Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Political Digest for July 26, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Asian markets open as debt talks remain stalled
Excerpt: Excerpt: Financial markets in Tokyo and Sydney slid in early trading Monday as investors watched closely to see whether the impasse in U.S. debt negotiations will prompt a dramatic sell-off on global exchanges. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, which includes major Japanese companies, opened down about 0.67 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 /ASX 200 index, a measure of Australia’s blue-chip stocks, was down about 0.4 percent. South Korea’s benchmark KOSPI index opened down about 0.8 percent.

The Ideologue in the Oval Office
Excerpt: Still, regardless of how things turn out with the negotiations, what we are witnessing is the rollout of the Obama re-election campaign's theme: Obama is the pragmatic voice of reason holding the ideologues at bay. So it's worth asking, before this branding campaign gels into the conventional wisdom: Who is the real ideologue here? The president, we are told, is a pragmatist for wanting a "fair and balanced" budget deal. What that means is tax increases must accompany spending cuts. Any significant spending cuts would be way in the future. The tax increases would begin right after Obama is re-elected. … Obama says that Republicans are rigid ideologues because they won't put "everything on the table." Specifically, they won't consider tax hikes, even though polls suggest Americans wouldn't mind soaking "the rich," "big oil" and "corporate jet owners." But Obama hasn't put everything on the table either. He's walled off "ObamaCare" and the rest of his "winning the future" agenda. If Obama believes the American people are the voice of reason when it comes to tax hikes, why does their opinion count for nothing when it comes to ObamaCare, which has never been popular? (According to a RealClearPolitics average of polls, only 38.6 percent of voters favor the plan.) Why not look for some savings there?

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee -- and the Race Card
Great essay from a black columnist. ~Bob. Excerpt: For those who voted for President Barack Obama expecting him to bridge America's "racial divide," a question: "How's that working for you?" Black U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, says "the minority community" blames racism for the Republican refusal to increase the debt limit without conditions. She did not, to be fair, flat-out call Republicans sheet-wearing, Ku Klux Klan-supporting, Jim Crow-loving, poll-tax-imposing, back-of-the-bus crackers. Instead, she took to the House floor with the subtlety of a woodchipper: "(O)nly this president ... only this one, has received the kind of attacks and disagreements and inability to work, only this one. Read between the lines. ... I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness (toward) this president. Why is he different? ... In the minority community, that is a question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully?" … Today, questioning Obama's costly government takeover of health care, his failed $800 billion "stimulus" plan and the over $4 trillion in new debt equals racism. Lee says she speaks on behalf of the "minority community." Would this be the minority community with 16.2 percent black unemployment, up from 12.6 percent in the two-and-a-half years of the Obama administration? In what category does Lee place black House members like Allen West, R-Fla., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., who also oppose Obama's agenda? Are they anti-black black racists -- or black anti-black racists? It's all so confusing.

I'm told yesterday's link didn't work. Try this one if interested. ~Bob.

U.S. trucking funds reach Taliban, military-led investigation concludes
Excerpt: A year-long military-led investigation has concluded that U.S. taxpayer money has been indirectly funneled to the Taliban under a $2.16 billion transportation contract that the United States has funded in part to promote Afghan businesses. The unreleased investigation provides seemingly definitive evidence that corruption puts U.S. transportation money into enemy hands, a finding consistent with previous inquiries carried out by Congress, other federal agencies and the military. Yet U.S. and Afghan efforts to address the problem have been slow and ineffective, and all eight of the trucking firms involved in the work remain on U.S. payroll. In March, the Pentagon extended the contract for six months.

Obama: FDR Was 'Fiscally Conservative'
Well, yeah, compared to Obama, he was. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Barack Obama said that Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) – the president best known for establishing a welfare and regulatory state in America – was “fiscally conservative,” in response to a question about how to keep the economy going.

Arguing the Case for Assassination
Dropping bombs that may kill innocent civilians? Good. Shooting the person responsible for the evil? Bad. ~Bob. Excerpt: Assassination has unfortunately gotten a bad rap in this country, not because it is immoral or even impractical, but because our own victims have, for the most part, been popular figures, such as Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King and the Kennedys, Jack and Bobby. But I say it's time to reassess the practice. There seems to be a gentleman's agreement not to whack someone else's national leader, and if I were a president, prime minister, emperor, king or run-of-the-mill despot, I could certainly see the attraction of such an arrangement. But, as I'm not, I think it's a pretty lousy policy. For instance, why shouldn't we try to find an efficient way to remove Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the imams who, thanks to Jimmy Carter, run Iran? After all, we know, based on the 2009 uprising in Tehran, that these are not universally beloved figures. We also know, as Churchill prophesized about Nazi Germany, that a future war, possibly of the nuclear variety, with Iran is inevitable. Wouldn't it be worth killing a handful of Iranian tyrants today than risk the lives of untold thousands at some time in the future? Besides, in spite of all the high-minded claptrap about assassination being a terribly unenlightened alternative to diplomacy, it seems pretty obvious that England, France and the U.S., have been trying to blow Gaddafi to Kingdom Come for the past several months. They're just not doing a very good job of it.

Sustaining the Unsustainable
Excerpt: The tea party, the most welcome political development since the Goldwater insurgency in 1964, lacks only the patience necessary when America lacks the consensus required to propel fundamental change through our constitutional system of checks and balances. If Washington's trajectory could be turned as quickly as tea partyers wish -- while conservatives control only one-half of one of the two political branches -- their movement would not be as necessary as it is. Fortunately, not much patience is required. The Goldwater impulse took 16 years to reach fruition in the election of Ronald Reagan. The tea party can succeed in 16 months by helping elect a president who will not veto necessary reforms. To achieve that, however, tea partyers must not help the incumbent achieve his objectives in the debt-ceiling dispute. One of those is to strike a splashy bargain involving big -- but hypothetical and nonbinding -- numbers. This would enable President Obama to run away from his record and run as a debt-reducing centrist. Another Obama objective is tax increases that shatter Republican unity and dampen the tea party's election-turning intensity. Because he probably can achieve neither, he might want market chaos in coming days so Republicans henceforth can be cast as complicit in the wretched recovery that is his administration's ugly signature. … Obama's rhetorical floundering is the sound of a bewildered politician trying to be heard over the long, withdrawing roar of ebbing faith in a failing model of governance. From Greece to California, with manifestations in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Illinois and elsewhere, this model is collapsing. Entangled economic and demographic forces are refuting the practice of ever-bigger government financed by an ever-smaller tax base and by imposing huge costs on voiceless future generations. … Events are validating the tea partyers' arguments. Time is on their side -- but not on America's, unless the impediment to reform is removed in 16 months.

The Terminology of Taxation
Excerpt: Ask almost any Democrat to explain why high taxes are bad, and you will get hit with the velvet fog, minus the velvet. First they'll explain that while they do favor "increasing revenues," they don't favor higher taxes if by "high taxes" you mean taxes that are "too high." They favor "smart" tax rates that are "targeted" (i.e., "higher"). Then they'll explain that they don't want to raise your taxes; they want to raise taxes on your boss, your employer and the companies that sell you gas, cars, cigarettes, food, clothes, electricity and various "unnecessary" surgical procedures. They leave out that those taxes get passed on to you. Then, they'll rush to safer territory: all of the wonderful things government does. Government, don't you know, is just the word we use for all the things we do together. So every time you cut a check to the IRS, an angel gets its wings.

Excerpt: When Obama told us that he would "totally change the economic system;" "totally change America;" and "totally change the world," he wasn't kidding. There has been much speculation that he "doesn't know what he is doing." In a sense they are right, but in one thing they are dead wrong and that is he intends to carry out his promises as they pertain to the country's economic system, its social system and how America fits into the international order. To think otherwise is to ignore the obvious. Observing the United States of America destroy itself from within is one of the most heart rending, angering, events imaginable, but it is happening. Several years ago, I included sarcastic comments in an essay for the benefit of Osama bin Laden, exhorting him to be patient because all he had to do was wait and the US would destroy itself. Tragically, that sarcastic admonition is in advanced stages of coming to fruition.

Obama's Dangerous Debt Ceiling Strategy
Excerpt: President Obama kicked off the weekend with a testy Friday night press conference warning of the drastic consequences of failing to raise the debt limit, the havoc it would wreak on financial markets, and the disastrous repercussions for the poor and middle class. That message of fear was reiterated throughout the weekend, bookended this morning by a senior White House official who says there's a 50/50 chance that the standoff in Washington will not be resolved by the August 2 deadline. But it's not fear for fear's sake. The White House is employing the same cynical, irresponsible political strategy to force Congress' hand that it started in January, using Wall Street as its foil. This morning, NPR—as usual and unsurprisingly—had the zeitgeist of the Obama White House just right.

Humor: You Too…Can Have Dinner With The President
Excerpt: The President recently filmed a campaign ad inside the White House possibly violating FEC campaign finance laws. This video was to promote a “Dinner With The President” raffle to raise money for his re-election campaign. That got me thinking…what would the dinner and menu look like? Here is one version… Please note: The menu drafted by the lawyers is actually 2,700 pages long but since nobody is going to read it anyway, here is the first page. And to answer your question…NO!…you do not have to eat the food to know what’s in it Nancy! This elegant meal will be served with the finest “Let me be clear” crystal and “We borrowed it from” China…all placed neatly on the finest linen with pinched “pre-1967″ borders. I hope you bring your wallet with exact bills because the American people have no more tolerance for “change”.

Worth Reading: Modern Poverty Includes A.C. and an Xbox
If you are going to get money to fight poverty, you have to have a lot of poverty to fight. This is why the VA, which fights PTSD, finds a LOT more of it in Vietnam vets than the Centers for Disease Control, which doesn’t get money to fight it. The VA finds it in folks who never served in Vietnam—or never served at all. See the great book Stolen Valor which exposed this racket. ~Bob. Excerpt: When Americans think of poverty, we tend to picture people who can’t adequately shelter, clothe, and feed themselves or their families.When the Census Bureau defines “poverty,” though, it winds up painting more than 40 million Americans — one in seven — as “poor.” Census officials continue to grossly exaggerate the numbers of the poor, creating a false picture in the public mind of widespread material deprivation, writes Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector in a new paper. “Most news stories on poverty feature homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden eating in soup kitchens,” Rector says. “The actual living conditions of America’s poor are far different from these images.” Congress is tying itself in knots figuring out how to cut spending and bring down a $14 trillion national debt. Lawmakers might well take a much closer look at the nearly a trillion dollars spent each year on welfare even though many recipients aren’t what the typical American would recognize as poor and in need of government assistance.
Unbelievable: Big Surprises Uncovered in Fed Audit
Excerpt: The Federal Reserve has recently had a complete audit and according to Vermont Senator Bernie Sander’s website, one of the big surprises found was the fact that the “U.S. provided $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” Senator Sanders created an amendment to the Wall Street reform law a year ago which directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the audit. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” Included in the audit findings, the Fed provided trillions of dollars in financial aid from South Korea to Scotland. “No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president,” Sanders said.

Race to Solidify the Nanny State by 2012
Excerpt: Six above-the-fold headlines in the space of just three days speak volumes about the liberal-left’s campaign strategy leading up to Election Day 2012. All were widely reported, although they covered issues of lesser stature than the $14 trillion economic impasse-cum-sink-hole that dominates newscasts. This makes the six headlines all the more revealing of liberal Democrats’ end-game, no matter who technically wins the presidency or a few congressional seats. The reports included the failure of House Republicans to overturn the hugely unpopular phase-out of incandescent light bulbs; new regulations requiring Colorado child care facilities to provide a politically correct ethnic-racial mix of dolls, among 98 pages of other trivia; simultaneous pieces of state and county legislation aimed at imposing an 11 p.m. curfew on anyone 18 and under, with the threat of jail and community service for “offenders” and their elders being required to take parenting classes; bans on smoking on public beaches, in parks, laundry rooms and even privately owned playgrounds, due to unproven risks posed by second-hand smoke; a commentary in the flagship publication of the American Medical Association (AMA) calling for government to take custody of obese children, a determination that would morph, as have so many similar diktats, to cover much broader targets; and the installation of an additional 113 revenue (a.k.a. “speed” or “traffic”) cameras, already universally despised, in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Debt-fight doomsayers
Excerpt: I've lost count of how many times President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have said over the last three days that America might default if the debt-ceiling impasse continues. For the good of the country, let's hope the markets have forgotten as well. It's hard to see how Obama, Geithner or White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley could have had the good of the country in mind as they made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows -- spreading dire predictions about default if the debt ceiling isn't raised in the fashion that they and their Democratic allies believe appropriate. For all their apocalyptic talk, they're still demanding a budget deal filled with jobs-killing taxes, even as unemployment remains north of 9 percent. OK, a default would be a disaster. A US failure to pay bond holders could tank the Dow and upend the bond markets, where companies borrow to finance everything from plant and equipment to employee salaries. Credit cards might not work because banks won't have access to borrowed money to lend to consumers. Forget about getting a loan to buy a house or a car. In other words, the economy could come to a halt.

Saturday Night, Live With the Colonel
Excerpt: Conservative South Florida Congressman Allen West, looking every inch the soldier he was for 22 years, knocked 'em dead in this small city east of Tampa Saturday night. The 400+ plus Republicans who gathered to break bread and listen to West's sermon at the Arthur Boring Civic Center here were anything but bored. No one nodded off over the peach cobbler, even though coffee was not served. West gave a stem-winder based on conservative values and principles and a call to action to save the republic. The gathered faithful loved it. They loved West. They love what he's doing. They love the way he's doing it.

User poll: Which leader is most at fault for the latest breakdown in debt talks?
Vote early and often. ~Bob.

AEI's Arthur Brooks on the Debt Ceiling in the WSJ
Excerpt: "Budget reformers need to remember three things. First, this is not a political fight between Republicans and Democrats; it is a fight against 50-year trends toward statism. Second, it is a moral fight, not an economic one. Third, this is not a fight that anyone can win in the 15 months from now to the presidential election. It will take hard work for at least a decade. Consider a few facts. The Bureau of Economic Analysis tells us that total government spending at all levels has risen to 37% of gross domestic product today from 27% in 1960—and is set to reach 50% by 2038. The Tax Foundation reports that between 1986 and 2008, the share of federal income taxes paid by the top 5% of earners has risen to 59% from 43% (see chart above). Between 1986 and 2009, the percentage of Americans who pay zero or negative federal income taxes has increased to 51% from 18.5% (see chart above). And all this is accompanied by an increase in our national debt to 100% of GDP today from 42% in 1980.

Boehner proposal includes vote on balanced budget amendment
Excerpt: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will propose to House Republicans that they raise the debt ceiling by up to $1 trillion while conditioning a future increase on enactment of a deficit reduction plan and a congressional vote on a balanced budget amendment. The plan, detailed by a GOP aide, is likely to fall short of what President Obama and Democratic leaders have demanded because it does not raise the debt ceiling through 2012. It would save $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years and raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion immediately. The proposal caps discretionary spending and provides a mechanism to automatically cut spending if those caps are breached.

David Wu won't resign; Nancy Pelosi seeks probe
Must be bad if Pelosi wants to investigate a Democrat. Let he who never had an unwanted sexual encounter with a friend’s teen daughter cast the first stone. ~Bob. Excerpt: Embattled Rep. David Wu will not seek reelection in 2012, but he won’t resign from office now despite allegations that the Oregon Democrat had an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a close friend last Thanksgiving. “He isn’t going to be running for reelection,” a Wu adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told POLITICO late Sunday night. “But he hasn’t done anything that rises to the level of requiring him to resign.”

The Norway Terrorist
Excerpt: As the news began leaking out about Europe’s deadliest terror attack since the 2003 Madrid train bombing, there was a predictable – and perfectly reasonable – assumption on the part of terrorism experts, the media, and possibly anyone who follows the Clash of Civilizations, that the perpetrators were Islamists. After all, there were plenty of reasons to suspect initially that these were acts of Islamic terrorism: at least one Islamist group initially claimed responsibility (but later retracted it); Muslim extremists cheered the attacks in online chatrooms; Norway is still a target of Islamists burning to avenge the Muhammad cartoons; legal action was finally taken against the radical Mullah Krekar whom Norway has been sheltering for years, and he threatened retaliation; al Qaeda tried to attack Oslo last year; and, frankly, most terrorism carried out worldwide today is at the hands of jihadists.

Oslo and the Dangers of Moral Equivalence
Excerpt: The revelation that the perpetrator of the terrorist attacks in Oslo, Anders Behring Breivik, is a self-described Christian and conservative is sure to provoke an outburst of the moral equivalence favored by apologists for jihadism. Ever since 9/11, those unwilling to confront the theology of violence in Islam have relied on the tu quoque fallacy––“you do it too”––to dismiss the role of Islamic doctrine in Muslim terrorism. In this argument, all religions have violent extremists, and so it is irrational bigotry to suggest that there’s something in Islam that makes such violence more acceptable and legitimate. After 9/11, for example, the fact that the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a nominal Methodist was presented as evidence for Christian terrorism––even though he died a self-professed unrepentant agnostic––or used as an example of how religious affiliation had nothing to do with Muslim violence, as Greg Easterbrook did in his book The Progress Paradox. The tendentious depiction of the Crusades in popular culture, as in Ridley Scott’s historically ignorant Kingdom of Heaven, went even further, suggesting that Christianity’s record of religiously inspired violence was worse than Islam’s. More recently, during Representative Pete King’s hearings into Muslim extremism in America, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee scolded King for ignoring “Christian militants.”

Motorcycle Assassins Strike Again?
Excerpt: Another Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated on July 23, making him the fourth to be killed in the past two years. The regime denies that he was connected to the nuclear program, and is accusing Israel and the U.S. of carrying out an act of terrorism. If a foreign intelligence service is the culprit, then it is the latest shot fired in a wide-ranging covert campaign to delay the day when Iran finally gets a nuclear bomb. Dariush Rezai-Nejad was about to walk into his home in Tehran when he heard his name called. He turned, and saw two men on motorcycles. Five shots were fired, striking him in the neck and hand, killing him and wounding his wife. He was a physics professor specializing in neutron transport, making him the exact type of scientist the regime would need to work on sparking a nuclear reaction. An unconfirmed Israeli report alleges that he worked at a top-secret nuclear site in northeast Tehran on nuclear detonators. Of course, the regime says he was not involved in the nuclear program. (the people killing them are among the bravest of the brave, may be saving millions of lives. ~Bob.)

Will the Real Nakba Please Stand Up!
Excerpt: In fact, from the 1880’s onward Arab nationalists protested the use of the term “Palestine” because “Palestine,” as they explained, was really southern Syria (as-Suriyeh al-janubiyeh). Even the most vitriolic and vociferous Arab nationalist in Southern Syria, the Hajj Amin el-Husseini, opposed the Mandate because it created “Palestine” separate from Syria.”[i] The General Syrian Congress of 1919 stressed an exclusively Syrian identity for the Arabs of “greater Syria” (i.e., including Lebanon and Palestine): “We ask that there should be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine . . .”[ii] George Antonius, as noted above, defined Palestine as part of Syria. Akhmed Shukairi, the PLO delegate to the UN, asserted in 1956, eight years after the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the “Palestinian refugees,” that “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria.”[iii] As late as 1974 Syria’s President Hafez al-Assad asserted that: … Palestine is not only a part of our Arab homeland, but a basic part of southern Syria.”

Allen West's Gentlemanly Behavior
Excerpt: Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), also Democratic National Committee chair, suggested that the nasty email she got from Congressman Allen West (R-FL), responding to her attack on him in the House, resulted from him being “under pressure.” Of course, Allen West is under pressure. As is every freedom loving American, as we watch our great country sink. In two and a half years, a left wing Democrat president along with a left wing Democrat congress, controlled by the likes of Ms Wasserman Schultz, have changed this country so fundamentally it is not clear at all to what extent we can recover. In just two and half years, they’ve increased federal spending a trillion dollars. It took George W. Bush, the largest spender since President Johnson, eight years to accomplish this.

With All Due Respect, Go Fly a Kite By Bernard Goldberg
Excerpt: Here we go again. President Obama has an op-ed out in USA Today about the debt ceiling debate and as sure as the sun rises in the east he's pulling out that old liberal Democratic chestnut, calling for the wealthiest Americans to cough up their "fair share" of taxes. We've been through this before, but it means nothing to the president, or any other liberal Democrat for that matter. So let's go real slow. The top one percent of wage earners in this country pay about 38 percent of all federal income tax. The top 5 percent pay about 60 percent. The top 10 percent pay about 70 percent. And the top 25 percent pay 86.34 percent — all according to a non-partisan group called National Taxpayers Union. You know who doesn't pay their fair share? The bottom 50 percent who pay only 2.7 percent of all federal income tax collected. I know, I know. These people aren't rich. I don't care. They need to pay something, just so they have some skin in the game.

Quotes
A decadent civilization compromises with its disease, cherishes the virus infecting it, loses its self-respect. –E. M. Cioran

Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper. –Francis Bacon

Obama Like Nixon with Respect to Troops' Lives
Excerpt: No one needs to tell the public that politicians are slick—and the ones who get elected are the oiliest. President Obama, in a recent speech announcing the phased withdraw of 33,000 U.S. surge forces from Afghanistan by September 2012, told the country that the United States had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan and that "we are starting this drawdown from a position of strength." The public could be forgiven for missing the real message: "We've lost the war, but we are declaring victory anyway and getting out. The reality of withdrawing 33,000 of about 100,000 troops in that country is that the president's "counterinsurgency" strategy—the U.S. clearing areas of Taliban forces until "good government" can take hold and the Afghan forces are competent enough to take over—has failed. The strategy was designed to achieve battlefield gains that would not eradicate the Taliban but cause the group to come to the negotiating table. Although the Taliban is negotiating, it is not doing so seriously because it knows it is winning the war. If it were losing, more Taliban would be defecting to the Afghan government; so far, only 1,700 out of between 25,000 and 40,000 insurgents have done so.

Trouble ahead in the Land of the Not-So-Calm
Excerpt: When it came to Communist aggression, President Truman drew a line in the sand. And on June 25, 1950, North Korea crossed it. Truman ordered U.S. troops into battle. In 1953, an armistice ended the bitter conflict, but relations between the U.S. and North Korea -- not to mention those between the two Koreas -- have been tense ever since. The nature of the conflict has changed, however. North Korea is no longer bent on conquest. Today, Pyongyang has two goals. One is keeping a small elite in power and living a life of luxury. The other is blackmailing the world into sending enough food aid to keep the rest of the country from starving to death and thus living to service the elite. What makes North Korea so troublesome is the method by which it continues to command the world's attention. Pyongyang employs a combination of intimidation via nuclear weapons and outright armed attacks on the South.

Excerpt: A relatively obscure paper (gated) published in an academic journal the other day was completely ignored by the mainstream media. Yet if the study findings hold and if they apply to a broad array of health services, it appears that the orthodox approach to getting health services to poor people is as wrong as it can be. At first glance, the study appears to focus on a rather narrow set of issues. Although most states try to limit Medicaid expenses by restricting patients to a one-month supply of drugs, South Carolina for a period of time allowed patients to have a three-month supply. Then the state reduced the allowable one-stop supply from 100 days of medication to 34 days and at the same raised the copayment on some drugs from $1 to $3. Think of the first change as raising the time price of care (the number of required pharmacy visits tripled) and the second as raising the money price of care (which also tripled). The result: A tripling of the time price of care led to a much greater reduction in needed drugs obtained by chronically ill patients than a tripling of the money price, all other things remaining equal.

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