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Zer Netmouse
May 14th, 2008
01:02 pm

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Better than a gas tax holiday

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From:nicegeek
Date:May 14th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Bush gets a fair chunk of the blame, though; if you subtract out the cost of the unnecessary parts of the "war on terror", the budget might even be in surplus. Bush gets no pardon from me on that.

Levin's piece has some good points, particularly on research, although his contrasts with the Clinton years are political and mostly baseless. However, I think a couple of his ideas are likely to have unintended consequences:

First, the oil companies are multinational; if we put a windfall tax on their profits in the U.S. (even with the loopholes he's added), it's going to encourage them to move more of their business (and jobs) to countries with friendlier tax codes.

His ideas to tighten the financial regulations are likely to have similar side-effects if they go too far. One of the biggest reasons that so much financial activity moved to London was the U.S. regulatory-crackdown after Enron. Some of those rules changes were appropriate and necessary, but others imposed so much extra red tape that companies simply chose not to be traded in the U.S. With that said, price-fixing is a definite no-no in both U.S. and international law, and it's worth investigating potential collusion and fully prosecuting any companies doing so.

This is definitely a more thought-out response than the gas tax holiday, though. Obama stole points from Clinton and McCain by calling that out as the pandering that it is.
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