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Posts Tagged ‘social security’

The Covid Stimulus Isn’t Like Other Stimulus. It’s Much Bigger. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 27, 2021

The US was running budget surpluses in the late forties and through much of the fifties. Americans were young, and there were far more workers producing than collecting government Social Security welfare checks.

Those days are gone, and although American workers continue to be highly productive, the burden each worker must bear to pay for the elderly and the unproductive continues to grow. 

What we have now is a country heavily dependent on ever-larger amounts of government spending and monetary expansion.

https://mises.org/wire/covid-stimulus-isnt-other-stimulus-its-much-bigger

Ryan McMaken

When it comes to policy debates, it’s now pretty clear that if you’d like to sound very quaint and old fashioned, be sure to express some concerns over the size of the federal budget and deficit spending.

Such concerns are now taken about as seriously by the average politician in Washington as is the constitutionality of the PATRIOT Act. Virtually no one cares.

Admittedly, the lack of interest in spending was already largely in place before the covid crisis began. During the Trump administration, reckless federal spending was the norm, and inflation-adjusted federal spending surged even past spending in 2009, when the federal government was panicking over the financial crisis and the Great Recession. In other words, the Trump administration gave us crisis-level spending when there wasn’t even a crisis.

Not surprisingly, deficit spending was also remarkably high under Trump—precovid—as well. By 2019, Trump had signed off on a trillion-dollar deficit, something many thought to be outlandish during a nonrecessionary period before that.

spe

But those numbers—including the numbers from the Great Recession bailout years—all look modest compared to the surge in spending that occurred with the covid panic of 2020 and 2021.

Let’s compare spending in the two periods. For example, from 2019 to 2020, federal spending rose 54 percent—from $4.5 trillion to $6.5 trillion, respectively—as Congress and the White House poured money into bailouts and stimulus. On the other hand, in the wake of the financial crisis, from 2008 to 2009, spending “only” increased 14 percent, from $3.6 trillion to $4.2 trillion.

spending

On a per capita basis, the numbers were similar. Per capital federal spending rose 13 percent from 2008 to 2009, rising from $12,000 to $13,700 for each American. But from 2019 to 2020, per capita spending rose 44 percent, from $13,600 to $19,700. (These numbers are all in constant 2020 dollars.)

Spending Levels Similar to World War II

At this point, defenders of runaway spending will often suggest that what really matters is spending compared to gross domestic product (GDP). 

So let’s look at that measure. In 2020, federal outlays as a percentage of the nation’s GDP surged to 31 percent, the highest number seen since 1945.

gdp

Similarly, the federal deficit as a percentage of GDP surged to nearly 15 percent in 2020. Again, this is the highest number seen of this measure since 1945.

gdp

(Proportional comparisons of this sort tend to understate the extent to which debt and spending is growing compared to the overall GDP. This is because government spending is itself a component of GDP, and since GDP is measured in dollars, monetary expansion—even without true growth in economic activity—can fuel GDP expansion as well.)

Also of political significance is the fact that while federal spending was taking off over the past eighteen months, growth in state and local spending nearly flatlined, dropping to 0.38 percent growth over the previous year. That’s the lowest growth rate in state and local spending since 2011, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Yet, at the same time, federal spending increased by 25 percent—the largest year-over-year increase in federal spending since the Korean War.

All combined, this means federal spending surged to comprise more than two-thirds of all government spending in the US during 2020. We’d have to go back to the dark days of the Cold War and the Vietnam War to find the last time federal spending so dominated government spending in America.

fed

This all reflects the fact that state and local governments are actually affected by economic crises. That is, when incomes and economic activity fall, state and local revenues—and spending—fall. Not so with the federal government, which, thanks to the central bank’s willingness to buy up US debt, can much more easily engage in large amounts of deficit spending than can state and local governments.

See the rest here

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Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power&Market, but read article guidelines first. 

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The Unthinkable: Culling the Population To Balance the Books – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/no_author/the-unthinkable-culling-the-population-to-balance-the-books/

By Bill Sardi with Matthew Sardi

Five years from now fearful Americans will still be wearing face masks when riding in cars.  According to the agenda laid out by the World Economic Forum that is driving these social, political and financial changes, no one will own anything.  Vehicles will be rented on a trip basis.  No one will own cars or homes or businesses.  There will be no wealth, only stipends for survival.  The new automobile lots are already empty, said to be due to a shortage of computer chips as new vehicle production winds down.  It will be the end of America as we know it unless the mindless and naïve public comes to its senses and fights for freedom and liberty.  The US will no longer be the greatest country in the world.  And, to hell with any idea of an anti-aging pill.  You had still better die on time. 

See the rest here

Bill Sardi, writing from La Verne, California. This article has been written exclusively for www.LewRockwell.com and other parties who wish to refer to it should link rather than post at other URLs.

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Why Your Nation-State Is On Its Way To The Scrap Heap of History

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2020

The State will do any number of things to maintain itself, its cronies, and accompanying parasites—who all, in turn, support it. But while that happens, free thinkers will use evolving technologies to find each other and reorient their loyalties. More and more people will conclude the State no longer serves a useful purpose.

The concept of phyles originated with the sci-fi writer Neil Stephenson, in his seminal book Diamond Age. I’ve always been a big fan of quality science fiction. There’s no question sci-fi has been, and still is, a vastly better predictor of social and technological trends than anything else—including full-time “think tanks.”

https://internationalman.com/articles/why-your-nation-state-is-on-its-way-to-the-scrap-heap-of-history/

by Doug Casey

People believe the State is necessary and—generally—good. They never even question whether the institution is permanent.

My view is that the institution of the State itself is a bad thing. It’s not a question of getting the right people into the government; the institution itself is hopelessly flawed and necessarily corrupts the people that compose it, as well as the people it rules. This statement invariably shocks people, who believe that government is both a necessary and permanent part of the cosmic firmament.

The problem is that government is based on coercion, and it is, at a minimum, suboptimal to base a social structure on institutionalized coercion. In fact, it’s not only possible but increasingly necessary to minimize organized coercion. For society to function in the 21st century and beyond, the State has to be minimized—a reversal of the current trend. Even while technology controlled by the State makes it ever more dangerous, those same technologies make the State increasingly obsolete.

Communication technologies are an example. One of the huge changes brought on by the printing press and advanced exponentially by the Internet is that people can now easily pursue different interests and points of view. As a result, we have less and less in common with each other. Living in the same political jurisdiction is no longer enough to make us “countrymen” with strangers.

That’s a big change from earlier times, when members of the same region had almost everything in common, including genetics, language, traditions, religion, and worldview. That’s no longer the case with today’s nation-states. If you’re honest, you may find you now have very little in common with most of your countrymen besides superficialities and trivialities.

Ponder that point for a minute.

What do you have in common with your fellow countrymen? A mode of living, perhaps a common language, possibly some shared experiences and myths, and a common ruler… but very little of any real meaning or importance. In fact, your fellow citizens are more likely to be an active danger to you than those of a presumed “enemy” country like Iran. If you earn a good living, and certainly if you own a business and have assets, your fellow Americans are the ones who actually present the clear and present danger.

The average American (about 50% of them now) pays no income tax. Even if he’s not actually a direct or indirect employee of the government, he’s a net recipient of its largesse—which is to say your wealth—through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other welfare programs. Not to mention the multitrillion-dollar giveaways of recent months.

Over the years, I’ve found that I have much more in common with people of my own socio/economic station  in France, Argentina, or Hong Kong than with a US Government employee in Washington or a resident of the LA barrios, a project in Chicago, or a trailer park somewhere. They may or may not be decent people, but we don’t have too much in common. It’s very un-PC to say so, but I suspect that many of you agree with that observation.

What’s actually important in relationships is shared values, principles, interests, and philosophy. Geographical proximity and a common nationality are meaningless—no more than an accident of birth. I have much more loyalty to a friend in the Congo—although we’re different colors and have different cultures, native languages, and life experiences—than I do to the Americans who support Bernie, Kamala, and AOC. I see the world the same way my Congolese friend does; he’s an asset to my life. I’m necessarily at odds with many of “my fellow Americans”; they’re an active and growing liability. Some might read this and find a disturbing lack of loyalty to the State. It sounds seditious. As far as I can tell, there are only three federal crimes specified in the U.S. Constitution: piracy, counterfeiting, and treason. That’s a far cry from today’s world, where almost every real and imagined crime has been federalized, underscoring that the whole document is a meaningless dead letter, little more than a historical artifact.

I’m not overly concerned about piracy. But the counterfeiting and treason—not to mention over 5000 other, more recently minted, federal crimes, are problematic.

Counterfeiting is simple fraud. But the Federal Reserve now legally debases the currency on a gigantic scale. The average American, however, thinks it’s part of the cosmic firmament, assuming he even knows what it is.

Treason is usually defined as an attempt to overthrow a government or withdraw loyalty from a sovereign. This is a rather odd proviso, considering the framers of the Constitution had done just that only a few years before. That said, I suspect the government is at risk of a de facto, if not de jure, overthrow in the not too distant future. Its replacement is likely to be even less friendly to freedom.

The Constitution was imperfect, even in its original form. Its most important part, by far, is the Bill of Rights. But that’s been interpreted out of existence for all practical purposes. America was a unique and excellent idea, but it’s almost vanished. It’s been replaced by the United States—which isn’t much different from any of the other nation-states that cover the face of the globe like a skin disease. Even the United States is on the slippery slope.

The way I see it, Thomas Paine had it right when he said: “My country is wherever liberty lives.”

But where does liberty live today? Actually, it no longer has a home. It’s become a true refugee since America withered away.

So now what? Here’s where the ongoing communications revolution comes in. It’s facilitated the possibility of Phyles.

Phyles

The concept of phyles originated with the sci-fi writer Neil Stephenson, in his seminal book Diamond Age. I’ve always been a big fan of quality science fiction. There’s no question sci-fi has been, and still is, a vastly better predictor of social and technological trends than anything else—including full-time “think tanks.”

The book, set mostly in China in the near future, posits that while states still exist, they’ve been overwhelmed in importance by the formation of phyles. Phyles are groups of people bound by whatever is important to them. Maybe it will be their race, religion, or culture. Maybe their occupation or hobby. Maybe their worldview or what they want to accomplish in life. Maybe it’s a fairly short-term objective. There are thousands—millions—of possibilities.

The key is that a phyle might provide much more than a fraternal or beneficial organization (like Rotary or Lions) does. I take the concept quite seriously. It’s one reason I believe organized charity is on its way out. “Big charity” is mostly a scam to benefit its managers and allow its enablers to feel righteous, while generally degrading its supposed beneficiaries. Phyles would know their members personally, obviating most fraud and self-aggrandizement.

In the same vein, phyles might provide insurance services very effectively, since a like-minded group—held together by peer pressure and social approbation—eliminates a lot of moral risk. It might very well offer protection services; a criminal might readily harm a citizen “protected” by a State. But they’ll think twice before attacking members of the Mafia—which is, in fact, a criminal variety of phyle.

People are social. They’ll inevitably organize themselves into groups for all the reasons you can imagine.

In the past, technology only allowed people to organize themselves by geography—they had to be in the same area. That’s changed over the last century, with the emergence of the train, the car, and especially the airplane. The same goes for communication. The telephone and television were huge leaps, but the Internet is the catalytic breakthrough. It’s now possible for people to reach out all over the world to find others that are their actual countrymen, not just some moron who shares a piece of government ID.

As things develop, people will discover—or create—places where their loyalties lie.

The nation-state has mostly been a counterproductive and expensive nuisance; it’s rapidly becoming completely insufferable and, as governments bankrupt themselves, dangerous. The people living off the State (those who act as parasites upon their “fellow citizens”) are going to resist having their rice bowls and doggy dishes broken. They’ll undoubtedly use the coercive powers of the State to try to maintain the status quo.

The military and the police will be out in force, wearing riot gear, in the next few years. They’re necessary to maintain order in today’s world. But remember, their loyalties are first to their coworkers, then to their employer, and only then to those whom they’re supposed to “serve and protect.” You can’t rely on them. You’re much better off finding a protophyle… as the real thing evolves.

The next decade is going to be tumultuous. The Greater Depression has been catalyzed by the mass hysteria surrounding COVID-19. The virus will go away in the next few months, the way they all do. But the damage the hysteria has caused will linger and compound. I suspect the bankruptcy of most States, as well as major sections of the population, are going to result in some major political and social upsets.

We’re just at the start of a new era. The State will use an intimidating variety of technologies to keep its subjects under control. Even while the Reds and the Blues—who’ve come to hate each other—each try to gain control of it.

The State will do any number of things to maintain itself, its cronies, and accompanying parasites—who all, in turn, support it. But while that happens, free thinkers will use evolving technologies to find each other and reorient their loyalties. More and more people will conclude the State no longer serves a useful purpose.

Editor’s Note: A government-led crisis is already underway in the US and throughout the rest of the world.

If you want to navigate the complicated economic and political situation that is unfolding, then your need to see this free report from best selling author Doug Casey and his team.

It reveals what you need to know as the crisis deepens, and what you should do so you don’t get caught in the crosshairs.

Click here to download the PDF now.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: How Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security Plan Would Damage the Economy Immediately and Screw the Young When It Comes Time for Them to Receive Social Security Payouts

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/10/how-elizabeth-warrens-social-security.html?m=1

By Robert Wenzel

Elizabeth Warren recently released a Social Security plan that would exacerbate many of the program’s existing problems while also creating several new ones, writes Charles Blahous.

The key is to understand that Warren wants to increase payments to current recipients across the board.

Warren has outlined her increases:

  • Increases Social Security benefits immediately by $200 a month — $2,400 a year — for every current and future Social Security beneficiary in America.
  • Updates outdated rules to further increase benefits for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color.
But where is she going to get the money to pay for these increases to: “women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color,” never mind the $200 increase she wants to give to all retirees (presumably even straight white males)?
Hint: Increase taxes.
In other words, her scheme is a simple transfer of income.
Blahous reports:

The Warren proposal would increase national Social Security tax burdens by roughly 30% relative to current law. Even the Zandi memo issued in support of the proposal recognizes that these tax increases would reduce economic growth by having a “negative impact on the supply of labor.”

And Blahous also informs how it will screw current youth when they reach retirement:

 One of the biggest problems arising under current Social Security law is that it treats younger generations much worse than older ones. Because Social Security is not a savings program but rather an income transfer program, it is a zero-sum game at best: No one can gain net income through Social Security without someone else losing it. The largest such income transfers occur across generations. The trustees’ report shows that unless something is done to moderate the benefit growth rate for current participants, younger generations will lose income through Social Security equal to 3.4% of their career taxable earnings—net of all benefits they receive. The program cannot reasonably provide social insurance for young workers if it is making them more than 3% poorer over the course of their lives. By increasing benefits for today’s participants (including the wealthiest) well beyond what their own future taxes can finance, the Warren plan would substantially worsen the aggregate net income losses of younger generations.

The Warren plan is an economic train wreck. It will slow current economic growth and sets up a scenario where current youth will receive less when they are eligible for payments than what they have been forced to pay in.

Warren is an economy wrecker.

RW

 

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Republicans Love Socialism Too – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on June 27, 2019

https://www.fff.org/2019/06/25/republicans-love-socialism-too/

by

Today’s New York Times is carrying a video op-ed entitled “I’m Republican. I Never Thought I’d Fight for Medicaid.” The op-ed calls for an expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina and other states to cover people who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid because they make too much money.

First things first. While Republicans have traditionally despised welfare programs for the poor, such as food stamps, they are among the fiercest proponents of socialist programs for the middle class and wealthy.

Examples of the Republican embrace of socialism abound: Social Security, Medicare, public (i.e., government) schooling, school vouchers, education grants, state support for colleges and universities, foreign aid to dictators, farm subsidies, corporate grants, and many others.

Every one of those programs is based on using the coercive apparatus of the state to tax one group of people in order to give it to another group of people. In his great little book The Law, the French free-market legislator Frederic Bastiat called that type of system “legal plunder.”

Thus, while it might be shocking for a Republican to find himself supporting a welfare program for poor people, he is being disingenuous if he suggests that he opposes socialism in general. While he might disagree with Democrat Bernie Sanders in degree, he shares a deep commitment to socialism in principle with that self-labeled socialist.

Americans once had the finest healthcare system in the world — a free-market healthcare system. It was so reasonably priced that hardly anyone had medical insurance, with the possible exception of catastrophic insurance. It was a system in which people in all income categories were being treated. Doctors, who at that time loved their profession, would voluntarily provide free healthcare services to poor people simple out of sense of moral obligation.

The enactment of Medicare and Medicaid succeeded in destroying that healthcare system. That’s when healthcare costs began soaring, launching an ever-increasing set of healthcare crises, followed by healthcare reform after healthcare reform. Meanwhile, doctors began hating what they do in life and began checking out with early retirement.

Of course, no reform has ever worked to resolve the healthcare crises. There is a simple reason for that: Socialism cannot be made to work, even when it’s not referred to as socialism and even when it’s run by American bureaucrats…

There is only one way to get America back on the track toward the finest healthcare system in history: the repeal (not the reform) of Medicare and Medicaid and the total separation of healthcare and the state. There is no other way. Socialism cannot be made to work, not with Medicaid expansion, not with Medicare for all, and not with a full socialist government takeover of healthcare.

Finally, and most important, there is no way to reconcile a system of mandatory charity, which is what Medicare and Medicaid are based on, with the principles of a genuinely free society. Thus, Americans have to make a choice: Do you want freedom or do you want the “security” that supposedly comes with Medicare, Medicaid, and other socialist programs? You can’t have both because freedom and mandatory charity are opposites. The choice must be made: Freedom or “security”?

I say: Let’s go with freedom. Let’s repeal, not reform, Medicare and Medicaid. Let’s cast America’s horrific experiment with healthcare socialism into the dustbin of history and restore a free-market healthcare system to our land.

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A horrible future awaits for anyone who depends on government | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2019

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/a-horrible-future-awaits-for-anyone-who-depends-on-government/

By Joe Jarvis

Lice, cockroaches, and root canals all have better approval ratings than Congress.

Congress controls government spending. And nine out of every ten people say the government doesn’t spend tax dollars wisely.

57% say tax rates are too high.

(But only 13% want to cut right to the heart of the issue and abolish the IRS.)

And whatever side of the aisle you’re on, the voters’ choice of President seems to be getting more ludicrous with each election cycle.

We all agree there is plenty to bitch about when it comes to the government.

But I’m still waiting for people to realize that you can ignore most of what the federal government does.

I don’t cast a ballot on election day. I vote with my life choices.

Sure I’ll criticize the US government; they certainly deserve it. But I don’t fight them. I just step aside, find the loophole, and get on with my life.

When one loophole closes, another opens. For instance, I plan to move to Puerto Rico and pay a total tax burden of 4% by taking advantage of the amazing tax incentives of Act 20 and 22.

Identifying how to navigate around the beast is a much more valuable outlet for my energy compared to campaigning, rallying, or arguing.

Yet some people are hopelessly stuck in the system.

A recent survey found that 80% of millennials worry Social Security won’t be there for them when they retire.

And they’re right – it won’t. The Social Security Administration admits it will run out of money in 2034.

Luckily, millennials have decades, sometimes almost half a century to go until retirement.

You can’t save Social Security by voting, running for office, or rioting in the streets. It’s already over $50 trillion short on the promises it’s made.

But you can take your retirement into your own hands. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Unofficial: Social Security Is Broke

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2019

The solvency of SS amounts to a pile of worthless IOUs.

https://www.garynorth.com/public/19402.cfm

The Social Security system in 2010 started cashing in its IOUs that it had been given for 70 years to the Treasury. The Congress had spent all of the money. Finally, the money coming in from FICA taxes was less than the money being paid out.

Congress had no money to pay to the Social Security Administration for the cashed-in bonds. So, Congress borrowed the money.

Unless FICA taxes are hiked or payments cut, SSA will continue to cash in its IOUs. It’s broke. Congress must bail it out.

The Ponzi scheme has hit a brick wall…

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Guess who ends up paying those taxes meant only for the rich… | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2019

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/guess-who-ends-up-paying-those-taxes-meant-only-for-the-rich/

By Joe Jarvis

Imagine starting a small business in the USA in 1875.

Imagine working for yourself, or building a company from scratch. With no corporate taxes, and no income taxes, you kept the full rewards of your risk and labor.

It’s not surprising that in about 100 years the United States went from non-existent, to having the largest economy in the world.

Unparalleled economic freedom helped create the industrial revolution which spurred legendary economic growth from 1870 through the turn of the century.

For most of the 19th century, the main source of tax revenue for the federal government was tariffs—taxes on imported goods.

But in 1913, everything changed.

Around the world, communist and socialist philosophies were spreading. Marx was a hero. The Bolsheviks would come to power in Russia in just a few years. And America was caught up in the same craze.

There were all these rich people in America now, and the politicians wanted them to pay their fair share

In 1913, the 16th Amendment was added to Constitution, which allowed Congress to replace tariffs with an income tax as the main source of US federal revenue.

The first income tax code was just four pages long. And the top tax rate was 7% on income over $500,000—worth around $12 million today.

Plus, in today’s money, anyone earning under $76,000 per—most people—paid no income taxes at all. That’s how nice the tax code was…

But it didn’t take long for things to change. Tax rates went up, the exemption fell, and debts from the Great War mounted.

By 1918 the top earners handed over 77% of their income.

The top tax rate made it all the way to 94% by 1944 to pay for World War Two.

(Two years earlier, President Roosevelt proposed a 100% tax rate to fund the war, arguing “no American citizen ought to have a net income, after he has paid his taxes, of more than $25,000 a year.” – about $300k in today’s dollars.)

At the same time, the exemption fell to $500 (from $3,000) and the lowest tax rate spiked to 23% (a 23x increase) – meaning you coughed up 23% of your income over $7,000 in today’s dollars.

In just a few decades, the income tax went from barely skimming from the richest of the rich, to confiscating a quarter of the poorest people’s income…

They start off only targeting the rich. But inevitably, rates go up, and everyone pays.

The Alternative Minimum Tax is another great example. The AMT originally targeted 155 people who were making over what today would be $1.1 million per year, but weren’t paying any federal income taxes because of loopholes and deductions.

But the tax was never adjusted for inflation.

But by 2017, five million taxpayers were paying extra taxes because of the AMT, and more than half of them made less than $200,000 per year.

Same story with self-employment taxes…

Today, people who are self-employed pay double the payroll taxes as typical workers. The government forces them to cover both the employee and employer contributions to Social Security and Medicare…

Do you think if the people from 1913 could see America now, would they still vote for the income tax?

Probably not if they saw which people ended up with the burden…

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tax crime

 

 

 

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What Would Happen If Government Didn’t Handle That? – Foundation for Economic Education

Posted by M. C. on July 26, 2018

https://fee.org/articles/what-would-happen-if-government-didn-t-handle-that/

Gary M. Galles

Those who defend liberty are often challenged to supply exhaustive descriptions of what would happen were some aspect of our increasingly government-dictated lives returned to individuals’ voluntary arrangements. What would happen if government didn’t educate our children? If Social Security didn’t provide for retirement? If Medicaid and Medicare didn’t provide health care? If the USDA, FDA, FAA, etc., didn’t ensure our safety? If the EPA didn’t deal with pollution?

Anyone put on the spot with such questions must recognize that they are rhetorical traps. They are used to put an impossible burden of proof on voluntary arrangements, to allow proponents to dodge having to defend against criticisms of coercive policies… Read the rest of this entry »

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No, the GOP Did Not Just Repeal the Background Check System or Give Guns to the Mentally Ill

Posted by M. C. on February 16, 2018

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/444582/no-gop-did-not-just-repeal-background-check-system-or-give-guns-mentally-ill

CHARLES C. W. COOKE

…And why would it, given the details? Here’s the American Association of People with Disabilities explaining what was at stake: This rule would require the Social Security Administration to forward the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients who use a representative payee to help manage their benefits due to a mental impairment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Or, in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a “mental defective.” There were a host of reasons to object to this measure. Read the rest of this entry »

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