Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Tax deal analysis
What do I think of the tax deal? Better than just letting the tax cuts expire in an ailing economy. But the long-run U.S. economic future requires a more through revamp of the tax system than anything in prospect now. Neither party has any stomach for a VAT or carbon tax currently, even as part of a package that would reduce or eliminate the income tax. Nor do the parties have much interest in needed entitlement reforms or discretionary spending cuts. Meanwhile, many Republicans want to radically reform the monetary system, an area where the measures contemplated would be counterproductive in the extreme. So the current deal is better than nothing and may have the benefit of keeping politicians distracted from matters where they could do real harm.