Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Debt Limit

There's a lot of new discussion about the debt limit and whether it's constitutional or not.

From the 14th Amendment, Section 4: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Democrats are using this to claim that we are obligated to raise the debt ceiling.

I don't think so.

There is nothing in this sentence from the 14th Amendment that requires us to issue new debt by raising the debt ceiling; it only requires us to pay off the old debts. As long as we continue to pay interest, and either roll over debt or pay off debt that creditors do not want to renew, we should be ok. That does not, however, address the unfunded liabilities like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I believe there is a Supreme Court case ruling that Social Security is not a legal obligation, but I couldn't find it. I hope Republicans are smart enough to figure this out.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lemonade Day

Here's a cool idea. On Lemonade Day, kids are encouraged to set up a stand to sell lemonade to learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. This year in Denver it was May 22. Darn. Missed it. If I remember it next year, I'll have to drive around and buy lemonade from all the stands.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reasons to vote for Obama

1. You want to stay unemployed 4 more years.
2. You want higher gas prices.
3. You want higher food prices.
4. You want government deciding where and how you can do business.
5. You want your taxes to subsidize business and labor unions.
6. You want more unconstitutional wars.
7. You want less access to medical care.

Friday, June 10, 2011

republican form of government

There's a lawsuit challenging TABOR on the grounds that it is not in keeping with a republican form of government. What I'd like to see is a counter-lawsuit from the Independence Institute challenging all the bureaucratic rules and regulations on the same grounds - that these rules and regulations were not imposed by the legislature, but by unelected bureaucrats who do not speak for the people, and thus are not part of a republican form of government.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Energy Future

Shell Oil has apparently figured out how to convert natural gas into oil.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Reality Check on Social Security

If you think Social Security is solvent, here's a little reality check you can perform.

Everybody gets an annual statement from the Social Security Administration. It contains a summary of the wages you have received that are subject to the social security tax. It also contains an estimate of the monthly benefit that you will receive. Follow these 3 simple steps to find out how insolvent Social Security is.

In the middle of page 3 of your statement is a summary of the taxes paid by you and your employer.
1. Add the Social Security taxes together.
2. Select your approximate monthly benefit from page 2 at the top.
3. Divide the total paid into Social Security (step 1) by the monthly benefit (step 2). This number is the number of months that you have paid for your social security benefit. If you receive Social Security for more months than this, someone else is paying for it and you are on welfare.

For Medicare, the test is even easier: Add your Medicare taxes together from the middle of page 3. How much medical care can you buy with that money? Not much.

Vouchers for Prisoners?

Here. Sounds like a good idea to me.