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Archive for August, 2017
The Double Tax on Saving

In an earlier post I argued for expanding tax-deferred retirement accounts because they eliminate the double tax on saving that exists under the current tax system.  Here is the basic idea.  People earn income and pay income tax on that income.  If they save it and then earn interest (or dividends, or capital gains,…
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Parental Choice Smear Campaign Falls Flat

Opponents of parental choice in education have been in overdrive portraying private school scholarships (and by association, those who support or use them) as racist to diminish their popularity. Results from a new national poll suggest opponents’ strategy isn’t working. According to the 11th annual Education Next  poll public support for a variety of private…
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A Unilateral Free Trade Policy Would Be Hugely Beneficial for Brexit Britain

My new monograph, A Trade Policy for a Brexited Britain, was published on Friday by the Institute of Economic Affairs. Here is a brief synopsis: Adam Smith once observed that “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far…
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Slavery and Justifications for Southern Secession in Their Own Words

With the national debate over removing monuments to confederate war heroes dominating headlines, perhaps we need a reminder of the principles and justifications for southern secession for which these men fought. The following excerpts are from the articles of secession adopted by five states, and the ordinances of secession adopted by the legislatures, conventions,…
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Tax Reform V: Eliminate the Estate Tax

The estate tax amounts to a penalty on the heirs of those who have accumulated wealth over their lifetimes.  It raises less than 1% of federal revenues, so it provides almost no benefit to anybody, but imposes a big cost on a few. There are many ways for the wealthy to avoid the estate…
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Tax Reform IV: Corporate Tax Reform

The United States has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world.  While both the Obama administration and Trump administration have criticized American companies for moving operations off-shore, and considered a variety of policies for punishing them if they do, a better approach would be to design policies that make it…
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Review: Atomic Blonde‘s Stylish Action Bolstered by Duplicity of War

Current events have bolstered Atomic Blonde‘s, giving the film substance beyond its role as a conventional summer action movie better at scoring at the box office than provoking thought. Accusations of Russian influence in domestic elections, eyebrow-raising flights by private jet by millionaires advising presidential candidates, and historically low levels of trust in information from…
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Tax Reform III: Tax Employer Health Care Benefits; Offer a Tax Credit to Health Insurance Purchasers

In an earlier blog post I suggested eliminating all personal tax deductions, with a possible exception related to health care.  One of the well-publicized problems with the American health care system is that employer-provided health insurance is not taxed, pushing us to a system in which people get health insurance from their employers.  A…
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Tax Reform II: Lower Rates; Eliminate Deductions

As Congress considers tax reform, the focus on the personal income tax should be to lower rates and eliminate all deductions except for a standard deduction that applies to everyone.  Lower rates enough to offset the increased revenue from eliminating deductions, and set the standard deduction at a level that raises the same amount…
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The Inclusive LGBTQ Community?

Can’t we just accept people for who they are and celebrate our differences, rather than discriminating and ostracizing people who think and act differently from us?  Do we have to be intolerant to those who are different? While many people are tolerant of those who think and act differently, one apparently intolerant group is…
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