We’re All “Rich” Now.

Bob Hertbert – A Less Than Honest Policy – NYTimes.com

The tax would kick in on plans exceeding $23,000 annually for family coverage and $8,500 for individuals, starting in 2013. In the first year it would affect relatively few people in the middle class. But because of the steadily rising costs of health care in the U.S., more and more plans would reach the taxation threshold each year.

Within three years of its implementation, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the tax would apply to nearly 20 percent of all workers with employer-provided health coverage in the country, affecting some 31 million people. Within six years, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, the tax would reach a fifth of all households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 annually. Those families can hardly be considered very wealthy.

This is surprise. Bob Herbert has been one of the most doctrinaire liberals at the NYT. (It’s not like he doesn’t have competition for it though)

Now he’s worried that the increased taxes on medical insurance is going to hit the middle class?

Hello? Have you been so engrossed in your Obama campaign collection that you haven’t noticed what has been going on in Congress the last few months? Are you telling us that Obama’s promise that the tax burden will only fall on “the rich” might have been a little disingenuous?

It might only mean that Herbert feels comfortable enough that the ‘healthcare bill” is going to become law that he can write columns pointing out the problems. That’s insurance for down the road when he gets accused of being oblivious to the tax increases. No one is going to notice then that his column was a couple of weeks too late.

iowahawk: Man, Do I Hate Holiday Travel

iowahawk: Man, Do I Hate Holiday Travel

Iowahawk Special Guest Opinion
by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

Yesterday while I was lying in the burn ward getting my crotch bandages changed, I had a chance to catch the air disaster movie marathon on TCM. The lineup included “Zero Hour,” “The High and the Mighty,” “Skyjacked,” and “Airport ’75.” For all their campy fun and unintentional laughs, those corny old films really serve as a grim reminder how the whole in-flight terror experience has gone completely downhill since the jet set golden years of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. What happened to all those pretty stewardesses and polite, well dressed infidels, screaming as the plane plummeted to the ground? Time was, a suicide mission to explode an international jumbo jet was an event full of glamor and excitement; but now it seems to be a endless series of delays, hassles, pushy jerks and third-degree testicular chemical burns. And don’t even get me started on the crappy airline food.

Uhh…Not Exactly

William M. Daley – Keep the Big Tent big – washingtonpost.com

That success happened for one major reason: Democrats made inroads in geographies and constituencies that had trended Republican since the 1960s. In these two elections, a majority of independents and a sizable number of moderate Republicans joined the traditional Democratic base to sweep Democrats to commanding majorities in Congress and to bring Barack Obama to the White House.

Actually the Democrats won the House and the Senate in 2006 because a good number of fiscal conservatives sat on their hands during the election due to the profligate spending habits of the Republican Congress. Independents were upset about both spending and ethics.

The election of Obama in 2008 was largely because the propaganda war that the Democrats had waged on George W. Bush had taken its toll. With their allies in both the print and TV media they had made good progress in painting everything about the Bush administration as corrupt. This in spite of the fact that there were much fewer ethics problems in the Bush administration than there were in the previous Clinton administration.

Obama won the Presidency and the Nobel Peace Prize primarily for not being George W. Bush.

The Democrats will continue on their journey to the left. Any success they have, they have primarily because they have been blessed with the Republicans as opponents.

Since Third Parties are the best way to elect your opponents, what needs to happen is a take over of the Republicans by the “Tea Party” movement. The Democrats will continue their assault but their snarky “tea bagger” comments do not go over well with most Conservative or Independent voters and may cost them votes. Then the “tea party” movement will have to elect Republicans and keep them aware of who it is that elected them.

Hosts and Parasites

When I read news stories of the government’s (State and Fed) attempt to “create” jobs by funding public works and protecting the jobs of government workers, I have to shake my head in disbelief. Do they really thing that they (the government) have a back room full of jobs that they hand out to people?

The truth, of course, is that they do and they don’t. They don’t actually have jobs to hand out, but they do have the ability to encourage others to create jobs.

A Capitalist free economy, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, is the worst system for managing an economy, except for all the others.

A Free Market encourages people to innovate, take risks and is able to offer products where they are needed, at a “reasonable” price without employing unaccountable central planners. If someone in a free markets systems offers the wrong products to the wrong set of customers, at a  price they can’t afford, they lose.

The Free Market economy is the engine that makes America work.

What people seem to misunderstand is the relationship between the government and the Free Market.

The relationship is that of a parasite and the host. That is not necessarily a bad thing and it doesn’t mean that government employees are bloodsuckers. Our bodies contains many parasites, some of which are necessary for life.

The Private Sector is the host. It goes on and on, enriching some, beggaring others. The government is the parasite that is supposed to prevent the host from destroying itself with its own excesses. The government (the parasite) takes what is necessary to to do its job from the host.

The problem arises, not because the parasite exists, but because it takes too much from the host. In nature this manifests itself in anemia or other health problems. It is invariably weakens the host and can lead to death.

Think it can’t happen here?

When I was in Grade School back in the 1950’s I can remember being told (probably at one of those assemblies for Washington’s or Lincoln’s Birthday back when holidays were supposed to mean something) about the Voltaire quote that was supposed to have said  “I may disagree with what you say; but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. (Yeah, I know it is probably bogus, but that’s not the point)

The point is that we were having it smacked into our mushy impressionable brains that in America the right to free speech included speech that you didn’t like.

Now we have “Hate Speech”, which is basically speech that some victim group or politician decided that they didn’t like.

How far is that from defending to the death your right to speak? We, our parents and our teachers thought that such a thing couldn’t happen here. But it did and it has.

Think of how many things that American’s used to believe was their heritage that are now discounted and reframed as somehow illegitimate?

The parasite is now in charge and we’re being reduced from patriots to husks that still mumble the words but have been so weakened that there is little time left to react, and even if we do, the poison is in our bloodstream .

Can we be saved? Maybe…maybe not. Time will tell.

The government is getting some help in gutting the Private Sector…Unions.

Good Old Fashioned Politics

Big Hollywood » It’s A Wonderful Bill

(with deep apologies to Frank Capra)

**************

Scene 14: Christmas Eve, inside Bedford Falls Town Hall. Senator George Bailey confronts an angry mob of constituents protesting his vote on the new health care bill.
MAN #1
Come on Bailey, you can’t hide forever! Let us in!

WOMAN #1
Yeah, what is this mandatory insurance nonsense? Stop cowering behind that podium George! We want answers!

crowd erupts into shouting

GEORGE BAILEY
Now now now, everybody calm down, see? If you’ll, well, see, just let me explain…

Read the whole thing.

Maybe Global Warming Will Make The Trains Run On Time?

My Way News – Eurostar train services canceled indefinitely

LONDON (AP) – The only passenger rail link between Britain and the rest of Europe has been shut down indefinitely, Eurostar said Sunday, promising more travel misery for thousands of stranded passengers just before Christmas.

Services have been suspended since late Friday, when a series of glitches stranded five trains inside the Channel Tunnel and trapped more than 2,000 passengers for hours in stuffy and claustrophobic conditions. More than 55,000 passengers overall have been affected.
[…]
Eurostar runs services between England, France and Belgium. The company said Sunday it had traced the problem to “acute weather conditions in northern France,” which has seen its worst winter weather in years.

The same thing happens every winter in Portland, when the Metro has to shut down because of inclement weather.

I guess I can make an argument not to take trains because they help fight “Global Warming” except when the weather’s bad.

Maybe if we have a little more warming the trains can run on time.

Uh-Oh

Shanghai Daily | Harder to buy US Treasuries

IT is getting harder for governments to buy United States Treasuries because the US’s shrinking current-account gap is reducing supply of dollars overseas, a Chinese central bank official said yesterday.

The comments by Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, referred to the overall situation globally, not specifically to China, the biggest foreign holder of US government bonds.

I don’t thnk he meant it in the sense that it is more difficult to buy them.

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.