It appears that our Federal $0.184/gallon gasoline excise tax is set to expire in just under 2 months, on September 30. This was news to me. As my colleague Doug blogs over at Outside the Beltway, this is being batted around as potentially being big news — brought to you by Grover Norquist & the [...]Continue reading Should Republicans Fight Gas Tax Renewal?
So I’ve had a tiny bit of time to reflect on the budget deal. Here are the key points: $900B in immediate cuts [1/3 to defense], coupled to a $900B immediate debt ceiling increase. Additional $1.2T-1.5T debt ceiling increase IF Congress either passes a balanced budget amendment or a bipartisan commission creates a debt reduction [...]Continue reading The 2-Minute Budget Deal Reaction: Open Thread
The looming government debt ceiling crisis has cause Obama to threaten inability to pay Social Security checks. It’s renewed the debate, which I’ve hashed out many times (here, here, here and here, for posterity’s sake), whether the Social Security “Trust Fund” is a veritable asset or merely a convenient accounting fiction used to hide deficits. [...]Continue reading Social Security Trust Fund: Accounting Kabuki
Is Gold in a bubble? The Economist thinks so. But instructive is something they wrote back in 1980, just before the culmination of the last major gold bubble: In equity markets, there is much truth to the saying never sell on a strike. In the gold market, which has become in some ways the reverse [...]Continue reading Quote Of The Day
Having “grown up” online — a bit more than most of my contemporaries, as I had the techno-geek life of BBS’ing and AOHell in the early days of the internet — I’ve always had as much of an “online” presence as off. Today, this means that many of my personal hobbies, whether it be making/drinking [...]Continue reading My Take [So Far] On Google+
One would think that one has very little to do with the other. That is, unless one is Gary Bauer, who seems to be taking a tactic I’ve seen too often out of leftists suggesting that if someone in the private sector wants to fire you for saying something bigoted, that it’s an assault on [...]Continue reading Does Gay Marriage Imperil Free Speech?
I was passed this story by a relative, and thought it was absolutely genius: Would you take advantage of a federal loophole that gives you a free first-class flight anywhere on Earth? That’s what hundreds — possibly thousands — of shrewd travel enthusiasts are doing, in light of a 2005 law that unwittingly created a [...]Continue reading Government: Shows A Loss While Selling Money
Apparently Federal Employees in many jobs are more likely to die than be fired… And we’re not talking the Dept. of Defense here… Of course, it’s entirely understandable, as the Federal Government only hires dutiful, public-minded and competent people: HUD spokesman Jerry Brown says his department’s low dismissal rate — providing a 99.85% job security [...]Continue reading Quote Of The Day
Kevin Drum don’t grok numbers. I think we all knew that. But occasionally he goes so far over the edge that it calls for correction, and today’s one of those days. Kevin has taken a handy chart (originally here), and drawn some trendlines onto it to proclaim that we don’t have a spending problem at [...]Continue reading Kevin Drum Is An Innumerate Hack
We runs out of da booze: Hundreds of bars, restaurants and stores across Minnesota are running out of beer and alcohol and others may soon run out of cigarettes — a subtle and largely unforeseen consequence of a state government shutdown. In the days leading up to the shutdown, thousands of outlets scrambled to renew [...]Continue reading The Painful Human Cost Of Government Shutdown
Now, I’m not one to regularly bang the feminist drum around here… But this is f’ing ridiculous: Officer Sashay Brown returned to work in May after having her second child. At first, she worked a desk job. Soon after, though, she was forced to patrol the city streets under a new department policy that was [...]Continue reading Double Standards
From @iowahawkblog We don’t have a capital problem, we have a capitol problem.Continue reading Tweet Of The Day
Kevin Drum is on vacation this week. While I thought that might leave me without boneheaded material to criticize, I’m afraid he’s found guest bloggers as credible and clueless as himself. Today we have Andy Kroll, who wants to delve into meta-debates about rights and entitlements with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: But the statement that [...]Continue reading Kevin Drum’s Guest Bloggers Upholding The [ahem] Fine Standards He Has Created There
Ezra Klein has a rather thought-provoking post today about human genome sequencing and its ability to allow doctors to better-tailor treatment to the specific needs of an individual patient. It presents a phenomenal opportunity to both make medicine more effective, and IMHO to make it cheaper by spending less time and energy on substandard treatments. [...]Continue reading Will Individualized Medicine Increase Health Inequality?
Ezra Klein, on education & health care costs: I’m not going to end this post with some wan paragraph explaining how to transform these two industries into something closer to their potential. My ideas on health-care reform are available elsewhere on the blog and I don’t know enough about education to say anything worthwhile. But [...]Continue reading Wrangling Long-Term Costs
Who joined whom? Gay marriage has always been an ideal niche for liberaltarians. After all, it’s the states, not the feds, that are the ones deciding whether it should be legal, a question that feeds into libertarians’ federalist affinities. And when you strip away the cultural and identity politics, gay marriage is really just a [...]Continue reading Quote Of The Day
Coyote, on Paul Krugman’s claim that the Isaac Asimov Foundation series was an inspiration for him to go into economics: I find it absolutely unsurprising that Paul Krugman was enthralled by the vision of a science that can be used by a few people to control the actions and futures of all humanity. He said [...]Continue reading Quote Of The Day
While I laud any state trying to expand the freedom of its residents while simultaneously thumbing it’s nose at Washington, I can’t see this ending well: On October 1, 2009, Montana passed the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, the purpose of which was to regulate guns manufactured and kept within Montana state lines under a less [...]Continue reading Montana Firearms Freedom Act: Tilting At Windmills
Coyote, on the limits of government and the Amendment process: While I am sympathetic to issues folks have with taxation, from a legal and Constitutional perspective the income tax actually comes from a better, almost more quaint time. Why? Because instead of dealing with the Constitutional problems with the income tax by having a series [...]Continue reading Quote Of The Day
So the big debate is whether the gov’t should sell their post-IPO shares in GM. At current prices, they’d [unsurprisingly] be losing money on the sale, compared to the amount put up in the bailout. So we have to ask — was it worth it? To determine that, we can’t base our entire calculation on [...]Continue reading Auto Bailout; Can’t Prove A Counterfactual, But You Can Infer