Patterico's Pontifications


An Unfortunate Irony

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:28 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In a bit of irony, the New York Times reporter who saw fit to publish Darren Wilson’s home address is now learning how it feels to be so vulnerable. This after a *website published Julie Bosman’s Chicago home address. Reportedly, Julie Bosman now:

“keeps calling the 020th District station complaining about people harassing and threatening her,” our source told us. She’s also “complaining about numerous food deliveries being sent to her residence.”

Certainly some will say she deserves what she gets because she brought it on herself. And while that may be so, as much as I believe publishing Wilson’s address was wrong, so too was publishing Bosman’s. It’s a dangerous game of tit-for-tat. One hopes neither Wilson nor Bosman will come to any harm as a result.

*I opted not to link to the website.


Good News: Obama’s Unconstitutional Amnesty Incentivizes Employers to Game ObamaCare by Employing Illegals

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:59 pm

This was reported a week ago:

Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.

President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.

Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.

But the story gained legs today, as Jeh Johnson was grilled about it in Congress:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in congressional testimony today that the Affordable Care Act–also known as Obamacare–will not apply to illegal aliens who are allowed to stay and work in the United States as a result of President Obama’s executive action.

“Mr. Secretary, is it true that the illegal immigrants who are granted amnesty will not need to comply with the Affordable Care Act?” Rep. Lou Barlett (R-Pa.) asked Johnson at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

“Those who are candidates for and are accepted into the Deferred Action Program will not be eligible for comprehensive health care, ACA,” Johnson responded.

Barletta then asked: “So therefore, an employer may have a decision to make: Do I keep the American worker and provide health insurance or pay a $3,000 fine or do I get rid of the American worker and hire someone who I do not have to provide health insurance, and I won’t get fined. Is that a possibility?”

“I don’t see it that way,” Johnson said.

“You don’t think any employers will see it that way?” Barletta asked.

“I don’t think I see it that way. No. No, sir,” Johnson said.

Even the lefty hacks at PolitiFact can’t deny it — they just have Tim Jost and other lefties who are in Obama’s pocket, claiming that it is Very Unlikely that businesses would take this step, simply because it might save them thousands of dollars:

Although this might save some money, it could cause problems for the business, said Timothy Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University. Offering benefits comes with its own tax advantages, and it helps businesses attract talent and reduce absenteeism due to health issues.

Perhaps more restricting is the fact that these businesses could only employ illegal immigrants — no citizens — for this to work. That’s because the business is subject to a fine if even only one employee gets a subsidy.

In that case, the company would have to pay the employer mandate fine: $3,000 multiplied by the number of employees. (The tally would include all workers, even illegal immigrants.)

“The trigger for the employer mandate is that at least one of their full-time workers obtains a marketplace subsidy — so the only way an employer could be sure would be to only hire permitted illegal immigrants,” said Margaret Riley, a health law professor at the University of Virginia. “That seems pretty unlikely.”

The employer mandate is unpopular among many, not just conservatives, so arguing that the employer mandate incentivizes hiring illegal immigrants over citizens is effective politically, Riley said. But it would be too risky for a business to take these steps and “pull off such a stunt.”

“It is offered more as another argument against the employer mandate than as something that employers might actually try,” she said.

Each illegal employed is one less employee who might run off and get a subsidy that would slam the business with a fine. The more illegals you employ, the less your risk of the fine. The assertion that “businesses could only employ illegal immigrants — no citizens — for this to work” (that “only” is misplaced, editors; did you never learn proper English?) is completely wrong.

But since when was factual incorrectness an obstacle to lefty assertions in Big Media?

Texan Cop Saves the Day By Felling Gunman with Fatal Shot Fired from Over 100 Yards Away While Holding Reins to Two Horses

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 pm

And probably yelling “Heigh-ho, Silver!” as he did it:

The gunman who attacked the federal courthouse, the Mexican consulate and the Austin Police Department headquarters was killed by a single shot taken from 312 feet away by mounted patrol Sgt. Adam Johnson who also held the [reins] of two horses.

Sgt. Johnson told Chief Art Acevedo that he credits “divine intervention” and that the other officers in the mounted patrol unit who were advancing on the shooter should get the majority of the credit.

In case you were unaware, Texans are awesome.

Charles Barkley: Ferguson Grand Jury Got It Right

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

He was a heretic on Zimmerman and he is a heretic now:

“The true story came out from the grand jury testimony,” Barkley said, adding that he was made aware of “key forensic evidence, and several black witnesses that supported Officer Darren Wilson’s story…” He continued, “I can’t believe anything I hear on television anymore. And, that’s why I don’t like talking about race issues with the media anymore, because they (the media) love this stuff, and lead people to jump to conclusions. The media shouldn’t do that. They never do that when black people kill each other. ”

He also called those who rioted after the decision was announced “scumbags,” and said “There is no excuse for people to be out there burning down people’s businesses, burning down police cars.”…

“[W]e have to be really careful with the cops, because if it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods,” he said. “We can’t pick out certain incidentals that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad…. Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?”

Thanks to Allahpundit.

Stealth QE!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

This story is a few days old but I have not had a chance to write about it. You thought QE was over? Sucker! Here’s Terry Burnham:

Google “Fed ends QE,” and you’ll get 7.8 million hits, including:

“Fed Closes Chapter on Easy Money” — Wall Street Journal

“Dollar jumps as hawkish Fed ends QE” — Financial Times

“[China’s Finance Minister] Lou cautions of risks linked to Fed’s plan” — China Daily

“Federal Reserve Ends QE” — Bloomberg TV

“US Fed set for Post-QE era” — New Straits Times (Singapore)

These headlines proclaim QE done and gone. But they’re wrong.

“Stealth QE” continues. Stealth QE is the purchase of more bonds with the interest the Fed earns on the bonds it has already purchased.

The Fed earns about $100 billion a year in interest on its holdings. But in its recent statements, the Fed is silent about these interest payments. For example, the Oct. 29, 2014 FOMC statement — the one announcing an end to the asset purchases program — includes, “The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction.” The word “interest” is nowhere in the statement.

The New York Federal Reserve implements the central bank’s policy, and it also omits mention of the interest earned by stating, “As directed by the FOMC, the Desk is rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction.”

But stealth QE occurs regardless of what the Fed does with the interest it earns. If the Fed reinvests the interest it earns to buy additional bonds, then QE continues directly in the standard manner with an increase in the Fed’s balance sheet. If the Fed does not reinvest the interest, it simply sends the interest to the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury will then issue fewer new Treasury bonds. In either case, the interest on the Fed’s current bond holdings decreases the supply of bonds in the market.

In order to stop stealth QE, the Fed would need to shrink its balance sheet by the amount of interest that it earns.

I dislike the “this search will get you x million hits” trope, but otherwise this guy is right on the money. If the Fed is continuing to buy bonds with the interest on the bonds it holds, to the tune of $100 billion a year, then QE has not ended. Indeed, as Burnham points out, $100 billion of bond purchases per year is 10 times the historical average — and that amount alone would have made headlines in 2005. QE2 was $600 billion over eight months; stealth QE at this rate would be $600 billion over six years — nothing like the same rate, but nothing to sneeze at.

Of course, any QE is a distortion that interferes with the normal processes of the free market in allocating materials to different lines of production. It’s nice that it’s a little lower now, but let’s not pretend it has ended.

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