Saturday, March 23, 2013

SAR #13082

'Nothing' is often the best choice. Barry Ritholtz

Better Late And Never: The NRC has decided to put off recommending that radiation filters be installed at 31 US operating reactors because the cost would be as much as $20 million a unit and the lives that would potentially be saved are just not worth that much.

Because They Can: Health insurers are planning to more than double premiums for many individuals and small businesses next year, as they take advantage of loopholes in the poorly written legislation. Not because they need to, but because they can, and see the increases as a way of raking in even more money via the government subsidies to their lower-income customers. But they have to hurry and gouge now because starting next year insurers will be unable to set prices or coverage limits based on an individual's health history, which is the rational basis for commercial insurance. Being unable to cherry pick and refuse those who might actually use their health insurance will eat into their enormous profits, so they want an extra helping now, built into the rates.

More, And More: Since 2000, the percentage of US households carrying any sort of debt dropped from 74% to 69%, but the median debt load of the 69% with debts grew by nearly 40% - from $50,971 to $70,000. And the debts of seniors has doubled.

99.9% Pure: Even though Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured citizens, its GOP leadership proudly proclaims an absolute distaste for accepting federal money to bring health care to its poor. They are out of step with chambers of commerce across the state and major corporations which would like to unload their healthcare costs on the government. But the influence of business on Texas Republicans is modest compared to their blind obedience to right wing evangelicals and Koch-funded Tea Party groups.

Maybe, Maybe Not: Nice to know that we're being protected (sic) from North Korean missiles by the tag end of Reagan’s Star Wars missile - defense system. Too bad it doesn't work.

Bigger Brother: The U.S. government is taking a cybersecurity program that currently 'scans' Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors and expanding it to include the country's private, civilian-run infrastructure. The administration hopes to bring the formidable overseas intelligence-gathering of the NSA closer to ordinary folks in the US, and 24/7 monitoring of your “email and other Internet transmission” is about as close as it's possible to get without moving in. The administration is also seeking to pretend that bludgeoning private companies into collecting and forwarding more information to the government is voluntarily. “We're from the government and we're here to help.”

Gone To Haven: Corporations have simply stopped paying their taxes For over 20 years, from 1987 to 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes. Since the recession, this has dropped to 10% -- even though their profits have doubled. GE is the worst of them – over 5 years its taxes consisted of $3 billion in refunds while making $81 billion in profits. Exxon Mobil paid less than 1% in taxes on its profits (largest in the group) and received both tax breaks and oil subsidies. Etc, etc. Welfare queens.

Porn O'Graph: All things considered.

The Parting Shot:


Auricularia auricula, Ear Jelly fungus.


Anonymous said...

Because They Can: Health insurers are planning to more than double premiums for many individuals and small businesses next year, as they take advantage of loopholes in the poorly written legislation....

Given overwhelming evidence that there is a massive, unprosecuted Crime Wave underway in America, isn't it more likely that the "loopholes" are not mistakes but deliberately built in? Thus the legislation is not "poorly written" but well designed by the Criminals who wrote it.

In a similar vein, some folk seem to think that when there is, at last, a prosecution of some sort, that it is pursued vigorously and honestly. Those folk seem never to have heard the boxing expression "take a dive".
Lots of well-rewarded dives have been taken in courtrooms and there are lots of way to take one.

Let's all sharpen up our skeptical and cynical skills as the Crime Wave metastasizes.

Fatboy said...

Have you tried the Ear Jelly fungus on toast?