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Posts Tagged ‘Government’

While most of my disdain is focused on the clowns in Washington, I enjoy poking fun at the policies adopted by the various nitwits and thugs that can be found in other governments.

But this story from Norway may be the worst example of government stupidity. The taxpayers apparently are going to pay money to provide friends for a piece of human refuse who murdered 77 people.

The Norwegian prison where Anders Behring Breivik may be locked up for massacring 77 people last year will hire people with whom he can socialise, to keep him away from other inmates, media reported Thursday. …To avoid keeping the confessed killer in total isolation, the high security prison, northwest of Oslo, could let him play sports with the guards and hire someone to play chess with him, among other things, he added. “We are planning a professional community around him, with employees and hired personnel,” he told the paper. Bjarkeid did not way how much the measures would cost. Norwegian law forbids keeping prisoners in total isolation for long periods of time because it is considered an unduly cruel punishment.

I would think “unduly cruel” is a grossly inadequate description of what he did when he killed dozens of teenagers, but I’m old fashioned. So forgive me if I’m not overwhelmed by grief at the thought of Mr. Breivik living an isolated life in prison.

But I guess the Norwegians are running out of other ways to waste their oil revenue, so why not squander some of it on a buy-a-friend program for a killer.

P.S. If you like outrageous examples of government stupidity, check out this post comparing nutty policies in the United States and United Kingdom.

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I looked yesterday at the spending side of Obama’s budget and found some good news and bad news. The good news was the absence of any big new initiative to expand the burden of government. That’s a welcome relief since the past couple of years have featured budget busting proposals such as the so-called stimulus scheme and a government-run healthcare plan.

The bad news is that the budget does nothing to undo any of the damage of the past two years. Nor does it undo any of the damage of the previous eight years. And because the President’s budget refuses to address entitlement spending, it certainly doesn’t do anything to avert the damage of rapidly expanding budgets over the next several decades.

Now let’s look at the tax side of the fiscal equation. In large part, the White House is recycling class warfare ideas from last year’s budget. The President wants higher tax rates, including higher taxes on investors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. He also wants to increase the tax burden of American companies that are competing for market share in global markets.

These are remarkably misguided proposals. But what’s especially disappointing is that the Administration stuck with these bad ideas when the President’s own fiscal commission proposed lower tax rates and base broadening. Those proposals would have increased the overall tax burden, so they definitely were not pure supply-side economics. And the Commission also proposed an increase in the double taxation of saving and investment, which also would be unfortunate.

But at least the Commission proposed to do the wrong thing in a good way. Yes, taxes would have increased, but the damage would have been ameliorated by a better tax structure. Obama’s budget, by contrast, does the wrong thing in the worst way – increasing the tax burden while also making the tax system more unfair.

It’s also worth noting that the President decided to punt on the issue of corporate tax reform. This is remarkable since even he acknowledged during his State-of-the-Union address that America’s corporate tax rate is far too high in a competitive global economy.

Last but not least, it’s worth noting that Obama’s budget shows that tax revenues will rise above their long-run average of 18 percent of GDP – even if taxes are not increased by one penny.

America’s budget problem is too much spending, period.

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