Friday, October 31, 2008

Bush team rushing to deregulate

Rushing to avoid the same post-inauguration reversal of rule-making that they carried out eight years ago, the White House is pressing agencies throughout the government to finish up a wide range of deregulatory steps. Farms, mines and power plants are just some of the industries affected. This has been reported elsewhere in recent days, but today's Washington Post does an especially good job of putting the story in context. While you're at the website, note the especially heavy round of reader comments -- 508 by mid-morning.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greenspan concedes errors

In an important footnote to the historic financial shakeup we're having, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he was wrong to think banks would act so prudently in their own self-interest that no extra regulation was needed to head off a housing bubble. We had a bubble, of course, and it broke -- with disastrous costs that are still not possible to tabulate. The Washington Post reports well on yesterday's congressional hearing, though I thought they saved the most telling quote for the very end.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Taxes and our debt TO society

Not many things will raise my blood pressure, but one that did was Miz Palin's insinuation that it's patriotic to avoid paying taxes. Fortunately, I'm not alone in feeling proud to write the check that accompanies my Form 1040. A letter in today's New York Times states my view very well:
To the Editor:

Fair taxation isn’t about “redistributing the wealth” — it’s about giving back to the great country that gave you the opportunity to benefit so greatly.

It’s not about taking money from “Joe the Plumber.” It’s about making sure that “Joe’s Mega-Plumbing Incorporated” gives back to the country and the people who gave him:

¶ Roads and bridges for his trucks to roll on.
¶ Support for research for his latest plumbing equipment.
¶ Public education so he can have a well-trained work force.
¶ Markets so he can raise capital.
¶ Police and firefighters so his business is protected.
¶ Health care so the employees who helped him build his business can stay on the job.
¶ Freedom so that he can build his business creatively.

If “Joe” has been able to become wealthy because of the bounty of America, then he should pay his fair share back to America — that is patriotic.

Daryl Altman
Lynbrook, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2008
More letters at The Times (you may need to register).