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May 2017

"Questions for income egalitarians"

Donald J. Boudreaux asks questions that Liberals should answer.

What, exactly, counts as income? Only what workers receive as take-home pay? Or does it include also the value of fringe benefits? What about the value to workers of above-average workplace conditions? Is a worker treated unfairly by society if she chooses a lower-paying job under a pleasant boss rather than a higher-paying job under an unpleasant boss?

"Trump's Budget Gets One Thing Right: Crop Insurance Reform"

As you might expect from my recent post, I approve of this:

The president’s first budget proposes to curtail subsidies for farmers through the federal crop insurance program in two major ways. According to estimates by the Office of Management and Budget, those reforms would together reduce government spending on crop insurance subsidies by about $28 billion over ten years. . . .

So, effectively, by subsidizing crop insurance, taxpayers are encouraging farmers to work less efficiently, produce fewer crops, and make smaller contributions to the overall productivity of the U.S. economy.

"CA single-payer bill passes out of committee … without any explanation of funding it"

Even by California's standards this is amazing.

Details, details! Who cares about how one pays for an entitlement program? The point is to pass it, and let your great-granchildren figure it out. In this case, however, the problem is so large that it’s impossible to do without the funding in place first, because of the need to pay providers for goods and services. California hardly has an extra $200 billion laying around, and even if it did, it would need to shore up its collapsing pension system first. The state is also on the hook for a $100 billion high-speed rail system whose funding is still unclear. Democrats don’t have much idea about how to pay for their current priorities, let alone their seizure of the health-care sector.

Related: "California's looming single-payer disaster".

"A Great Time to Buy Used . . . But Not Because They’re Cheap"

By Eric Peters, Car Guy:

The car companies have had to resort to design and engineering measures just as desperate and extreme as the financial measures to which they are resorting to fluff up sales. But in the case of the design and engineering measures, it is to placate federal regulatory ayatollahs, who continue to demand, among other things, that new vehicles achieve ever-higher fuel economy — and lower “greenhouse emissions” — irrespective of the cost involved.

"Government is the name we give to the money we waste together."