URLs du Jour

2021-04-03

  • Doubling Down on Stupid. Randal O'Toole is your go-to guy to look at the choo-choo fraction of President Biden's "Let's Waste A Whole Lotta Money" proposal: Amtrak's Money-Losing Vision.

    Amtrak responded to Biden’s “American Jobs Plan,” which would give Amtrak $80 billion (presumably over several years), with a “vision to grow rail service and connect new city pairs across America.” As shown in the map below, some of those city pairs might seem to make sense, such as Dallas‐​Houston and Los Angeles‐​Las Vegas.

    [Amtraks Big Plans]

    But a lot of the cities being added to the map are so small — places like Rockland, Maine (7,500 people), Christiansburg, Virginia (25,000), and Cheyenne (76,000) — that even Amtrak lovers are skeptical. Matthew Yglesias, for example, says “Amtrak’s big idea of what to do with extra funding is to create new low‐performing extensions to places with very low demand.”

    I note that they really want to extend commuter rail up to Concord/Manchester (as does our local CongressCritter, Chris Pappas). It's a safe bet that this (and, I assume, the other "New/Enhanced" services on the map) would cost more than advertised, have less ridership than promised, and be a drain on taxpayers for years to come.


  • Joe's Lips Moved, So It's a Safe Bet… Veronique de Rugy exposes the obvious: Biden Said His Tax Hikes Would Only Affect the Rich. He Can’t Keep That Promise. She covers the shift from the campaign's "Joe Biden will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. Period." to "Oops, sorry, we meant any family."

    But not only that:

    Here's another reason why Biden was never going to be able to keep his promise: He already announced his intention to increase the corporate income tax from the current 21 percent to 28 percent. The reality here is that the corporations that he says are going to send bigger checks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after the tax hike aren't the ones who actually shoulder this heavier tax burden.

    The best explanation I've seen on this comes from a 2004 quote by economist Stephen Entin, who wrote, "The economic burden of a tax frequently does not rest with the person or business who has the statutory liability for paying the tax to the government." That's because taxes are ultimately only paid by people.

    In this case, the burden of Biden's corporate tax-rate hike will inevitably fall on corporations' workers and shareholders (which includes almost everyone with a retirement plan), many of whom earn much less than $400,000 a year. Workers might not personally be sending more or bigger checks to the IRS, but they will still suffer higher taxation in the form of lower wages, as well as higher prices for consumer goods and services.

    The last word in Vero's column is "bunk." Probably that could go at the end of a lot of columns.


  • Wouldn't Be a Circus Without One. Madeline Osburn of the Federalist reports on the latest antics of one of the 2020 losers. Clown Show: Buttigieg 'Bikes' To Work After SUVs Drive Him Partway.

    If you ever wondered what would happen if that white, upper-class student body president, you know the one who used your student activity fees to pay for bike lanes on campus, were actually in charge of a federal bureaucracy, look no further than our Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

    CNN reporter DJ Judd shared a video that appears to show a team of Secret Service agents unloading Buttigieg’s bike from the back of an SUV, then at least two SUVs following him as he mounts the bike and rides to the White House.

    I'm sure Mayor Secretary Pete has a good excuse for this performative phoniness.


  • Speaking of phoniness, the People's Republic on our state's western border is (as Monty Python once said) not only proud about that, it's also smug about it. Hans Bader at Liberty Unyielding: Vermont limits access to COVID vaccine based on race, which is unconstitutional.

    Vermont is giving racial minorities and their families a preference in access to the COVID-19 vaccine. As the state’s governor explained on Twitter, “If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16 years or older can sign up to get a vaccine!”

    This is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has ruled that preferences for racial minorities are presumptively unconstitutional, and that even if minority groups have faced “societal discrimination,” that is not a reason to give them a preference. (See Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989)).

    Fun fact: According to the Census Bureau, Vermont is 94.2% white. Which is even whiter than NH.


  • New Hampshire Public Radio Looks at Vermont, and Says "Hold My Beer." Granite Grok's Steve MacDonald looks at the latest activism-posing-as-journalism from Commie Radio: Is NH's Vaccine Plan Racist?.

    New Hampshire Public Radio has yet another published piece fishing for racial division in a vacuum. But did it suck up NH Senators Shaheen and Hassan and Congresswoman Ann Kuster along the way?

    In a piece titled “Racial Disparities Persist in N.H.’s Vaccine Rollout, According to New Data,” the race pimps at NHPR drag the canal for bodies they can present as proof that the system is rigged against people of color.

    Taken in a vacuum, the data shows that people of color have received fewer doses as a percentage of their demographic representation. Using the same vacuum, this makes Democrats Jeanne Shaheen, Maggi Hassan, and Ann Kuster racists.

    Kuster got her shot in December; the Marx Sisters took the jab in January, and they are all technically members of the vulnerable age group who should have received the vaccine if they want it. But given their access to “affordable health care” why didn’t they take a hard pass so some people of color could have theirs? Talk about a PR win for team race-baiter.

    Hah. "The Marx Sisters". I love that.

    The NHPR article that Steve is going off on is her: Racial Disparities Persist in N.H.'s Vaccine Rollout, According to New Data.

    New Hampshire continues to see persistent racial disparities in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, according to the latest data from the state health department.

    As of March 28, only about 10 percent of New Hampshire’s Black and Latino residents have received their first dose of the vaccine, compared to about 22 percent of white residents. The coverage rate for Asian American residents falls in between, at about 15 percent.

    There's also a "disparity" by sex, with women more likely to have been vaccinated (27.9% with at least one shot) than men (19.8%).

    That's way down in the article, the last three paragraphs. It doesn't fit NHPR's implicit narrative of "disparites always reveal systemic injustice."