Archive for the Weekly Column Category

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.

 

One of the greatest obstacles to our current crop of politicians getting along with each other is a lack of information or at least a lack of good information. Sharing information and sharing it correctly is important not just for the sake of government transparency but so political squabbles are more constructive.

 

Charlie Arlinghaus July 15, 2015 As originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader Today is the Ides of July — or Quintilis if you aren’t fond of Julius Caesar –and a good time to remind us all what we do and don’t know about taxes — that perennial political football. Tax myths abound and all […]