Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I have one to pick with Jim Geraghty's "Morning Jolt" from yesterday, which I sadly can't link because it's only available by email. Discussing options for actually fixing the health coverage problem in America, he says this:
Health savings accounts? They’re a terrific idea. But a lot of people don’t have good impulse control and don’t save money the way they should. They don’t save for retirement, they don’t save for their children’s college educations, and they don’t save for unexpected expenses. A certain percentage of the public simply won’t save for health expenses.
So therefore, those who do save should be deprived of the option? Bullshit. I know that's not Geraghty's position, but it is the political class's.

Too much policy is based on the idea that everything has to be designed for the lowest common denominator. You and I may know that "Harrison Bergeron" is no more a how-to manual than 1984, but the wonks like everyone and everything neatly classified and catalogued -- and the shorter the list of categories, the better.

Which explains why all during the Obama years the wonks' category list got whittled down to "Us" and "Them."

It's the sum total of justification for single-payer: reduce the number of checkboxes to "one," and the wonks and the bureaucrats can spend their days doing nothing while still getting paid.

Anyway. Today's Jolt asks the rhetorical question, "How Many Consecutive Good Months Do You Need to Make an Economic Boom?"

I don't know about booms, but I remember from 2008 and earlier that when a Republican is President it only takes about half a nanosecond of bad economic news to make a recession, despite economists' standard of two consecutive quarters. It makes sense, then, that it may require nine years of good news to justify calling a boom a boom if it started under a Republican.

Unless he's succeeded, like Reagan was, by a fellow Republican. Then it's thirteen. However long it lasts, it will of necessity be credited to the first subsequent Democrat to win the White House. However long that takes.

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