Monday, December 1, 2014

Not working for the working class: Column

Not working for the working class: Column: "Given the availability of government benefits, most working-class people of any race could be on welfare if they chose. That they're not drawing government checks means that they value work. As Slate's Jamelle Bouie notes, government programs like Social Security and Medicare are differently received, because they aren't seen as rewarding people for not working. When your neighbor gets welfare, it makes you feel like a sucker for going to work. Medicare, not so much."

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

FCC Plans Stealth Internet Tax Increase

FCC Plans Stealth Internet Tax Increase: "Under its “Open Internet” or “network neutrality” proceeding, the FCC would regulate the  Internet and broadband service providers with rules similar to those that courts have not once but twice ruled unlawful.   By statute, the FCC regulates telecommunications services, not Internet services.  Rather than wait for Congress to give it authority to regulate Internet services, the FCC asserts that power for itself by some imaginative interpretation of the Communications Act.

One set of proposals considered by the FCC would classify Internet services, or at least Internet access services, as “interstate telecommunications services” bringing the regulation of those services exclusively to the FCC.

The FCC imposes fees of 16.1% on interstate telecommunications services that will generate more than $8 billion in federal universal service funds in 2014. Additional FCC fees on interstate telecommunications services raise $1 billion for federal telecommunications relay services.  Although Congress mandates the general nature of the federal universal service fund and telecommunications relay services, it is the FCC alone that sets the budget size of the funds and develops the fee structure to raise receipts for the funds."

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Joseph Rago: How Scott Walker Keeps Winning - WSJ - WSJ

Joseph Rago: How Scott Walker Keeps Winning - WSJ - WSJ: "Act 10’s collective-bargaining reforms allowed the state to balance the budget, and counties to restrain or even reduce the property taxes that had increased 27% over the decade before Mr. Walker. But the legislation also improved Wisconsin in ways that “wouldn’t seem quite as obvious,” he says. By eliminating tenure and seniority work rules, “we can hire and fire based on merit and pay based on performance, we can put the best and brightest in our classrooms—and voilĂ , graduation rates are up. ACT scores are up, now second best in the country. Third-grade reading scores are up. The left certainly doesn’t acknowledge this: Our schools are better.”"

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The Other Gender Gap: Weed | National Review Online

The Other Gender Gap: Weed | National Review Online: "This fits with my own pet theory that women, members of minority groups, and other traditional constituencies for activist government are risk-averse relative to white men. Groups that historically have been marginalized, economically and politically, are less inclined to trust in free markets and other decentralized institutions and instead seek government guarantees as a hedge against various kinds of risk. That is why it far from impossible — or even surprising — that there are people who really do understand that the Affordable Care Act will introduce various inefficiencies and stupidities into the health-insurance market but nonetheless support it, for much the same reason that people who understand that Social Security is not a very good “investment” for them prefer the security (the overestimated security, in my view) of a government-backed program to the more profitable but volatile investment markets. They call it Social Security for a reason."

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The War on Soda claims its first victory « Hot Air

The War on Soda claims its first victory « Hot Air: "So the Deplorable Nanny State Mayor chalks one up in the win column. The article goes on to describe “health advocates” as practically jumping for joy. I do appreciate the fact that the coverage is at least honest enough to refer to it as a punitive tax, which is exactly what it is. But who is being punished with this action? The obvious answer is the poor, who are probably the most likely to be drinking Big Gulps in the first place. The wealthy professors and cocktail party crew don’t need to worry about a ten percent hike in costs, but the people who tend their lawns and gardens, clean their pools and empty their trash might.

But hey… they’ll be more healthy. Once they start riding their bikes to that second job to pay all the taxes, the pounds will just drop off as if by magic. Well done, Berkeley. You’ve really struck a blow for freedom here."

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Out of the gate, Obama reminds the GOP a majority didn’t vote for them « Hot Air

Out of the gate, Obama reminds the GOP a majority didn’t vote for them « Hot Air: "In fairness to the president, he did say that he will seek an authorization for the use of military force against ISIS; a display of constitutional deference to the Congress which the Congress should have long ago demanded. But that seemed to be the extent of Obama’s willingness to reach across the aisle. According to the president, the voters who delivered a landslide victory to the GOP also are entirely supportive of Democratic policies.

He is not serious, of course. This is posturing for a deeply dispirited progressive base and a credulous press corps. The White House is a spent force, and America will be governed from Congress for the next two years when the president is not issuing executive orders which will necessarily be narrow in scope as they will not enjoy the support of the legislature. Obama’s pantomimed pugnacity may lift some progressive spirits for a time, but that will be a short-lived experience. They will soon find out that Obama has been reduced to talk and talk alone."

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No more tingles: Why can’t this ideologically cocooned president cope with other views on immigration, asks … Chris Matthews « Hot Air

No more tingles: Why can’t this ideologically cocooned president cope with other views on immigration, asks … Chris Matthews « Hot Air: "Arguably, the more bitter things get between Obama and the GOP Congress, the easier things are for Hillary in 2016. She’s going to run as the “experience” candidate, the old pro who knows how to get things done where amateurs like O and radicals like those darned tea partiers can’t. The more gridlock there is and the nastier things get, the more appealing that message becomes potentially. (That’s why Boehner and McConnell are eager to pass a few popular legislative items quickly.) Executive amnesty is a way to poison relations with the new Senate majority from the start, setting the tone for two more years of public exasperation with both sides. That’s also a perfect bookend, not to the last 48 hours but to the last 10 years. Obama became a superstar at the 2004 convention by insisting that there are no red states or blue states, just the United States. Now he’s on the verge of ending his presidency with an illegal amnesty measure that’ll pit all sorts of constituencies against each other and that will, by design, paralyze the government by antagonizing the other party to the point of boycott. From Hope and Change to deliberate, destructive partisan provocations aimed at gaining a political advantage. That’s how the Obama era ends."

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