Remedial unbribery

So, OK, quick review w/o any of the tangents that were apparently confusing to some: 1. Any given proposal — tax-cut, tax-hike, public works, whatever — must justly serve the public interest and promote the common good. Any politician advocating any kind of policy must demonstrate that the policy meets this test. 2. When politicians [Read More...]

Unbribery Objection No. 2

Some politicians benefit financially from policies — legislation, regulations, tax code — that they have promoted and supported. In some cases, this financial benefit is significant, even massive — $40,000 a year, or more than $700,000 in one big chunk. I want to talk about that money. It matters. It is at least potentially corrosive. [Read More...]

Unbribery Objection No. 1

Got quite a bit of response, both in comments and via e-mail, to this post about the immense sums of money that President Bush and Vice President Cheney personally have at stake in abolishing the estate tax. One friend suggested that I look at this in terms of the 1993 movie, Indecent Proposal. You'll recall [Read More...]

Self-interest & Voting

In a Slate article — "Buy Stock, Vote Bush" — Daniel Gross points out that the conventional wisdom about stock ownership and Republicanism doesn't hold up to scrutiny. He offers the following as the first of many possible explanations for this: … the flip side of Thomas Frank's theory in What's the Matter With Kansas. [Read More...]

The Landlord Society

Stephen Moore of the Club for Greed weighs in on President Bush's second-term "ownership society" agenda: "By doing these things in little bitty steps at a time, it's sort of like a slippery slope, but in the right direction." The right direction for people like Moore means taxing wages, but not wealth. It means cutting [Read More...]

The Dot-Org Crash

How President Bush is defunding the "armies of compassion" The Congressional Budget Office was in the news last week for confirming the already known: most of the benefits of President Bush's tax cuts have been enjoyed by the wealthy and the super-wealthy. It was at least the second official pronouncement of the obvious this month [Read More...]

Breaking promises

So in this story you have an old uncle who lives in a mansion outside of town. Your uncle owns the valuable mansion outright, but has little else in the way of assets and income. He proposes a deal. If you will provide him with money to live on, a percentage of your wages, you [Read More...]

Only the little people pay taxes

Associated Press tax reporter Mary Dalrymple tells us that: … congressional investigators found that 27,000 defense contractors owed a total of $3 billion in unpaid taxes. Auditors at the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, studied taxes owed in the budget year that ended Sept. 30, 2002. The GAO report — available as [Read More...]