@Pete, who wrote: “at the same time, [Adam Smith] saw the need of government as an interventionary force to prevent excesses that worked against the general public interest” In the material you quoted, and elsewhere, he argued strenuously against exactly this. It is precisely such government interference, “[t]he proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce,” that he warned required “great caution” because of the involvement of crony capitalism. […]

FairTax 5: Amended

I had suggested that the FairTax would best be implemented through an amendment process, to make certain that there was no temptation to do sales AND income taxes. This actually is required in the FairTax bill: the 16th amendment providing for income tax must be repealed before the FairTax law takes effect, so it guarantees that there will be no double-taxation. […]

FairTax 4: Losses

Tbe original poster wrote: “As a side-issue vaguely related to this, does anyone else detect a surge in the entrepreneurial spirit with people coming up with new ideas, putting them up on kickstarter, getting prototypes made through 3D printing or other means of manufactury, and not having to go through major corporations?” No. (I explained.) […]

FairTax 3: Draft and Poor Cards

The discussion ranged to include a possible permanent exemption from income tax for those who have served: “It COULD be a great incentive to get people to join, since we don’t have a draft.” […]

FairTax 2: Incentives

Another commenter in the FairTax discussion, and my reply:

[Y]ou’d expect conservative media to support a policy that shifts the tax burden off the rich – the opposite is the case. The Wall Street Journal ran a piece not so long explaining why “fair” tax is an bad idea. It was unexpected to say the […]

FairTax 1

A discussion I’m involved in on the MENSA site had one member independently think up the idea of replacing the income tax with a sales tax. He and I are very far apart politically (something he noted during the discussion), but I agree with him on this. There has been a proposal that is continually refined to accomplish exactly this, and it would end the IRS for good. Here’s their website, FairTax.org. And then the arguments started… One commenter needed the IRS: […]

Gas Attack

Charles Krauthammer has written favorably of adding more taxes to the cost of gasoline:

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

NB: 32 years ago, Dr. Krauthammer was […]

Presidential Economy

Do presidents really have an effect on the US economy? That question was put to me. Here’s my reply. The Clinton era was an utter and complete financial disaster — to the point where Republicans won the midterms in a landslide, and were able to force through tax reductions and other Federal constraints. […]

Paul Ryan’s Budgets

Paul Ryan, Republican representative from Wisconsin and the 2012 Republican candidate for vice president, is considering a run for president in 2016. Perhaps I should be happier about this, but I have some problems with Congressman Ryan… […]

Minimum Wage, Maximum Impact

I was challenged in another forum recently because I had indicated that fewer than 5% of the workforce was at minimum wage. She had heard differently: […]