Debt crises make great drama. The big shots attend meetings, look terribly worried, then stomp out, accusing each other of bad faith. Finally, at the witching hour, they reach agreement and tell us all is fine, for now.
At first glance, Governor Rick Perry’s plan for a federal flat tax seems way cool. Our personal income tax is a horrific, inefficient, inequitable, complex monstrosity that drives anyone without the simplest finances nuts. I’d love to stop wasting four days a year preparing my return.
It’s a rare and wonderful thing to see a Republican agree with a Democrat, especially on an innovative idea. Yet when it comes to reforming our mortgage system, we need to tread carefully. Republican Congressman Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York are both considering proposing a Danish-type "covered" bond system. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has also made favorable noises.
The notion that education pays and that better education pays better is taken for granted by almost everyone. For college professors like me, this is a very convenient idea, providing a high and growing demand for our services.