Tax Policy Matters

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Posted on : 2/23/2013 07:06:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Via the TaxProf comes the story of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao declining to have his next fight be in the United States.

Manny Pacquiao's chief adviser insisted Monday that the Filipino superstar's preference is for his next bout – a fifth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez – to take place away from Las Vegas, with the off-shore Chinese gambling resort of Macau emerging as the "favorite."

Michael Koncz told Yahoo! Sports that the 39.6 percent tax rate Pacquiao would face if he were to fight again in the U.S. makes a fall bout in Las Vegas "a no go."
On a related note, State Farm Insurance may be getting ready to leave uber-taxing Illinois for the comparatively lower taxing Texas.
Insurance chain State Farm is reportedly buying up substantial workspace in Texas, which may signal a coming exodus from the company's home state of Illinois. ...

At the end of 2010, in a special session, the Illinois Legislature passed a 67% hike in its corporate and personal income tax. The state is struggling with a structural deficit and its credit rating was recently lowered. The state now has the worst credit rating in the country. A number of businesses have floated the idea of leaving the state. A move by State Farm, however, would devastate the downstate economy.
California is suffering from a similar trend...for similar reasons.

Tax policies do matter.  Higher tax rates will drive the wealthy into different areas.  They....like most of us....don't mind paying their fair share to support legitimate government activities.  But an unfair share will cause them to react accordingly.

Over The Falls In A Barrel

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Posted on : 2/22/2013 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

Daredevils have been going over the Niagara Falls for over a century.  Sometimes in a barrel.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes they survive.  Sometimes not.  Curiously, the results of the plunge rarely live up to expectations.

Despite the risks, and the known history of this stunt, people continue to try it to this day.

Which brings us to the fiscal waterfall that is Obamacare.

The Washington Post has a story on the impending massive rate hikes that young people are about to experience.

The result: Older, sicker people will pay lower premiums. Younger, healthier people will pay higher ones to make up the difference. The price of a policy for a young, healthy man in, for instance, Milwaukee, could triple from $58 per month to $175, according to a survey of insurers released by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank, and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Curiously, the above is not precisely news to those that were paying attention when Obamacare was first passed into law.  It has been clear from the beginning that the intent of this nationalized health care system was to take money from the young and the healthy only to give it to the poor and the less well.

But we were promised that we could keep our current doctor and current insurance plan if we were happy with them.  Of course that promise did not stop my physician from buckling under the new federal regulatory burdens to end up selling his practice to our local mega-hospital.  The story above is really focused on people that have to buy individual health insurance.  It doesn't really apply to those that obtain insurance via our employers.

Right?

It has become very clear to everyone involved who is analytical and not ideological that the rational strategy, for both large and small firms, is to cease providing health care insurance to employees.

No company wants to admit that they are considering eliminating health insurance as an option, or be the first one to drop their health insurance plan, but once a competitor does so, the preference cascade will begin. The clear sentiment is “We will not be the first one to drop our health insurance plan, but we would be a close second.”

The coming preference cascade for employer group health plans is what the Democrats fear the most, because Obamacare was sold to the masses as “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it.”

The people who really know the law, and who have been following the avalanche of regulations, have already figured this out. It will take a while for this specialized knowledge to seep downward, because right now only $800+ an hour ERISA attorneys and the most sophisticated HR people understand how Obamacare really works.
The fruits of government action have long been known by anyone with the least interest in history.  Those fruits inevitably cause costs to rise and access/quality to fall.  Government will...once again...break our rhetorical legs and then expect gratitude for the crutches it offers.

The result of socialism is as predictable as the seasons.  It is to create an equality of poverty by destroying the means of producing wealth.

When the current scheme fails...a result of which I have no doubt...will the government advocate a return to free(er) markets?  Or will they say that he problem is that we did not cede enough power over our private lives to the federal nanny?


Sophisticates And Intellectuals

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Posted on : 2/21/2013 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

The following was written a while back in the wake of the allegations that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had raped a hotel maid during a visit to New York City.  I let it sit for a while thinking that it might be good to let the story develop a bit.

It turns out that waiting was a good idea.  Prosecutors declined to prosecute Mr. Strauss-Kahn due to issues regarding evidence and witnesses.  Of course, that doesn't mean that he is a pillar of moral rectitude.

In any case, I think the larger point as to the moral basis for what is presented as "sophistication" and "intellectualism" is worthy of your consideration.  My belatedly offered thoughts continue after the jump.


Can You Hear The Hate?

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Posted on : 2/20/2013 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Probably not.

During a recent interview on NPR, ESPN's Howard Bryant made an analogy between the remorseful cyclist Lance Armstrong and a theoretic spokesman for the NRA.

I mean, I think the big problem that I had with listening to Lance over the last couple of days was how controlled – how much he was trying to control this confession. That someone had put out a very funny tweet in my timeline that other day that said, "With this much remorse he could be the next spokesperson for the NRA." I mean, it was really that controlling. And I'm listening to this, and I'm thinking, he's not sorry at all about this.
But when a listener later went to the NPR website to get the transcript, the offensive remark had been scrubbed.....er...edited.

Just imagine if this had been Fox News instead.....

Getting The Attention I Deserve

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Posted on : 2/19/2013 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

Well I have finally hit the big time.  Big Brother...or the Fatherland...or the Motherland....someone...cares enough to stop by.  But they couldn't bother to leave a comment!

We welcome our visitors from DHS with open arms, but not open legs!


My traffic sucks, but it is mine!

Global Warming And Asteroids

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Posted on : 2/17/2013 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

Via Newsbusters comes the story about a CNN anchor that asked Bill Nye (the theoretically "science" guy) if the recent near visit by an asteroid was the result of "global warming".

And folks wonder why I don't trust the media when it comes to the science of climate change.

For the record, Mr. Nye avoided addressing the obvious error in the young lady's question.