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  • Fiscal Responsibility: Obama Takes the Reins [View article]
    What a conclusion. Increasing taxes on the hardest workers, while wasting trillions in borrowed funds, is definitely the road to fiscal responsibility. (sarcasm intended).

    Seriously, I understand the author's point. But IMO, the analysis is incomplete. The government creates incentives for people to act in certain ways. Tax policy is a big way to do that. I am suspicious about the 250k cut off, especially with higher payroll taxes over 107k. People who make good salaries typically work harder jobs with longer hours and live in cities where costs are higher. Penalizing the responsible just can't be good long term policy.

    There has already been a lot written about the tragedy of the stimulus. We're spending 800 Billion and not getting much to show for it. It's not just spending money that was needed, but spending in a way that makes sense. Think about how much could've been done with that money if it were focused on something specific. In short, I don't believe a few rhetorical techniques with revised arguments are the same thing as fiscal responsibilty.
    Feb 24, 2009. 08:54 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If You Thought the Auto Bailout Was Ridiculous Before... [View article]
    Interesting article. It seems the govt has assumed a temporary problem, in which spending can get over a hurdle. This ignores the large market forces at work, and the many changes which have taken place in the auto industry (much more than can be summarized here). IMO, Detroit needs extreme fundamental changes in order to thrive, and they're still moving sluggishly at adapting. Unless this recession has a quick turn-around (unlikely now), there is clearly more trouble ahead.

    If given a comparable choice, I'll always buy American. Trouble is the choice is getting less comparable, and cars are much too large an investment to buy frivolously. I won't need another car for several years, but when I do, I have a responsibility to my own family to act responsibly, and I will do so at that time.
    Feb 24, 2009. 12:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Acknowledging Our 'Animal Spirits' [View article]

    Somehow I don't see elected politicians saying "party over" when times are good. And now that times are bad, they clearly aren't sure how to get the party started again. This sounds like more broad strokes w/o a practical application.

    Feb 21, 2009. 07:56 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Depressed Oil Prices Approaching Good Point for Speculation [View article]

    Rolling forward ETFs can still get you in trouble, given the contango. The chart points out an interesting and well noted trend, but investing vehicles for individuals are not nearly as clear.
    Feb 18, 2009. 08:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama's Housing Plan: Elegant and Costly [View article]
    No matter how you label it, a good deal of wealth redistribution is going on. I don't see how anyone has any faith in the effects and consequences.
    Feb 18, 2009. 08:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment