URLs du Jour

2022-08-07

  • Your Eye Candy du Jour… is from Reason video. Grammarly: Government Edition:

    I want it.


  • At Cato, Chris Edwards takes a look at the "Inflation Reduction Act". (And didn't that get named by Grammarly: Government Edition?)

    Inflation stems from too much money chasing too few goods. U.S. consumer inflation is running at 9 percent as too much government‐​spawned money creation is coinciding with restrictions on the supply side of the economy.

    The “Inflation Reduction Act” in front of the Senate is supposed to address inflation by reducing budget deficits with a combination of tax hikes and green subsidies. But despite its name, the Senate bill would not reduce inflation because it would damage the supply side and hardly affect deficits.

    The budget modelers at Penn‐​Wharton estimate that the Senate bill would reduce the deficit by $86 billion in 2031, at most. That would be just 4 percent of the projected deficit that year and just 0.2 percent of U.S. GDP. So the bill’s impact on inflation through reducing deficits and demand would be close to zero.

    I can only imagine what variants of the "Cornhusker Kickback" were offered to Senators Manchin and Sinema to garner their support.


  • More from Mr. Edwards. Chris looks askance at the IRS Funding Hypocrisy contained in the bill.

    The Senate’s Inflation Reduction Act includes an $80 billion increase in the Internal Revenue Service budget over a decade, which would roughly double the agency’s budget by 2031.

    It’s nearly impossible for taxpayers to contact the IRS for timely answers to filing questions, but the Senate bill devotes just $3.2 billion of the new spending to “taxpayer services.” The lion’s share—$46 billion—goes toward jacking up IRS enforcement. The thrust of the bill is against the people, not for the people to understand the code and voluntarily comply.

    Senators supporting the bill talk about “tax cheats” and “closing tax loopholes.” But this is a huge hypocrisy. The Senate bill itself creates new loopholes and tax breaks, and complicated breaks drive noncompliance with the tax system. The Senate bill would expand a slew of special‐interest credits and other breaks within a $370 billion orgy of green subsidies and corporate welfare.

    He also provides this handy flow chart:

    [Tax Break Flow Chart]

    If you ain't disgusted, you ain't payin' attention, son.


  • Surprise: letting violent people avoid jail causes crime to increase. Hans Bader wrote a letter to the WSJ rebutting George Soros's op-ed titled ". It was heavily cut down, but he provides the whole darn thing at Liberty Unyielding. Sample:

    In homicide crimes, “the offending rates for blacks were more than 7 times higher than the rates for whites” between 1976 and 2005, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Due to this higher black crime rate, it is only natural that blacks will be incarcerated at a higher rate than whites.

    Soros writes that “We need to acknowledge that black people in the U.S. are five times as likely to be sent to jail as white people. That is an injustice that undermines our democracy.”

    But reducing black incarceration rates to the white rate would require releasing vast numbers of dangerous black criminals, most of whom preyed on other black people. That would harm innocent black people most. That’s because crime victims are overwhelmingly of the same race as their attacker. As the Bureau of Justice Statistics has explained, crimes are committed mostly between members of the same race, and that is true for “all types of violent crime except robbery.”

    Not-so-fun Facts:

    • New Orleans apparently has nailed down the title for highest murder rate among US cities for the first half of 2022; second-place Baltimore is way behind.
    • But! NOLA's July homicide count was down 55% compared to July 2021. Only 17 corpses! How did that happen?
      [NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson] gives credit to the criminal justice system for doing a better job of keeping suspects in jail once they’re arrested.

    Who knew?


  • But here's your Sunday Ray of Sunshine: Jim Treacher is one of the few substacks to which I subscribe. His response to this NYT tweet is pretty good.

    “GOP Governors Cause Havoc by Busing Migrants to East Coast.” Weird, huh? I thought the NYT wanted those poor downtrodden victims here. Now they’re blaming Republicans for helping these migrants make a life in their new home?

    So much for “sanctuary cities.”

    Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… Just not, y’know, here.

    Indeed.


Last Modified 2022-08-08 4:25 AM EDT

Lightyear

[4 stars] [IMDB Link] [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

I was somewhat surprised to like this movie quite a bit. The IMDB raters despised it. The reviews I read were brutal. (To be fair, the numbers at Rotten Tomatoes are kinder.) Conservative Tim Allen was rudely shoved aside, replaced by pinko Chris Evans.

I might have been less sympathetic if I'd shelled out movie-theater cash. But it showed up as a free-to-me Disney+ streamer last Tuesday, so…

The setup is that Toy Story's Andy saw this movie back in 1991, which prompted his demand for his Buzz Lightyear action figure, setting off the events of that movie. OK, fine. Buzz is in charge of a colonization mission, responsible for the lives of 1200 or so civilians. He is an I'll-do-it-myself kind of guy, not a team player at all, so when disaster occurs as the ship crashes trying to escape from an aggressively hostile planet, Buzz blames himself.

His efforts to repair the ship and resume his mission involve a considerable amount of relativistic time dilation, as he endeavors to discover just the right mix of fuel elements that will power up the ship again. Along the way, he acquires a robotic cat, and a misfit bunch of helpers. All building up to his inevitable conflict with Zurg. (Big revision from Toy Story 2: Zurg is not Buzz's dad, but…)

OK, so there was some lesbianism involved. Buzz is cool with it, so I was too, although my eyes may have rolled a bit. The "teamwork with a diverse cast" is also heavy-handed, but equally easy to ignore. Bottom line: I had fun.

And, to tell the truth, I couldn't tell the difference between Tim Allen's Buzz voice and Chris Evans'.


Last Modified 2022-08-07 8:16 AM EDT