Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Repeal Amendment

Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.
Why amend the Constitution in this way?
The Repeal Amendment would help restore the ability of states to protect the powers "reserved to the states" noted in the 10th Amendment. And it would provide citizens another political avenue to protect the "rights . . . retained by the people" to which the Ninth Amendment refers. In short, the amendment provides a new political check on the threat to American liberties posed by a runaway federal government. And checking abuses of power is what the written Constitution is all about.
I think this is probably a good idea. However, I'm not sure 2/3 of the state legislatures would ever act to repeal a federal law or regulation. Still, I think it would probably be good if a number of state legislatures made efforts today to push this amendment. It would probably be a good thing is there were more people who looked at the Constitution and compared and contrasted the government implied by the Constitution to the governments we have today.

Speaking Sense To Government

FIVE ECONOMISTS TALK SENSE, instead of nonsense with respect to government and the economy. Here are some of examples:
"Nobel Prize-winning economist Edward Prescott examined international labor market data and showed that changes in tax rates on labor are associated with changes in employment and hours worked. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the effective tax rate on work increased by an average of 28% in Germany, France and Italy. Over that same period, work hours fell by an average of 22% in those three countries. When higher taxes reduce the reward for work, you get less of it."

"Having "skin in the game," unsurprisingly, leads to superior outcomes. As Milton Friedman famously observed: "Nobody spends somebody else's money as wisely as they spend their own." When legislators put other people's money at risk—as when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought risky mortgages—crisis and economic hardship inevitably result. When minimal co-payments and low deductibles are mandated in the insurance market, wasteful health-care spending balloons."

The 2010 health-care law undermined positive reforms underway since the late 1990s, including higher co-payments and health savings accounts. The law should be repealed before its regulations and price controls further damage availability and quality of care. It should be replaced with policies that target specific health market concerns: quality, affordability and access. Making out-of-pocket expenditures and individual purchases of health insurance tax deductible, enhancing health savings accounts, and improving access to medical information are keys to more consumer involvement. Allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines will lower the cost of insurance.

You really should read the whole piece.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Congressional Corruption

"The scholarships were publicly intended as charity, a way to impact the community by giving underprivileged students an opportunity to get an education they otherwise may miss. Instead, the two Representatives turned it into an entitlement program for the children and grandchildren of the already-powerful. Regardless of whether the CBC had explicit language barring the awarding of funds to family members, anyone with a sense of ethics would have known that putting that scholarship money into the hands of their own family violated the ostensible spirit of the charity. It also shows Bishop and Johnson as greedy, self-absorbed malefactors whose only consideration of the power they hold is how it can personally benefit themselves and their family."