Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reason Alert

Frum the Reason Foundation, of Course! - March 12, 2010

Insurance Companies Are the Big Winners In Current Health Care Bill

Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum details how the current health care bill helps insurance companies while pretending to fight them: "The individual mandate. What industry wouldn't welcome a law requiring everyone in the country to purchase its product? The insurers' only objection to this edict—which would force young, healthy people who don’t want insurance to subsidize the care of older, sicker people who do—is that the penalties for failing to comply are not severe enough. The employer mandate. Requiring businesses to buy medical coverage for their employees brings the insurers more conscripted customers. It also shores up a perverse system of employer-provided health insurance that insulates consumers from prices, limits their choices, and weakens competition. Subsidies. Allocating taxpayer money to help individuals and small business buy medical coverage makes customers less price-sensitive, allowing insurers to charge more than they otherwise could."
Can States Say "No Thanks" to Health Insurance Mandate?

Taxpayers Know We Can't Afford Health Care

In her Forbes column, Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia writes, "The combined unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security--the federal health care and the pension programs for the elderly--are $107 trillion, seven times the current GDP. Meanwhile, Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program, is consuming on average 21% of state budgets, their single biggest ticket item even before ObamaCare dumps another 16 million people into the program, expanding the Medicaid population by 25%. Beyond that, state and local government have promised their employees a trillion dollars more in pension and other benefits than they have funds to deliver. There are not enough taxpayers in the country or creditors in China capable of financing all these promises. Expanding this massive, multifarious entitlement state even more strikes most normal people as sheer lunacy--especially now that it is visibly coming apart at the seams. General Motors and Chrysler--the corporate version of the public welfare state in which unions had negotiated the best wage and pension deals in the free world--have already been forced into a taxpayer-financed bankruptcy. California, America's most European state, is technically bankrupt, thanks to the ubiquitous influence on the state budget of its public unions and its entitlement spending. Meanwhile, the deficits and debt of the so-called European PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain)--the social democracies whose cradle-to-grave welfare policies are the inspiration behind ObamaCare--are on the brink of bankruptcy. Greece, the most vulnerable of the lot, has a deficit of 12.7% of the GDP--not that much higher than America's 10.6 %."

Five Pieces of Fiscal Baloney

Reason magazine's Tim Cavanaugh says there are "five big lies" that the Obama administration loves to tell. According to Cavanaugh they are:
1. Bold government action staved off a Depression, saving or creating 1.5 million jobs.
2. No one wants banks making the kinds of risky loans that got us into this situation in the first place.
3. The economic crisis is a 'subprime crisis.'
4. Ben Bernanke is a heroic leader.
5. The worst is behind us.
Matt Welch on the President’s Habit of Telling Untruths

Public Anger at Government Unions

KCRW radio asks, "How did the labor movement in America sink so low in the public's opinion, as recent polls have indicated? Does labor still stand as the savior of the little guy or is it seen as job security and guaranteed benefits for government workers at taxpayers' expense? Matt Welch of Reason Magazine debates Harold Meyerson of American Prospect, moderated by Steven Ross, Professor of American History at USC." .

Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey Premieres on Monday

Michael McIntyre of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, "Cleveland's woes -- population loss, failing schools, lack of economic spark -- are no joke to comedian and native son Drew Carey, who advocates for less government, more competition and lower taxes to bring the city back. Carey took time off from his gig as host of TV's 'The Price Is Right' to help produce and star in a series of Web reports detailing Cleveland's woes and a number of proposed fixes that will be launched next week on reason.tv, the Internet arm of the nonpartisan, libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation, on whose board Carey serves. Carey established reason.tv three years ago and has developed a number of short Web documentaries to highlight government's heavy-handedness. Now, the lens turns to his hometown with a six-part series called 'Reason Saves Cleveland.' It comes on the heels of Cleveland's 'most miserable city' ranking by Forbes.com. 'As you know, I'm from Cleveland, Ohio. I love Cleveland, Ohio. I based my whole career on being from Cleveland, Ohio," Carey says in the first installment of the series, for which he's also credited as an executive producer. 'And you also might know that Cleveland, Ohio, is going through some tough times right now. The economy is in trouble, schools are in trouble, and people have been leaving the city in droves for a long, long time.'
Reason Saves Cleveland, Episodes 1 and 2 Debut on Monday, March 15th

New at Reason

Fox Business Video: Adrian Moore Discusses California's High Education Costs

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Creates Privatization Commission

Reason.tv: Pork Party House: Where DC Insiders Go for Tax-Subsidized Fun

Reason.tv: Virginia Postrel on Health Care Reform and the Role of Glamour in Politics

Reason.tv Interview with Advice Goddess Amy Alkon

Philadelphia Needs Competition for Waste Collection

Radley Balko: NYPD Under-Reporting Serious Crimes, Manufacturing Petty Ones

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Reason Foundation, Reason magazine, Reason.tv
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