Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Sacred Cows

NPR, which, along with Planned Parenthood, has become the focus of the administration's extremist funding priorities and out-of-control spending, ran an interesting series last weekend on All Things Considered. “A Tax Plan That Economists Love (And Politicians Hate)” asked five politically diverse economists to come up with policy changes that would drive the economy and stem the red ink. Here are six proposals on which they all agreed:

  • Eliminate the home mortgage deduction, perhaps the country’s most popular entitlement program.
  • End the tax deduction companies receive for providing health care to their employees.
  • Eliminate the corporate income tax.
  • Eliminate all income and payroll taxes.
  • Tax carbon emissions . . . and so drive up the price of gasoline.
  • Legalize marijuana.

At first blush this lists seems closer to Ron Paul or the Libertarian platform than to either of the major parties – and in the latest polls the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, stands at a whopping 3%. Indeed, when NPR presented the economists’ platform to two experienced political consultants, they responded with something less than enthusiasm.

“You’re insane,” said one, calling it “a radical plan to bankrupt families.”

“You should move to another country,” said the other.

But in fact, not only is there is something in the plan for everybody to hate, there is also a good deal to chew on . . . once you have adjusted to seeing a landscape strewn with the carcasses of sacred cows or looked at the world through the haze of your now-legal joint.

We’ll look more closely tomorrow.

Sacred Cows Redux

Cabinet Making (2)