Daily Archives: April 28, 2010

Goldman Sachs not looking so fabulous

APTOPIX Goldman Sachs InvestigationGoldman Sachs vice president Fabrice Tourre is becoming “the poster boy of the financial crisis,” Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote after “Fabulous Fab” appeared before a Senate panel Tuesday. He continued: “Fab’s arrogance, and that of his Goldman colleagues who also testified, bested previous displays of hubris by the automotive, oil and tobacco industries.” Tourre’s e-mails included one predicting that he would be the “only potential survivor” when the exotic trades he created collapsed, and another bragging how he had managed to dump some worthless mortgage securities on “widows and orphans” that he ran into at the airport.

Are health care cost estimates that terrible?

doctormedicareReps. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, and Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, both blasted the health care reform law over a new cost analysis by the Centers for Medicare  and Medicaid Services. It estimated that total health care spending, public and private, would increase by $311 billion between 2010 and 2019. “It is extremely disappointing that this fiscally irresponsible plan was pushed into law,” said Moran. Tiahrt said: “We have known all along that Obamacare is a budget-busting disaster that will require higher taxes and rationed care.” But the increase is less than 1 percent above what the spending would have been without reform, according to the study, and the increase is projected to disappear as cost-saving measures phase in. That caused Ezra Klein of the Washington Post to write: “The basic question here is whether covering 34 million Americans is worth adding a percentage point or two more to our health care spending for a couple of years, at which point total spending should actually fall below what it would’ve been if this bill had never passed.”

Open thread 4/28

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Key transmission line approved

turbinetractorKansas took an important step Tuesday in capitalizing on its wind-energy potential. The board of directors of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional organization that manages power transmission,  approved the construction of a 180-mile transmission line from Spearville in western Kansas to Wichita, with a connection to Oklahoma. The “V plan” line will enable power from windy western Kansas to be sent to the rest of the state and beyond. Equally important, the  power pool submitted a filing last week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking approval to charge ratepayers in the pool’s eight-state region for the estimated $356 million cost of constructing the line.

Don’t make census come to you

census2010It isn’t too late to mail in your census form and spare taxpayers some unnecessary expense. Kansas’ mail-in participation rate in the 2010 census was at 74 percent as of Tuesday — better than the nation’s 72 percent and already ahead of the state’s mail response rate of 71 percent a decade ago, but lagging Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. It costs the Census Bureau $85 million for every 1 percentage point of the U.S. population that blows off returning the form.