Saturday, April 23

Cost of Illinois State Employee and Retiree Health Insurance

The table below shows average monthly retiree health costs for members and for the State in FY2011 and total state costs. These figures do not include the cost of coverage for retirees’ dependents; retirees are required to pay premiums for their dependents.

When people don't even have any idea of how much their benefits cost, much less have any responsibility for paying for them, is it any wonder that costs keep rising? The same problem is true of Obamacare.

Friday, April 22

Blame the "speculators"

Here's your federal energy policy: Do nothing significant to increase domestic supply, create mandates to have XX% of future supply come from magical green leprechauns, then when prices (surprise!) go up, you know what to do: Blame the "speculators"... It says a lot about how debased our politics have become that we could have expected this kind ofaggressive economic ignorance had the other party won the presidency, too.
Gotta get me a unicorn fart bottling franchise.

Where the Tax Money Is

Why is it so hard for government to have the budget it had in 2007?

If government agencies and programs functioned with 19% to 20% of GDP in 2007, why is it so hard for them to function with that percentage in 2021, when GDP will be substantially higher and with many opportunities for reforms and increased efficiencies? And if GDP and employment grow more quickly, as they would if private investment increased as a result of lower government spending and debt, then that 19% to 20% share of GDP could provide much more in the way of public goods.
And this tidbit:
...the chart shows that the second Obama administration budget, submitted a week after the Ryan House budget, is substantially different from the first administration budget. It is highly unusual for an administration to decide to submit a second budget....

Sunday, April 17

The real "subsidies to the affluent"

In response to Ross Douthat's criticism of policies that "subsidize the affluent", Mungowitz at Kids Prefer Cheese writes,
the real "subsidies to the affluent" are cutting subsidies to sugar, corporate farms, oil companies, and big fat defense firms. The problem is not a misallocation by ability to pay, but rather straight up subsidies to war pigs, farm pigs, and the prison-industrial complex fattening the purses of anti-drug warriors. Those payments dwarf the tax cuts.

Friday, April 15

Volkswagen manuals suck

So I wrote to them:
Give me information pertinent to the vehicle I bought!

Instead, you provide a manual filled with irrelevant descriptions of features that mine doesn't possess, typically describing them as if they're present in all vehicles. It's simply infuriating.

Incidentally, the dealership was of no help in this matter either.
The dealer was in Kirkwood, btw.

Monday, April 11

Not bottled unicorn farts

From either Walter Sobchak or Fat Man (possibly the same person?)
..."visionary" politicians who think an industrial economy can be run on unicorn farts and bottled rainbows....