Saturday, January 31, 2009

Repent Soda Sinners!

Apparently, the governor of Massachusetts thinks that those of us who like to consume a few "empty calories" via a Root Beer or Soda are sinners and in need of additional taxation. It's yet another, in a long line of attempts at behaviour modification by the powers that be to encourage us to act and consume the way they wish us to. At the same time these nanny staters want to fill their coffers by taxing the population segment that they wish to modify.
When Governor Deval Patrick proposed a 5 percent premium on sugary treats this week, his administration presented it as a sin tax with a bonus: Imposing such a levy, a briefing paper pledged, "is a critical first step in discouraging the consumption of these empty calories."
Thankfully, I am not a resident of Taxachusettes, nor am I likely to ever be, but the innocent people who like a good Soda, or one of the excellent regional Root Beers have to bear the burden of these nonsensical do-gooders. Enough is enough, isn't it? Once upon a time there were some Bostonians who had the courage to protest a tax increase on their beverage of choice. Where are those people now? If you won't protest a 5% tax on your Soda or Root Beer then what will you speak out against? Very little, it seems.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Newer Deal

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." - White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

So starts the Wall Street Journal article on the newly crafted spending bill, excuse me, "stimulus package" created by the Obama administration and his Democrat allies on the Hill. This new package (.pdf) is anything but a stimulus for the economy. What it really is, is pork and more pork, piled on top of spending with a bare minimum of tax cuts.
There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make "dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy." Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.
This package provides $.12 of every dollar for anything that could reasonably be stimulating to the economy. The rest is favouritism and pork. And we, along with our children, will be the ones paying for this boondoggle. That's not including all the amendments getting tacked on, either. 206 by the Houses deadline. The Senate hasn't even had their chance to balloon this monstrosity by adding their own personal touches.

This package is worse than the previous one and will have no effect on the ailing economy. the majority of the spending won't even take effect until 2011. That's unlikely to help anyone who needs aid, not that the government is actually capable of doing anything substantive in that area.
As the Houses perennial gadfly points out...
This bill delivers an additional debt burden of $6,700 to every American man, woman and child.

There is a lot of stimulus and growth in this bill – that is, of government. Nothing in this bill stimulates the freedom and prosperity of the American people.
All we shall accrue from Mr. Obama's plan is less liberty, more debt and a jump in the size of an already cancerous government. We owe it to ourselves and our children to oppose this in whatever manner we can. As usual, "some people" are late to the party. Maybe they'll show up before Mr. Obama signs it into law. So, it's all up to us, as usual.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Brick In The Wall

So, President Obama has his hand picked people going through the process of gaining their positions of power and one of the most important of them is a bad one. A really bad one.
Eric Holder, Obama’s nominee for attorney general, is hostile to civil liberties. He has previously expressed veiled support for using the misnamed “Fairness Doctrine” to squelch “conservative critiques” and “conservative media,” such as Fox News (which Holder believes is anything but “Fair and Balanced,” contrary to its slogan). The “Fairness Doctrine” is designed to shut down conservative Talk Radio.

Holder also has advocated hate-crimes legislation to prosecute people whom state prosecutors refuse to prosecute because of a lack of evidence. To justify broadening federal hate-crimes law, he cited three examples where state prosecutors refused to prosecute, citing a lack of evidence. In each, a federal jury acquitted the accused, finding them not guilty.
This doesn't even touch on his naked hatred of the 2nd Amendment and gun owners. This man is the worst of all possible worlds for libertarians and, especially for gun owners and yet there has been almost no opposition to his taking the reins at DoJ. Senator John Barrasso, (R-Wyoming) is seemingly the only one standing on his principles and opposing the nomination of Holder.

One question we do need to be asking is who else stands in opposition to this man? It's certain that the Libertarian Party doesn't. They're remarkably silent on the issue. The same cannot be said of their former Presidential candidate, Bob Barr. He has come out fully in favour of the man (.pdf) who sent armed marauders to kidnap Elian Gonzalez and who freed Puerto Rican terrorists at the behest of Bill Clinton. As things go in the LP Bob Barr speaks for the party. This means that the LP, by extension and the words of their chosen spokesperson supports placing this man in power. Silence is support.

The LP, now dominated by "pragmatists" and neo-Libertarians, stands in direct opposition to libertarian aims and goals. The time has come for them to repudiate the Republican in their midst who now acts as the face and mouth of the party. What has the LP become that they lend their tacit support to a man such as Holder? Who will stand to answer for their spokesman? No-one. Like Pilate they wash their hands and turn away. If the Libertarian Party won't stand in opposition to bad politicians then who will?

(Hat Tip to David Codrea for doing the yeoman's work)

UPDATE: Looks like the LP is playing catch up. Better late than never, I guess. Of course they didn't bother to mention any of his other egregious faults. Looks like they're falling down in the research department.

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