May 21, 2012

Austerity, Schmausterity

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:28 am

Michael Barone, at National Review:

European spending cuts, the argument goes, have hurt people and are arousing political opposition, while Obama’s proposals to keep federal spending at 24 percent of gross domestic product indefinitely are likely to succeed.

Evil Republican spending cuts, in contrast, would deny the economy needed stimulus and wreak havoc on ordinary people.

But the facts undermine the storyline. Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University took a look at what “austerity” in Europe actually means.

What she found is that government spending has increased or not appreciably declined in Britain, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany. The only significant spending reductions are in Greece, where the bond market cut off funding.

In the other countries, the big adjustment has been an increase in tax rates. European “austerity” is an attempt to reduce government budget deficits largely by increasing taxes and only to a small extent by reining in spending.

Which, when you come to think about it, is the policy not of House Republicans — who actually passed a budget — but of Barack Obama.

Exactly — and as usual, the establishment press in the U.S. is pretending that spending cuts which haven’t happened are hurting Europe, while never mentioning the existence of the tax increases.

53,000 Dead Voters Found in Florida

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:13 am

That must be an awful crime scene.

I guess the coroners are going to be really busy for a while in the Sunshine State.

(/weak attempt at humor)

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (052112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:45 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Catholics nationwide preparing ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ events

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:40 am

From Washington:

May 20, 2012 / 05:45 pm

Various initiatives are planned throughout the country in response to the U.S. bishops’ call for a “Fortnight for Freedom” June 21-July 4 to encourage prayer, education and public action about religious freedom.

The initiative was created in response to several moves by the Obama administration that are threatening the Church’s religious freedom. The most well-known action is the Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to cover birth control and other services that Catholics and other believers find morally objectionable.

At Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop William E. Lori will offer a special June 21 Mass at 7 p.m. to open the fortnight. June 21 is the vigil Mass for the feast of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More.

The close of the two-week observance will feature a July 4 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which will be concelebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. Archbishop Chaput will serve as the homilist at the 12:10 p.m. liturgy.

Bishop Richard Malone of Portland, Maine will celebrate a July 2 Mass at Portland’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

“Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or to pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can continue to make our contribution to the common good of all Americans without violating our deeply-held moral beliefs,” Bishop Malone said. “This issue affects all Americans — it is not a Catholic issue, a Jewish issue, an Orthodox, Mormon, or Muslim issue. It is an American issue.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.