It’s Not the Family’s Money

It’s the Government’s.  Never mind that Government didn’t build and earn that wealth, the family did, along with their associates.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would impose a 65% tax on the largest estates and make it harder for wealthy households to pass appreciated assets to their heirs without paying taxes, according to an updated version of her tax plan released Thursday.

This is the Progressive view of property rights and property ownership.

Some Data on the Obama Economic Recovery

And on Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s policy impact on that recovery from the Panic of 2008, since Clinton has promised, proudly, to continue and extend President Barack Obama’s (D) economic policies.  These data are via Robert Barro’s (Harvard University economics professor and American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar) piece in The Wall Street Journal.  He and a colleague, Tao Jin, looked at

macroeconomic disasters in 42 countries, featuring 185 contractions in GDP per capita of 10% or more. These contractions are dominated by wartime devastation such as World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45) and financial crises such as the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Entire Island

Repair crews worked through the night trying to restore electricity to Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million people early Thursday after a fire at a power plant blacked out the entire U.S. territory.

Officials said they hoped to restore service by morning….

It turns out that they didn’t make by the morning, and the outage extended into a second day—lengthened not just by the severity of the problem, not unique in itself to Puerto Rico, but also by Puerto Rico’s lack of money with which to fund repairs or even parts and equipment to replace the damaged/failed parts and equipment.

Obamacare Fail

The headline of this Wall Street Journal piece pretty much says it all: Average Cost of Employer Health Coverage Tops $18,000 for Family in 2016.

The sub-head, with careful reading, adds clarity: Pace of cost increase slowed by accelerating shift into high-deductible plans, new survey shows.

That cost of employer coverage, buy the way, refers to the premiums employees must pay: $18,142 for a 2016 typical employer-offered family plan, and employees have to pay 30% of that, typically, up from 29%.  Like a sergeant I once worked with liked to say, sort of, “Holy cats.”

Of Course They Are

President Obama and his Democratic allies are seizing on the exodus of private insurers from ObamaCare markets to renew their push for a so-called “public option[.]”

Never mind that the revival of this push is a direct result of the broad, expensive failure that is those same Know Betters’ Obamacare.  No, when government fails as miserably as it has done with Obamacare, the only right answer is the Progressive answer: more government.  A bigger hammer.

We can’t have competition and private enterprise do this.  We gotta have Know Betters in Government do this; us mere citizens can’t be trusted with such weighty matters.

Union Greed

It isn’t enough that unions demand the “right” to raid honest citizens’ pocketbooks for union dues—demanding that non-union members pay up as a condition of being allowed to work.  Unions also are demanding the “right” to raid honest citizens’ pocketbooks for tax money with which to plus up union “pensions.”

See, for instance, the United Mine Workers of America and their pet Democratic Party Senator, Joe Manchin (whom we had thought was more honest than this).

The Miners Protection Act of 2015—sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) and co-sponsored by eight Republicans—would bail out the underfunded pension plan of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

Still Holding Hostages

I wrote about this a bit ago.  Unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress still are at it.  The Senate once again failed to pass a bill funding a response to the Zika virus in Florida and elsewhere in the US, because Senate Democrats blocked it—the bill blocks funding for Planned Parenthood.

Yup.

Shamefully, Senate Democrats still are holding the lives of Americans hostage against their getting their way on an entirely separate issue.

Congress should stick the currently proposed Zika funding into the upcoming budget bill, and then pass that budget through reconciliation.  Force President Barack Obama (D) to sign it or to veto Zika treatment funding—and to veto funding the Federal government.

When Government Competes with Private Enterprise

This is an example of the failure that is the inevitable outcome of “competition” from Government, a competition that just as inevitably dooms the private enterprise.

Amazon.com Inc and Wells Fargo & Co had teamed up to offer student loans at discounted interest rates to members of Amazon.com’s “Prime Student” facility.  But the Federal government and others favoring Big Government objected to this free market entry into Government’s lucrative business.

TICAS [The Institute for College Access & Success] called the partnership “a cynical attempt to dupe current students who are eligible for federal student loans with a record low 3.76% fixed interest rate into taking out costly private loans with interest rates currently as high as 13.74%.”

Because Sit Down, and Shut Up

Apple Inc’s aggressive response to a €13 billion ($14.5 billion) tax ruling by the European Commission shows the U.S. technology company doesn’t understand the moral obligation on big companies to pay taxes, according to the leader of the eurozone’s finance ministers.

Because it’s terrible that a company which has played by all the rules should see its money confiscated—or the attempt made—anyway.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem [President of the Eurogroup, the collection of Eurozone finance ministers] said Apple had “failed to grasp” the public outcry over tax avoidance by large companies.

Central Banks’ Unconventional Policies

Richard Barley had a piece in Monday’s The Wall Street Journal concerning the confidence gap that’s growing between Central Banks’ unconventional policies and the realities of the market place and the economy that underlies both.  He closed his piece with this:

But there are more valid worries. One is that while central bank efforts are proving enough to keep the economic show on the road, they aren’t doing more than that; the persistent downgrading of growth expectations and the constant refrain from policy makers themselves for politicians to take measures to boost growth sustainably are testament to that.