the new AFDC, and SSI is run under the Social Security Administration, which means it’s entirely Federal and has no time limits nor can any state set any rules pertaining to it.

2. Men do crime, women get the welfare checks. Even if welfare reform reformed welfare, its work requirements would only affect the adult women that are recipients. Therefore, these alleged crime reduction benefits that welfare work requirements bring about don’t even apply to the gender that’s known for violent crime. Incidentally, this is also why welfare “cuts” can’t and don’t cause riots: Women get the checks, men do the rioting.








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