Stimulus no fix for health insurance: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger raised the ire of many in California by calling for $1.1 billion in cuts to Medi-Cal, the state healthcare program for the poor, as part of an effort to head off a projected $42 billion budget deficit over the next 17 months. The federal government is now throwing him a lifeline. A cool $32 billion from the massive economic stimulus bill winding its way through Congress was designated for California. About a third of that is earmarked for Medi-Cal relief. But a bailout of Medicaid (the federal version of Medi-Cal) with no checks and balances to ensure funds are spent as specified only kicks healthcare reform further down the road."
Instead of stimulus, do nothing ... seriously! "As we wait to see how the politicians in Washington will alter the stimulus package the Obama administration is pushing, many questions are being raised about the measure's contents and efficacy. Should it include money for the National Endowment for the Arts, Amtrak, and child care? Is it big enough to get the economy moving again? Does it spend money fast enough? Hardly anyone, however, is asking the most important question: Should the federal government be doing any of this? In raising this question, one risks immediate dismissal as someone hopelessly out of touch with the modern realities of economics and government."
The Great O has spoken! "President Barack Obama is getting angry about his 'stimulus' package, now stalled in the Senate. Like the Great and Powerful Oz when faced with a courageous Dorothy, he is not taking well to criticism of his leadership, and he does not want critical eyes peering to see the man behind the curtain. This is a President who is watching his mandate to govern - alongside his vaunted trillion dollar 'stimulus' plan - evaporate quicker than a drop of water on Venus. He says the point of a stimulus plan is to spend. And apparently, in his eyes, to spend as much as it takes, no matter the cost."
Economic change we can believe in: "President Barack Obama's stimulus proposal entails an awkward tradeoff between spending and efficiency. Fiscal stimulation suggests large, rapid increases in spending, while efficiency means cautious, modest increases. Similarly, Obama's plan favors tax cuts for low-income families, since they are most likely to spend rather than save, yet the drive for efficiency means cutting marginal tax rates on high-income consumers. One policy change, however, can stimulate both the economy in the short-run and enhance efficiency in the long-run: repeal of the corporate income tax, which collects up to 35% of the difference between revenues and costs of incorporated businesses."
The disastrous Smoot and Hawley return: "As if the `economic stimulus' bill was not bad enough, it also contains a `Buy American' provision. It is now truly an economic sabotage bill. This is particularly scary. When the economy soured last year, one could reassure oneself that this would not be a repeat of the 1930s because 1) a dramatic contraction of the money supply was unlikely (the Fed presumably having learned the lesson of the Great Depression) and 2) we would never see the likes of Smoot-Hawley again. This, of course, refers to the monstrous tariff bill that Congress passed and President Herbert Hoover signed in 1930 in the name of protecting American jobs."
The US government has no business taking over banks: "The U.S. government has no business taking over banks. Outright nationalization of banks would lead to poorly run banks and, in the long run, make America poorer. As a trip to any Motor Vehicles Dept. can illustrate, the government doesn't always do a great job running things. Even when they provide decent service, in fact, government-run `businesses' like the Postal Service and Amtrak almost always lose money."
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here