You are browsing the archive for 2013 August 01.

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Dr. Rand Paul Introduces Medicare Reform Plan: The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act

August 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Rand Paul, M.D., introduced his Medicare Reform Plan, the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act (CHCSA). This bill will not only fix the Medicare system in its entirety, it also saves taxpayers $1 trillion in the first 10 years. This plan will provide better health care benefits, choice, quality, and outcomes by enrolling all senior citizens into the same health care plan as Members of Congress and other federal employees.
‘As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the vast problems facing health care in the United States. Medicare, as we know it, is broken and in desperate need of reform. It is indefinitely $43 trillion short and must be reformed now before it’s too late. My plan fixes the Medicare system, and gives seniors access to the best health care plans enjoyed currently by Members of Congress and does so without breaking the bank,’ Dr. Paul said. ‘Seniors deserve to have a world-class health care system, and U.S. taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned dollars put to better use, in a system that will not eventually bankrupt this country.’
Click HERE to read the bill in its entirety.
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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sens. Paul, McConnell, Alexander, and Scott Host ‘Success for Our Children: A Forum on School Choice’

August 1, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, July 30, Sen. Rand Paul hosted a school choice forum, ‘Success for Our Children: A Forum on School Choice,’ with Sens. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), and Tim Scott (S.C.). The forum consisted of three panels composed of parents and students from Washington, D.C.’s top-performing charter and private schools, as well as representatives from D.C. Prep, Kipp D.C., Washington Latin, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, Alliance for School Choice and the D.C. Charter School Board.
‘Every decision made by bureaucrats in Washington is a decision taken from the people who actually educate our children – principals, teachers, and especially parents. On Tuesday, I spoke with these people at a school choice forum and I was moved by each success story,’ Sen. Paul said. ‘Young boys and girls, who might not have otherwise had the opportunity to excel, have become successful men and women leaders in their communities – due to receiving a better education than they otherwise would have. All children, no matter who they are or where they live, deserve an equal chance to develop their skills and intellect. Each student I spoke with on Tuesday was eager to learn, succeed and grow, and by nurturing the ideals of choice and individual freedom, we can find education solutions that direct all of our children toward success.’

CLICK HERE FOR FOOTAGE FROM THE SCHOOL CHOICE FORUM

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Source: RAND PAUL

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How Did Rich Connecticut Morph into One of America's Worst Performing Economies?

August 1, 2013 in Economics

By Jim Powell

Jim Powell

Connecticut has so many advantages that it might be hard to understand how it became one of America’s worst-performing state economies.

As we know, Connecticut is located along an important commercial corridor between New York and Boston. It’s well-served by railroads and highways. Major airports are accessible. Connecticut has many charming towns, historic sights, stylish shops and nice beaches. CNN determined that of America’s 25 towns with the highest median family incomes, four are in Connecticut — New Canaan (#1), Darien (#2), Westport (#5) and Greenwich (#14). The most expensive American home ever offered for sale is Copper Beech Farm which, with an asking price of $190 million, has 50 acres of waterfront property in Greenwich.

The most fundamental lesson here is simply that investors, entrepreneurs and other productive people want to go where they’re welcome.”

Although Connecticut lacks a major high tech region, there’s a concentration of executive talent capable of managing large organizations. Many are in financial services.

Despite these attractions, during the past two decades some 300,000 more Connecticut residents have moved out of the state than have moved in. This compares with the current population of about 3.5 million.

Why the exodus?

Dismal performance

Perhaps with the complacency of old money, Connecticut policymakers came to believe they didn’t need to compete for investors and entrepreneurs — the key people who make prosperity happen. Keep in mind that government basically doesn’t have any money other than what it extracts from the private sector via taxation.

As a columnist for the Hartford Courant remarked, “businesses here have become vulnerable to appeals from places [like Florida and Texas] that Connecticut leaders once thought they could safely hold in low regard.”

When investors and entrepreneurs consider important decisions like where to establish a residence, where to operate a business and, yes, where to die, they compare their options. From a financial point of view, Connecticut turns out not to be a great option. For instance:

  • Connecticut ranks #50 — the worst — in annual economic growth. According to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, Connecticut’s economy contracted for the second year in a row. “Connecticut is the laggard,” reported Connecticut Department of Labor economist Daniel Kennedy.
  • Between 1996 and 2006 - before the financial meltdown and recession — the number of Connecticut small businesses declined by 2.2 percent, while the average experience of all 50 states was a 10 percent increase. Only Ohio …read more

    Source: OP-EDS

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Book Review: 'Margaret Thatcher'

August 1, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands
By Charles Moore
Alfred A. Knopf, hardcover; $35, 859 pages

Before the Reagan Revolution came the rise of Margaret Thatcher. The improbable story is well told by journalist Charles Moore in “Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands.”

The book is a fine read, though the extraordinary detail, while always illuminating, is sometimes excruciating. This, the first of two volumes, alone comes in at 859 pages.

Margaret Roberts was the younger of two daughters of a middle-class grocer. Her most important personal decision was to marry Denis Thatcher, an older businessman, with whom she had two children.

She became active in politics while attending Oxford University. Politically ambitious women were rare, but she demonstrated intelligence and tenacity. So the Conservative Party used her as speaker and then sacrificial candidate in a solid Labor Party constituency. In 1958, she overcame skepticism from traditionalists to win the Conservative Party nod in Finchley, a Tory stronghold.

After the next election, she received a minor government job — part of what was viewed as a woman’s portfolio in welfare services. She lost that when Labor won a narrow majority in 1964. However, writes Mr. Moore, “in her analysis of the reasons for the Tory defeat, which she developed gradually through the 1960s, she would find the germ of the views which came to full flower ten years later.”

She became education minister when the Tories came back into power in 1970. Thatcher learned the issues and proved formidable in debate. Observes Mr. Moore: “Money and economics, about which women were traditionally held to be ignorant, were her strong suits. Always well briefed, she talked seriously and intelligently, if not always originally, on serious subjects.”

The Conservative government under Prime Minister Edward Heath was battered by turbulent times. Indeed, I lived through much of his premiership, since my Air Force father was stationed in Britain from 1970 to 1973. Unfortunately, Heath lacked the principled beliefs and firm character necessary to challenge the expansive welfare state.

He went to the polls early and lost. The majority of Tory MPs then wanted to defenestrate him, but the obvious challengers hung back. So the lady from Finchley challenged Heath. On Feb. 11, 1975, she piled up an overwhelming majority on the second ballot to become opposition leader.

The weak Labor government limped on for more than four years, but on May 3, 1979, the British electorate demonstrated …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Calling for a Real Stimulus

August 1, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The U.S. economic recovery remains anemic, so President Barack Obama wants Washington to spend more money. Of course, if the economy was booming, he would want the federal government to spend even more money.

Nevertheless, the favorite justification for public expenditures these days is to “stimulate” the economy. The fact that $5 trillion in federal deficits during the president’s first four years in office didn’t create a buoyant economy doesn’t matter. If we would just spend a little more, everything would be wonderful.

So desperate is he to spend more that in his Tuesday speech he offered the GOP a deal: reform corporate taxes and have Uncle Sam spend, er, “invest,” the extra money to “create” jobs. Which is what his “stimulus” bill was supposed to do. Some Republicans responded positively, proving that they never learn.

Although the deficit has fallen significantly this year — revenues are significantly higher than expected — the Congressional Budget Office figures that the deficit will begin climbing again in 2015 on its way back to $1 trillion. There may never be a time when Washington will not be “stimulating” the economy.

Unfortunately, government cannot create self-sustaining economic growth. Whatever the short-term benefit of tossing taxpayer money down the rat holes closest to Capitol Hill, in the long-term only productive investment will generate a sustained return. And productive investment is precisely the sort of outlay least likely to emerge from Congress hoping to bring down next month’s unemployment rate.

If all that is needed for prosperity is to increase the number of dollars in circulation, then it would make more sense to load up B-52s with dollar bills and drop the cash all over America. Then everyone, and not just the politically well-connected, could get some of Uncle Sam’s largesse. Moreover, people would have to work for their winnings by locating and collecting the bills. Encouraging people to wander the countryside looking for money could be viewed as an anti-obesity initiative!

Rather than expanding government, a true economic “stimulus” initiative would promote the private sector. One of the best ways of doing so would be to reduce the regulatory burden on U.S. companies. 

From the government’s standpoint, the cost of complying with government rules is a form of off-budget spending, which diverts rather than creates demand. From the individual’s standpoint, regulation is an indirect tax, discouraging economic activity. When the government makes it more expensive to create businesses, develop products, expand operations, employ …read more

Source: OP-EDS