Friday, December 28, 2012

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Doggone it, people like me!

I really thought Al Franken was a funny guy as a comedian and actor.  As a U.S. Senator, I've been less amused.  But today, after learning about Al's tax woes, I'm amused once again.

It seems that Senator Franken accidentally forgot to pay some taxes.  Not just a little bit, it was $70,000.  And it seems he had stiffed 17 states.

From Politico:
The comedian-turned-Democratic politician announced on Tuesday that he will be paying $70,000 in back taxes and penalties in 17 states after several weeks in which the campaign downplayed the amount of money that his company owed and changed the reasons for why the taxes (and workers' compensation insurance) had not been paid. During this period of time, Franken has also been avoiding publicly commenting about the controversy, instead relying on his surrogates to offer explanations.
Franken says it's his accountant's fault.  Of course it was.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Starving orphans and grandma in a snowbank

The prospect of true health care reform evaporated a year ago in the political drive to put 30 million more Americans on the government heathcare dole.  And, Obamacare does practically nothing to address the most contentious entitlement crisis we face--Medicare.

The core flaw in our current health care system is that consumers rarely have any incentive to seek out the best value for the money. The 2012 budget proposal put forth by Paul Ryan re-introduces the consumer to evaluating medical services on a cost-benefit basis and deserves serious consideration.

Ryan's 2012 budget proposal modifies Medicare by providing a premium support subsidy giving millions of seniors more control over their heathcare costs allowing them to create their own plan rather than Medicare's one-size-fits-all.  Even Bill Clinton endorsed a form of premium support in 1999.

A piece in today's WSJ goes further:
But the key point is that premium support would reduce health costs over time by changing the incentives of the health market. MIT economist Amy Finkelstein's research suggests that Medicare's 1965 creation led to market-wide changes that explain about half of the increase in real per capita health spending between 1950 and 1990. Mr. Ryan's plan would be as consequential in reverse.
Medicare "as we know it" will change because it must. The only issue is how. Mr. Ryan is offering Americans a reform rooted in consumer choice and private competition, rather than political control and bureaucratic rationing. This is why he is under such ferocious liberal assault.
It's going to be very interesting to see how Obama addresses this in today's speech.  But if it's more drivel like what we heard last week about Republicans starving orphans and throwing grandma out into the cold, I think I'll pass.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Budget deal reached! Crisis averted!


How about some perspective? What Boehner, Reid and Obama agreed to last night is to spend $39 billion less in 2011 than the federal government spent in 2010. Sounds like a lot of money until you look at the big picture. In 2010 the federal government spent $3.552 trillion. Do the math--that's only 1.1% less. Not to mention that our national debt is nearly $14.3 trillion and growing.

Such a big fuss over practically nothing. I can't wait until the fighting starts on a 2012 budget and raising the debt ceiling. Yippee!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Time to knock some heads?

Okay, so it's been over a year since I posted anything here. What can I say? I'm retired and traveling the country with my wife and two cats in our motorhome, having a blast touring our wonderful country and I've just been too darn busy!

But that doesn't mean that I'm not up to date on politics, world news and other events that impact capitalism. Quite the contrary. I still manage to read the top stories in the online versions of publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Fox News. I just haven't been motivated or inspired to write about them. That may be changing.

The state of American politics is turning my stomach and raising my blood pressure. The vitriol is absurd and the lies and extremism abound. If I hear any more about "starving six million seniors" or "throwing women under the bus" I'm driving my Winnebago straight to Washington to knock some heads! Our elected representatives need to get their collective act together and do what's right for America. Too much is at stake.

In the meantime, check back here from time to time, I just might be inspired to post something now and then.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama is a lousey moderator (among other things)

The only real result from yesterday's health insurance summit in Washington seems to be more finger pointing. Dems are pointing critical fingers at Republicans for refusing to go along with this massive bill and Republicans point to Democrats' refusal to abandon legislation that most Americans find distasteful or, at least, suspect.

So why wasn't this day-long summit more fruitful?

For one thing, any experienced business leader can tell you that the success of any meeting depends on the moderator's ability to follow an agenda that is built upon stated and agreed upon desired outcomes. Obama didn't do that. If there was a written agenda, the viewing public wasn't aware of it. It there were stated objectives, they must have been secret. Instead, Obama, seemingly at random, picked on attendees to speak. And what's a politician going to do whenever given the opportunity to speak in from of a camera? You bet, grandstand. By the time everyone in the room was done bloviating the day was shot.

If the President wanted to produce any substantive results in yesterday's summit, he did a poor job going about it. But then, maybe he got exactly what he wanted.