Obamacare is working / Cadillac and Medical Device tax are dead http://www.vox.com/2015/12/16/10310766/obamacare-budget-deal-ryan Now yeah, they are specified as merely “delayed” in this tax bill. But that’s because the administration maintains an investment in some fictions about Obamacare and its mechanisms. Whereas the President can tell himself they are merely delayed, Hillary or Marco or Ted will sign on to a full repeal two years from now, they will never get implemented. Speaking of those fictions…. The usual obsequious do-gooder scolds like Vox lament the loss of Cadillac tax revenue that makes Obamacare revenue neutral. Gimme a Fing break alright. The Cadillac tax’ revenue projection assumes static behavior, where companies go on with expensive plans as they have (and thus are compelled to pay the tax), while the tax itself is there to exactly discourage them from exceeding the premium threshold. It’s one or the other that would happen, but not a 50/50 potentiality really. The tax was actually seemingly onerous enough to be effective. Which is to say, there wasn’t going to be any tax revenues of meaningful size because companies would have scaled back health benefits. So this is not a diminishment of Obamacare’s revenue neutrality, because it was a bullshit story that never would have come to fruition on the accounting side.
It’s a source of contention now whether the SB shooters revealed their sentiments ‘openly’ on social media particularly for the lovely bride there prior to her fiancé visa. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/12/strike-two-pair-new-york-times-reporters The technical distinction for ‘openly’ is ostensibly a question of whether she did her jihadist rants on a public profile page or was doing it on FB direct messages. Of course, Drum and Salon and some of the other (D) apologists are arguing that direct messages exculpates the administration for any assertions to their negligence, cuz whoever was doing the background check then wouldn’t have had access to see it provided they were actually doing the social media check. Which they were not, actually. http://thehill.com/policy/technology/263101-immigration-officials-prohibited-from-looking-at-visa-applicants-social because of civil liberty concerns for the émigré applicants and concerns for ‘bad public relations’ from I dunno who, but presume CAIR and that ilk I guess. The civil liberty concerns you would not think have materially changed, but San Bernardino has denuded the potential for ‘bad public relations’ from CAIR et al while creating a new, superseding electoral danger of ‘bad public relations’ from a larger group of ‘regular Americans’ who expect the (Democrat) administration to perform its missions with mind to more obvious, practical objectives. So they will do a social media check now. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/dhs-secretary-unveils-revised-terror-alert-system/story?id=35790668 This whole episode is rich in incompetencys and hypocrisies. Really kinda of a Brownie moment that would require Jeh Johnson to resign if he were a Republican. But I think it stinks most as a product of this grotesque sycophancy for multi-culturism on the D side. And look, I know that the whole no-fly list / no guns thing was tribal communication to the low info partisans within Blue states and Blue enclaves and that it didn’t resonate anywhere else. It’s almost hard to complain about it qualitatively, because it wasn’t really serious, and such that it was a public discourse my side won again. But if this stuff was supposed to make sense, you would note the incongruity of having civil liberty concerns for émigré applicants while not having civil liberty concerns for people on the no guns / no fly list.
Yes, my wisdom tells me deficit scoldery on the R side is a bit of a fraud http://theweek.com/articles/594629/republicans-fed-are-blowing-deficit–no-cares I don’t know that the people I read dislike the rate hike yesterday, but they are dubious of the Fed as an institution. I suppose I’m dubious too but contemplating it as a center for nefariousness never took with me. Meh.