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Everything that Is Wrong with Public Sector Unions

Writing for  Big Government, Mike Flynn lays it out.  Unions have been a positive force in many ways, but even pro-labor icons like FDR and George Meany knew they couldn’t work in the public sector.  In essence, the public sector union, to borrow a phrase from Marx (which we almost NEVER do), carries with it the seeds of its own destruction.  Because public sector unions negotiate with politicians, their entire structure becomes part of the political process.  They support politicians with forced union dues, which ultimately come from contracts that negotiate how the taxpayers’ money is used.

We have reached a point at which covering the bill run up by unions and their stable of politicians can only mean ever increasing, unsustainable tax burdens.  Flynn’s concise money-quote:

This is the central problem with public sector unions. They get to use taxpayer money to elect their bosses and they get to use taxpayer money to convince their bosses to give them more taxpayer money.

There’s more here, so read up. This corrupt setup has to end, which is why unions like the SEIU are becoming more adamant that it doesn’t.

Census: Fast growth in states with no income tax

The Washington Examiner comments that, according to the latest census, states with the fastest economic growth are also those with no income tax.

The reason seems obvious: the income tax (both federal and state) directly penalizes economic success. The left consistently defends income taxes, and in particular “progressive” income taxes based on an odd reading of “fairness” and a need to continually fund money-sucking (read “corrupt”) social programs that almost never work as advertised.

There are a lot of things the new GOP House needs to do, but I would add this to the checklist — educate the public about the basic dishonesty of the income tax, and about how what is billed as fairness is actually costing us jobs at all levels.

Obamacare gets a big hit



Today a federal judge ruled that the insurance mandate aspect of Obamacare is unc0nstitutional, according to this story at Bl0omberg.  This is great news, although it doesn’t mean the fight is over.  If a combination of the courts and the incoming House can cripple this evil bill, it will continue to be good news.  If the GOP wimps out as it has in the past, we’re in big trouble. 

We’d like to see a ruling on whether the congress actually has the authority to insist that insurance companies provide coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.  While we’d like to see all people taken care of, this can’t possibly work.  Insurance is based on transferrence of risk.  Insurance companies accept risk based on what a basically the odds of something happening or not.  Obamacare basically says the insurance companies have to bet on everybody, regardless of performance.  This is ridiculous, as every bookie knows.  No one places bets on lame horses. 

We believe the best ways to provide health care are to:

  1. Keep government out of the mix, because government ALWAYS makes things more expensive (and corrupt)
  2. Institute substantial tort reform, which will reduce the costs of defensive medicine and malpractice insurance,  and prevent lawyers from second-guessing doctors.
  3. Did we say to get government out of healthcare?

Conservatives have been chastised, (rightly) for excoriating Obamacare as socialism while defending Medicare.  Both programs inevitably create overutilization of medicals services, and drive costs up.  Conservatives should be consistent, but unfortunately it’s political suicide to say anything about the Medicare sacred cow.  Unfortunately, that’s a bud that should have been nipped in the 60s. 

The conservative position should be that expansion of socialism in America is not only undesirable, it’s morally wrong, even while admitting that Medicare is probably at the root of some of the cost problems we have now.

In any case, the fight isn’t over, but today’s ruling makes the future sound a little better, if the GOP doesn’t go wobbly on us.

Buchanan: Putting Government First

Pat Buchanan, who we don’t always agree with, wrote an excellent piece  in Human Events that sheds the right kind of light on why the government voted yet more money to “save teachers’ jobs.”  Here’s the main point, but please read it all.

Purpose: Vote $26 billion to prevent layoffs of state, municipal and county employees whose own governments had decided they had to be let go if they were to meet their constitutional duty to balance their books.

Workers their own governments thought expendable, Congress decided were so essential, it borrowed another 26 thousand million dollars from China to keep them on state and local payrolls.

And anyone who thinks this Obama party is ever going to cull the armies of tens of millions of government workers or scores of millions of government beneficiaries to put America’s house in order is deluding himself.

There’s more, particularly about the real reasons for this “emergency” legislation, but the article makes it plain why this current bunch in Washington MUST be removed in November.

By the way, the bill in question is  HR 1586. One proposed method of covering the $26 billion is to take money from food stamp programs and some scientific research.  This might slow the bill up, but it’s likely to pass.   We have a hope, irrational though it may be, that Joe Donnelly will vote no this time.

The problem with this bill and others like it is that it carries a requirement that the states maintain their level of spending after the money runs out.  Which they may or may not be able to do under their own constitutions — not to mention the fact that the states can’t just print money.  They’re set up for failure in the future, when layoffs now would be far less painful.  The Federal government is simply prolonging the pain by continuing to prop up both private and public sector institutions that should be allowed to fail, or at least, shrink.  The way they’re doing it now, just when we see the light at the end of the tunnel, the federal government makes the tunnel longer.

Steny Hoyer has a word for you: SUCKER

Breitbart Reports: Just in case you thought you were under the threshold for a tax increase, Steny Hoyer has a word for you: sucker. See, even though Obama wants to extend the Bush tax decreases a little longer (say, until sometime after the election), Hoyer says we can’t extend them forever because that’s “too costly,” in light of the huge government debt we have.

I am forever sickened by the doublespeak that makes tax cuts costs and wasteful spending “investments.”  Hoyer and the gang are oblivious to the concept that the costs are in their own spending, not in citizens wanting to keep their own money.

Here’s the quote from Hoyer:

As the House and Senate debate what to do with the expiring Bush tax cuts in the coming weeks, we need to have a serious discussion about their implications for our fiscal outlook, including whether we can afford to permanently extend them before we have a real plan for long-term deficit reduction,

Of course. There’s NO PLAN for long-term deficit reduction.  So taxes increase, and the economy goes further into the tank.  For those who voted for Obama on the promise that 95 percent of us would have lower taxes, you’ve just been punked.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?

November can’t come too soon, in our opinion.

The President’s Hate-speech Against the Private Sector

To us, Barack Obama’s dislike for business, regardless of who his animosity hurts, has been painfully apparent for a very long time.  Today in the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Heninger lays it out for anyone who might have missed it.

Money quote:

The agenda Mr. Obama described at (a speech at) Carnegie Mellon is so vast you’d think he’d at least enlist the private sector’s help. But there’s nothing in the speech’s enumerations to suggest any desire to have them along on these projects. If they contribute or comply, it will be out of intimidation. It’s all him or the government or its “investments.”

Some might say that instead of being a cheerleader for business, Mr. Obama is simply a tough-minded public official holding well-shod feet to the fire. I don’t buy it. His tone and vocabulary, in use since he took office, goes beyond public policy. It sounds personal. Too personal for a president.

Obama continuously reveals an ideological agenda that is devoid of any actual knowledge or experience.  He is a hate-monger against American business, and the people who make the American dream possible.  It has to stop.

Elkhart not on list of top 20 most stressed counties

The Associated Press reports the most and least “stressed” counties in the United States, and Elkhart County isn’t on either list.

Elkhart County’s current stress index is 17.99, which is down about 3 points from this time last year.

AP’s most stressed county is Imperial County, California, with an index of 31.27. Number 20 on the most stressed list is Boone County, Illinois with an index of 22.59, or about five points higher than Elkhart.

The top 20 list is dominated by California, with three Michigan counties, Cheboygan, Iosco and Lapeer, also making the list.

No Indiana Counties made the “most stressed” list.

See AP’s interactive stress index map.

Our Picks for Best Political Podcasts

Podcasting is a terrific medium for news, information and analysis of issues and a whole lot more.  For listeners, Apple’s iTunes makes subscribing and listening extremely easy, even for those who don’t have or want an actual iPod.  For producers, it’s so easy to master the basic technical issues that almost anyone with a pulse can record and distribute a podcast.

For political listening there are a lot of choices on all sides of the spectrum, and a lot of them are garbage.  But here are several podcasts that we think are best of the best, from our conservative/libertarian point of view.  All of these can be found in the iTunes store or from the respective websites (just click on the pictures), and they’re FREE.

Official Mark Levin Show Audio Rewind

Mark Levin

Levin is an American treasure.  For those of you who listen to his radio show and find him to be a shouter and hanger-upper, you haven’t listened long enough.  Rush Limbaugh has always said you won’t really “get” his (Limbaugh’s) show in less than six weeks,  and that’s true of Levin as well.  Maybe it’s true of all radio hosts with substance. Give them time. They’ll grow on you if their aim is true.

The left tends to dismiss conservative radio hosts as mere “entertainers” (while deifying actual entertainers such as Sean Penn as deep thinkers).  But while Levin is incredibly funny at times, he’s mainly a passionate voice for America who happens to be entertaining.  He’s a constitutional scholar with a Jon Lovitz delivery.  He’s Gilbert Gottfried with a law degree and a deep sense of morality.

Levin is also the head of Landmark Legal Foundation, a group that actually holds government’s feet to the fire on matters of vital constitutional importance.  And he’s the author of Liberty and Tyranny, the brilliant million-selling treatise on the meaning of America.

The podcast is basically Levin’s  radio show (heard 6-9 pm Eastern on WABC in New York and at various times around the country), with most of the commercials removed.  It’s usually added to the podfeed about an hour after the live radio show ends.  It’s well worth the listening, as Levin bemoans our present political situation, not from a strictly partisan viewpoint, but from the point of view of a true patriot who understands in detail the legal and moral framework of America.

Even though the subjects are weighty, Levin is lots of fun to listen to, and while his anger can be palpable at times, so is his compassion for his country and its people.  This is a truly accomplished guy who has the ability to communicate his passion and knowledge in a fun, interesting way.  Spend some time with him.  http://www.marklevinshow.com

KCRW’s Right, Left and Center

Photo from L-R: Matt Miller, Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley, Robert Scheer

RLC is an NPR show hosted by Matt Miller, who is supposedly a centrist (we respectfully disagree, since he’s a fellow at John Podesta’s decidedly lefty Center for American Progress), with a panel of three: progressive Robert Scheer of Truthdig.com, conservative Tony Blankley from The Washington Times and Arianna Huffington, from The Huffington Post.  Huffington is away from the show a lot (but from our point of view, she’s mentally absent even when she’s present.)

Ok, so it’s NOT a conservative podcast per se, but Dave listens to it every week (the podcast version comes out on Friday, after the NPR show runs).   Blankley is usually alone in his opinions, and plays the role of the articulate smart guy (a la Wm. F. Buckley), to Scheer’s socialistic curmudgeon.  Arianna is there for comic relief — she seemed a lot smarter when she was a conservative — and Matt Miller plays cat-herder to this diverse bunch.

Dave listens for the fun of the arguments, as well as for the fact that (mostly) the participants don’t cut each other off in mid-sentence with weird non sequiturs, etc.  It’s good to hear the opposing points of view, and although it’s not often, Dave even finds himself occasionally agreeing with Scheer.


No Agenda

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

Dave’s current fave, No Agenda, comes from an  outside-the-box,  “makes ya think don’t it?” sensibility that really can’t be pinned down.  The hosts are media veterans Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak.  Curry is the former MTV Vee-Jay who originated the idea of podcasting and is one of the driving forces behind the online media company Mevio.  Dvorak is a longtime tech journalist and podcaster who knows his tech, and apparently, his politics as well.

As Crackpot and Buzzkill (their nicknames, not ours), Curry and Dvorak research stories and angles on stories they believe the the MSM ignore, and if there’s any political “ism” involved it’s “No BS-ism.”  Curry and Dvorak don’t suffer fools or political hacks gladly.  It’s fun and fast-paced, produced by Curry with the same manic panache baby boomers heard in the likes of Murray the K and Larry Lujack.   Dave has to laugh every time Curry hits the “douche-bag” button and, well, you get the idea.

But again, the show isn’t all fun-and-games.  Not by a long shot. Curry and Dvorak ask some serious questions about some very  important issues. For example, in a recent episode they lamented that the media and politicos (on the right AND left) prefer not to discuss the fact that Arizona’s  immigration law is a response to criminal activity that’s far more heinous than just walking across the border.  Just for starters, Arizona is the second-most kidnap-prone place in the world.

While they may not have all the answers, they call things as they see them. Besides the fact that these are both pretty smart guys, what makes the show work is the juxtaposition of personalities — Curry as the conspiracy theorist with an actual point, and Dvorak as the shrewd curmudgeon who cuts through the memes-of-the-moment.

It’s recorded (with live listening possible at mevio.com) Thursday and Sunday mornings, and it’s really great radio conversation.

NOTE: No Agenda does have a bit of crude language, mostly from Curry.  So f***ing get over it.


Robert Scheer