Trump’s Plan for Replacing Obamacare

Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump finally has made public his plan for eliminating and replacing Obamacare. His plan consists of the following seven points:

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.

A Dangerous Precedent

I’m hardly a Russian apologist; I’d as soon see the place cleared off and the land restored to the forest and steppe of an earlier era.

However.

Russia is setting up to issue $3 billion in bonds, and they’ve invited a number of European, PRC, and American banks to bid on the issue—a standard government bond issue process, except that these are Russian bonds. Aside from that, the bonds are highly risky, but like many high-risk plays, the payoff can be lucrative. The decision to run a risk of this sort ordinarily is a business decision, made in a free market by the business’ managers and owners.

Freddie Mac Reimburses

Mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac said it would send a $1.7 billion payment to the Treasury in March as it reported a higher profit for the fourth quarter….

How much of that will Treasury use to pay down our national debt, rather than send along for current spending?

Anybody?

Hypocrisy at the State Level

Congresswoman Mary Lou Marzian (D, Louisville, KY) has proposed—and she’s serious about it—House Bill 396, under which

Kentucky men would have to visit a doctor twice and have signed permission from their wives before obtaining a prescription for Viagra or other such drugs for erectile dysfunction[.]

She insisted

it is merely an effort to protect men’s health and ensure they are informed about a drug with potentially dangerous side effects.

“I want to protect these men from themselves,” said Marzian[.]

She compounded her hypocrisy:

This is about family values[.]

An Appropriate Response

Freedom from Religion Foundation cried foul after the group noticed a “God Bless America” banner that employees at a post office in Pittsburg, KS, had erected after Sep 11, 2001. A lawsuit filed by FFRF on behalf of a Pittsburg resident forced the banner down in late January[.]

This is the timidity of the local postmaster, or perhaps it’s the political correctness of his bosses up the government food chain.

However.

When news of the banner’s banishment spread, a business in the area, Jake’s Fireworks, printed 1,200 “God Bless America” yard signs and 300 banners. Jake’s gave away all of the signs within 45 minutes, according to the Post.

Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street Speeches

She was for releasing the transcripts before she was against it. The fact is, there could well be contractual requirements for not releasing them. However, I discount that because if such contract clauses existed, she’d cite them. Her latest weasel-worded excuse for not releasing is this, instead, in response to a George Stephanopoulos question about why she’d not yet:

Yeah, you know, here’s another thing I want to say. Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We’ll all release them at the same time. You know, I don’t mind being the subject in Republican debates, the subject in the Democratic primary. That kind of goes with the territory.…

Home Buying Down Payment Requirements

The PRC is reducing the size of down payment it requires for a Chinese citizen to buy a home from 25% to 20% of the purchase price. For those who already own a home and haven’t yet fully repaid that mortgage, the mandatory down payment on the purchase of a second home is being reduced to 30% from 40%. This is that government’s attempt to stimulate a slowing economy by inducing more consumption and thereby growing jobs. Supposedly.

The moves, though, raise the question: why is the PRC government mandating this sort of thing at all?

Oh, wait….

PRC Markets

The PRC stock market tanked again earlier in the week. It’s a broader drop than just a fall in the PRC’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, though.

China’s outstanding margin loans—money investors borrow to buy stocks—declined for 16 consecutive sessions to Jan 22, the longest losing streak on record, with 209 billion yuan ($32 billion) worth of leveraged bets unwound during the period.

“Volume is getting very thin, as there are hardly any fresh inflows, and the process of deleveraging is continuing,” said Chang Chengwei, analyst at brokerage Hengtai Futures [a PRC-based financial investments player].

Empirical Socialism

Bernie Sanders style. You remember him: the Independent Senator from Vermont, Democratic Party Presidential candidate, avowed Socialist, and as of Monday night’s Democratic Party Town Hall “debate” an avowed Democratic Socialist. In that “debate” (because it really wasn’t a debate; the three candidates appeared sequentially and answered carefully selected questions—and not even the same ones), Sanders assured us, one and all, that he really will raise taxes on us if he’s elected President.

From The Washington Examiner we get a list of just how bad his tax increase will be.SandersTaxes

The Supreme Court and Utilities

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the federal government’s ability to spur incentives for industrial businesses, schools and other large energy consumers to reduce power usage at times of peak demand.

The court, in a 6-2 ruling by Justice Elena Kagan, said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted within its powers when it issued an order in 2011 requiring higher levels of compensation for some power customers that agreed to reduce their electricity use.

The Court likely is right on this, in that FERC’s rule is within the confines of the underlying law. However, this still is the government picking winners and losers, and this still is the government dictating to private enterprise what it must do.