An Argument for Positive Immigration Flows

James Pethokoukis, writing in a different context, presented evidence in his AEIdeas piece for us doing better with our immigration policies. First, see the graph below, with particular attention to the “Increases in the workforce (labor inputs)” part of the bars.LaborProductivityAndImmigration_BetterVersion

Pethokoukis’ argument centered on Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s promise to work toward a 4% GDP growth annual rate if he’s elected; Pethokoukis argued that would be hard to achieve because of shortfalls in the availability of actual laborers.

Progressive Tax Credits

Targeting youth unemployment, Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to propose tax credits to encourage businesses to train young people and offer apprenticeships to develop lifelong job skills.

Clinton’s campaign said she would outline a proposed tax credit of $1,500 for every apprentice that a business hires….

Here’s a thought. How about lowering taxes altogether and getting the tax code out of the business of social engineering? With suitably low taxes, you wouldn’t need to play games with taxes as inducements to do this or as discouragements from doing that.

YGTBSM

The federal government cannot verify nearly $3 billion in subsidies distributed through Obamacare, putting significant taxpayer funding “at risk,” according to a new audit report.

HHS’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) said

[The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] CMS’s internal controls did not effectively ensure the accuracy of nearly $2.8 billion in aggregate financial assistance payments made to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act during the first four months that these payments were made.

Three findings from the audit [emphasis added]:

  • did not have systems in place to ensure that financial assistance payments were made on be half of confirmed enrollees and in the correct amounts,

Trust and Integrity

Regarding the trade fast track authority bill that failed Friday’s House vote, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) had been negotiating with Speaker John Boehner (R, OH) regarding the structure of the Trade Adjustment Assistance sub-bill that was a part of the fast track bill.

Over the course of the week she had helped negotiate a deal…designed to assuage Democrats’ concerns over how the workers’ assistance program would be funded.

Then Pelosi went onto the floor of the House and said this:

I will be voting today to slow down the fast track [measure], to get a better deal for the American people….

Over-Regulation

…Texas style. An eight-year-old girl and her seven-year-old sister were selling lemonade and kettle corn at their homemade stand in front of their house in Overton, TX. You recognize the deal: kids selling cool drinks (with a snack added this time) on a hot summer day to give passersby some relief and to pick up some spending money.

However.

A police officer on Monday approached the stand, which offered lemonade for 50 cents and “kettle korn” for $1.

In patrol-car video, the officer can be heard asking the girls’ mother…for a permit. She says she wasn’t aware they needed one.

Health Care Subsidies

President Barack Obama sent his HHS Secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to Congress to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee about, among other things, his plans should the Supreme Court rule against Federal subsidies for those who bought health plans through ObamaMart and not through state exchanges as Obama’s ACA requires. He said, through her,

If the court says that we do not have the authority to give subsidies, the critical decisions will sit with the Congress and states and governors to determine if those subsidies are available[.]

This is openly cynical. “If the court says…” the subsidies are not available, they’re not available. Full stop.

Another Reason

…for Greece to leave the European Union. This time it’s the arrogance of the eurozone honchos.

Greece offered a proposal intended to break the current impasse over its debts and the payments due this month. Whether it was a good proposal or a bad one is beside the point as far as those eurozone honchoes are concerned. Greece’s proposal has these alleged problems:

Greece’s proposal includes targets for its primary surplus—the excess of revenues over expenditures before interest payments are made—that are lower than the targets presented to Greece in a deal struck between the commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, the three institutions representing Greece’s creditors [the so-called troika].

Ex-Im Banking

Boeing Co said it may temporarily provide financing for some aircraft purchases by airlines caught up in the uncertain future of the Export-Import Bank of the US if Congress fails to extend the bank’s mandate before it expires at the end of June.

Hmm….

Looks to me like yet another reason to let the Ex-Im Bank die its death. It’s not needed, as Boeing is demonstrating. Sure, they’re saying “temporary,” but without the bank—that is to say, without American taxpayers—guaranteeing Boeing’s sales income, Boeing will find a way, in the private economy that all of us citizens are in, to make its sales and collect its revenue from the buyer. Private Enterprise always finds a way, when government isn’t in the way.

Regulation

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon announce it plans to regulate airline emissions, asserting they contribute to global warming and endanger public health, according to industry and environmental groups.

But here’s the truth of it, accidentally revealed by National Association of Clean Air Agencies Executive Director S William Becker:

…he [President Barack Obama] can’t ignore imposing additional greenhouse gas reductions on this uncontrolled industry.

The Left has to regulate everything. Because ordinary Americans are just too stupid to manage our own affairs.

Relevance

Some of you may recall that the Supreme Court is due to issue its ruling on the Obamacare case of whether the Federal government is allowed to pay health coverage plan premium subsidies to citizens who bought their health plans through ObamaMart instead of State-built and –run exchanges.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Thursday defended the landmark 2010 US health law as sharply lowering the rate of uninsured Americans, improving health-care quality and making it more affordable.

The Wall Street Journal paraphrased her additional remarks: