Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quotes of the day

Similarly, the US is currently borrowing at record peacetime level, and the solution to our problem seems to have the government spend more. As anyone with some fiscal discipline knows, you don't buy something merely because you can, bills must be paid. So, perhaps every society has a different optimal coalition at various times, and currently I don't see what will keep it from bringing everything down to the coalition of a few elites, sincerely deluded as to their belief in the virtue of government spending, combined with a vast entitlement mob at the bottom, all literally feeding off the middle class. It sounds a lot like South America.--Eric Falkenstein

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.--Laurence J. Peter

While the Obama administration discusses additional stimulus packages, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is arguing that we should roll back key elements of the Bush tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003. The administration is particularly skeptical about the benefits of today's lower rates on dividends and capital gains. The tax on dividends, for example, is currently 15%, but it could increase to as high as 39.6% if the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire. On top of this, a new 3.8% tax on investment incomes for high-income earners begins in 2013 to help pay for ObamaCare. The administration's arguments for higher taxes on capital center on fairness and the need for deficit reduction. These arguments are seriously mistaken. The relationship between investment, capital and wages is such that workers are better off if capital is not taxed at all. Think of the economy as a pie split among workers, savers and the government, with the government's slice fixed. The savers' slice will equal the after-tax return on each unit of the capital stock, and what's left goes to workers as after-tax wages. The fairness advocates in effect claim that low tax rates on dividends and capital gains increase the share of the pie that goes to high-income savers. But the low tax rates increase the absolute size of the workers' slice by making the entire pie bigger. That's because low tax rates encourage capital accumulation, productivity and wage growth.--Glenn Hubbard

With about 35 CPU-years of idle computer time donated by Google, a team of researchers has essentially solved every position of the Rubik's Cube™, and shown that no position requires more than twenty moves. --Morley Davidson, Tomas Rokicki et al

... merely by the use of “non-GAAP” earnings, Hurd’s HP turned a 16% GAAP earnings decrease into to a 6% non-GAAP earnings increase. And Wall Street’s Finest ate it up. Call it the Hurd Instinct for playing to the madness of crowds: Mark Hurd did possess a genius for it.--Jeff Matthews

[Newt Gingrich] could have been president. But when you try and change your history too much, and try and recolor it because you don't like the way it was or you want it to be different to prove something new ... you lose touch with who you really are. You lose your way. He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don't have to be connected. If you believe that, then yeah, you can run for president.--Marianne Gingrich

A congressional ethics panel accused California Democrat Maxine Waters of bringing discredit on the House of Representatives by helping get government assistance for a troubled bank in which her husband held stock. After Waters was warned by Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank to refrain from helping OneUnited Bank, she broke three House rules by failing to stop her chief of staff from providing such aid, the committee alleged.--James Rowley

Had Mr. Rangel given this financially troubled nonprofit his own money, his resentment of a newspaper asking questions about it would be completely justified. But the fact that Mr. Rangel resents being asked what he managed to do with taxpayers‘ money is evidence that he makes no distinction between what belongs to him and what belongs to others. He seems sincerely to believe that exercising his power to grab and spend other people’s money somehow makes other people’s money his own. That’s the attitude of a thief.--Don Boudreaux

So, the Muslim investors championing the construction of the new mosque near Ground Zero claim it's all about strengthening the relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim world. As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque - after all, if they buy the land and they follow the law - who can stop them? Which is, why, in the spirit of outreach, I've decided to do the same thing. I'm announcing tonight, that I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.--Greg Gutfeld

While Americans express good opinions of small businesses and preachers, we also seem decreasingly likely to want anything to do with them. Perhaps it’s the cowboy effect: hagiographies of Old West heroes, followed by traveling cowboy shows and then cowboy films, all took off in the wake of the cowboy’s great day in America. Still, the fact that Americans seem to hold the ideas of business ownership and church leadership in high regard is encouraging, in light of what we see made of them, especially the clergy, in popular entertainment media.--Tony Woodlief

Forty years ago I became involved with the actor Gary Cooper, and by him I became pregnant. As he was a married man and I was young in Hollywood and not wanting to ruin my career, we chose to have the baby aborted.” She said, “Father, alone in the night for over 40 years, I have cried for my child. And if there is one thing I wish I had the courage to do over in my life, I wish I had the courage to have that baby.--Patricia Neal

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