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Saturday, January 26, 2008

McCainomics

An interesting New York Times piece on John McCain's economics. Excerpt:
He also said that he would consider resuscitating the work of a bipartisan tax-reform commission, appointed by Mr. Bush, whose 2005 report on simplifying the tax code was largely ignored by the administration. Using the process that has been used to close military bases, Mr. McCain said he would ask Congress to vote yes or no on an entire tax-simplification program.
Greg Mankiw writes:
If you had an up-or-down vote on either of the two reform plans described in the report compared to the status quo, the proposed reform would, I predict, get the votes of more than 90 percent of economists. I have no idea how it would do in Congress.
Tax simplification is a crucial issue. I say this not only because I happen to be a recently married first-time homeowner with several part-time jobs who's now looking at a tottering pile of paperwork. Tax simplification is needed to reduce deadweight costs that hinder the economy.

Mankiw, by the way, has been a Romney advisor but would make an excellent addition to a McCain administration. For one thing, he could explain to the new president that a carbon tax is more efficient, and less subject to interest-group manipulation, than a cap-and-trade system.

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