November 4, 2004
Not the Election
I'm not gonna talk about the election. I have plenty to say, but I already said them to the people who matter, and now it doesn't make any difference. I would like to say some things about this article at Marginal Revolution. This should get caught in the Trackback to it, so here's my response.
He wants to eliminate some taxes. Numbers 1 and 11 include some taxes. I guess I'm tempted to knee-jerk disagree with removing the corporate income tax, but I'll admit I'm not an economist or accountant and maybe it isn't a bad idea. For cutting taxes to be responsible, you have to cut spending, and government spending is sky high right now. Fortunately, he also suggests doing just that. Numbers 2,3,8,9 and 10 would cut massive amounts of spending, with number 1 also kicking in some reductions. However, they could also be disastrous for some people, especially the abolishment of corporate welfare.
Just think, everytime one of those airlines gets in trouble, they get a big "loan" from the government, in the billions of dollars, to continue operations. I'm pretty sure all those would end. Also, everytime an old company with a pension plan gets in trouble, and their pension goes bankrupt, the government steps in (because there's a law that the government will basically insure private corporate pensions). I don't disagree that these would be good things to examine, but people who depend on these things for their jobs and income could have serious problems.
He also introduces some new spending. Numbers 5, 6, and maybe 7 would cost more to do. I think they're probably good places to spend money, since nobody else is doing them, and as we see with the flu vaccine shortage this year, preventive medicine doesn't happen very well when there's no profit in it for the drug companies. I'm not sure how much admitting more immigrants would cost, if any, but the USCIS (used to be INS) has some serious efficiency problems which can probably be solved by throwing lots of money at it one time, to install computers and get everything into decent databases.
We can PFFT (or !PFFT) the election all we want, and bemoan those red state hicks (or blue state godless elites), but that's only satisfying for so long. Better to do something to move us along. That's all.
Published: November 4, 2004