Saturday, October 18, 2008

"They'll continue to struggle to make it harder for many in our community"

I saw on the local news last night that Social Security benefits are going up 5.8%, rather than the typical 2.5%. What struck me is that some of the seniors were upset about it. Why? They might be pushed into a higher tax bracket or have to pay more for subsidized housing:

We spoke to several seniors who say this could end up costing them more money.

Nancy Walker, 87, lives in subsidized housing.

The additional $63 a month in Social Security will cause her to lose benefits.

"Means i'm gonna pay more for rent for one thing," Grace Lindsey says.

It will cost her rent to increase because her income's going up, her food stamps will decrease and she may not continue to receive 20% off Medicaid.

"They'll continue to struggle make it harder for many in our community," Walker told Volunteer TV News.

The yearly adjustment in Social Security checks is linked to government inflation figures.

But advocacy groups say it's far short of what retirees need to keep up with rising living costs.

Charles Stevens is retired from the Navy.

He says the extra monthly income will put him into another tax bracket.

"It means we've got to pay more taxes, but we're grateful for what we can get," Stevens says.

Have you noticed with government handouts and "entitlements" you can't win? If they pay too little, people complain, but when they go up, they do the same...

Update: Jason at Countercolumn has further thoughts on Social Security increases.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Interview: Brian Anderson on media freedom

andersoncov.jpgToday, our guest is Brian C. Anderson, the editor of City Journal and author (along with Adam Thierer) of A Manifesto for Media Freedom. Anderson discusses his new book, the mainstream media, the Fairness Doctrine, and what to do to produce a freer and healthier politics in the future.

One thing Anderson said that struck me was that with an Obama presidency, we might see more media regulation by subterfuge--that is, local broadcasting and media stations could be affected by regulations that might put some conservative broadcasting under more subjective control by lefty pressure groups like Acorn. This is extremely troubling and should concern all of us who care about free speech and diversity of ideas in politics. What can we do? Listen to the podcast and find out.

You can listen to the podcast directly -- no downloading needed -- by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. Or you can download it and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. Music is byJohn T. Baker.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen: Is it time to "go John Galt?"

My PJM colum is up:

As Ayn Rand foresaw, productive Americans are fed up with supporting the unproductive and may not take it anymore.

I found commenter's responses to my recent post on this topic fascinating and expanded it to include PJM readers. Take a look.


Monday, October 13, 2008

I was just looking at the Rasmussen polls and saw this report:

A plurality of voters (47%) say Barack Obama’s plan to raise taxes on those who earn over $250,000 a year is good for the troubled U.S. economy, even though 51% still believe that lower taxes are the best way to spur economic growth.

Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree with Obama’s proposal, saying raising taxes on these upper-income earners will be bad for the economy, but 16% say the proposal will have no impact, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey....

Men support Obama’s plan to raise taxes on upper-income earners by just four points, but women favor it more than two-to-one.

Only 19% of Republicans think it’s a good idea, compared to 70% of Democrats. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of GOP voters oppose the tax hike for those earning more than $250,000, versus just 11% of Democrats. Unaffiliated voters like the proposal 47% to 26%.

So basically, Democratic women are the ones most likely to support raising taxes on the top earners. That's probably good since they might possibly be the only ones left working after men and Republicans decide it's not worth the trouble to pay a good deal of their income for programs they don't want, should Obama be elected. Maybe all the feminists who want women to make more than men can finally do some good. If women--especially of the Democrat persuasion--make more money, then they can foot the bills and pay the taxes. Probably, though, like child support or alimony, they will complain so much if they have to pay that this tax will be easy to change.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Going John Galt

Do you ever wonder after dealing with all that is going on with the economy and the upcoming election if it's getting to be time to "go John Galt." For those of you who have never read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, the basic theme is that John Galt and his allies take actions that include withdrawing their talents, 'stopping the motor of the world', and leading the 'strikers' (those who refuse to be exploited) against the 'looters' (the exploiters, backed by the government).

Perhaps the partisian politics we are dealing with now is really just a struggle between those of us who believe in productivity, personal responsibility, and keeping government interference to a minimum, and those who believe in the socialistic policies of taking from others, using the government as a watchdog, and rewarding those who overspend, underwork, or are just plain unproductive.

Obama talks about taking from those who are productive and redistributing to those who are not -- or who are not as successful. If success and productivity is to be punished, why bother? Perhaps it is time for those of us who make the money and pay the taxes to take it easy, live on less and let the looters of the world find their own way.

My question to readers is, what are some ways to "go John Galt" (legally, of course)--that is, should productive people cut back on what they need, make less money, and take it easy so that the government is starved for funds, or is there some other way of making a statement?

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