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commented on Tom Toles
7 days ago
Fully agree with ending the War on Some Drugs. Billions of dollars and thousands of lives wasted for someone’s ill-conceived idea of morality.
commented on Jerry Holbert
7 days ago
An astute response. I can assure you the stats are correct. I also agree with your points regarding Clinton, Greenspan, Cheney and Bush II. Now is precisely the time to wrest away the concentrated power and provide more liberty. Take care.
With respect, this is a conflation of two different activities. The deregulation of the air industry of which I speak took place in the 1970s. To provide for smaller communities, the feds created the Essential Air Service to subsidize regional routes/airports. The changes you’ve seen are based on the regulation of these regional routes by the DOT under the EAS, so in essence, the changes you’ve recently seen are based in government regulation, not in deregulation. I am curious, what is your home town, and how far are you from a major airport? While I now live in CA, I grew up in the middle of Kansas, and it was not uncommon for us to drive 180 miles to KC, even with an EAS subsidized airport nearby. BTW, the cost of subsidizing these EAS routes averages $74 per seat across all flights and is as high as $801 on some flights – money that is paid by our taxes. With regard to your supposition of why profits went down, many more would say it was due to competition. When you book a flight, all other things being equal, don’t you look for the least expensive one?
commented on Loose Parts
7 days ago
Please consider that throwing it on the ground affects others, when there is no need to do so.
Oh, one more thing. Deregulation started prior to Reagan, with the airlines being deregulated under Carter’s term in office, as co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy and was worked on by now Justice Breyer. This has been highly successful for the middle class and poor, as air travel is much cheaper than it was, adjusted for inflation, and much more commonplace. To quote Justice Breyer from 2011:
“What does the industry’s history tell us? Was this effort worthwhile? Certainly it shows that every major reform brings about new, sometimes unforeseen, problems. No one foresaw the industry’s spectacular growth, with the number of air passengers increasing from 207.5 million in 1974 to 721.1 million last year. As a result, no one foresaw the extent to which new bottlenecks would develop: a flight-choked Northeast corridor, overcrowded airports, delays, and terrorist risks consequently making air travel increasingly difficult. Nor did anyone foresee the extent to which change might unfairly harm workers in the industry. Still, fares have come down. Airline revenue per passenger mile has declined from an inflation-adjusted 33.3 cents in 1974, to 13 cents in the first half of 2010. In 1974 the cheapest round-trip New York-Los Angeles flight (in inflation-adjusted dollars) that regulators would allow: $1,442. Today one can fly that same route for $268. That is why the number of travelers has gone way up. So we sit in crowded planes, munch potato chips, flare up when the loudspeaker announces yet another flight delay. But how many now will vote to go back to the “good old days” of paying high, regulated prices for better service? Even among business travelers, who wants to pay “full fare for the briefcase?”
Whether the Tax Reform Act of 1986 actually harmed the middle class is up for debate. It is true that it removed interest from credit card debt and car loans as deductions, it also actually increased the home mortgage interest deduction as both an offset to the loss of other deductions and to encourage home ownership. It also increased the personal exemption and standard deduction, which was favorable to the poor and middle class. Having said that, it certainly reduced the top rate of the income tax structure from 50% to 28% (although very few ever actually paid 50%, based on deductions).
commented on Tom Toles
8 days ago
I was with you right up to your question, "Why aren’t the libertarians singing their praises for asserting their freedom in the face of the big bad government? "
Most libertarians I know, including me are for opening our borders.
Here is an article from a libertarian site, decrying the current situation, and stating we should “let the kids stay.”
The Libertarian Party’s position is also to let them stay:
commented on Lisa Benson
13 days ago
Which is precisely why Ginsberg was wrong. the decision had nothing to do with a "further effort to make a quasi-official “national religion.”" It also was not actually decided with respect to freedom of religion under the Constitution. The case specifically referred to the RFRA passed in 1993 by a unanimous vote in the House, a 97-3 vote in the Senate (both controlled by Democrats at the time), and signed by President Clinton. The actual point was twofold; 1) a regulatory law cannot override a statutory law, and 2) Because there were other means to provide the services, this placed an undue burden on the religious practices of the 5 owners of Hobby Lobby.
With respect to 1, the provision for requiring birth control was regulatory – it was not in the ACA – it was put in place by the HHS. The RFRA is statutory, thus the RFRA takes precedence. This is a good thing, otherwise, we would have regulatory laws changing every time the presidency changed parties.
With respect to 2, the Supreme Court showed that alternatives were available, including the federal government’s current program to provide birth control to employees of Catholic hospitals, etc.
commented on Lisa Benson
15 days ago
Perhaps you’re unaware of how the Supreme Court works. They don’t “complain,” they hear cases brought before them. If no one brings a case, then there is no decision. Having said that, Bush made recess appointments only when the Senate was truly in recess. Once the Democratic Senate under Bush started holding pro forma sessions(an invention of the Democratic party) to prevent appointment, he honored those and did not try to make recess appointments. By Contrast, when the Republican Senate was holding pro forma sessions, President Obama went ahead with recess appointments. His logic was that he could say that they weren’t really in sessions since all they were doing was opening a session every couple of days. When the case was brought before the Supreme Court, they correctly ruled 9-0 that only the Senate could decide when it was in session, not the President.
The part of the Constitution where he has to seek the advise and consent of the Senate for appointments.
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