Take It or Leave Us

Here is one of the final steps in Brussels’ studied refusal to deal in good faith with Great Britain’s leaving the EU in all the long “negotiations.”  With the Brits’ departure now set for 12 April, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, has issued the EU’s ultimatum:

  • The possibility of a successful “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal agreement in the next few days. “The only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is and will be through a positive majority. We should continue to make this point in the public debate,” Barnier said.

There’ll Be Blowback

But it’ll be badly misplaced.  President Donald Trump is moving to stop further direct aid to the Caravan Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras over those nations’ failure to control those caravans by putting to actual use that aid—which was intended to support improved economies, the living conditions within those economies, and training to deal with gangs and the drug trade.

[T]he State Department…notified Congress that it would look to suspend 2017 and 2018 payments to the trio of nations, which have been home to some of the migrant caravans that have marched through Mexico to the US. border.

Yet Another Veterans Administration Failure

Here is another failure of the VA to take care of our veterans as they are charged to do, and as the VA’s motto promises they’ll do.  Here is another casual dishonor of that promise [emphasis added].

More than 1,000 Department of Veterans Affairs patients in Kansas didn’t get proper follow-up care after initial colonoscopies last year, a problem that was addressed only after a whistleblower repeatedly reported it, according to a government watchdog.
The watchdog found patients didn’t get follow-up screenings on time and when they did, often didn’t get the results in a timely manner because of [a string of excuses].

A Thought on Medicare for All

University of Massachusetts-Amherst Economics Professor and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute, Robert Pollin, had a thought on this.

Of course, so do I.

Pollin opened his tract with this:

All Americans would be able to get care from their chosen providers without having to pay premiums, deductibles or copayments.

No, we’ve already seen the lie in this. We experienced the broken, falsely presented promise with the sales job on Obamacare and the oft-repeated lie that if we liked our doctor, we could keep him and the associated lie of lower premiums.

Pied-à-Terre Tax

New York City wants one, and The Wall Street Journal, among a host of other folks, think it’s a terrible idea.

The idea is what the politicians are calling a pied-à-terre tax—which is French for “give me your money, fat cat.”

I’m not sure I agree with the WSJ.  I see the pied-à-terre tax as a vast boon to New Yorkers, and to others.

a Journal analysis this week suggested it could crash New York’s luxury property market.

Delusions of Average

Some folks think an annual income of a half million dollars leaves them…average…and strapped. The tweeted image of an example of this delusion is below.  CNBC represents this as a real couple.

You can read the CNBC article linked to in the tweet here, but the image and many of the comments in the tweet’s thread are instructive by themselves.

Morgan Housel offered a couple:

@morganhousel
So $36K in 401k contributions should be added to “what’s left over,” along with $18K in charity contributions (not an expense either).

Control

Senator and Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D, CA) wants the Federal government to pay a significant fraction of public school teachers’ salaries.

What a terrible idea.

The Federal government paying a significant fraction of public school teachers’ salaries means Federal government control of our public schools. Those schools are in enough trouble; we don’t need the Feds getting in the way, also.

Aside from that, this is just another Progressive-Democratic Party attempt to grab our money, this time to deny it to our heirs.  Again.

Disruption

And the widening gyre may be dissipating, finally.

Recall that a Federal judge in the 5th Appellate district ruled rump Obamacare unconstitutional because the tax imposed on not having health insurance was rescinded and the law had no severability clause—making the law itself an unconstitutional demand that private citizens buy something they did not want.

An outcome of this is feared by the NLMSM and Progressive-Democrats to be

particular disruption within the industry as no replacement system would be put in place.

Explorations

Illinois is verging on bankruptcy, and Progressive-Democratic Governor JB Pritzker and his henchmen running this Progressive-Democrat-run State want a State constitutional amendment to raise taxes preferentially on the rich—a progressive tax.

Illinois faces a $3.2 billion budget deficit next fiscal year, unfunded pension liabilities estimated from $133 billion to $250 billion, and the worst credit rating of any US state. It has roughly $8 billion in bills outstanding.

They insist that the good citizens of Illinois—and especially the not-so-good rich ones—should pay for this failure to perform, rather than that failure be made good through reallocation of currently collected revenues.  The technical term for that is “spending cuts.”

Cowards

The Senate voted on the Green New Deal, but the proposal, first offered in the House (and yet to be voted on there), failed a cloture vote to let it come to the floor for discussion, debate, and subsequent vote up or down.

The Senate on Tuesday failed to advance the Green New Deal, the ambitious plan to combat climate change proposed by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after what Democrats said was a politically-motivated show vote.
The measure, which needed 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle, failed in a 0-57 vote, with 43 Democrats voting present.