Gruber to Garner

“[T]he elasticity of demand for the lowest-income consumers is much higher than for high-income consumers. Hence, government can raise significant revenue through higher cigarette taxes without placing a large net burden on the poor. Indeed, for most parameter values our calculations suggest that tobacco taxes are progressive, at east in the U.S. context, with the self-control benefits through reduced smoking exceeding the higher tax cost for the poor.”

Jonathan Gruber, 2008, “A Modern Economic View of Tobacco Taxation”

e54b5922-b7c4-478d-94d8-17b8cde9fb80@news.ap.orgDo you really understand what that paragraph taken from a Super-Genius Gruber written report prepared for NYC to help justify rising cigarette taxes through the roof implies? It means that the Gruber believes that cigarette taxes are “progressive” – that the taxes effect rich people more than poor people, like income taxes go up as you make more money. It says that he believes that whatever cost is involved in rising taxes on cigarettes will be offset as more and more poor people quit smoking, which rich people will not. The government will then make scads more money and save more money because the poor people who can’t afford health care will not be getting sick from cigarettes and burdening the government with the cost while the rich people will continue to do so and die.

Only, it didn’t quite work out that way for Eric Garner, did it?

Now that the GOP has allowed the President’s Immigration Executive Order to go forward without opposition, the impact begins to be felt around the Country. In San Francisco, MAYOR ED LEE HAS COMMITTED $1.1 MILLION “EXTRA” FUNDS to provide services to Illegal Immigrants. The question is, of course, where did Mayor Lee get the money he plans to spend on former criminals in the first place? Are all of San Francisco’s actual problems solved already? Did the taxpayers of San Francisco have any say at all in the spending of these funds on illegal immigrants? Given that the people of the nation voted as they did, and that there was no discussion or vote on the use of the funds in San Francisco, wouldn’t that qualify as taxation without representation? At the very least, is this not the very epitome of a government elitist system overrunning the will of the people an inflicting its will on the people?

More and more people are beginning to recognize the inherent flaws in the Grand Jury system. In Great Britain, THE GRAND JURY SYSTEM WAS ABOLISHED because “Grand Juries don’t have the balanced outcome and procedures that other trial systems afford citizens.” Now, the fact that the outcomes are not “balanced” is not a valid reason to abolish the system, but the procedure is clearly flawed and skewed in the favor of the State, either in gaining or denying an indictment.

As far as the CIA Report released yesterday by our own Senator, I do have a couple of questions. First – and I wasn’t able to actually read the report yesterday due to my situation, did the CIA actually lie to Congress or the President about what they did or did not do? We were told at the time that the use of extraordinary measures had been authorized by the National Command Authority in the interest of protecting national security. So how did the CIA go beyond those “extraordinary measures” that constituted either “torture” or “lying?” If the CIA did lie, I agree, they should be investigated and be held accountable. But does anything in this report lay out evidence that the CIA lied, or is just an accusation that the “extraordinary measures” arguably “did not work?”

The coming “Storm of the Century” keeps GETTING UPGRADED BY FORECASTERS. It was going to be the “biggest storm since 2008,” which I guess would still be true, but now it’s looking like it will be Stormzilla. Which means, of course, that our local civilization is going to come to an end this week. So drink up!

At the University of Stanford, some fascinating and promising RESEARCH MAY HAVE DISCOVERED A TREATMENT FOR ALZHEIMER’S. Experiments are still in progress, but results have been promising. It would be interesting to see if it can reverse the process as well.

The World Health Organization is STILL TYING TO DRUM UP ITS POSITION that the Ebola IS GOING TO KILL US ALL!!!! The problem is, of course, tat is not only never was going to, it never is going to. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still work to do or that there won’t be any more deaths, but it is becoming clear that like every outbreak of the Ebola ever recorded, this one is huge, but acting exactly the same. A large and rapid expansion, followed by proper procedures and medical care causing it to slowly ebb. While there will be smaller breakouts and expansions, the overall trend is and will probably continue to be downwards. Not exactly the global pandemic designed to usher in one-World government that so many AHT sites were predicting, eh? Unless, of course, we’re not getting the “real news” and that is what they are doing to calm us down so they can kill us all!

Lastly today, I wanted to say thanks to everybody who let me know that you were thinking about me yesterday. It’s very good to know that I really do have so many friends. We won’t have the results until the 19th. At the same time, my wife, who is a bulldog when it comes to navigating the medical insurance and procedure system, stayed on top of things with my daughter, who will have her emergency gall bladder surgery tomorrow morning. The hope is that she and her patient husband will finally be able to go home early next week.


Posted on December 10, 2014, in News & Notes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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