Friday, August 26, 2011

Top 10 Reads of the Week – August 26, 2011

Walker’s Vindication – John McCormack [Weekly Standard]

Ed note: this is a bit dated (before the recall failure).  But it contains a lot of good info I’d not seen elsewhere.

Emily Koczela had been anxiously waiting for months for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill to take effect. Koczela, the finance director for the Brown Deer school district, had been negotiating with the local union, trying to get it to accept concessions in order to make up for a $1 million budget shortfall. But the union wouldn’t budge.

On June 29 at 12:01 a.m., Koczela could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The budget repair bill​—​delayed for months by protests, runaway state senators, and a legal challenge that made its way to the state’s supreme court​—​was law. The 27 teachers on the chopping block were spared… Read the Rest

Next President Must Live Like Coolidge, Not Obama – Mark Steyn [Investor’s Business Daily]

Why exactly does the president need a 40-car escort to drive past his subjects in Dead Moose Junction? It doesn't communicate strength, but only waste, and decadence.

Are these vehicles filled with "aides" working round the clock on his supersecret magic plan to "create" "jobs" that King Barack the Growth Slayer is planning to lay before Congress in the fall or winter, spring, whatever?… Read the Rest

Whatever Rick Perry’s Record Is, It’s Not Conservative – Dave Mann [The New Republic']

On Sunday afternoon—just 24 hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his presidential candidacy—an email arrived in my inbox titled, “14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be a Really, Really Bad President.” The article contained in the email took such a harsh tone toward Perry, I assumed, for a brief moment, that a liberal interest group was quickly jumping on the newest entrant in the Republican presidential field. In turns out, however, that the piece was the product of a right-wing website called The American Dream. The author of the article argued that Perry, the supposed savior of conservatives nationwide, is actually a RINO—a Republican in Name Only… Read the Rest

Best Dose of Perspective I Saw This Week

Spending, not entitlements, created huge deficit – Byron York [Examiner]

It's conventional wisdom in Washington to blame the federal government's dire financial outlook on runaway entitlement spending. Unless we rein in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the conventional wisdom goes, the federal government is headed for disaster.

That's true in the long run. But what is causing massive deficits now? Is it the same entitlements that threaten the future?… Read the Rest. Interesting follow-ups here and here.

Congress To Bet The Farm On One Last Big Bill – Editors [The Onion]

In a stunning emergency session Wednesday, all 535 members of Congress unanimously agreed to pool what remained of their political capital and bet the farm on one final bill: H.R. 2809, a comprehensive and extremely risky plan experts said would either get the nation back on track or send it into a permanent downward spiral.

According to government officials, the ambitious 15,980-page bill effectively puts all the nation's eggs in one basket, but congressional leaders from both parties agreed the time had come to "put up or shut up" and draft one huge piece of historic legislation that would address every conceivable issue facing the United States… Read the Rest

What Austerity? – Editors [Wall Street Journal]

With the recovery sputtering, the White House and its allies have been blaming government spending cuts, or what the neo-Keynesians call "fiscal contraction." This is a dubious economic theory even if spending were being cut, but yesterday's mid-year report from the Congressional Budget Office shows definitively that there's been nothing close to contraction in Washington.

That's the real news in the CBO numbers, which show that spending in fiscal 2011 (which ends on September 30) will hit a new high of $3.6 trillion, up $141 billion from 2010. That's higher than the previous record in 2009 of $3.5 trillion, which was supposed to be the peak of the "temporary" stimulus spending… Read the Rest

Buffett’s claim of coddling is super-rich – Jeff Jacoby [Boston Globe]

WARREN BUFFETT is the billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a friend and political supporter of Barack Obama, and a well-known advocate of higher taxes on the rich. He is also a hypocrite, whose actions belie his words.

For several years now, Buffett has been calling for significant tax hikes on extremely wealthy Americans like himself. Last week, in a New York Times column headlined “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,’’ Buffett lamented that the $6,938,744 he forked over in federal income and payroll taxes in 2010 amounted to just 17.4 percent of his taxable income. “What I paid,’’ the world’s most famous investor observed, “was … actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent.’… Read the Rest

Waterloo in Wisconsin – George Will [Washington Post]

The residues of liberalism’s Wisconsin Woodstock — 1960s radicalism redux: operatic lamentations, theatrical demonstrations and electoral futilities — are words of plaintive defiance painted on sidewalks around the state capitol. “Solidarity forever” was perhaps painted by a graduate student forever at the University of Wisconsin. “Repubs steal elections” is an odd accusation from people who, seeking to overturn the 2010 elections, cheered Democratic lawmakers who fled to Illinois — a congenial refuge for labor-subservient Democrats — in order to paralyze the duly elected legislature. The authors of the sidewalk graffiti have at least read Jefferson: “The tree of liberty is watered by the blood of tyrants.” The tyrant is “$cott Walker American Fa$ci$t.”… Read the Rest

Grade Inflation for Education Majors and Low Standards for Teachers – Cory Koedel [AEI]

Students who take education classes at universities receive significantly higher grades than students who take classes in every other academic discipline. The higher grades cannot be explained by observable differences in student quality between education majors and other students, nor can they be explained by the fact that education classes are typically smaller than classes in other academic departments. The remaining reasonable explanation is that the higher grades in education classes are the result of low grading standards. These low grading standards likely will negatively affect the accumulation of skills for prospective teachers during university training. More generally, they contribute to a larger culture of low standards for educators… Read the Rest

Obamanonics v. Reaganomics – Stephen Moore [Wall Street Journal]

If you really want to light the fuse of a liberal Democrat, compare Barack Obama's economic performance after 30 months in office with that of Ronald Reagan. It's not at all flattering for Mr. Obama.

The two presidents have a lot in common. Both inherited an American economy in collapse. And both applied daring, expensive remedies. Mr. Reagan passed the biggest tax cut ever, combined with an agenda of deregulation, monetary restraint and spending controls. Mr. Obama, of course, has given us a $1 trillion spending stimulus… Read the Rest

The Funniest Thing I Saw This Week

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