Assorted Links (12/31/2009)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading today (organized by topic):

Financial Crisis

“It’s safer to break up the biggest banks than have the feds guarantee them against failure.”

  • The Price for Fannie and Freddie Keeps Going Up, by Peter Wallison

“Barney Frank’s decision to ‘roll the dice’ on subsidized housing is becoming an epic disaster for taxpayers.”

Foreign Policy

  • A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy, by Fouad Ajami

“No despot fears the president, and no demonstrator in Tehran expects him to ride to the rescue.”

Health Care Reform

  • Thoughts on Health Care Reform, by Steve Lansburg

“…insurance is not part of the solution; it’s part of the problem.”

  • Impermissible Ratemaking in Health-Insurance Reform: Why the Reid Bill is Unconstitutional, by Richard Epstein

“At this point, there is a near mathematical certainty that the scheme of health insurance market regulation contemplated by the Reid bill will reduce the risk-adjusted rate of return below the level needed to keep these firms in the individual and small-group health-insurance markets. I am not aware of a single provision in the Reid Bill that looks to ensuring a minimum rate of return. And there are countless provisions in the bill that impose new obligations to cover services while eliminating the revenue sources to deal with them. It is just this combination of regulatory programs that leads the CBO to treat private health insurance issuers as part of a federal program—as though they have been subject to de facto nationalization.”

  • Once Patients Pay, Health Costs Will Fall

“The push to reform the system is going in exactly the wrong direction. Instead of minimizing patient involvement in payment for treatment, Washington should be seeking to increase patients’ role.”

Public Policy

  • Are Taxes the Root of Unhappiness?, by Allysia Finley

“States with the highest taxes also rank as the unhappiest.”

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