A New Can Of Worms
22 May 2003
Bring me my Philips Mental Jacket
Philosopher Slavoj Zizek has some interesting -- counterintuitive even -- insights into the bioethics argument. It's well worth the read.
A Different Kind of Republican Animal on Tech Central Station
Urban Elephants are beginning to get noticed.
Perhaps this something that can imported into the City with broad shoulders...
20 May 2003
Deficits and Growth
Peter Ferrara on the Bush Tax Cut on NRO Financial points out that the left is falling all over itself in attempting to discredit the President's jobs and growth package.
I had the same thoughts this morning while listening to local talk radio. Host Mike Wilson (WMAY-AM) in Springfield told listeners he feared the Bush growth and jobs program because the resulting deficits would hinder economic growth. The only way this could happen is if the deficits caused interest rates to rise... At least that is generally the argument used... I thought back to the Carter and Reagan years.
During Carter we had high deficits and high interest rates and a terrible economy. During the Reagan years we had higher deficits and lower interest rates and a booming economy. When we look at the economy right now, we see record low interest rates and rising deficits -- even before this latest round of tax cuts.
We have a fundamentally different situation between now and then. Today, the Fed is worried about deflation. In the 70's, 80's and 90's the battle was over inflation. Here's what Ferrara has to say to Mike: "But nowhere today, or in economic history, will you find an intellectually developed school of thought that says tax cuts that increase deficits will cause an economic downturn rather than an economic rebound. Even Marxism doesn't say that."
Mr. Wilson take heed.
19 May 2003
The Boston Globe on Sunday wrote an excellent piece on a man I was honored to know late in his life. In fact, one piece in the WSJ that I helped Albert (albeit, only marginally) with is mentioned.
I'll never forget when Perry was nominated for Secretary of Defense by President Clinton. Albert actually asked for my opinion, I was 24 at the time, I couldn't believe it. His line on Perry was that he was very capable but not politically savvy enough for the Clinton crowd. Albert was right on that, too.
Lots of Good Stuff on NRO
Bruce Bartlett on the Bush Tax Cut on NRO Financial has a rather pessimistic view of the altered Bush tax cuts.
In a nutshell Bartlett argues that executives and investors will be unsure about hiring and investment because of the three year window provided by the altered tax cuts. From an economic standpoint Bartlett is correct, but I don't believe economic decisions alone will explain it all the behavior.
In addition to the economic calculus, a political one will have to be made. The political question that must be addressed is, what will next year's tax cut look like? Next year, there will be pressure for another tax cut, and the year after that, and the year after if Bush remains in office. The Administration has told the business community this time and time again.
One of the reasons for the almost total support of the Bush tax cuts in the Business community is because the Administration has stated that if you don't get what you want in this year's tax cut, you'll get it in the next. If you break discipline, you'll be moved to the back of the line. So far it has worked. Even thought the Administration lost control of the tax cut on the Hill, it still worked. It will work again.
Because of this Bartlett's comments should be taken with a grain of salt.
Timothy P. Carney on Arlen Specter & Blanche Lincoln & Taxes on National Review Online
This really shows why Republicans must be solid on the tax issue. Taxes drive the direction of the debate.
Well, Why Not a Taxpayer Protection Caucus?
Capitol Fax CAUCUS POWER Non-party caucuses may be coming into their own this year.
"The Legislative Minority Caucus has been moving plenty of bills through the General Assembly and was able to impose its will on the O'Hare bill. It also convinced Senate President Emil Jones not to take away Sen. Rickey Hendon's committee chairmanship earlier this spring. The caucus will also likely have more to say about the budget.
The Latino Caucus extracted a major pound of flesh from SBC last week. The Southland Caucus could actually make the Peotone Airport a reality. As mentioned above, the Downstate House Dems are working the road bill while the Downstate House GOPs are pushing the nursing home stuff.
And the ever-more-powerful Conference of Women Legislators has been zipping women-friendly bills through the General Assembly all session and will undoubtedly make changes in the budget, as it has so often in the past.
Despite rules and traditions in both chambers designed to concentrate legislative power in the hands of the four leaders, members are finding ways to get things done on their own. This is a very good thing."
This is Too Much
Copley News Service Illinois State House Editor Dana Heupel claims Governor cutting too deep into administrative staff in today's SJ-R.
According to Heupel, Blagojevich -- the liberal Democrat from Chicago -- doesn't like his main constiuency in the state and that the transition issues and disdain is harming morale. Talking about blowing smoke:
"But the situation is compounded by the apparent perception by Blagojevich and his advisers that all of state government is either corrupt or inept."
If this is true, then Blagojevich is the only elected democrat office holder to not like bureaucrats -- i.e. his constiuency.
Give me a break!