The Wrong Question

Jim Angle, of Fox News, usually does better than this.

“Right now the savings that was projected to pay for all this spending [on Obamacare] is not being collected as originally projected,” said Charles Blahous, of the Mercatus Center. He estimated the law will eventually cost $200 billion a year by 2020.

And

“There was about $100 billion that was supposed to come in over the next 10 years from penalties on individuals, if they did not carry health insurance, penalties on employers, if they do not offer health insurance, and to date, those penalties have not been enforced,” Blahous said.

A Thought on a European Polity

I wrote about this a bit ago. Daniel Hannan, Conservative Party MEP for South East England, has a more recent thought.

Churchill [as early as 1946] makes clear that this United States of Europe should not include Britain:

There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. Why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent and why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings in shaping the destinies of men?

Another Thought on Immigration

Gordon Crovitz, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, pointed out some statistics.

The Congressional Budget Office last year estimated that legalizing the 11 million undocumented immigrants would boost federal revenues by $48 billion over 10 years while costing $23 billion in public services. Adding more skilled workers would bring in $100 billion over a decade, mostly from increased income taxes.

In addition to this, I add (and reiterate) immigrants start more businesses than Americans who’ve been here for two or three or more generations. Those businesses employ people, and more so than “just” immediate family members.

Friday’s Jobs Report

…which came on a Thursday last week…. Some tidbits from the BLS, behind the headline number, the unemployment rate of (now) 6.1%.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 325,000 to 9.5 million.

That’s a couple million and four or five years late, but still: cool. Who is it, though, who’s newly employed now?

  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), while declining by 293,000 in June, is still 3.1 million
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 275,000 in June to 7.5 million.

YGTBSM

Wasting taxpayer money edition. This one is from Watchdog.org.

Take careful steps.

When possible, stay in your seat and, by all means, grab hold of that railing.

Simple advice, apparently from much simpler times.

Today, Hawaii seems compelled to pay someone—rather handsomely—to offer such ubiquitous and common-sense advice.

Of course, common sense and government oftentimes are mutually exclusive.

Hawaii taxpayers will spend $81,000 in 2015 on a new government position—fall prevention coordinator, who will teach Hawaii’s senior citizens, well, how not to fall.

Contradictions of the Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank is a hoary, old financial institution with the purpose of facilitating American exports by providing financing or guaranteeing loans for cross-border transactions in which the private sector declines to participate.

There’s a hint there.

It may be that such government involvement might have done some good in the bad, old days before widespread free trade agreements. It may be, too, that tariffs were a good idea a long time ago. Or maybe not.

Free trade agreements signed since those days have facilitated lower prices, more freely moving “factors”—economist-speak for the goods that companies take in and process into goods that they then sell—and more freely moving labor.

Wasted Money and the VA

Only this time, it’s not the VA’s fault.

Veterans Administration hospitals have spent at least $420 million on solar panels and windmills while vets wait months—or even lay dying—to see a doctor.

In total, VA hospitals reported 23 deaths due to 76 instances of delayed care, an April 2014 VA fact sheet said. Then on June 5, Acting Veteran Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson revealed that at least 18 Phoenix patients died while waiting for treatment on a secret list kept off the books. It is not clear if that number is in addition to the 23 deaths reported earlier.

The Obama Recovery

Here are some graphs of how well President Barack Obama’s regulations and economic policies have been working since he exploded our national debt with his “Stimulus” package in 2009. The graphs come from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business’ Maguire Energy Institute.

First, the sad classic graph of how the Obama Recovery compares with past recession recoveries. It speaks for itself.RecoveryComparison_Cox

This graph shows the total number of Americans still unemployed—the flip side of the number of Americans who actually have jobs.TotalUnemployed_Cox

Some Empirically Determined Pipeline Benefits

A study prepared by the SMU/Cox’ Maguire Energy Institute for the Consumer Energy Alliance has some interesting data from the Keystone XL leg that connects Cushing, OK, with Nederland, TX (built because it’s a purely domestic leg and so did not require President Barack Obama’s personal approval). The figure below presents a map of the pipeline and some proposed adjuncts to it. The Gulf Coast Project is the section of the Keystone XL pipeline project that connects the two towns, and it was open for business last January, so the empirical data are current.Keystone-System-Map

The Obama Recovery is in Full Swing

We’re booming now, in our post-Panic of 2008 recovery, so much so that the Fed lowered its expectation for the US’ 2014 GDP growth to 2.2%—a sharp reduction of their 2014 estimate of just three months ago of 3%.

Oh, wait—did I say “booming?” Hmm….

As a beer ad once said, with a different slant, it doesn’t get any better than this. Not with Democratic policies.