Sunday, July 17, 2011

Use Government Assets

The government of the United States has a large number of assets. Some of them we use. Others we leave idle. Of the idle ones, some of them have people lined up, right now, willing to pay good money to buy or lease them. For political reasons the Obama administration is turning down a portion of that money every day. Instead, they would prefer to increase our taxes and have bumped us up against our debt ceiling and are threatening default rather than lease assets for oil exploration, mining, or timber production.

When our executive is in the midst of an unofficial and arguably illegal campaign to leave certain productive assets idle and not permit the logging, oil drilling, and other natural resources exploitation leases that Congress has authorized to take place, it is obscene to insist that increased tax rates must occur to protect these revenue limiting policies.

Let's be clear. These permit slowdowns cost the Treasury money, are not authorized by any statute, and if they would stop would both increase employment and revenue. The NIMBY and environmentalist interests who disproportionately supported this President in 2008 and are poised to do so again in 2012 are making our fiscal crisis worse in a misguided attempt to create idle assets.

We can increase revenue by maximizing our leases. This does not take any act of Congress. Congress long ago did its part of the job. This is a problem created by, and wholly solvable by the President and his political backers who have their people appointed to the posts approving those leases.

We are not maximizing our revenues. We are leaving money on the table and this administration's explicit policy is to take money out of ordinary american's pockets in higher tax rates and keep them unemployed rather than allow the creation of resource extraction jobs. Shouldn't clearing the lease and permit backlog and putting americans back to work be the first priority in these times?

cross posted @ Chicago Boyz

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Report notes

A report for high school kids:

1. Get the international list of which country is doing better.
2. Get the ranking of each individual report recipient's school
3. Divide the international list in three groupings
3a. The number of countries and their associated kid population the same age as the report recipient who are one standard deviation up or down from the kid's school. These are the "peer competitors"
3b. The number of countries and their associated kid population that the kid's school blows away (results more than one standard deviation better).
3c. The number of countries and their associated kid population that is blowing the kid's school away.

Report to be run once a year.
Report to be offered for distribution for free to each school district.
When the report is refused, it gets a 'banned in Boston' aura.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lawfare's inevitable result

From Strategypage, evidence that lawfare leads to more enemy dead, fewer prisoners.

Iraqi security forces have had a growing impact on terrorist operations. This largely goes unreported, but the Iraqi police and soldiers, especially the elite counter-terror units, have interrupted many terror attacks, and arrested many terrorists. Aware of the corruption of the courts and regular police, the counter-terror units will often just kill key terrorists during raids, rather than risk the prisoner bribing his way to freedom. This is also an unofficial policy in some American operations, and official policy when missile armed UAVs are used.

We get enough intel and the risk of further friendly casualties is far enough above zero that we're just killing people out of hand when in the past we might have sought to capture them. Congratulations lawfare participants in the media and legal professions. Their blood is on your hands.