27 September 2011

Digest: 27 Sep 2011

Is This Blog On | Carin | Ford Pulls Ad Critical Of Auto Bailout
Did they get a call from the White House? Why yes they did. Detroit News’ Daniel Howes:
Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose.
You corporatist shitbirds. Sorry for the profanity, but I have zero patience for this right now. Everyone involved in this can go get bent.

The Atlantic | Megan McArdle | What's Wrong With the Buffett Rule?
Even if you dismiss the above as so much airy fairy theorizing in the face of REAL WORLD PROBLEMS, the fact is that as far as I can tell, the Obama Administration itself has not outlined anything of the sort. At least in the White House document that I read, I saw no proposal to set some sort of AMT on millionaires. Instead, it claims to do this, while rehashing a bunch of things that the administration has long proposed
This is a great example of Obama's go-to play. He is so damned good at getting people to think he's proposing different policies than he actually does. During the '08 campaign he regularly managed to disagree with his interlocutors while making them think he agreed in the same sentence through some very deft verbal pivoting. It's part of what allows people to project whatever they want onto the blank canvas he provides.
You cannot build a tax code on the principle that no millionaire, ever, should ever have an effective tax rate lower than their secretary.
Within the paradigm of income and investment taxes? No, you can not.* If we shifted to consumption taxes, I'm not so sure.

* I believe you could prove it as an extension to the Free Lunch Theorem. If the people who care about these things actually bothered with things like theorems, that is.

∞ iSteven | Steve Sailer | Obama's experience

Obama is at an extreme disadvantage here, but it seems like the problem Sailer identifies (of not having had time to build up reliable allies and contacts) would apply to any governor-turned-president. Maybe the governor's office has made him generally better at screening out bullshitters, but how many people does Rick Perry have who he can reliably turn to for no-spin advice on monetary policy or Afro-Chinese relations?

Gonzalo Lira | What I Learned At Dartmouth

As if I was not blisteringly mad already.


The American Scene | Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry | A Long Disquisition on the Death Penalty that Ultimately Doesn't Solve Anything

I think PEG is wrong about the death penalty, but he is right that most of the arguments against it are flimsy-at-best.

National Center for Policy Analysis | Laurence Kotlikoff |
Is the Corporate Income Tax Regressive

Answer: yes.

The Hipster Libertarian | Bonnie | [no title]

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