November 6, 2012, The Day Neoconservatism Died

First let me say that this might just be the best article I’ve read all year. Enjoy!

In the infancy of the campaign to remove President Obama from office, there stood a homogeneous blob of characters to which Americans would assuredly find a savior from the disaster that had become the Obama presidency.

The characters were numerous: Michelle Bachman, a midwestern female firebrand; Rick Santorum, a hardcore bible thumper and Pennsylvanian Catholic; Newt Gingrich, the architect of the ’92 Republican Revolution; Herman Cain, a “grassroots” African-American; Rick Perry, a Texas-style Republican reminiscent of a certain past Commander-In-Chief; John Huntsman, foreign policy expert-by-proxy; and, of course, Mitt Romney, the only hope.

Indeed, with the characters laid in this poorly constructed play, it was time for the Republican base to play their part, find their face, and send their best to the White House.

Unfortunately, they had been given a ruse and they had taken it like the greatest of chumps.

Despite the apparent depth of choice Republican primary voters seemed to face, they saw but the various masks of the same dramatis personae. Behind each visage, behind each rabble-rousing talking point, there stood but one entity gasping for one final breath; hoping for one final hurrah:

Neoconservatism.

And let me be clear by what this word means because it gets thrown around so much that I fear people may forget that it isn’t some vague, incisive label to put upon those we dislike. Neoconservatism is the ideology of Wilsonian perpetual war; of social conservatism a la Rick Santorum; of sacrificing liberty for “safety”; of centralization of power. If you’re lucky, they might pay lip service to fiscal responsibility, but, when it the time comes that it actually govern, fiscal responsibility takes a back seat and statism takes the reigns.

Please continue reading at the link below.

via November 6, 2012, The Day Neoconservatism Died | Young Americans for Liberty.

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Romney’s economic advisor calls for tax hikes

For anyone yet stewing over Obama’s win, thinking, oh it could have been so different…
Mitt Romney’s former economic adviser Glenn Hubbard published an op-ed in the Financial Times Tuesday calling for higher tax rates on the wealthy and other taxes beyond that.

He wrote:

What should those negotiating the fiscal cliff do?

The first step is to raise average (not marginal) tax rates on upper-income taxpayers. Revenue increases should first come from these individuals. This means closing loopholes …Tax deductions should be scaled back, especially in the areas of mortgage interest, charitable giving and employer-provided health insurance.He didn’t stop there:

A strategy of ‘taxing the rich’ cannot pay for the entitlement state. If we wanted a larger government as a share of GDP, we would have to raise taxes substantially on everyone. Mr. Obama cannot argue that we can right the fiscal ship simply by taxing the rich.

He also suggested a VAT:

The present tax system can raise at most about 20 per cent of GDP in a booming economy. A government of, say, 25 per cent of GDP cannot be paid for by changing rates in such a system. The distortions would be too great. Rather, as in most other advanced economies, a universal consumption tax would be required.

via Robert Wenzel

Government finding out business is hard

Tonight on Market Place on NPR, I heard a story about the most amusing conundrum government is faced with as a result of Obama Care’s forthcoming insurance mandate.

As I’m sure you are aware, in another year, states or the federal government will be setting up exchanges where people who do not have health insurance will be forced to go to purchase it. As this new health insurance program is being rolled out, the happy-go-lucky, pie-in-the-sky rhetoric about WHY everyone should have health insurance is coming face to face with the very real problem of HOW to serve this new forced consumer base. It seems government has no experience running a business.

Now that the state finds itself in the business of forcing a particular good on the consumer, it’s finding itself asking questions like…

How should all the insurance options available be presented to minimize errors in coverage and help explain options that are available and how those options affect price?

How do you provide the best product and service for your consumer base?

and…

How do you deal with presenting and marketing your products to the market in a way that minimizes confusion?

They were even talking about studies showing this and that about consumer preference – much like a modern day marketer would if faced with the same task, and how the facets will be set up on exchange website to maximize the consumer’s understanding of what they are purchasing.

So I realized that even when you have a captive consumer who must buy your product, and all the capital you need via taxation, borrowing, and printing, there are still challenges that must be overcome to effectively deliver the goods. It’s exactly in these challenges that I presume we will witness first hand the ineptitude of the state. After all, unlike a real business, there is no fear of failure on the part of the state.

Someone on the show made the statement that if we have to rely on the consumers ability to choose the “right” plan, this isn’t going to work.

Indeed, they would have customer service nightmare on there hands if people start complaining about the coverage they purchased, or find out in an emergency that what they thought was covered is not. If the DMV is any indicator of the service those frustrated people will receive it won’t be pretty.

The insinuation was that when this all fails to go down as planned, it will be the consumer’s fault. They assume that the consumer is not smart enough to make a choice regarding what will be most beneficial to themselves.

Personally I find this insulting. What they fail to realize is that it’s their own faulty understanding of basic economics that has created this problem in the first place. When a person is forced to purchase something, it should go without saying that the internal mechanism which drives the consumer to make the most advantageous choice for themselves is distorted. Force is simply not conducive to good choice making.

WANTED: Omnipotent ruler to implement global climate change strategy

If negative global climate change is caused by man then man could conceivably have the power to alter climate to his liking.

Of course that would require men (or at least a man) who knows what temperature is best at any given point in time at every point on earth. To know that would require an infinite knowledge of the world and space around us as well as the ability to see what the future holds.

Once it was determined what changes were required to obtain the optimal state of the climate, of all the possible states – the force of a global authority – more powerful than any earthy ruler before would be required to move all of society as a single unit toward a single climate goal. Such a legion of super rulers would need to control every facet of production and consumption globally (for our own good of course). A socialist utopia of sorts.

All kinds of drastic steps – like eugenics – may seem like positive and proactive steps to someone who believed in a looming planetary disaster.

However, if climate change follows natural cyclical patterns which have nothing to do with the behavior of men, then the wise man would view the hysteria surrounding man-made climate change as nothing more than a scheme of a small portion of the political elite to control and subdue mankind under a one world government.

“Violence Tax” on gun sales in Cook County, IL

On Friday, Cook County commissioners approved a $25 tax (called the “violence tax”) on every gun purchased in the county to offset health care and other costs of gun violence. Board President, Toni Preckwinkle said, “The average shooting victim costs taxpayers $52,000 in acute care because nearly 70 percent of the victims don’t have health insurance.”

This should give us all pause because when a government considers the cost of your health care it’s responsibility, it has an even greater incentive to implement all kinds of restrictions and taxes aimed at lowering it’s expenses increasing revenue respectively.

When healthcare becomes another line item in the federal budget, you better believe they’ll be telling you how to live. All they’ll have to do is tell group A that Group B is costing them $X.XX per year because they, eat poorly, don’t exercise, eat salt, enjoy sugar, etc… Instantly you’ll have one group, falling over themselves to get on board with all kinds of tyrannical government run/funded “solutions.”

“We shouldn’t have to pay more for someone else’s poor lifestyle choices” will be their mantra. Owning a gun will be considered a liability and society will beg government to limit gun sales and confiscate guns.

If society is paying for your medical care, it’s going to want to limit your exposure to every danger. In such a situation, I’m sure government will be all to willing to step in and curb your behavior with laws, taxes, fines or worse.

Latest word from FEMA to Island: Stop

Televised and published pictures plus personal appeals of Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey touched the hearts of Shelter Islanders who generously filled truckloads of clothing and other goods bound for Island Park and Long Beach last week. But the word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency now is “stop.”

It’s not that the victims of Sandy have their needs met, but that FEMA has strict rules what can and can’t be accepted.

“We stopped taking things now,” said Marie Eiffel whose boutiques on Shelter Island and in Sag Harbor have been drop-off centers for goods that Sweet Tomato’s Jimi Rando trucked to neighborhoods devastated by Sandy.

“It was great,” Ms. Eiffel said. “We did get to those people before FEMA stepped in and it was a great turnout,”

via Latest word from FEMA to Island: Stop | Shelter Island Reporter.