Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Why the Tea Party Is Skeptical - We've Been Burned Before
Like I Said in 2008...Pig In A Poke
And all this talk of Obama needing a primary opponent. Made that call too.
What's my point? If you want to be way ahead of the curve, read NBfPB...and if you want your friends to be same, tell them about NBfPB.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
New York vs. Pennsylvania
Health Insurance Cos. Look to Drop Clients
The latest is that my insurance company is looking for an excuse to cancel our policy. I kid you not, on the same day that I read in the WSJ that insurance companies are looking to shed small employer plans, I get this email:
If you are so much as one day late with your payment, they can cancel you. Not that this is a major injustice, but it clearly is a way for insurance companies to start culling their rolls and woe betide the small business makes that mistake - they'll likely not be able to find replacement insurance at even close to similar rates. This is a first small step in the devolution of the private insurance market that ObamaCare was designed to bring about. Hope and Change. Enjoy America.
Starting with September 1, 2011 bills, small groups (2-50) will not be eligible for reinstatement if they are terminated for non-payment of their monthly premium bill.
This means if Empire does not receive the premium payment due by the 30th day after the due date shown on your group bill, the policy will be automatically terminated with no reinstatement rights. To be clear, Empire will no longer grant discretionary reinstatement if we do not receive payment in full by the 30th day of the group's grace period.
Friday, July 22, 2011
JP Morgan Steals My Stuff
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Gang of Six Plan = Dog Poop
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
ObamaCare Stopped Job Creation Dead In Its Tracks
Unfortunately what we've done through our obsessive tinkering in the healthcare market is create the beginnings of a bifurcated market where the rich will get the best care and the rest of you will get what you can get.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Remember the Poor
So what we learn from these official statistics is that the truly poor around the globe would give their eye teeth to be poor in America, because our poor are relatively very well off. Remember, the defining social characteristics of our poor here in America is that as a group they are overweight and watch too much TV. A poor person sleeping on the streets of Delhi, Dhaka or Lagos can only dream of being this poor.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Steve Wynn Tells It Like It Is
New Movie Celebrates Musical Icons of the Early 1990s
This Would Be Really Bad for the Baseball Household...
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Is Dan Savage the Perfect Liberal??
Paul McCartney Rocks and, Like Most Artists, Has Terrible Political Judgement
Tea Party Budgeting
Friday, July 15, 2011
Can Our Ethanol Policy Get Any Crazier? Yes!
Well, there has been no sign of any divine intervention, but there has been a miracle of sorts...the EPA has discovered unicorns, evidenced by their imposition of fees on said unicorns.
Obama's Latest Incredibly Stupid Idea: Kill the LIFO Rule
First, let me state that the President is ridiculous to focus on this in the context of our fiscal problems, this "small ball" of the most pathetic kind, like the corporate jet obsession. Second, for the President to say that the LIFO rule is "arcane" is about what you'd expect from a guy who never had a real job and has proven himself to be a total boob when it comes to finance. The truth is that the LIFO rule is as relevant as ever, right this very moment. Why? I'm gonna tell you.
Essentially, the LIFO rule protects corporations from having to pay taxes on phantom profits. In times of inflation, corporations can record nominal profits that aren't really profits, although they look like a profit in a strict book accounting sense. Let's say a company buys inventory every couple of months and it buys its inventory today at $50 per unit. After a few months, inflation drives those units up in price by 3%. Assuming the corporation can sell those units at it's planned profit margin and pass through the inflation in the short term, it'll get that margin plus the 3% inflation, but that 3% isn't really profit, it's getting more nominal dollars but dollars that are worth less. In practice however corporations usually can't pass through inflation in the short term, so they charge the pre-inflation price resulting in their planned profits margins getting eroded by the 3% inflation. Without the LIFO rule they are taxed as if inflation didn't have any effect - they'd be taxed on 3% of additional profits that are not really profits but phantom profits or they'd be taxed on their full nominal profits even though inflation has rendered a percentage of those profits worthless. LIFO protects against being taxed on phantom profits. It is a fundamentally fair policy, and it's incredibly practical - any government that forced companies to pay taxes on profits that weren't real would insure capital flight and chronic economic under-performance.
Finally, guess what? Inflation is on it's way back. I've chronicled that before. So the LIFO rule is as relevant today as it's ever been. That's why the corporations are fighting this tooth and nail, not for some idealogical anti-Obama reason or sinister corpo-fascist gambit. Federal Reserve policy would essentially be dictating their tax rates and history teaches that inflation can easily shoot upward uncontrollably. They're afraid, with inflation picking up and, by many accounts, set to rage, that they'll get hit with a massive, and potentially unstoppable, upward tax hike.
Obama may pass this off as an arcane issue over accounting jargon, (and yes, people can play minor games with LIFO) but this is a critical piece of rational tax policy. Obama's attack on LIFO is one of his stupider, economy-killing ideas - and that is saying alot as he's had plenty of doozies.
ABBO Going Mainstream ??
Ford UAW Showdown
Nobel Economist Confirms Everything I've Been Saying
Henninger: "What discomfits [Lucas] is the similarities in the policy choices that accompanied both delayed recoveries. By 1934, the Depression's banking crisis had been resolved, "yet full recovery was still seven years away," he said in the Milliman lecture. GDP stayed more than 10% below trend. "Why?" The answer, he says, was growth-suppressing policies, such as the Smoot-Hawley tariff, cartelization, unionization and, "most important but hardest to measure, FDR's demonization of business."
Baseball: "How many times have I said we are making the same mistakes of the Great Depression, the same policy mistakes - protectionism, raising taxes on nearly every type of business activity, regulating massive swaths of the economy??? How many times. Well now the similarities are getting just downright eerie as well as scary. It is as if the Democrats are reading the history of the Great Depression and doing every single thing that deepened the Great Depression again, on purpose."
Henninger: "[Lucas] credits the current Federal Reserve with avoiding the mistakes of the Depression, properly acting this time as the lender of last resort. With the financial side essentially in order and the recovery stalled, Prof. Lucas sees public-policy analogies to the 1930s: "The likelihood of much higher taxes, focused on 'the rich'; medical legislation that promises a large increase in the role of government; financial legislation that assigns vast, poorly defined responsibilities to the Fed and others."
Baseball: "Government can crater the system again through its vendetta of regulation. ObamaCare is today's NRA. We have small trade wars smoldering, threatening to burst wide open. Taxes are on their way up to highly distortive levels. And now we are on a campaign to destroy our best capital markets institutions."
"We have, fortunately thanks to Ben Bernanke, passed the first test - we have not contracted the money supply bringing on defaltion."
Thursday, July 14, 2011
More Evidence "Smart As a Whip" is Really "Dumb as a Post"
Well, today we add evidentiary exhibit number 9: "Don't call my bluff." John Hinderaker explains.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Obama Last Guy in American that Thinks Stimulus Worked
Oh yeah? If it was so wonderful why did Summers, Romer, Orszag, Bernstein and Goolsbee - stimulus advocates all - quit rather than bask in the success of their policy creation? Also, what of the five prominent economists noted here that have already publicly stated that the stimulus was a waste of money?
In fact very few economists believe that the stimulus worked. Most acknowledge that the stimulus was largely transfer payments to states who used the money to temporarily plug the holes in what are widely seen as unsustainably large deficit budgets. So yes, the stimulus kept the government employee gravy train motoring down the tracks awhile longer, but nobody equates this with fostering the long term health of the economy.
In my view, even if the stimulus could have possibly worked (which I believe it couldn't have), it was neutered by the damaging rhetoric and policy agenda of this President and the Pelosicrats as I have noted here. What the stimulus offered with one hand, the poisonous anti-business stance of Washington DC caused to be withdrawn by the other hand. For all their purported expertise in Keynesian economics, they were ignorant of what Keynes dubbed the "animal spirits" of the economy, which they have succeeded in thoroughly and relentlessly crushing. Obama's economics is all wet here. Perhaps because there's nobody left on the economic roster at the White House.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Eat Your Own F**king Peas
UPDATE: The Instapundit readership is, obviously, much more witty than I. IMHO, with Carter the wit was merited as he was clearly an amiable dunce. There's nothing amiable about Dear Leader, thus more bile and less wit directed at him.
UPPDATE: And there is this PR disaster. Translation: "I'd rather be dealing in trivialities that do not tax my meager abilities." Or as Stephen Green would say "Being President is hard!" Yeah, and I'd rather be sunning myself on the Ligurian coast but, you see, I signed up for something harder - being a breadwinner for a family of five. Anyway, a decent consolation that Obama keeps writing the GOP attack ads for them...
Once again America...an inexperienced mediocrity proving himself inexperienced and mediocre should come as no surprise. The fault lies not so much with Obama as with us.
Friday, July 08, 2011
Once Again a Crazy DB Early Call Moves Slowly Toward Mainstream Thinking
You wanna talk "out of the box"? Guess who made that prediction back in January???
Rick Perry Must Really Scare Dear Leader's People
This tells my that Obama's people are the most scared of Perry.
Crappy Jobs Report About the Easiest Prediction I Ever Made
Also, although BO has screwed up almost everything, the Ben Bernanke hasn't helped his cause.
UPDATE: Oh goody, he's going to "roll up his shirt sleeves" much the same way he "pivoted" or "focus(ed) like a laser" on the economy.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Ruth Marcus Not Quite Understanding the Famous Ray Donovan Quote...
C'mon Ruth, you're not showing your truly progressive, post-imperialist, anti-patriarchal bona fides on this. Let's restate the question "Where does the old, married, powerful, white guy who gets hummers from young, brown, powerless hotel maids go to get his reputation back?"
Surprise: New York Times Writes Daft Article About Republicans
So what does the NYT want it's readers to know? If you're skimming it wants you to know that Rick Perry is George W. Bush, so that the very mention of our 43rd President in the same breath as Rick Perry will have the intended dog whistle effect on liberals the world over (George W. Bush being the apotheosis of all that is evil, wrong and to be hated on this Earth in the liberal canon). If you're actually reading the article, the NYT wants you to know that Rick Perry is GWB only more so, even more BushHitlerian than the original article. They broke from each other, the NYT helpfully tells us, because Perry thinks Bush 2 is a squish, a loser, one of these unpure "compassionate conservatives". So if you thought George W. Bush was bad...wink wink.
From a lefty's point of view, this is a plausible case. This is not what renders the article so silly. What makes this article so daft is the NYT's logical progression from 1) Bush and Perry don't get along, to 2) Bush will impede and thwart Perry's chances via his considerable control of the Republican Party.
Balderdash all of it. The logical mistake emanates from the NYT's caricatured notion of the "inside baseball" of Republican Party politics. We don't expect the NYT to understand rank and file Republican attitudes and we certainly don't expect the fading paper of record to know the dark inner secrets of elite Republican strategery. This is, after all, the paper that relishes giving away the nation's secrets to the world, there is no chance they are in possession of any meaningful understanding of the GOP's inner workings.
In reality, Bush has almost zero interest in being a GOP kingmaker and relatively little power to be such. What Bush does have is broad and deep connections and resources that he can add to a Perry campaign or not add. Bush can augment Perry's arsenal but not really detract from it. Finally, what the NYT suspects, but has no real appreciation of due to its limited worldview, is that Barack Obama has united all the various petty fiefdoms within the Republican spectrum. There is no greater mission right now than to defeat this clown and everybody understands it quite well. When push comes to shove, when the chances of defeating Barack Obama look more and more like a reality, Bush will allow any and all resources he commands to be put into the fight in assistance to a Perry campaign.