For all the big talk about doing this, no major figure in the public debate in the US seems to do it, ever. Even the so-called "Think Tanks" don't.
Last year the US was embroiled in a long "debate" on health care. But there was no debate, no presentation of well-argued positions, no evidence for positions was provided. The "debate" had the intellectual content of a football sports bar dialogue over a few beers. The P-O-R crowd hid behind closed doors and wrote a "plan" with the help of the lobbyists. The Rs bloviated against "socialized medicine". Did anyone look around the world for plans or systems that work ... better than what we have ? Nope. France and Germany have workable systems with very, very high public support. Who bothered to assess if all or parts could be applied here ? No one.
Take tax "reform". Does anyone with experience actually doing tax returns provide input ? Nope. All the players are economists and lobbyists who have agendas. Do you realize the US has multiple systems taxing "income" ? [regular income, minimum income, 'earned' income, capital income .. and then the corporate income] Why ? The complexity and unfairness is huge. Potential for favors and corruption are enormous. Dislocations and unfairness abound. Who among the blatherers knows that a retired person making around $35,000 a year can face marginal tax rates in the mid 40% range ? That's more than any billionaire.
Rs say the poor pay little or no tax. They are either stupid of liars. The working poor pay plenty in the form of social security taxes and medicare taxes. Those taxes come off the top, before ANY deductions. The Rs love to talk about the 'employer' payments when they talk about costs: they say it is really paid by the worker. YET they somehow forget that when it comes to assessing how much tax the working poor.
How much tax does a billionaire pay who owns municipal bonds ? Zero. He pays NOTHING for support of old people, for medical care of old people, nothing for national defense, etc. He's a total freeloader. YET who in the DC chattering classes talks about "fairness" in taxing that freeloader ? No one.
Any tax "reform" that does not unify and simply the systems is fraud. A simple, unified income tax at a low rate with a high exemption for the poor PLUS a value added tax would be fair. All would pay something. The value added tax would pay for Social Security AND a unified Shared Health Care Benefit. Taxes would be fair and collect plenty of money. Double taxation and loopholes would cease.
That is thinking outside the box.
Hey DC, read this blog !!!
I sold a bushel of TIPs [Treasury Inflation Protected securities] yesterday at a good price. The proceeds were put into a money fund. Krypto now have lots of cash to buy stocks on this dip. On a further rally in TIPs prices, I will sell more. The TIPs allocation in Krypto Fund is now 7.5%, down from a high of 12.5%. I have done the reduction in two steps, and will cut the allocation to 5% on a further significant move up in the price of TIPs.
My buying of US stocks will begin when the S&P gets closer to 1000. As always, I will buy in stages. Time diversification rules.
Word of the Day
"Obstreperous" - adjective [$10]
Obstreperous means 1. uncontrollably noisy, clamorous; 2. stubbornly defiant, unruly.
Sentence: The Tea Parties need more intellectual content to focus their obstreperous natures in order to expand support to the political center and win major elections - not just primary elections.