Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: February 17, 2010

Final Thoughts

Taxation clarified:

When you give your money to someone in need, simply because you want to help, that’s called CHARITY.

When someone in need holds a gun to your head and makes you give them your money, that’s called ROBBERY.

When someone holds a gun to your head, makes you give your money to him for the benefit of someone in need whom he claims to represent, that’s called SPREADING THE WEALTH.

As a corollary, when someone takes out massive loans in your name and the names of your children in order to give that money to someone else, that’s called STIMULUS.

Of course, I don’t mean that all taxation works this way. I want a strong military, competent police and a functioning judiciary to protect our society and individual interests. “All taxation is theft” is fun to ponder, but not reality. Having a civil society will always cost something. It’s when taxation goes beyond what’s necessary to perform those minimal functions that “theft” becomes an appropriate term.

PAYGO Is A No Go

You remember the clip the other day in which President Obama told us that Americans were tired of politicians who “talked the talk” about fiscal responsibility, but didn’t “walk the walk”.

Well PAYGO, recently signed into law – and short for pay-as-you-go – requires revenue (spending cuts elsewhere or tax increases) be identified to pay for whatever Congress passes. That’s the “talk the talk” part.

Heh … there is no “walk the walk” part – on their first chance to actually “walk the walk” the House bailed.

Democratic leaders said extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA healthcare benefits should be emergency spending that isn’t subject to the pay-as-you-go statute, which requires new non-discretionary spending to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases.

We all know, that in the budget that is now out there, cutting $53.3 billion in spending elsewhere would simply be impossible, right?

Oh, wait – you know, if they put that freeze on non-discretionary spending in place now and didn’t wait a year while they raise that spending a reported 82% (gotta love that bit of smoke and mirrors, don’t you?) this year, I’d bet they would find those cuts that would match that spending.

The more you watch these people do business the more you come to understand why they’re where they are and not running a real business. And House Democrats aren’t the only ones:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is also pushing for emergency extensions of the unemployment and COBRA benefits not subject to pay-go requirements.

The only difference is Reid will most likely do it in a separate bill with the “emergency” disclaimer to bypass PAYGO.

Judd Gregg gets it right:

Republicans voted en masse against the pay-go legislation, criticizing Democrats for including language that would allow exemptions to it. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said Democrats’ move to bypass pay-go using emergency exemptions proves that the pay-go law is just a “political statement, not a substantive event.”

“They continue to claim some sort of fiscal discipline … when in fact they basically keep spending money like drunken sailors,” Gregg said.

Drunken sailors only spend what is theirs and what they have in their pocket, so in reality, it is an insult to sailors, drunken or otherwise, to compare them to the profligate deficit spenders in Congress busily talking the talk, but rarely walking the walk.

~McQ

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IPCC Hurricane Conclusions Called Into Question

And the hits keep on coming.  Now it is hurricane data being called into question:

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Dr. Les Hatton says he is neither “a warmist nor a denialist”, but a scientist. And as a scientist he took a look at the IPCC’s claims about hurricanes and found them wanting:

Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.

“When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.

Says Hatton, after running his statitistical analysis and reading the IPCC report, he found it’s conclusions could not be supported by the data:

The IPCC continues: “It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity.” But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase.

“The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review,” Hatton told us. A more scientifically useful conclusion would have been to ask why there was a disparity. “This differential behaviour to me is very interesting. If it’s due to increased warming in one place, and decreased warming in the other – then that’s interesting to me.”

It would be interesting to others as well since it might indicate the observed warming was a result of regional weather, not global warming. Hatton has put his work on his personal web site (you can see it here) and issued an open invitation to prove his analysis wrong. Al Gore has said he’ll get right on it.

~McQ

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