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Harmon Kaslow on Atlas Shrugged and the Free Market
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Blog

Harmon Kaslow on Atlas Shrugged and the Free Market

With the release of Atlas Shrugged Part II on DVD, we get a chance to focus again on the power of government to keep people from pursuing and achieving success.

01/23/2013
Sandy: Log-Rolling from Alaska to New Jersey
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Key Vote

Sandy: Log-Rolling from Alaska to New Jersey

The House of Representatives passed the second installment of the Hurricane Sandy bailout Tuesday night, as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) brought up a bill he knew would pass without support from his own party. That allowed conservatives to vote against a bill that conservative groups were adding to their legislative scorecards.The path of the bill has been marked by one consistent strawman argument: opposition has been cast as opposition to relief, rather than opposition to the corrupt spending accompanying it.

01/16/2013
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Blog

There Is No National Debt

As we approach the next artificially constructed, politically motivated, intentionally promoted national crisis, we should keep one thing in mind: though we speak of a national debt, there is no single national debt.  The debts the government owes are real enough, and a source of national shame, totalling as they do over $16 trillion.  But those debts are owed to millions of holders of the various Treasury notes, bills, and bonds, each of whom may own multiple securities of various maturities.  Sold weekly, the securities come due and, as people get around to it, are either rolled over or redeemed every business day.That is important because as we run up against the debt ceiling, the fear mongers will claim that failure to raise the ceiling will cause us to default on the debt, as if it is one single sum owed to a single debt holder.  Defaulting on it is made to sound like the sky is falling, as if it would be the end of the nation itself.Another category of securities are those held by government agencies, such as the Social Security "Trust Fund" and the federal pension funds.  Failure to redeem one of these securities would be politically explosive, exposing the duplicitous nature of the generational theft caused by runaway spending.In fact, defaulting on one of these debts, as stupid and irresponsible as that would be, would merely cause people to reconsider the soundness of tying up their money in Treasury securities.  That would cost the government more in interest payments in the future, which would probably lead to a chain reaction of inflation.  On the other hand, it might lead people and institutions to invest in more productive ways, such as in the stock market.

01/14/2013
No Office Calls
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Blog

No Office Calls

Very soon, only 1 in 3 physicians will be independent. The rest will work for hospitals, insurance companies, and increasingly, Accountable Care Organizations. The trend is a result of perverse incentives in the medical market that make it difficult or impossible for doctors to operate outside of a corporate practice.Rather than alleviating this trend, so that doctors can focus on treating their patients, Obamacare exacerbates the problem.

12/27/2012
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Blog

Plan B Was a Failure From the Start

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has been playing a bad messaging strategy, one that raises tactics above principle, conflating the fortunes of the Speaker with that of his party and his party with the broader conservative movement. The Speaker asked House conservatives to vote for an unpassable bill they didn't want in order to show President Obama's intransigence. Whether it had passed or not, that message would not have been received, but another would have: conservatives would have voted for a tax increase after having campaigned against doing so. Had it gotten to President Obama's desk, he would have vetoed it, but the blame would still have been put on Republicans.

12/22/2012
Wasting Time in Springfield
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Blog

Wasting Time in Springfield

In the face of $9 billion in unpaid bills, the Illinois legislature has found time in 2012 for an amazing amount of peripheral legislation to take effect in 2013.For instance, after Jan. 1, 2013, it will be illegal in Illinois to possess, sell, trade, or distribute a shark fin. 

12/20/2012
Why States Should Run From PPACA
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Why States Should Run From PPACA

States should not implement health insurance exchanges as defined by Obamacare. There is no fiscal advantage to doing so. An exchange will not improve life for a state's citizens, and there is great risk of political liability for officials responsible for an exchange. 

12/13/2012
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Blog

Workplace Freedom and the Talking Point Machine

Police in Michigan turned aside oganized labor violence on Thursday as opponents of workplace freedom tried in vain to intimidate lawmakers in their workplace. The Michigan Senate passed Right To Work legislation, which goes to the House for a vote on Tuesday.Ironically, the agents of forced unionization claim that Right To Work (RTW) laws endanger employee safety.   RTW laws, which defend the right to be secure in a job without being forced to pay union dues, do not affect employee safety. The kinds of work people do in the states that happen to have chosen workplace freedom allow unscrupulous people to offer misleading statistics.

12/10/2012
Fiscal Cliff: Fairness Defined
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Blog

Fiscal Cliff: Fairness Defined

President Obama (D-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), are determined to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans, as part of their class warfare agenda. Speaker Boehner should stand strong and restrain government by insisting that the existing tax rates be extended and the level already-agreed cuts remain. Holding taxes the same, and dealing with the budget in an orderly process is a step toward economic fairness.

11/29/2012
Building a Machine To Win A Culture
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Building a Machine To Win A Culture

People are reading entirely too much into President Obama's re-election. He and Organizing for America, the Democratic Party, and allied groups simply beat Romney and the Republican National Committee, state parties, and aliied groups at getting out the vote.The reason Obama was able to do that is not because of policy or growing popular satisfaction with socialism. He convinced people that he was on their team, and they were on his. After that, nothing Romney said made a bit of difference.

11/29/2012

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