Wotka World Wide

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

According to the recently released Census Bureau data, population growth was fastest in states with little or no income tax. Probably more than a coincidence, eh? Michael Barone has other observations, via the link.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Victor Davis Hanson on the decline of rural California and the contradictions in policy and action by state authorities in National Review:
California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.
Read the whole thing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red Cross bans Christmas in the UK. This sounds like a satirical headline, but it is real. Political correctness strikes again. You have to wonder if the bozos in charge know what the symbol of their organization stands for...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Supreme Court has reaffirmed the Kelo decision by refusing to hear the eminent domain case involving Columbia University. This is a sad day for average Americans, as another huge independent organization has just received government approval for seizing private property to put to private use. Especially considering an organization with a $7 billion plus endowment could probably afford to buy whatever they need at a fair price.

Friday, December 10, 2010

You'd think Republicans would have gotten the message on spending and earmarks, especially after their drubbings in 2006 and 2008 and the primary challenges of big spenders by Tea Party candidates in 2010. But apparently some Republicans in Congress intend to stick to their big-spending guns, damage to the party and the country be damned. Too bad. But I hope they realize they are setting themselves up for minority status and primary challenges in the future, as the current fiscal path is unsustainable, and the whole trend of earmarking special projects is only a couple decades old.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Warren Buffett, Robber Baron? It looks that way from here:
Here's a story about Warren Buffett, the estate tax, and the life insurance industry.
Did you know that the life insurance lobby is actively lobbying to restore the estate tax?

Why would the life insurance industry care about that? It turns out that ten percent of life insurance industry revenue is related to the estate tax. Wealthy people take out life insurance in order to reduce estate taxes because when you die, your life insurance payout doesn't count as part of your estate.

Did you know that Warren Buffett owns six life insurance companies? Did you know he supports the estate tax? You do now.

Warren Buffett isn't just noted as an owner of life insurance companies and a supporter of the estate tax. He's also noted as a buyer of family businesses. As Dick Patten shows, these two business strategies support each other.

A family business owner or farmer takes out a large life insurance policy which he sinks tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into each year. When he finally passes away, the life insurance pays out his policy to his family--tax free...

Even as Mr. Buffett's insurance companies are "protecting" family businesses from the IRS, he is buying companies that are forced to sell themselves to pay the death tax. Mr. Buffett's ability to buy family businesses at bargain basement prices depends on families being desperate to sell-and nothing produces family businesses desperate to sell quickly like a 55% bill from the IRS on all of the businesses' assets.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Fascinating revelations about the Stuxnet worm that targeted Iran's uranium production capabilities. The whole story has a 21st century James Bond aspect to it. Glad to know that there are other options besides just bombing the hell out of them though... Not sure why this story is only on Fox News.