2 Cents Worth On Politics, Economy And Life

Ok, I understand a lot you might not think these wanderings of a wandering mind are worth even that price.  But even in today’s economy you can afford the 2 cents and we’ll kick in a 1 cent rebate if you fill out the application form and mail it in within 2 days. 

I tried to read the Reconciliation bill yesterday on health care.  The problem is that to truly understand it you have to also have at your side the Internal Revenue Code, the Social Security Act, the Senate Bill that was passed, the Medicare statute and the Medicaid bill at a minimum.  Almost every paragraph makes a reference to another piece of legislation and amends it and without that other statute before you it is hard to translate the reconciliation bill.  Reading a Chinese instruction manual to assemble a child’s toy would be easier.

The reconciliation bill does provide that employers with less than 30 employees are exempt.  Why is anyone exempt if it is such a great idea?  What employer that it is right on the brink of that number at say 29 or 30 would want to add any extra employess and subject his company to the burdens of the new taxes and mandates?  He won’t and there goes job growth.

When you think you have it rough take a moment and find an old salt who was in the US Navy at the end of WWII and was on one of the many ships that brought our POWs home after their release from the Japs.  They were skeletons and were given ice cream, mashed potatoes and every luxury item the Navy could provide so they would gain a few pounds before getting home.  They all did.  It took several weeks to make the trip.  Sailors are notorious complainers but none complained then about the favored treatment of those POWs.

Is anyone going to ask the question publicly about putting the debts of Fannie, Freddie, AIG and GM and Chrysler on the books of the US as a debt?  They aren’t there now but we all know too darn well that they are obligations of taxpayers and the shortfalls will have to be paid with tax dollars.  Why doesn’t that debt show up on the balance sheet?  I bet you can figure that one out.

It took only about 5 years to build Hoover Dam.  One wonders how long it would take to build the same project today.  It would take longer than that to obtain the permits from government and Lord only knows how long the litigation would last.  Then the actual construction with union delays and work rules would drag forever.  Could we build such a dam today? 

Everyone should spend at least a few days during their lifetime working on a farm or ranch.  I mean really working not some dude ranch deal.  Dig some post holes with a hand-held digger and string the wire or help birth a calf by pulling its hooves out of the mother to help her.  Walk beside the tractor with a flat bed trailer attached to it and pick up and stack the bales of hay in the field for a few hours.  Those bales are heavy.  You think of hay as being light and fluffy but when it is still green and wet in the field it weighs a ton–especially that 300th one you pick up in one day.

Plumb bobs and levels have been around for centuries. But I am always amazed at how those guys got every so even and true when they build St. Paul’s or Winchester cathedrals.  Those pieces of twine to mark and keep all the work straight were very precise as you can tell from the finished product. If I had been in charge I am afraid they would be more like the leaning tower of Piza.

Would anything be scarier than trying to land a jet on an aircraft carrier with a runway that is only a few hundred feet long?  I guess trying it at night might the ultimate challenge of nerves.

Under the latest iteration of the mortgage bailout for individual homeowners that Government, Inc. has on the table you can actually get paid to abandon your house.  When first announced in late ’08 or early ’09 it caused an outrage because it punished the prudent and rewarded the spendthrift.  Now they will pay $1000.00 each to the mortgage holder and the loan servicer and get this, they will pay $1500.00 to the homeowner as “relocation” assistance for going along with a shortsell when the value is less than the mortgage.  So, if you were going to dump the property anyway and take a walk now you get to do it with 1500 bucks in your pocket.  Is this a great country or what?

The latest version of health care does have the individual mandate to buy health insurance.   You must do it or be fined or taxed whichever you want to call it.  In addition to other Constitutional issues that can and will be raised one wonders if the Fifth Amendment argument will be made by some to oppose it.  It reads in part “,nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”   The 16th amendment allows the Feds to tax income, not a status (insured or uninsured) but they aren’t taxing income.  Your money is “property” being taken for a public purpose, to with: a national health insurance program.  Where is the due process to take your money when you are being taxed on a status?  Merely passing a law doesn’t make it due process.  The takings clause also doesn’t allow your money to be taken since it is not income they are taxing.  Those legal beagles need to get to work. It will make an interesting case.

And goodnight Mrs. Calabash wherever you are.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Filed under business, Economics, Environment, history, Politics, Socialized Medicine

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