Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't Restrict Access to Cold Medicine

It's the common knee jerk reaction. Society sees something it doesn't like, they scream "there oughtta be a law." Sure enough, some strange bill gets proposed the next legislative session. You hope that the legislators have enough common sense to kill the bill and go on.

Doesn't look like it will happen this time.

A bill passed the House and is now racing through the State Senate to restrict access to certain cold medicines. Why? Because many contain an ingredient that is essential to the manufacture of methamphetamines.

You have to be joking. A few people misuse cold medicine, so all of us now have to get a prescription for a very simple and basic remedy that also happens to be fairly inexpensive. Ridiculous!

In fact, it's easy to tell who the meth makers are. They are the ones buying ten boxes of the stuff. The rest of us need just one at a time, usually. Why not encourage managers to discreetly pass a tip to the police every time someone buys out the stock of cold medicine? Some won't but a lot of them will. Or law enforcement could just randomly review store tapes. They probably recognize the local meth manufacturer already.

Both legitimate and illegal users of these medicines will simply cross state lines to get what they need. What does the Legislature expect? That a drug manufacturer will say "darn, I was going to get into selling meth, but cold medicine is now a prescription. Guess I'd better get an education and a job now." Of course not! This measure will make life inconvenient for the law abiding and do next to nothing to stop the criminals. The Charleston Daily Mail 's Don Surber asked if it would have been prudent to ban refined sugar in the heyday of the moonshiners during Prohibition.

You cannot stop crime by restricting liberty.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who Are the Koch Brothers?

The Koch brothers and their organization, the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, have made headlines in the past few weeks. The New Yorker identifies them as fighting a war against Obama while Democratic bloggers have insinuated that they are the powers behind the Tea Party and many Republican officeholders. They imply a less than savory connection between business, money, and politics.

The Koch brothers are successful businessmen on a large scale, investing in consumer products, energy, food, and other fields. With their money, they have established a non party foundation to, as they put it, advance the science of liberty.

There is nothing wrong with big business and nothing wrong with big money, so long as we have a competitive capitalist system. Big Business actually benefits and gets richer as a result of big government and its intervention into the economic system because taxes and regulations stifle competition. The Koch Foundation preaches not just economic conservatism, but a near-libertarianism that usually does not favor the dominant producers in the market. They also favor natural rights based law, which has been used in the past to elevate individual property owmers' rights over the ambitions of big business. In other words, the Koch brothers believe in a level economic field where no one gets government support or intervention. It's clear that the Koch brothers, in an Ayn Rand world, would rather be the Rearden Steel than the Twentieth Century Motors (whose fictional business model has been loosely copied by General Motors and General Electric.)

Democratic bloggers have proved that the Koch brothers have a connection with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. So what? Wisconsin wants to cut the size of its government to benefit the taxpayers. Unions are standing in their way. Why wouldn't the Koch's support this initiative? And oh, by the way, attention paid to Wisconsin has covered the fact that several states are copying this measure themselves.

The Koch Foundation itself is about education. It wants to teach the basics of a free market economy in a republican style government (not the Republican Party, but our balanced system of republican government.) They support free market and natural rights ideals and create a large group of people who can put those beliefs into practice. Support of these ideals will offset the overwhelming bias towards statism and leftism seen on many college campuses.

Left wing establishmentarians have put their crosshairs on the Koch Foundation and are trying to sully its name. It's pretty hard for people who want higher taxes and less freedom to tarnish the image of a group of people who fight for nothing less than rights and liberty.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Earl Ray Tomblin Might Call a Special Session

Earl Ray Tomblin is making a popular proposal that has run aground against the tax and spend mentality of the State Legislature.

He is proposing a modest 1% slicing off of the food tax. Manchin had overseen cuts from 6% to its current level of 3%. Tomblin wants to take one more step towards its elimination altogether.

However the Legislature has refused to act on even this modest idea. Republicans have constantly backed full elimination of the tax immediately because it hits the working poor hardest. Three cents off of the dollar is not much for most folks making $40,000 or more a year, but a lot of people are taking their spare change to Coinstar at the end of their pay period. Three cents off of every dollar spent on food is meaningful to them.

Tomblin is not as ambitious as Republicans in that he only wants to shave one penny per dollar off. However, it is a start towards the GOP goals. If Tomblin does not get his tax reductions, he has indicated that he will use a special session to pressure the Legislature further.

This, of course, is why we need a Republican Legislature committed to tax cuts and jobs development.

Monday, March 7, 2011

John Boehner, Let Him Lie In the Rotunda

Republicans and Democrats both support it, so why isn't Speaker of the House John Boehner on board with allowing America's last World War I veteran to lie in the U. S. Capitol Rotunda?

I can understand his point in one way. You don't want to open the floodgates for every serviceman to have his or her day of respect at the Rotunda. However, this is different.

This would not be a memorial for one man, or a reward for outliving all his peers. This is a memorialization of that entire generation. These men were plucked out of their farms and hollows and sent to a place that they could not even have imagined, another continent at war. They brought back an entirely new perspective to their country while fighting for it. World War I veterans deserve their final day in the sun. We don't talk enough about them, or what they did for the U. S. and the world at large.

Make it a tradition that the last surviving veteran of each of our major wars and military actions lies in the Rotunda. This will continue the memory of what they did in a respectful fashion.

Call to Action! Keep the Legislature From Making It Easier to Take More of Your Money!

The West Virginia Legislature is considering a bill to make it a simple majority vote to raise taxes or float bonds. Right now, they need a supermajority. Eliminating this vital taxpayer protection will most certainly mean that we will be paying more taxes very soon. Why else would they seek to change the law?

If you think you are taxed enough already, contact your delegates and senators as soon as possible regardless of party. Let them know where you stand. Call your Republicans as well. They need to be able to reference to their Democratic brethren how angry the people are at this attempt to raise our taxes even higher than they are now.

Call them or e mail them today!!!!!