Category Archives: Economics
Larry Summers, erstwhile Treasury Secretary and President of Harvard University, is in the news again. Ryan Grimm of the Huffington Post is reporting the President is considering Summers for the Federal Reserve’s top job, much to the consternation of virtually everyone outside the hedge fund community. Back in May, I wrote a piece when Summers was rumored to be in the running for the job, and I feel that the piece is even more relevant given the president’s apparent desire to ruin the economy even more by appointing Larry Summers to chair the Fed. After all, when you’ve destroyed your university’s endowment, gambled its cash reserves on derivatives, ensured that derivatives would remain deregulated so your friends could gamble at 40:1 leveraging, why not move on to managing our monetary policy next? What could possibly go wrong?!
Without further adieu, I give you Larry Summers: Failure will get you everywhere, printed below. The piece originally appeared on dustinstockton.com. Enjoy!
Adrian Moore vice president of policy at Reason Foundation joins Open Currency Update with Kurt Wallace for ‘Adrian Moore: Privatized Cities Are Perfect for Local Community Currency’. As a professor of economics and policy leader in privatization Adrian Moore discusses the privatization of cities like Sandy Springs, GA and the benefits it has brought. He also weighs in on how these privatized communities are ripe for a strong local currency system.
Adrian Moore leads Reason’s policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.
Moore, who has testified before Congress on several occasions, regularly advises federal, state and local officials on ways to streamline government and reduce costs.
Freedomworks President and CEO Matt Kibbe is known for saying “sometimes you have to beat the republicans before you beat the democrats.” Truer words have never been spoken.
Since John Boehner’s close call, nearly losing his speakership after a revolt by a number of Tea Party affiliated Congressmen, I’ve been hoping that Liberty minded grassroots challengers would emerge for key Republican “leaders”.
Today Mitch McConnell got just such a challenge from Matt Bevin, a self-made multimillionaire businessman and Tea Party Activist.
A month ago, when the nation’s attention was affixed on the Trayvon Martin case, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in a little noticed case. Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. v. Karen L. Bartlett came and went without much notice in the background of a national debate about race, replete with hyperbole on both sides. It shouldn’t have been that way, because the case is ultimately more important than any shooting in Florida. It holds implications for the safety of every generic drug consumed in the United States.
Karen L. Bartlett
In 2004, Karen L. Bartlett, a New Hampshire resident, was dealing with shoulder pain. Her doctor prescribed Clinoril, and her pharmacist dispensed the generic version of Clinoril (sulindac) manufactured by Mutual Pharmaceutical. Bartlett developed toxic epidermal necrosis, a flesh-eating condition, and she was left permanently disabled, disfigured, and blind. Bartlett did what most people would do: she sued Mutual Pharmaceutical. Mutual successfully petitioned to remove the case from New Hampshire state court to federal court. In federal court, a jury found Mutual liable, and awarded Bartlett over $21 million.
Dear Leader faced a vexing problem: Detroit had filed for bankruptcy, and he was on record as saying that he had refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. His loyal minions had fanned out on Twitter, doing battle over the real meaning of his words: he had saved the auto industry, not the municipal government. It’s not what he said; it’s what he meant.
Still, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr was obstinately persisting his quest to move Detroit into bankruptcy, after the impossibility of 9,700 current employees supporting the pension obligations of 21,000 retirees became apparent. Oh, sure, there were those massive spending sprees on stadiums for the Tigers, the Lions, and the Red Wings. Economic revitalization costs money, and so Detroit had to spend money to make money.
Dear Leader issued a full-throated defense of his signature healthcare reform law today in the face of rising criticism from his detractors. He highlighted the $267 check Morgan Theriot of Silver Spring, Maryland received as a rebate from her insurer when her premiums were not spent according to Dear Leader’s 80/20 ratio of medical care to administrative costs. Dear Leader’s underlings highlighted total rebates in 2012 from the medical-loss ration provision of almost $500 million.
Other claims included total consumer savings of almost $4 billion, due to the aforementioned rebates and an estimated $3.4 billion in lower premiums. Dear Leader also highlighted New York’s estimates that premiums may fall by as much as 50% next year due to his Obamacare.
Haters of America Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for the 40th time to repeal Dear Leader’s Glorious Healthcare Reform Law, and they were joined by traitors to Dear Leader’s cause. Twenty-two of Dear Leader’s own Democrats voted to delay the individual mandate.
Lindsey Graham has done it again: he’s fragged his own side, with his recent allegation to the New York Times that Republican resistance to Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was nothing more than pure obstructionism:
Many Republicans admitted their efforts to hobble executive agencies by denying confirmation of their leadership was wrongheaded. “Cordray was being filibustered because we don’t like the law” that created the consumer agency, said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “That’s not a reason to deny someone their appointment. We were wrong.”
Graham’s statements come on the heels of months of GOP resistance to President Obama’s recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB, which two appeals courts rejected as unconstitutional, thereby throwing the legality of the of the NLRB’s actions during Becker’s tenure into doubt. A President gaming the system to make unconstitutional appointments during intrasession breaks of the Senate is no longer the narrative, thanks to Graham’s statements. Instead, the GOP’s unreasonable intransigence is the narrative, because one of their senior Senators copped to said intransigence.
The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, J. Russell George, acknowledged that government officials improperly accessed and examined the confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors. The admission came after a request by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican member of the Judiciary Committee. While the Justice Department has refused to prosecute any of the cases, the Inspector General outlined four cases since 2006 in which government officials engaged in the “unauthorized access or disclosure of tax records of political donors or candidates.”
Senator Grassley requested that Attorney General Eric Holder explain why the Justice Department declined to prosecute:
“The Justice Department should answer completely and not hide behind taxpayer confidentiality laws to avoid accountability for its decision not to prosecute a violation of taxpayer confidentiality laws. With the IRS on the hot seat over targeting certain political groups, it’s particularly troubling to learn about ‘willful unauthorized access’ of tax records involving individuals who were candidates for office or political donors. The public needs to know whether the decision not to prosecute these violations was politically motivated and whether the individuals responsible were held accountable in any other way.”
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently noted that seventeen years had passed since the IRS’s policy decision to legalize illegal aliens. The IRS decided to treat illegal aliens the same as legal immigrants and U.S. citizens. IRS officials also determined that they would not hand any information about employers hiring illegal aliens over to federal immigration authorities, nor would they report illegal aliens who filed false documents with the IRS.
The results were predictably absurd: in 2011, the IRS paid over $46 million in tax refunds to 23,994 illegal aliens living at the same Atlanta address. The IRS’s regulation, which stated that the service would issue Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to illegal aliens not qualified to work in the United States, also said that Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code would apply to the ITINs. Section 6103 requires tax information to remain confidential.
Our Dear Leader, President Obama, is back to the grind with an Executive Order, the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, in which he claims that the authority vested in him as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America empowers him to recommend HIV screening for all Americans ages 15 to 65. That’s right, all Americans, ages 15 to 65, must bow to the recommendations of Dear Leader and undergo their recommended HIV screening. Though the total number of Americans estimated to be living with HIV is just 1.5 million, with breast and prostate cancer both topping out at 2.762 million and 2.5 million apiece, Dear Leader is recommending HIV screening for all Americans 15 to 65.
Makes sense, especially given that cancer prevalence from all invasive cancer sites is estimated at over 12,549,000 Americans. Nevertheless, priorities are what Dear Leader says they are. With 600,000 deaths from heart disease annually, or 1 in every 4 deaths, it might make more sense to recommend screening for that health issue, but Dear Leader is fixated on HIV screening.