A better way with taxes?
First, Mike Huckabee is pushing his sales tax proposal here in the Granite State: ["Huckabee Pushes National Sales Tax in NH"].
The article offers an interesting angle - New Hampshire voters don't have a sales or income tax - so, why would they support a sales tax? How would New Hampshire collect it, since we don't collect them now? But I wonder why the mainstream press has not given Rep. Ron Paul or former Sen. Mike Gravel the same amount of time to talk about their similar plans. As well, while I personally like the concept, the idea needs some serious vetting.
In this article, the writer states that the proposal would "eliminate federal income and investment taxes" but I don't know if this is completely correct. But this is what the Americans for Fair Taxation Web site states:
The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 1025) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.
The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.
Also, is it "or" or "and" when speaking of goods and services? If it is "and," I think it might work. Tax everything or tax everything but utilities and food purchased at the supermarket. But if it is "or," the plan will basically transfer the taxes to just retail purchases and that is not going to work. This could potentially cripple the national economy since all America does right now is retail sales. At the same time, retailers would have to lower prices in order to get people to spend their money. There would also be tax savings instead the prices of the products. So, it might actually work.
I think the key though is the Wall Street stuff. If the tax hits every stock purchase at 23 percent the same way it would tax Scotch tape or something else at a retail store, the tax will raise scads of money - which could lead to a lower rate. Again, goods AND services or just goods? It would also induce long-term stock investments instead of quickie purchases and flips and this would be healthy for the ecomomy. But if we are just going to tax Scotch tape, forget it. It will not work.
The husband on the stump
The Atlantic Magazine's blog has been offering some really choice nuggets during the campaign. I read it on a regular basis, whenever I find the time.
Last night, Marc posted this, some highlights of Bill Clinton's interview on "The Charlie Rose Show": ["Bill Clinton ... Well, He Just Puts Everything On The Table. Read It"].
Interestingly, in the comment section, a lot of folks are just calling this another calculating move by the Clintons. But, I don't know. They are totally craven. And, yeah, like others, I wish they would go away. But, he may have just been shooting the shit like any of us would only it was broadcast on television. Also, it is interesting, the take of the husband on the trail, although it might be more interesting if the husband were not a former president but maybe a normal guy, like the wives of candidates, who tend to be pretty normal.
The 'fringe' candidates get some time
Both the AP, Concord Monitor, and WMUR-TV Channel 9 give some time to the lessen-known or sometimes to referred to as "fringe" presidential candidates: ["Lesser-Known Primary Candidates Debate"].
It is funny because about two months ago, I mentioned offhandedly said to my wife that my new newspaper, OurConcord.com, should sponsor a similar debate at Concord's historic Audi theatre [citizens can rent the theatre from a small stipend].
She said the idea was, and I quote, "lame."
So, imagine our surprise when those candidates get their own debate, set up by the Manchester Community Access station, and they all get both press and television time!
"Hey," I said, "That was my idea!"
The moral of the story is that while wives are smart and cool you can't always listen to them if you have a cool idea. Just do it!
Channel 9 looks at them here: ["What Do Ads Say About Candidates?"].
If anyone ought to know, Channel 9 ought to know. The ads are flooding the TV screens at this point. Also, as I was scanning the radio dial last night on my commute home from work, I heard Paul campaign ads on WHOM and WXRV. I have also heard Rudy Giuliani ads, I think on WTPL.
The Unpress, Part 2
I meant to put together a story about The Unpress event last week but time just slipped away from me. However, interestingly enough, I found this story written by someone from Connecticut who attended the event: ["Blogging in New Hampshire"]. There is also a pretty good overview here too: ["Unpress-notes"].
Since both do a pretty good job of representing what happened and what was discussed, I don't really have to now [One of my comments about hoping that with bloggers covering the primary this would allow the serious political reporters to actually spend some time reporting on public policy, which is badly needed, instead of just trying to out-snark the bloggers, went unnoticed, but whatever]. I will, however, try to post some other good quotes that I think were made ... there were so many.
One of the cool folks I met at the event was Samantha Clemens who introduced herself to me, noting that she has read some of my stuff on the Radio-Info boards. She has a Saturday morning show on WMFO 91.5 FM, the Tufts community radio station, where I got my start in radio so many years ago. She has also sat in with WRKO's Todd Feinburg when he used to do his evening show. Samantha's blog is Cause and Effect World, located here: ["Cause and Effect World"].
Here is the main site, if anyone is interested in finding out more about this group and the event: ["The Unpress"]. From there, you can download audio or view pictures and video from the event. It is well worth doing, if you have the time.
The Church of Stop-Shopping
I love pranks like this: ["Reverend Billy Preaches The Gospel of The Church of Stop-Shopping"]. I actually saw a report on this on "Nightline" a couple of weeks ago, when I couldn't fall asleep. They did a pretty good job of describing the documentary. What so amazed me was the fact that a major television network would even give any of this the time of day. Doesn't it go against everything they are trying to do for advertisers? Yeah, it does. But, good for them.
What is that?
I don't know. Do you?: