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Conflation and non sequiturs, thy name is Mitt Romney

Here’s an exchange between Tim Worstall and me in the comments to my post below titled “Spain. Please,Mr. Obama, talk about Spain. Please.”:

WORSTALL: If you’re going to comment on the Spanish economy might help if you knew something about it.

The big three banks, the equivalent of the Wall Street ones? They’re just fine. 

Know which part of he banking system screwed up? The Main Street one. The one that was run not for profit (the cajas were not for profits, usually owned by a charitable foundation). Run by the local politicians in fact. The community organisers you might say.

That’s the part of the Spanish banking system that is hopelessly bust. Not a single piece of deregulation in sight. No CDOs, no CDS, no nothing except too many loans out to people who cannot repay.

This may be many things but a rerun of Wall Street in the 90s and 00s it ain’t.

ME:  Hmm, Tim.  Did you say in your comment that the percentage of the Spanish economy that is spent on government has even the slightest thing at all to do with the economic situation in Spain?  Was that in code language somewhere in what you said?  If so, I didn’t pick it up.

And, if there was no a single piece of deregulation in sight—No CDOs, no CDS, no nothing except too many loans out to people who cannot repay—then maybe it’s that there wasn’t enough regulation of the banking system, to begin with?  And I’m sorta wondering what the difference in outcome was between a bank controlled by pols who screwed up (in Spain) and pols controlled by a banking system (here)?  And, y’know, what all it has to do with the percentage of the economy that is spent on government—which is what Romney claims.

Conflation and non sequiturs, thy name is Mitt Romney.  Remove the incessant conflations and non sequiturs, and what do you have, Tim?  Do tell.

Do tell. 

Rush Limbaugh Says Tax Money Pays For Students’ and Employees’ Jogging Pants As A Welfare Entitlement

Seriously.  In the rambling press release that he self-styled an apology to Georgetown U. law student Sandra Fluke for calling her a slut and a prostitute, Limbaugh groused:

Amazingly, when there is the slightest bit of opposition to this new welfare entitlement being created, then all of a sudden we hate women. 

He then explained his position thusly:

I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.  What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?

So even as late as yesterday afternoon when he released the statement, he’s claiming that taxpayerswould be paying the part of employee and student healthcare premiums that cover contraceptives.  And that taxpayers pay for running pants, shorts and tank tops for employees and students who jog, but don’t pay for the Nikes and Reeboks. 

He apparently doesn’t read Angry Bear (see “Will ‘We’ Really Be Paying Sandra Fluke’s Healthcare Insurance Premiums?”, below.)  He should, though.  Dana Loesch, though, clearly does.

What? You’ve never heard of Dana Loesch?  Well, you’re in good company.  Mine.  I’d never heard of her until this morning, when I read the New York Times articleabout Limbaugh’s statements.  The article says:

At least one conservative commentator, Dana Loesch, appeared to back Mr. Limbaugh’s original sentiments, writing on Twitter on Saturday, “If you expect me to pay higher insurance premiums to cover your ‘free’ birth control, I can call you whatever I want.”

So, whatever the merits of her claim to a right to libel anyone whose medical insurance coverage and use raises “her” insurance premiums, Loesch at least does recognize the difference between private insurance premiums and coverage and taxpayer-funded welfare entitlements.  Limbaugh does not.   

Happily, a mainstream media pundit understands this non-trivial distinction, too, and mentions it.  In her New York Times column today, Maureen Dowd writes:

[Limbaugh] said insuring contraception would represent another “welfare entitlement,” which is wrong — tax dollars would not provide the benefit, employers and insurance companies would. And women would not be getting paid just “to have sex.” They’d be getting insurance coverage toward the roughly $1,000 annual expense of trying to avoid unwanted pregnancies and abortions, and to control other health conditions.

So, AB readers, do you think Dowd reads AB?  Nah.  She probably figured it out all by herself. But Loesch probably reads AB.  Okay, or Forbes online. (Thanks for linking to it, Tim Worstall!) For better or worse.  I mean, I’d hate to be, say, (as Bruce Webb points out in a comment to my earlier post) a skier or mountain climber who works for the same employer that Loesch does, or at least has the same insurance carrier that she has.

Wouldn’t want Loesch to accuse them of having murdered their mother, or something.