Monday, November 22, 2010

Quotes of the day

... in the long run the aggregate of decisions of individual businessmen, exercising individual judgment in a free economy, even if it is often mistaken, is less likely to do harm than the centralized decisions of a government; and certainly the harm is likely to be counteracted faster.--Sir John Cowperthwaite

You’ve got to understand, guys just want to play the game. Guys don’t really want to practice. We play games like this, what, two in five days? Something like that. One day of practice, so you don’t have to worry about coach Belichick cursing us out all the time. That’ll be great.--Deion Branch

The problem with these Keynesian policies is that at best they give short term boosts to the economy, but then fizzle out as we are seeing now. Sustaining growth in employment requires sustaining investment, which requires government policy that encourages investment and innovation, not short-run stimulus packages that try to boost consumption and government purchases, which crowd out investment.--John Taylor

Food prices are marching up again mainly because the world economy is recovering from the crisis.--Gary Becker

Erskine B. Bowles and Alan K. Simpson, the chairmen of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission, have taken at hard look at these tax expenditures — and they don’t like what they see. In their draft proposal, released earlier this month, they proposed doing away with tax expenditures, which together cost the Treasury over $1 trillion a year. Such a drastic step would allow Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson to move the budget toward fiscal sustainability, while simultaneously reducing all income tax rates. Under their plan, the top tax rate would fall to 23 percent from the 35 percent in today’s law (and the 39.6 percent currently advocated by Democratic leadership). This approach has long been the basic recipe for tax reform. By broadening the tax base and lowering tax rates, we can increase government revenue and distort incentives less. That should command widespread applause across the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately, the reaction has been less enthusiastic. ... THERE are certain tax expenditures that I like. My personal favorite is the deduction for charitable giving. It encourages philanthropy and, thus, private rather than governmental solutions to society’s problems. But I know that solving the long-term fiscal problem won’t be easy. Everyone will have to give a little, and perhaps even more than a little. I am willing to give up my favorite tax expenditure if everyone else is willing to give up theirs. The Bowles-Simpson proposal is not perfect, but it is far better than the status quo. The question ahead is whether we can get Senator Porkbelly and Congressman Blowhard to agree.--Greg Mankiw

So I like the mortgage interest deduction because it effectively repeals a bad tax.--Steve Landsburg

John Kinnucan says he was sipping wine on his front porch in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 25 when a gray sedan pulled up and two men in business suits jumped out, identifying themselves as FBI agents. The two men accused Mr. Kinnucan, 53 years old, of passing inside information to his hedge-fund and mutual-fund clients, he says. He says they threatened to arrest him and asked him to cooperate with their investigation by tape-recording his calls with a client. Mr. Kinnucan declined the offer, and later that night he sent out a blast email to his clients detailing the visit.--Susan Pulliam

There is no question of 'resisting change'. The only question is what can and should be salvaged from 'devouring time.' Conservation is a labor, not indolence, and it takes discrimination to identify and save a few strands of tradition in the incessant flow of mutability.--Joe Sobran

This is not a thought, it’s safe to say, that has ever crossed Bud Selig’s mind.--Ross Douthat

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