■ As we've seen before, the Proverbialist was not a fan of mockery.
19:25 continues that tradition:
25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.
I can't agree with the disparate treatment advocated here. Although
I'm sure it reflects the mindset behind
of campus censorship.
Our pic du jour shows some mockery committed against Adam Smith by
some rowdy Scottish drunks ("but I repeat myself"). Obviously
candidates for flogging. I'll make an exception to my general rule,
and as a lame excuse … um … oh, yeah, Scotland has no First Amendment.
■ At Reason, Sheldon Richman wishes for Real
Common Sense on Gun Control.
Here's how to judge the pragmatic case for gun control: if the
pro-control lobby managed to have each of its favorite restrictions
enacted, could we as individuals be more casual about our safety
than we are today? The answer clearly is no. So what's the point of
the restrictions beyond letting their advocates feel good about
A false sense of security is worse than no sense of security at all.
A crackpot idea of mine is to amend the Constitution to
require all Congressional legislation to have a suicide clause: (a) a
list of objective benefits it would allegedly confer; and (b)
automatic repeal if those benefits did not materialize.
In short, CongressCritters would have to believe in their
so strongly that they would bet on them coming true.
I think such a measure would safeguard against proposals such as
those discussed in our next item…
… in which Eric Boehm (Reason again) looks at a recent proposal from a genuine
enemy of liberty:
Feinstein's New Assault Weapons Ban Proposal Is the Perfect,
Pointless Response for the 'Do Something' Crowd.
The bill exempts weapons used for hunting, and it would allow anyone
who already owns one of the proscribed guns to keep them. In other
words, it would be completely ineffective at removing these weapons
from American society. But that's not really the goal at all. The
goal is to do something about gun violence, and Feinstein's proposal
certainly counts as something. Something ineffective and useless,
but still a thing. A thing that could be done.
Complete sham symbolism, in other words.
■ But let's move on from guns to simple robbery, committed without
violence. Well, only that violence (usually just implicitly, but not
involved in taxation.
An AEI report on farm subsidies claims Agricultural
subsidies aid the wealthy, not those in rural poverty.
The subsidy programs that the House and Senate agricultural
committees are defending and would like to expand include the
federal crop insurance subsidy program, direct payments to farm
businesses through so-called supplementary “farm income safety net”
initiatives, and outlays on conservation programs.
Taken together, these programs cost about $20 billion every year. Crop insurance subsidies alone cost $8 billion, 30 percent of which goes to private insurance companies. Two additional “safety net” programs — price loss coverage and agricultural risk coverage — cost taxpayers between $6 billion and $8 billion in annual payments. Farm businesses also receive $5 billion a year in subsidies for adopting or simply continuing farming practices (such as soil conservation and protecting the environment) that are already being used because they are profitable.
And folks that like to say "the system is rigged" will find plenty
of support from the article:
Who gets all that federal money? About 70 percent of all crop
insurance and other farm income safety net payments flow to 10
percent of the largest crop-producing farm businesses. This group
comprises less than 100,000 farm operations, each of which on
average receives more than $140,000 every year. Those farms are
owned by households with annual incomes and levels of wealth that
are multiple times higher than those of the typical American family,
and certainly far higher than those of families in poverty.
Conservation subsidy payments also predominantly flow to the largest
farm operations and wealthiest farming households.
Cliche: if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.
■ George F. Will has a modest proposal: Repeal
and Replace the Tax Code.
The Republicans’ tax bill would somewhat improve the existing
revenue system that once caused Mitch Daniels (former head of the
Office of Management and Budget, former Indiana governor) to say:
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tax code that looked as though it had
been designed on purpose? Today’s bill, which is 429 pages and is
apt to grow, is an implausible instrument of simplification. And it
would worsen the tax code’s already substantial contribution to
Economists use that phrase to denote circumstances in which
incentives are for perverse behavior. Today’s tax code is such a
circumstance, and the Republican bill would exacerbate this by
expanding the $1,000 child credit to $1,600 with an additional $300
“family credit” for each parent and non-child dependent, and by
doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and
$24,000 for married couples. These measures would increase the
number of persons not paying income taxes and would further decrease
the percentage of income tax revenues paid by low-income earners.
The GOP tax proposal has some good ideas, but I can't get excited
about it. (1) It only reminds us of how gutless the GOP is on
spending, which is the more serious issue; (2) as GFW notes, it's
full of social-engineering gimmickry.
Personal note: our family would have benefited from the generous
tax credit that was (briefly) on the chopping block, had it been
in place back when we adopted the Salad kiddos. But it is
(nevertheless) an example of the gimmickry that should go.
■ And our Tweet
du Jour speaks for itself:
I, for one, regret party disunity over sex clams.