… In summary, as a taxpayer, you did not borrow the funds, you did not spend the funds, and you have no moral obligation to repay the funds.
Rothbard’s recommendation: “I propose, then, a seemingly drastic but actually far less destructive way of paying off the public debt at a single blow: outright debt repudiation.” Repudiation is not only a sound economic solution to our fiscal crisis, but it is also the morally correct solution. Rothbard’s more detailed proposal, which was a “combination of repudiation and privatization,” should be considered a blueprint for an effective debt-reduction plan. As Rothbard argued, such a plan “would go a long way to reducing the tax burden, establishing fiscal soundness, and desocializing the United States.” As an added bonus, default would be as effective, if not more effective, than a balanced budget amendment, in reducing the likelihood of a future re-occurrence of the problem.
But “[i]n order to go this route, however, we first have to rid ourselves of the fallacious mindset that conflates public and private, and that treats government debt as if it were a productive contract between two legitimate property owners.” The commentary by Hummel and Henderson are evidence that some are seriously addressing this issue, alas, after over a 20 year lag….
via Mises Daily.
Last week supporters and opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act anxiously awaited the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law’s individual health insurance mandate. Imagine their surprise when the Court announced, in a majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, that there is no individual health insurance mandate.
Rather than a “penalty” imposed on anyone who “fails to comply” with the “requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage,” which is how the law itself describes the policy, Roberts perceived a “tax” that hinges on whether one follows the government’s totally nonmandatory guidelines regarding health insurance. This implausible relabeling of reality was Roberts’ desperate attempt to uphold the provision formerly known as a mandate without endorsing a boundless view of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. Instead he endorsed a boundless view of Congress’ tax power that could prove even more dangerous to liberty… via Reason.com.
IRS officials on background tell FOX Business the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health reform gives the IRS even more powers than previously understood. The IRS now gets to know about a small business’s entire payroll, the level of their insurance coverage — and it gets to know the income of not just the primary breadwinner in your house, but your entire family’s income, in order to assess/collect the mandated tax.
Plus, it gets to share your personal info with all sorts of government agencies, insurance companies and employers.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “We expect even more lien and levy powers,” an IRS official says. Even the Taxpayer Advocate is deeply concerned. Continue reading
The Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling on Thursday cuts right to the very fabric of the relationship between a once-limited government and a once-free citizen, but the eternal struggle between liberty and tyranny endures. It is a beginning, not an end.
As enormously important as the high court’s Obamacare ruling is – and it’s huge – it’s not the final word. The legal and political dust has not yet settled, and it will take some time for the unpredictable ripples to form the powerful waves of history. Yet, history waits for no man, so we begin by asking: What now? Continue reading
The Pew Center has released its annual summary of US pension and retirement health care (under)funding.
As of 2010, the total underfunding gap rose by $120 billion from the prior year’s $1.26 trillion deficit to a record $1.38 trillion underfunding. This number consists of $757 billion in pension promises, not backed by any hard cash, representing pension liabilities of $3.07 trillion and assets of $2.31 trillion. In 2000, more than half of the states had their pensions 100 percent funded, but by 2010 only Wisconsin was fully funded, and 34 were below the 80 percent threshold—up from 31 in 2009 and just 22 in 2008.
But that pales in comparison to the ridiculous spread between retiree health care liabilities of $660 billion and assets of, drum roll, $33 billion, or a funding shortage that is $627 billion, roughly 19 times the actual assets in the system! Just seven states funded 25 percent or more of their retiree health care obligations: Alaska, Arizona, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin. What this means is soon US pensioners will have no choice but to experience not only austerity unlike any seen in Europe, but broken promises of retirement benefits which will never materialize. The response will likewise be proportional. Sadly, it is only going to get worse: …. go here ZeroHedge.
…The real driver of obesity in this nation is the volume of food available. As a nation we produce too much food and it’s cheap. Recently, food costs have risen, but we still spent less than 10% of our total income on food, down from 23% in the late 1920s.
If food were not so inexpensive there wouldn’t be a restaurant chain on every corner and there wouldn’t be 99 cent value meals. Because raw food costs are low, restaurants can offer more food at lower prices. We are enticed to super-size or buy a value meal, even when we don’t need all that extra food. We can get endless beverage refills, so we drink more. As a nation, we are super-sizing ourselves…via HealthNewsDigest.com.