The Thursday wrap
The Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector notes that the federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to be “poor” if its pre-tax income is below $37,900 — even with full medical coverage. The “poor” threshold is $42,500 in Oakland, Calif., and about $40,000 in Washington, D.C., and Boston. Leviathan's new face of “poverty” in America is shockingly close to America's 2011 median income of just more than $51,000 a year. ... Manhattan Institute scholar Robert Bryce notes that the environmental protection crowd — namely the Sierra Club — has been strangely absent in defending the environment from the excessive noise caused by wind turbines. It's yet another stark example of the difference between “environmentalism” and “conservationism.” ... One of the uglier “fiscal reform” stories circulating in Washington these days is that the Obama administration and/or Congress wants to fiddle with the tax deferral of 401(k) savings plans. Currently, money invested in such plans is taxed only when withdrawn. Washington being Washington, count on it to treat middle-class investors the same way it treats “the rich” — taxing them twice (or thrice) then complaining that nobody is paying his “fair share.” What's Washington going to do when it runs out of people to rob? Once upon a time, Americans fought a revolution over such tyranny.