Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dan Johnson: tax marijuana like food

Kentuckians are going whole hog into the cannabis business, but the temptation for government to meddle in it and hurt the effort is strong. We must not let that happen.

"Think about it like this: if government stepped in when the first cars were being made and required manufacturers to buy permits and to tag and pay special taxes on every part of production and then placed more taxes on consumers buying a car, we would all still be looking for good, sturdy horses to pull us around in wagons," State Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Bullitt County) said.

"When it comes to cannabis for human consumption, we should tax it like food: zero taxes putting it into the ground, zero taxes harvesting it, zero taxes at the wholesale and retail levels and then as we take our place atop the world in cannabis production, the new jobs and new economic activity will create more than enough new revenue for a revitalized Commonwealth," Johnson said.

"I understand the desire to fix Kentucky's many fiscal problems with marijuana taxes, but no farmer prospers by eating his seed corn," Johnson said. "If we can get out of the way and let the first seeds flower in freedom, the harvest will be sufficient for our needs."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Frankfort sex scandal 2: screwed economy

Sen. Reggie Thomas (D-Lexington) pre-filed a bill for the 2018 General Assembly yesterday to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Frankfort politicians seeking to boost the economy need to get out of the way of Kentucky's top cash crop -- cannabis -- by ending prohibition. We've spent a century proving prohibition doesn't work and over roughly the same period we've seen proof over and over again that we can't legislate our way to prosperity with these silly wealth redistribution schemes.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Let people decide marijuana policy

Kentucky's marijuana controversy is headed for a nasty collision if we just sit back and let it happen.

"A lot of people want government to crack down on marijuana use, a lot of people want it to be available for people who have medical needs for it and a lot of people just want to be left alone to use it when they want to," Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Bullitt County) said. "We need a compromise that works for everyone and I think I have a pretty good idea."

Rep. Johnson is filing a bill for the 2018 General Assembly which would allow local jurisdictions to hold local option elections to decide whether to allow marijuana growth, possession and distribution.

"The population is split on marijuana, but it's clear that the momentum is headed toward growing and using it legally in Kentucky," Johnson said. "There is lots of disagreement about how or even whether we should do this. The best solution is to let each county decide on their own."

"This approach would allow us to have up to 120 different approaches to an issue that clearly isn't one size fits all," Johnson said. "Some counties won't touch it and some will transform their economies on an agricultural product with worldwide demand."

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The next ObamaCare crash now has a free market solution in place

By David Adams

The most obviously horrible thing about ObamaCare is its destruction of what health insurance should be. Focusing on that failing has given me an idea with which we can really start reversing the damage.

By encouraging health insurance companies to improperly price risk and effectively turning them into government agencies, ObamaCare obliterates a very effective driver in maintaining a healthy society, which health insurance used to be. By creating an environment in which health insurers are heavily incentivized to get used to living off federal subsidies and reaping benefits from rules which allow them to -- for example -- make money insuring men, boys and post-menopausal women for maternity benefits they can't possibly use, ObamaCare pits insurers against consumers rather than leaving them the freedom to collaborate in lowering the need for healthcare spending.

The individual and small group markets have suffered significant cost increases under ObamaCare. The individual market is fully dependent on repeal of the law to stand a chance of recovering. Failure in the small group health insurance market is coming more slowly, but it is coming. Here, though, we have a chance for recovery by pulling together two different tools to reward financially people who stay healthy while protecting them more efficiently when they can't.

The creators of ObamaCare largely overlooked self-funded health plans which allow small groups to reap significant savings when they avoid large medical bills. The overregulation parade also missed stop loss plans, which, when attached to a self-funded one to cover high expenses, protect consumers like insurance is supposed to. Combining these two elements properly and finding health insurers willing to make refunds of unused premium dollars in good years -- keep healthcare costs meaningfully lower with proper pricing all the time. That is, dramatically lower in good years and predictable even in the worst of times.

I can show you how to do this for your employer-based group. Call me anytime at 537-5372 in area code 859.

David Adams is president of Wildcat Asset Management, Inc.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tell Frankfort not to raise taxes

The halls of the State Capitol are buzzing with talk of tax increases to address the growing public pension disaster, despite large Republican majorities full of no-tax-increase pledge signers including -- most notably -- Gov. Matt Bevin. There is a better way.

After years of spending abuse in Frankfort, we are in big trouble. Out-of-control healthcare bureaucracy and mismanagement of the pension system have brought us to a moment of truth: something has to give. But it can't be tax increases, which only incentivize bad spending behavior. Frankfort needs no encouragement on that front.

We must have more economic activity. We need more -- and healthier -- businesses and more job growth. And the solution is staring us right in the face waiting to see if we have the courage to name it. We need to eliminate state barriers to the growth, marketing, distribution and consumption of marijuana.

The biggest immediate impact of marijuana legalization would probably be seen in the nascent hemp industry, which now must contend with high costs of government busybodies preoccupied with determining again and again that new growing Kentucky hemp is not marijuana. Legalizing marijuana and ending that distraction would pull the restraints off hemp and allow it to create new markets for Kentucky agriculture all over the world and quickly start bringing in money our revenuers are screaming for. On top of that, marijuana's resiliency as a prolific cash crop despite significant legal encumbrances is well documented. Imagine how effective it could be at balancing state budgets and reducing dependency if we just turned it loose.

I'm not unsympathetic to those who oppose marijuana on moral or religious grounds. My church's doctrine forbids marijuana use and I wouldn't use it now anyway for reasons that have nothing to do with my faith. But that begs the question of whether or not government rightly has a role in forbidding or allowing the use by individuals of a substance which grows out of the ground. No one has been able to show me how it does. If you believe marijuana use would send you to hell or otherwise damage you, then don't use it. But neither the state nor federal Constitution empowers an individual or even the largest majority of individuals to mandate what another law-abiding individual may consume on his own if he is not bothering anyone else. Not only is official squeamishness about marijuana legalization more expensive than we can afford, it fails on the basis of personal liberty. It must go.

Frankfort gets lots of things wrong. The apparent supposition currently in play that Kentuckians will swallow tax increases when politicians start talking about the Commonwealth growing close to bankruptcy is just as wrong as legislators fattening their own pensions in years past and neglecting previously on many occasions to take pension under-funding seriously. If you agree that cannabis-related economic growth is a better approach, you should let your state representatives know about it right away because otherwise they will continue further down the road to hammering us with taxes and thinking they have fixed the problem.

The bottom line is that state government's money problems have become a multi-billion dollar emergency. That's usually when politicians panic and their hasty actions make things worse. We need more revenue, less spending or a combination of the two. Marijuana legalization is pretty hard to oppose as a fiscal move. If you remain unconvinced about its moral acceptability, though, then present a better idea. But, please, make it fast. Time is running out, the natives appear restless in Frankfort and we approach a dangerous crossroad that can get far worse.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Democrats kill more Americans with this than abortion

Americans have been hypnotized by dietary junk science for forty years and the devastation of poor health left in its wake started with failed 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern.

The 1977 "McGovern Report" from the U.S Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs blamed poor American health primarily on eating too much fat and sparked a low fat consumption fetish persisting to today despite staggering evidence it makes poor health worse.

With Republicans winning majorities in government, they can bring to a close Democrats' generation of propaganda against dietary fat so Americans can start regaining control of their health with real, human food.

"Democrats have killed more Americans by forcing low-fat garbage on us than they have with promoting abortion on demand and now is the time to end the horror," David Adams, president of Intracellular Dynamics, said.