Worthwhile Canadian initiative, the round bacon-eating Communists. Atlantic Cities:
Suppose that you live in Vancouver and you drive a car to work. Naturally, you have to get gas regularly. When you stop at the pump, you may see a notice like the one below, explaining that part of the price you're paying is, in effect, due to the cost of carbon. That's because in 2008, the government of British Columbia decided to impose a tax on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, enacting what has been called "the most significant carbon tax in the Western Hemisphere by far."
A carbon tax is just what it sounds like: The BC government levies a fee, currently 30 Canadian dollars, for every metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions resulting from the burning of various fuels, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and, of course, coal. That amount is then included in the price you pay at the pump—for gasoline, it's 6.67 cents per liter (about 25 cents per gallon)—or on your home heating bill, or wherever else the tax applies. (Canadian dollars are currently worth about 89 American cents).
Sure, the tax may cost you if you drive your car a great deal, or if you have high home gas heating costs. But it also gives you the opportunity to save a lot of money if you change your habits, for instance by driving less or buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle. That's because the tax is designed to be "revenue neutral"—the money it raises goes right back to citizens in the form of tax breaks. Overall, the tax has brought in some $5 billion in revenue so far, and more than $3 billion has then been returned in the form of business tax cuts, along with over $1 billion in personal tax breaks, and nearly $1 billion in low-income tax credits (to protect those for whom rising fuel costs could mean the greatest economic hardship). According to the BC Ministry of Finance, for individuals who earn up to $122,000, income tax rates in the province are now Canada's lowest.
Well, none of this will happen here because markets. Read below the fold...
Great! Bangor Daily News:
PORTLAND, Maine — A longtime Portland Democrat said Wednesday afternoon she will no longer challenge the state Senate candidacy of Asher Platts, a local Green Independent Party leader.
Anya Trundy, who worked for the Maine Democratic Party for several years before 2010, filed an official challenge with the Maine secretary of state’s office earlier in the week, arguing Platts did not gather enough valid signatures for a spot on the November ballot.
But late Wednesday, just hours after local Green Party representatives began publicly claiming their candidate was the victim of “dirty” political maneuvering, Trundy withdrew her challenge.
“Information has come to light [yeah, through press releases, radio shows, and Facebook] that Asher Platts has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, for that reason and given this new information, I’m withdrawing my request,” Trundy said in a statement distributed by the Maine Democratic Party.
Platts — a writer, podcaster and T-shirt maker who has gained a loyal following under the name “Punk Patriot” — is running against District 27 incumbent Justin Alfond, the Democratic Senate president, and Republican Peter Doyle.
Making Trundy Alfond's cat's paw, right? Read below the fold...
They're dragging the Democrats right. No wonder we've got to keep fighting about Chained CPI, austerity, more wars, and RomneyCare (and Medicare for All isn't even on the table).
This is an important victory not just for Episcopalians, but for all church goers. It says that an outside group can not infiltrate a church and grab property.
Falls Church News Press: Church Defectors Acted Immorally, Part 3 Read below the fold...
[T]his working paper from Mark Duggan, Amanda Starc, Boris Vabson is about Medicare Advantage I think its provides some insight into the core problem with the entire design of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion. It looks at what was the result off the government overpaying for seniors in Medicare Advantage, which is an exchange where seniors shop for subsidized private insurance. From the summary:
Our results demonstrate that the additional reimbursement leads more private firms to enter this market and to an increase in the share of Medicare recipients enrolled in [Medicare Advantage] plans. Our findings also reveal that only about one-fifth of the additional reimbursement is passed through to consumers in the form of better coverage. A somewhat larger share accrues to private insurers in the form of higher profits and we find suggestive evidence of a large impact on advertising expenditures.
If you spend a lot of money on a Rube Goldberg [hat tip, DCBlogger] system with middle middlemen some benefits will trickle down to regular people but huge amounts of money will be eaten up in profits and waste.
I don’t doubt the Affordable Care Act will actually help some people, but at an exorbitantly inflated price because of how inherently wasteful the design is. This creates a needless burden for all taxpayers and premium payers on the exchanges.
If only we had known this when ObamaCare was being passed! Read below the fold...
The research from consulting firm Avalere Health points to a little-known facet of policies on the ObamaCare exchanges known as "utilization management controls."
The controls allow insurance companies to limit access to certain medications to try and control costs and prevent abuse. People who enroll in ObamaCare plans are likely to encounter the hurdles if they're prescribed brand-name cancer or mental health drugs, Avalere found.
At least 51 percent of brand-name mental health meds come with special controls on the exchanges, compared with only 11 percent on the employer-based market, the analysis found.
Researchers noted that the presence of controls for psychiatric drugs was possible but unknown on roughly one-third of exchange plans and 40 percent of employer-based plans. Read below the fold...
If growth in Amazon’s ecommerce is limited, does it still make sense for Amazon to keep discounting retail and shipping costs so aggressively?
The limitations of online retail are well known. Last summer at a PandoMonthly talk, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures was asked what he thought about ecommerce. Wilson answered bluntly:Read below the fold...
The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.
Nudge nudge wink wink. Boy, I bet all the people who took the mandate seriously are feeling pretty stupid right now. Read below the fold...
The following was posted on open salon by skypixie0. The link is here.
THE GOOD MIDDLE-CLASS SON
“Hi Mom, I graduated High School today.”
“That’s great son. I’m proud of you.”
“Hi Mom, I graduated University today.”
“Wonderful, my boy! You’ve done well indeed.”
“Hi Mom, I’ve been hired by XYZ company (a major corp.) Read below the fold...
Let's call this the Peyoteros revenge, or "unintended consequences bite", shall we.
Now, I am, of course, appalled (as would any right thinking person be) that the societal benefits of co-payment free birth control and insurance coverage for medical advice about the same) should be undercut by a law specifically intended to vindicate the influence of religion in the sphere of secular behaviour. Read below the fold...