Michael Tennant

Shortly after he won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, Rand Paul was subjected to an all-out media assault for daring to suggest that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, at least to the extent that it interfered with private property rights, might have been an exercise in congressional overreach. How dare he suggest that business owners have the right to discriminate against people on the basis of race? What is he, some kind of racist?

According to the Associated Press, “A group of conservative attorneys say they are on a mission from God to unseat four California judges in a rare challenge that is turning a traditionally snooze-button election into what both sides call a battle for the integrity of U.S. courts.”

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 00:00

How Not to Waste a State Budget Crisis

Shortly after the 2008 Presidential election, President-elect Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, told the Wall Street Journal, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” He explained to the WSJ: “Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

Perhaps it’s his experience as writer, director, and star of several hit movies that has led Woody Allen to prefer one-man operations. That might explain why he told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia (as translated by Fox News) that “it would be good…if [President Obama] could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.”

According to the Associated Press, “Social Security faces a $5.3 trillion shortfall over the next 75 years.” Yes, you read that correctly: FDR’s version of Otto von Bismarck’s socialist retirement program is projected to add $5.3 trillion to the U.S. national debt over the next 75 years — a 40 percent increase in the debt. (Add the projected $38 trillion unfunded liability of Medicare over the same period, and the debt will more than triple.)

A shave and a haircut will cost you more than two bits just about anywhere, but it’ll run you over two Hamiltons at the U.S. Senate barbershop — more than double what barbers in some parts of the country charge. Yet despite these high prices, the shop, which is supposed to be self-sustaining, ended up $300,000 in the hole last year and got its own taxpayer bailout, proving once again that government is incapable of performing even the smallest tasks cheaply and competently.

moneyFor nearly four decades Congress has ensured that federal spending rises inexorably by guaranteeing that every budget item increases automatically each year. And woe to anyone who seeks merely to reduce these automatic increases, for he shall be labeled a heartless, slash-and-burn budget cutter!

Feeling pain at the gas pump? Congressman Dennis Kucinich thinks he has a solution: Tax “unreasonable” oil company profits. The Ohio Democrat has introduced the Gas Price Spike Act, which he claims will “reduce the price of gasoline” by confiscating part or all of an oil company’s profits that exceed an amount deemed “reasonable” by a panel of unelected bureaucrats.

Congressmen long ago granted themselves the privilege of mailing items to constituents at taxpayers’ expense, a process called “franking.” Usually such a mailing amounts to a barely disguised plea for reelection, bragging about how much pork the congressman has brought home and listing services he offers to his constituents.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claims that the unemployment rate would be 15 percent in the absence of President Barack Obama’s “stimulus” law, but Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Commissioner Keith Hall says he’s seen no study to support Pelosi’s assertion.