OK, a quick trip down memory lane.
Kids and young adults, anyone under 25, ask your parents, because I know it wasn't covered in school.
Ronald Reagan came into office in 1981. He cut income taxes, especially income taxes for rich people. He raised Social Security...
Audiences love Salvation Boulevard. Critics hate it.
I've seen it five times.
Twice at Sundance, at the Library, a beautiful, but drafty, old auditorium with mediocre sound that seats around 400 people, and at a 1500 seat venue with great sound. With a really bad, dark,...
Everyone has heard of the woman who spilled coffee on herself and won $3 million from McDonald's. Perhaps you recall an editorial similar to this one, which ran in the San Diego Union Tribune: "A winning lottery ticket... absurd... a stunning illustration of what's wrong with America's civil justice system."...
The current economy is routinely and universally referred to as the worst recession since the Great Depression.
It makes sense, therefore, to look back at government tax and spending policies during the Depression and what the results were.
1932 -- Hoover raises the top tax rate...
I wrote a book, Salvation Boulevard.
Cathy Schulman, the Oscar winning producer of Crash, optioned it for Mandalay.
Cathy gave it to George Ratliff, the fine young director of Joshua and Hellhouse.
George wrote a script with Doug Max Stone.
It was good enough to get Pierce...
Renewing the Bush tax cuts is like:
...driving your car off the cliff, paying a tow truck twice the price of the car to haul it back up,
then driving it back over because your brother-in-law's cousin's friend told you this time it will fly.
...celebrating your one...
Our prevailing mythology is that tax cuts help the economy.
They stimulate it. They promote growth. They create jobs.
The truth is that tax cuts cause crashes.
Tax hikes end depressions and recessions.
Those are the broad strokes.
MYTH #1: Tax cuts create jobs.
Tax increases cost jobs.
All Republican politicians, and many Democratic ones as well, make the claim that tax increases will prevent small business people from hiring. Indeed, it may force them to fire people.
Alright, we expect politicians to say loony...
The stimulus package failed because it consisted mostly of tax cuts. Tax cuts are among the very worst ways to create jobs and certainly the most expensive.
The stimulus package authorizes 787 billion dollars. According to the official website (Recovery.gov) $565 billion has actually been spent or...
There appear to be, roughly, three types of recessions.
There are post-war recessions. These are easy to understand. There's an abrupt decline in military spending, demobilization reintroduces a large number of people into the work force, and businesses supplying the war machine need time to switch to consumer products....
There are a lot of people in the military, and in politics too, that think we coulda, shoulda, woulda won in Vietnam.
That wouldn't matter much. The past is a foreign country immune from invasion. But here we are in Afghanistan. See, US forces won every battle in Vietnam. Every...
AN ODE TO SPRING (OF BANKS WE SING)
Lo, yon derivative swaps have taken wing.
'Tis an ode to spring. 'Tis of banks we sing.
Oh so recently, richly, wildly over-inflated,
their lending rooms are now tightly constipated.
But, "O Goldman," and also "O Sachs,"
Credit where credit is due. The TV show 24 is probably the most significant piece of political drama in the last decade.
On one hand, it is very likely that Barack Obama got elected because America had already had a serious black presidential candidate (one season)...
US economic growth has been strongest when our taxes have been high. During World War II, then under Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, our upper marginal tax rates were between 88-92%. Read those numbers again. They are astonishingly high. Those were our strongest growth years.
I never expected...
This is a multi-part series about God, religion, and politics. The previous parts of the series can be found here.
Part I says that we need to understand religion because, after a brief, semi-retirement of a few hundred years, religion has returned as the number one cause of violence,...
This is a set of essays about God & religion, science, morality & politics.
PART ONE said that it's important to study religion because it has become the primary source of violent conflict in the 21st Century.
That should have triggered a serious, widespread discussion...