growth of government Archive

How to Fix the Economy

By John Lumbard. We have the most ridiculous tax system in the history of the world.  Last year Clorox paid taxes at a 39% rate---nearly twice what they’d pay if they moved to Canada---while GE paid nothing.  The wealthiest 10% of our citizens pay 70% of all the nation’s taxes, but...
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Battling Against the Truth

By John Lumbard.   Spending more than you have feels pretty good, so the resistance to balanced budgets---or anything close to balanced budgets---is not surprising.  Still, it's always a bit of a shock to read carefully-thought-out opinions, written by smart people, that are nonsensical efforts to bend reality to justify the status quo. Today...
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The Keepers of the Flame

By James Schaefer.   At long last, the topic of entitlement reform  -- "the topic" -- has been broached (see Weekend Interview with Paul Ryan). These entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Prescription Drug Benefit -- are the promises that politicians have made to American citizens for decades.  We think of them...
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The Scott Adams Challenge

By James Schaefer.   Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert, recently had a feature article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "How to Tax the Rich", and he asked readers to think up incentives that might allow our biggest taxpayers to feel a bit better about dropping hundred-thousand-dollar checks into the ravenous maw...
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The ENTIRE Government Runs on Borrowed Money

By Ron Olive.   (To the Editor of the Wall Street Journal)   Sir:   In “Revenues Are Rising” (Review & Outlook, January 12th), you tell us that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, federal receipts “have climbed by $44 billion, or nearly 9%, to $531 billion” during the first quarter of fiscal...
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Public Servants And Their Material Non-Public Information

By John H. Haldeman, Jr., CFA   During the 1840s, before Texas was admitted to the Union and before oil was discovered, bonds issued by the territory were deemed speculative, and traded at a large discount.  Embedded in the treaty of annexation was a provision that the United States would assume...
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Postponing the Pain

Economist Charles Wheelan writes occasionally for Yahoo Finance, and he's always terrific.  In a recent article he suggests that the President extend the current graduated tax structure, with a plan to balance the budget in 3 or 4 years (when the economy is stronger) by cutting spending and adding consumption taxes...
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Letter To A Congressman

By John Lumbard.   Dear Congressman; In high school we all learned that our Congress has the power of the purse.  Our legislators have other powers and responsibilities, but their most basic duty is to ably manage the monies that they extract from reluctant and disillusioned taxpayers and voters.  They have failed...
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Prosperity got you down? Tax your guilt away.

by Michael Smith. In an August 4 column in the Los Angeles Times, Bill McKibben of 350.org threw down the green gauntlet. From now on, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy for the folks who want to tax fossil fuels into oblivion. Taking their cue from the civil rights movement, they’re...
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Great Government and the Roots of Rebellion

By John Lumbard.   USA Today just published an opinion piece arguing that voters are concerned about the power wielded by large corporations;  but unwilling to embrace the federal government as a benevolent regulator.  That distrust is founded in a recognition that our government is larger than all of our 100 largest corporations put together---a fearsome size---and that it has...
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