Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Libertartian Links

I wonder how complete the information is, but I think this is interesting by itself: President Obama called for eliminating “over $4 billion per year’’ in oil company benefits (and spending the proceeds on energy subsidies he likes). The largest of four main targets is called the manufacturers tax credit because — surprise — it’s available to every manufacturer in the United States. [...]The second target is the foreign tax credit, available not just to manufacturers, but to every American company doing business overseas.

Government lobbying itself:  National Public Radio (NPR) is paying the lobbying firm Bracy, Tucker, Brown & Valanzano to defend its taxpayer funding stream in Congress, [...]The book noted that the National Council of Senior Citizens had received more than $150 million in taxpayers’ money in four years. A more recent report estimated that AARP had received over a billion dollars in taxpayer funding. Both groups, of course, lobby incessantly for more spending on Social Security and Medicare. The Heritage Foundation reported in 1995, “Each year, the American taxpayers provide more than $39 billion in grants to organizations which may use the money to advance their political agendas.” In 1999 Peter Samuel and Randal O’Toole found that EPA was a major funder of groups lobbying for “smart growth.”
Dear environmental doomsdayers: In 2009, despite no cap-and-trade law, no carbon tax and no major reductions mandated by our EPA, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 7.1%,  more than in any year in the record that begins in 1949.  Meanwhile, China’s increased at near-record levels. What gives?

Stupidity:  The administration has identified a massive asset class worth unloading. The federal government is the largest owner of real estate in the nation, sitting on hundreds of millions of acres of land that takes up about 30 percent of the country’s surface. The value of Uncle Sam’s nondefense real estate portfolio is estimated at $230 billion, and it carries a maintenance cost of around $20 billion a year.

Crazy Sunni/Shiite tensions in Bahrain

The insanity of Mexico: The cable, one of thousands leaked last week by Australian activist and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, suggests that jurisdiction confusion has rendered the Mexican government’s investigations almost moot. “Mexican security institutions are often locked in a zero-sum competition in which one agency’s success is viewed as another’s failure, information is closely guarded, and joint operations are all but unheard of,” the cable reads. “Prosecution rates for organized crime-related offenses are dismal; two percent of those detained are brought to trail. Only 2 percent of those arrested in Ciudad Juarez have even been charged with a crime.”

Fun Boeing controversy fact: Deep into the recent recession, Boeing decided to invest more than $1 billion in a new factory in South Carolina.

NC Medicaid: North Carolina has one of the most expensive Medicaid programs in the Southeast, spending approximately $4.6 million more per year than Virginia and $2.4 million more per year than Tennessee. [...] ObamaCare forbids reducing eligibility back to previous levels. ObamaCare will also expand enrollment from 1.3 million people to potentially over 2 million people in 2014.

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