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Archive for July, 2013

The Impact of Rising Interest Rates

Friday July 12th, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:55am PDT   •   2 Comments

Believe it or not, humans have had problems with debt for thousands of years – it’s not just a recent phenomenon! That’s a big reason why Reason’s interview with Nassim Taleb is so fascinating: Here is a very insightful excerpt from the interview: reason: Paul Krugman, one of your great friends or nemeses, just…
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Government Makes “Affordable” Care Harder to Find

Wednesday July 10th, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:10am PDT   •   2 Comments

UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, and Aetna, another major insurer, recently abandoned California’s individual health insurance market. This ran as a business story but it’s really about Obamacare. The companies’ departure from the individual market is clearly a response to the Affordable Care Act, and that departure has already made it harder…
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The U.S. Hits Its Credit Limit

Tuesday July 9th, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:52am PDT   •   3 Comments

The U.S. national debt hasn’t grown since May 19, 2013! It’s true! On May 16, 2013, the total public debt outstanding reached the statutory limit of $16.7 trillion, however a subsequent act of Congress had suspended the debt limit until May 19, 2013, by which it had grown to roughly $16.74 trillion. Since then…
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Monday July 8th, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:59am PDT   •   6 Comments

Calculating the cost of government is a difficult task but as a general rule the costs will always be higher than taxpayers imagine. A California case shows why this is so. Pension plans, including those in government, include contributions by the employer and the employee. The employee contribution of Susan Muranishi, an administrator in…
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Crazy Wasteful Spending!

Friday July 5th, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:12am PDT   •   1 Comment

Want to know some of the crazier things the U.S. government is spending money to achieve this year? The Independent Journal Review (no relation to the Independent Institute or the venerable Independent Review) just featured their list of the Top 25. Here’s a handful of the ones that really caught our imagination: $349,862 for…
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MediTrade.con: Ruling Class Profiteering Perk

Wednesday July 3rd, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:58am PDT   •   3 Comments

When something as big as Medicare makes decisions the consequences involve more than health care. For example, in April the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made a decision to increase funding to the private-sector Medicare Advantage program by $8 billion. That decision was worth billions to private health insurers, and as the…
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The Actual Effects of Taking Away 2% of the Punch Bowl

Tuesday July 2nd, 2013   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:02am PDT   •   1 Comment

Whatever happened to the scary budget sequester? If you’re like most Americans, you probably haven’t noticed any real impact to your daily life from spending cuts that the U.S. government has actually implemented during the last three months. Which is probably a very different experience from what you might have expected given how loudly…
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Monday July 1st, 2013   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:37am PDT   •   1 Comment

We noted in March that California’s Board of Equalization jacked up the excise tax on gasoline by nearly 9 percent, 3.5 cents, to 39.5 cents a gallon. That tax hike takes effect today, July 1, and has nothing to do with market forces. The Board of Equalization, a tax agency, approved the excise tax…
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