The Locker Room

January 28, 2008

Tax rebate fun

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:25 PM

There's plenty to challenge with the tax rebate stimulus idea, but it's almost but not quite worth the bad policy to see progressives interpret its pros and cons. Two weeks ago Charlie Rangel gave up a supposedly core tenet of this Democratic Congress: "Pay-go is inconsistent with trying to resolve a recession." Last week, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) issued a brief paper titled, "TAX POLICY CENTER ESTIMATES SHOW FEWER THAN 60 PERCENT OF WORKING HOUSEHOLDS WOULD BENEFIT IN FULL FROM PRESIDENTíS PROPOSED REBATE."

That's right, 58 percent of "working households" would get every tax dollar back that is promised to them. Another 16 percent would not get back the full amount advertised because they paid less in taxes, It would be a rebate after all. The remaining 26 percent paid no taxes, so they get no rebate.

I should clarify that I am not accusing CBPP of hypocrisy or inconsistency. The folks there, and their allies in North Carolina, are very consistent in their desire for government's at all levels to take more in taxes from people with higher incomes and pass it around to those with low or no incomes. They would do the same if they were in charge.

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The Nanny-Stater Challenge, round two: Return of the Agar

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:47 PM

Round one: Sanders, Agar
Round two: Sanders

Jerry responded today:

My worry about your John Edwards is not that I think he will be president. It is that he is pushing the two real contenders on his Democratic team to the left as they fight to keep within distance of his pandering to bug-eyed anti-capitalists on the issue of health care, energy and rampant, unfair, corporate greed.

One could hope that Ron Paul would be the leveling counter-balance on the right side of this political teeter-totter, at least on the issue of constitutional government. But the other candidates are not listening to him. When it comes to wowing them on the stump, Paul canít hold a make-up mirror to John Edwards.

But have you ever asked a Republican in federal government what the constitutional basis is for whatever program they fight to support or create?

I am just a talk-show host; I don't pretend to play a constitutional authority on the radio, but even I can read Article I, Section 8 which outlines the powers of Congress, and the Tenth Amendment, which reaffirms to our representatives that, and I am paraphrasing, if it ainít listed, it ainít your job, and no, you canít kindly take on the work anyway, thank you.

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The Health Fork

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 1:56 PM

John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, just published this graph that he calls the Health Fork.  


 Health Care Spending

Here is his explanation:


I call this graphic the "Health Fork," because it reminds me of a tuning fork and it has the power to fine tune potentially sloppy thinking. Once the diagram becomes widely known, it can serve several useful purposes:

  • A postcard version could be used by journal editors to signify rejection of poorly conceived manuscripts, thereby saving the time and money costs of peer review.
  • A placard version could be used to visually reject ill-advised health policy speeches instead of hissing and booing.
  • A gold-plated version could be worn as a lapel pin by clear thinkers so the two of you will know who you are at the next event sponsored by the Center for Health Systems Change.

[Note: additional uses for the Health Fork- including the most creative and most amusing uses - have been deleted by the internal NCPA editorial censor]

For the full story, go to his blog post here. 



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Wright in the Wrong

Posted by Joel Guerrero at 1:47 PM

It is absolutely foolish for Representative Thomas Wright to continue this charade of feigning innocent to 6 different felony charges and 8 charges of misconduct. He must have some kind of amazing story locked away on how and why these charges have been falsely brought against him. To add also, when the charges were being decided upon, not one person from the House Committee voted in his favor, yet he has still decided to continue to fight them and even plans to run again for his political seat in Wilmington.  

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2008 update

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:31 PM

N.C. State University political scientist Andrew Taylor offered his thoughts about the presidential race during today's John Locke Foundation Shaftesbury Society luncheon. 

3:35 p.m. update: Watch the entire speech here

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Maybe it can work

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:35 AM

The Federal government won't invest in rail service for Northern Virginia, but private equity groups would.

Of course, there is opposition from those who think infrastructure is too important to be left to the private sector.

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Indoctrination at your local middle school

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 10:27 AM

Universal recycling, windmills, and free health care were some of the features of cities designed by middle school students for Saturday's Future City Competition at the N.C. State College of Engineering.

According to the N&O article,

The contest pairs professional engineer mentors with middle school students who build models of utopian cities. The idea is to foster technological literacy, while getting students jazzed about engineering.

I am all for getting students "jazzed about engineering," but creating utopian cities based on liberal fantasies is an awful way to do it.

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Government "economic stimulus" and the broken window fallacy

Posted by George Leef at 09:35 AM

Lew Rockwell makes a brilliant connection between them here.

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Truth Will Out

Posted by George Leef at 09:27 AM

When Henderson County overwhelmingly voted down the proposed land transfer tax, pro-tax leaders said that residents would have to see their property taxes raised. County Manager Steve Wyatt and his staff have recently presented to the council a budget that funds major capital projects and keeps the government running without raising taxes.

When county officials discussed the land transfer tax, they indicated property taxes would have to be raised if the tax failed. Asked how the county can now build the schools without raising property taxes, [Chairman Bill] Moyer said staff accomplished that by whittling down the proposed budget.

But a tax increase, whether the land transfer tax, increased sales tax or property tax, will be needed if the county wants to pay for more projects it deems a priority.
I hope residents keep these sentences in mind when a sales tax increase (which is clearly not needed) comes up for a vote.

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