Palin: Uninspiring Tax Policy Record

On tax policy, Alaska governor Sarah Palin has a rather uninspiring, albeit brief, record. The following is some information gleaned from State Tax Notes. Palin supported and signed into law a $1.5 billion tax increase on oil companies in the form of higher severance taxes. One rule of thumb is that higher taxes cause less investment. Sure enough, State Tax Notes […]

Two More Companies Escape UK Tax Net

Very few nations make the mistake of taxing business income earned in other jurisdictions. This policy, known as worldwide taxation, makes it difficult for a nation’s companies to compete in global markets — particularly if the government also has a high corporate tax rate. The United States unfortunately is guilty of both a high tax rate […]

First Woman

Sarah Palin may be the first woman to serve as vice president, and she would now have to be considered the most likely candidate to be America’s first woman president. But she won’t be the first woman to receive an electoral vote. That title goes to — anyone, anyone? That’s right — everyone knows that the first […]

My Hope Was for Change

I really dislike political speeches, and the “bigger” the speech, the worse. More faux earnestness. More lofty rhetoric about “pulling together to realize the American dream.” More heartstring-pullers about “a man I met in [insert heartland state here] who has played by the rules, but who is on the brink of losing his house because this year’s crop was […]

Fun with Spellcheck

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that delegates listening to Bill Clinton at the Democratic convention “waived American flags.” No doubt many of them did, but on my television a lot of them were waving American flags.

Leftism in the Schools

Buried in his profile of Barack Obama’s background, David Maraniss discusses one of his mother’s favorite classes at Mercer Island High School near Seattle in the late 1950s: Their curiosity was encouraged by the teachers at Mercer Island High, especially Jim Wichterman and Val Foubert, who taught advanced humanities courses open to the top 25 […]

TSA: Not Even Good at Getting it Wrong

Bruce Schneier has a very good op-ed on the Transportation Security Administration’s airport security programs in the Los Angeles Times today. The winner line: “That’s the TSA: Not doing the right things. Not even doing right the things it does.” In fairness, security is hard. By their nature, federal agencies aren’t smart and nimble. I […]

“Cult” Watch

CNBC just ran a feature entitled “Electing the CEO of America.” It’s a great illustration of the insane expectations Americans invest in what’s supposed to be a limited, constitutional office. As I write in that book, Over the second half of the 20th century, Gallup polls showed that an average of 41 percent of Americans […]

Justice Dept Backs Up After KPMG Ruling

The New York Times reports that the Justice Dept. is rolling back its bullying tactic of penalizing companies that reimburse their employees’ legal fees during investigations and trials.  This move is mostly show–to make the feds seem reasonable and open to suggestions.  But it is really just a reaction to the department’s defeat in today’s KPMG case […]

The Uncool Animal Farm Bill

Congress believes some Americans are more equal than others. How else could it have passed (by overwhelming margins and over a presidential veto) the 2008 Farm Bill, which amounts to about a $7 billion annual transfer from the pockets of American taxpayers to high-on-the-hog agribusinesses? To leave no doubt that these “farmers” are the exalted […]