Archive for the Charlie Category

Charlie Arlinghaus September 30, 2015 As originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader Politicians are tempted by the siren song of populism which sacrifices sensible policy for applause lines. They should be careful of the unintended consequences of their eagerness to attack evil hedge fund managers. For about a decade some politicians have been attacking […]

 

You’ll forgive me if I don’t care that much about what happened with the budget or the budget deal. The government spent almost three months setting up this giant pitched battle between light and darkness and in the end nothing changed. The governor signed a budget that is more or less what the legislature passed and she vetoed. What was the point exactly?

 

The real dispute is over the Republican plan to cut business taxes and the governor’s fictitious criticism of it. Misleading rhetoric is used to cover a philosophical disagreement.

 

Political candidates insist on talking about trees and trust you will ignore the forest. The federal budget mess becomes a bigger and bigger problem because they know you don’t care about the big picture and can be counted on to ignore their pathetic record. The federal budget cannot and will not be balanced simply because it doesn’t have to be balanced and you don’t care that your politicians don’t care.

 

The Problem with Tax Write-offs

The best discussion of our understanding of modern tax policy comes from the classic television show Seinfeld. Everyone’s favorite economist, Kramer, encourages Jerry to defraud a company because big companies don’t need to worry. “Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.” Jerry claims that Kramer doesn’t even know what that means. Kramer’s defense: “But they do and they’re the ones writing it off.”

 

The Great Myths About the NH Primary

Much of what you know about the New Hampshire primary is wrong or misleading. Six months before the election seems like a good time to sort out some fact and fiction.

 

Right now you should pay less attention to presidential election. Paradoxically though, you should also paying more attention. The real problem is the media covering the election acts as if they’ve never covered an election before and have no familiarity with elections in general.

 

The political chattering classes would prefer primaries and debates to be run for their own entertainment and are generally annoyed at the patience and caution with which the vast majority of voters approach the process.

 

The ongoing state budget fight is about yesterday not tomorrow. Big government squabbles are never about what the press release claims. This one won’t and can’t be resolved quickly. The press conference phase of the budget that we are currently undergoing amounts to positioning before negotiations which can’t begin until official documents are released at the beginning of the Fall.