Department of YGTBSM

Amtrak has decided to refurbish New York City’s Penn Station, which will involve unavoidable disruption through the summer.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) doesn’t think Amtrak is up to the task, so he’s bringing New York to the rescue.

The state will step up and do it.  We don’t own Penn Station but we will step up and we’ll take over construction and we’ll do it with a private construction company or let the Port Authority do it.

So generous.  Here’s how the Democrat will execute his generosity.

The Rise of the PRC

Graham Allison, Director of the Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, had some thoughts in The Boston Globe.  Here’s one that’s not in the usual political or military race discussion.

In STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)…[the PRC] annually graduates four times as many students as the United States (1.3 million vs 300,000).

A better measure would compare the quality of those graduates and their programs so as to arrive at similarly qualified graduates.

Hindsight

…and learning from it for better anticipations.

Federal Reserve officials grappling with the legacy of expansive stimulus would find it difficult to return to the central bank’s precrisis role on the sidelines of financial markets, analysts and central-bank watchers say.

Well, NSS.  Frankly, these worthies should have known the outcomes likely from their intervention before they intervened.

Aside from the magnitude of the necessary rollback and its attendant difficulty—the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded four and a half times, from $1 trillion to $4.5 trillion since right before the Panic of 2008—there’s the human engineering aspect of personal political power:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Isn’t Dead

The remaining 11 nations of the erstwhile TPP have made it clear that they intend to press on with the agreement, US participation or not, but that the US would be welcome back in, and other nations who could “meet the high standards in the TPP agreement” would be welcome, as well.

Todd McClay, New Zealand Trade Minister:

It’s clear that each country is having to consider both economic values and strategic importance of this agreement, but in the end, there is a lot of unity among all of the countries and a great desire to work together to come up with an agreement among 11 that…delivers for all of our economies and the people of our countries….

When Were They Not?

All IT Jobs Are Cybersecurity Jobs Now goes the headline on a recent Wall Street Journal article, and the subhead reads The rise of cyberthreats means that the people once assigned to setting up computers and email servers must now treat security as top priority.

It’s like these folks—both in the IT arena and in the reporting media—have just had an epiphany.

The global “WannaCry” ransomware attack that peaked last week, and has affected at least 200,000 computers in 150 countries, as well as the growing threat of Adylkuzz, another new piece of malware, illustrate a basic problem that will only become more pressing as ever more of our systems become connected: the internet wasn’t designed with security in mind, and dealing with that reality isn’t cheap or easy.

Budget Cuts and Bribery

…or budget cuts and coercion, depending on your perspective.

The president’s budget, due for release Tuesday, will spare the two largest drivers of future spending—Medicare and Social Security—leaving trillions in cuts from other programs. That includes discretionary spending cuts to education, housing, environment programs, and foreign aid already laid out by the administration, in addition to new proposed reductions to nondiscretionary spending like food stamps, Medicaid, and federal employee-benefit programs.

What’s going to be ignored in the inevitable hoo-raw over these allegedly terrible cuts to various aspects of our nation’s “safety” net is the truly terrible downside of those aspects.

Yet Another

…Alinsky-esque distraction by the Ctl-Left.  This one is on the matter of Obamacare subsidies to health coverage providers to compensate them “for reducing out-of-pocket costs for some low-income consumers who sign up for plans on the exchanges.”

The Obama administration paid billions of our tax dollars to these providers, the amount for this year alone looks to be in the neighborhood of $7 billion, with the annual payout looking to rise to $16 billion in 10 years.

The House has sued to block further payments because no funds were appropriated for them, and so they’re illegal.  A number of State AGs are seeking to intervene in the suit.

Foolish

President Donald Trump is willing to talk to the Progressive-Democrats in Congress in order to achieve tax reform, and it might seem like a good idea.  In the present situation, though, it’s a waste of time.

As the Trump administration reached across the aisle on tax reform for the first time Wednesday, Democrats communicated some requests of their own regarding the tax overhaul. Those requests included a middle class tax cut and that the overall bill not be part of a reconciliation package….

Medicaid Cuts?

Some conservative Republican Senators are looking to cut Federal transfers to the States earmarked for those States’ Medicaid programs.  Others are concerned.

[T]he [conservative Senate Republicans’] Medicaid plan could affect many more people and shift significant costs onto hospitals and states.

A Thought on Tax Reform

The Wall Street Journal‘s piece by Laurence Kotlikoff, a Boston University economist, on tax reform had this subhead [emphasis added]:

The House proposal beats Trump’s plan, which is more regressive and would induce huge tax avoidance.

There are a number of questions considered in the article, but the prior question, it seems to me is that tax avoidance bit.  The question of tax avoidance is an interesting non sequitur.  Kotlikoff (or the WSJ‘s headline writer), like too many others, is tacitly assuming Government is entitled [sic] to our money; he is giving not the least particle of thought to the need to establish, first, that Government even needs the money before there can be any tax to be avoided.