Illinois Budget Uncertainty Extends into New Fiscal year

You’ve no doubt already heard about Illinois politicians have spent their state into a deep hole. Update:

House Republicans on Friday helped advance a Democratic-drafted $36.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on Saturday, but the deal stalled with negotiations continuing over a revenue package and an assortment of non-budgetary matters sought by Rauner.

They have literally proved that Keynesian pump-priming (government spending) to get their economy moving does not work.


Czech Parliament to European Union: We’ll Defend Ourselves with Guns

ILYA SHAPIRO: As a wave of Islamist terror attacks sweep across Europe, London police urge people to “run, hide, tell”. The Czech Republic’s response? Fight back.

Gun-free zones create easy targets, disgruntled employees, disgruntled whatever, nut jobs, terrorists, you name it. By contrast, if you can carry a weapon legally and conceal it on your person or nearby, the would-be perp will not know who is carrying but will know that it is legal to do so. And the odds have now shifted.

Story here.

Terror Attack Responses

Republicans and Conservatives Missed Opportunity to Reform Healthcare

Republicans have an opportunity of a lifetime to deregulate healthcare but they are blowing it.

Senate Republican unveiled their blueprint for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something better. They blew it. Through a combination of a zeal to have some legislative accomplishments, being distracted with what Democrats say, and lack of principle and imagination, Republicans in the Senate, the House, and the Trump admin have come up with crap.

If this does not bring down health insurance premiums strongly and quickly, they’ll get blamed, and rightly so.

There is little free market competition in healthcare. Providers, such as hospitals and doctors, try to finagle getting paid by insurance companies or the government. They look through their patients to their payers, the government or insurance companies. They don’t look at their patients and try to offer products and services to meet their needs. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

The problem of healthcare in the US goes back decades. Getting health insurance through employment started during WW II as a way for employers to pay employees while wage caps were imposed. Government let employers deduct the cost of benefits to employees instead. Fast-forward to the 1960’s. Medicare and Medicaid are imposed on the people. Conservatives called it socialized medicine back then and that’s that, not really explaining how that corrupts voluntary exchange and the price system we enjoy for many other products and services we freely buy.

Then conservatives said healthcare is a Democrat issue, which let Republicans and conservatives myopically concentrate on cutting taxes and increasing military spending. It also left them mentally lazy.

All the while through the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s Democrats extended coverage through Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, sometimes with Republican support such as the CHIP program.

Enter the 1990’s and Hillarycare. The Clinton Administration and Democrat Congress try to impose government run healthcare on a larger slice of the population. Republicans and conservatives defeat that attempt. Rush Limbaugh played a hilarious musical parody named Womb to the Tomb. But, and this is crucial, Republicans and conservatives did not pursue market-based healthcare reform  thereafter, they did not talk about it. Hey, healthcare was a Democrat issue, and cutting taxes and military spending were for Republicans. They went along with Democrats with the CHIP program.

You see the problem here. Republicans and conservatives like Rush, Hannity, et al were NOT explaining how market-based health insurance might work, so no swaying of the population, no educating, so it just hung there that government must provide health insurance and regulate healthcare markets. Republicans and conservatives enjoyed President Clinton’s scandals but ignored the opportunity delve into healthcare reform

Mitty Romney gets elected to the governorship of Massachusetts in 2006 and helps enact Romneycare. This is based on a plan from the conservative Heritage Foundation and includes. . . the individual mandate:

An individual mandate to purchase healthcare was initially proposed by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 as an alternative to single-payer health care.

Candidate Barrack Obama gets elected president, with a Democrat congressional majority. They pass ACA aka Obamacare over united Republican and conservative opposition. Now Republicans and conservatives start thinking about healthcare reform. But again, it’s just opposition to Obamacare. Replacement would come later. Yeah sure. Well, that later is now, and Republicans and conservatives never coalesced around healthcare reform, but they can sure talk eloquently about cutting taxes.

Republicans and conservatives must now accept the reality that resulted from their failures. And the American people suffer.

Another Horror Tale of Gov’t Run Healthcare

The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard are ‘utterly distraught’ and facing fresh heartbreak after losing their final appeal in the European Court of Human Rights. Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, wanted to take their 10-month-old son – who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage – to the US to undergo a therapy trial. …the couple, from Bedfont, west London, raised almost £1.4million so they could take their son to America but a series of courts ruled in favour of the British doctors. …the ECHR rejected a last-ditch plea and their ‘final’ decision means the baby’s life support machine will be switched off. …It comes after a High Court judge in April ruled against a trip to America and in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors. …Specialists in the US have offered a therapy called nucleoside. …barrister Richard Gordon QC, who leads Charlie’s parents’ legal team, …said parents should be free to make decisions about their children’s treatment unless any proposal poses a risk of significant harm. …Charlie’s parents have raised nearly £1.4million to pay for therapy in America.

Gov’t services are run for the benefit of the gov’t employees, not to serve the customer, patient, client, as in a market economy.

But I suspect shoddy care is more common when healthcare providers get a salary from the government. Under such an arrangement, patients are a burden rather than a source of revenue.

The European Court of Human Rights should be renamed to the European Court for Bureaucratic Control.


Trump Administration Signals Desire to Raise Prices on Americans

This is typical of politicians. They think they are doing a favor to workers in a particular industry but by doing so hurts the consumers and customers of that industry. Or they are being cynical just to get their support.

A new agreement between the United States and Mexico will be a sweet one for a small handful of American sugar producers – but it will leave a sour taste in the mouth of U.S. packaged food makers, soda producers, restaurants, confectioners, and ultimately consumers.  . . .

The Trump Administration has opted for limiting imports and driving up prices, apparently casting its lot with a few agribusinesses. The heavily subsidized and protected sugar industry got another boost over the people who buy their product when the U.S.-Mexico deal set a floor price by limiting the amount of sugar that Americans can import from south of the Rio Grande.


AT&T/Time-Warner Merger

The $85 billion acquisition of CNN parent Time Warner by AT&T could win antitrust approval by the Justice Department in the next 60 days, sources said.

During the presidential campaign, Candidate Trump said he would not allow this merger. I’m pleased to report that common sense prevailed as President Trump needs to focus on effective management of government operations instead of trying to managing economic activities for which the future remains unknown. Draining the swamp IS way more important. Disallowing this merger would fill the swamp more by adding more rules and regulations.