Wyoming Liberty Group
It has now been five years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. Notoriously known as "Obamacare", this highly debated reform - probably the most complicated piece of legislation in U.S. history - is still dispensing unintended consequences. With yet another case related to the ACA being heard by the Supreme Court, one is inclined to wonder if this piece of legislation is producing more new lawyer-paid hours than hours of health care.
In the first three installments of this series we looked at the aggregate-demand side of the U.S. economy. The overall message is that the economy is in pretty good shape, given the circumstances: the private-sector share of the economy has grown over the past 15 years, consumers buy more durables (such as cars) while maintaing a steady overall level of indebtedness; business investments are increasingly stable at a high rate - and government consumption and investment spending has been declining for a couple of years.
Yesterday I reported some data showing that the U.S. economy is in good shape from a structural viewpoint. Household spending and business investments - domestic private-sector activity - today absorb a larger share of output than they did under the Bush Jr. administration. Government consumption and investment spending has taken a step back, and the foreign trade balance is in better shape today than at the height of the Bush business cycle.
Next year, Wyoming voters will be faced with a ballot measure to legalize, and create a tax on, marijuana. As part of the preparation for the vote, it is a good idea to study what has happened in Colorado since legalization. The Washington Times keeps up with the latest developments:
Everyone in Colorado from Republicans to marijuana moguls wants to stop welfare cash from being used to buy recreational pot, but standing in their way are the state’s formidable legislative Democrats. Despite mounting evidence that “welfare for weed” is more than an urban myth, Democratic legislators are balking at a bill that would add marijuana dispensaries and strip clubs to the list of places, along with casinos and liquor stores, where debit-style benefits cards cannot be used to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines, or ATMs.