Non-neutrality of Net “Neutrality”

The Federal Communications Commission set aside two decades of laissez-faire policy Thursday to assert broad authority over the Internet, voting to regulate broadband providers as public utilities and overruling laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service.


The commission pledged to use a light touch….

The FCC’s “rule” violates express Congressional instruction not to do this. With the FCC’s lawlessness made manifest, how can their pledge be believed?

A Thought on Net Neutrality

…as conceived in secret by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The image below, from the AP via USA Today, is…illustrative. The outage about which the article was written was clearly the result of vandalism. Read carefully, those signs taped to the window in the image.NetNeutrality

Think about them. Think about what happens when Government controls the Internet. The concerns presently center of free speech, and those concerns are of extreme importance. But the same control gives Government control over what businesses will be allowed to operate on the Internet, and at what cost—unique, perhaps, to a company of which Government disapproves.

One More Nail

…in what should be Obamacare’s coffin. Even if repeal will take some years and a Republican President.

More than half of tax filers who received subsidies for health insurance premiums may owe hundreds of dollars because they got tax credits that were too large, complicating an already messy tax season that has seen about 800,000 incorrect tax statements sent to consumers who obtained coverage via the federal exchange.

Almost six weeks into tax filing season, 52% of people who enrolled in insurance through state or federal exchanges are finding they must pay back a portion of their tax credits, according to a report Tuesday by tax preparation firm H&R Block Inc. and based on their clients. The average amount paid back is $530….

The Judicial Branch and the Law

In a couple of weeks, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving Federal subsidies to health coverage purchasers who bought their plans on ObamaMart instead of State exchanges. The Obamacare law limits those subsidies to purchasers via State exchanges argue the plaintiffs; the government demurs.

Some ACA critics fear the Supreme Court may hesitate to block the current subsidies because of a lack of confidence in the legislative branch in general.

Against that backdrop, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said

The current Congress is not equipped really to do anything[.]

Corporate Dishonesty

I received in today’s snailmail a document postmarked Sacramento, CA, Permit No 1827. In bold, black print, the envelope carrying this document had the following notice:


Who sent me this very important document? Who knows? The originator was so ashamed of himself and/or what he had to say to me that he declined to put his address, much less his name, on the envelope.

I opened it.

Who’d-a Thunk?

According to President Barack Obama’s Department of Education, his student loan forgiveness program already is experiencing cost overruns to the tune of nearly $22 billion. Obama’s 2010 PAYE expansion at the time was projected to add $9 billion to the taxpayers’ bill for students not repaying their debt. As the DoE put it,

The 2015 amount includes a net upward reestimate of $21.8 billion, primarily related to revised interest rates and increased participation in income-driven repayment plans.

Or, in the words of James Schneider, who wrote the article at the second link,

[S]welling enrollment due to looser loan rules is driving up costs….

A Fatal Flaw

In a piece for Wired, FCC MFWIC Tom Wheeler offered rationalization for his decision to dismantle the Internet. He opened his apologia with this remarkable claim:

This proposal is rooted in long-standing regulatory principles….

That’s the problem. Regulatory “principles” proceed from the assumption that government regulation is a universal and primary good.

Of course, that’s precisely backward—and backwards. A free market is almost universally self-regulating: make a bad product, people find out and stop buying—the producer goes out of business. Lie about a product, people find out and stop buying—even if the product itself might be sound—and the producer or seller goes out of business. And so on.

NYSE Auctions

In the bad old days of stock auction markets [sic], owners of shares of companies—companies nominally public by their status as a shareholder company—would meet in a crowd, face to face, and offer their shares for sale at a price or offer to buy another’s shares at a price. Bid prices and asking prices would converge, and sales would be executed.

Return of the Excess Profits Tax

Excess profits taxes are taxes on profits that government decides for itself is too much. They were first tried in the US by individual states during our Civil War. They went national under Progressive governments during WWI and WWII and were not repealed until after WWII. Another Democratic administration revived them for the Korean War, and that one disappeared at the end of 1953—over 60 years ago.

Now another Progressive President, Barack Obama, wants to revive it, and without even war as justification: he just wants the money because he Knows Better the use of that money than do those companies that actually earned it. Under his 2016 Budget Proposal, Obama insists that companies

Privacy Misbehavior

Andrea Peterson of The Washington Post has a warning.

Recall that ‘way last November, Verizon was exposed as using a supercookie that they’d developed for the purpose: it sits on your cell phone and tracks, ostensibly for their own use, your cell usage (supposedly limited to your use on the Internet). And you can’t delete it.

It turns out that Turn, an online advertising company that works with Google and Facebook,

uses [the Verizon supercookie] to collect data that makes it easier for advertisers to place targeted online ads, according to the researchers.