“Assuming that the presidential season clarifies these choices, the campaign’s winner will face another challenge next year: how to deal with a Congress that has failed to handle even its most basic economic functions. Given the outlook for both a shaky global economy and higher financial volatility, the new administration will need to find a way to get Congress to implement measures in four specific areas, some of which already command bipartisan support.
The first covers long-overdue structural reforms. Guided by the administration, Congress needs to overhaul a tax system littered with anti-growth provisions, invest more in infrastructure, expand labor-market retraining and modernize our education system. The lack of such reforms, and the insecurity generated, is one main reason the private sector has held back from spending the enormous cash reserves on its balance sheets; encouraging that money to flow into productive activities, rather than share buybacks, would boost the economy.
America also needs a more responsive fiscal policy. This means, above all, redirecting resources that essentially subsidize the better-off segments of society, including the excessively low taxation of carried interest and other budgetary measures to help reduce the economic drag that inequality creates through reduced consumer demand.” …………………..
“While I.M.F. reform might seem arcane, it could be vital to averting another global crisis — without changes, the fund’s credibility will continue to be questioned, especially in the eyes of emerging economies, undermining global policy cooperation and increasing the risk of currency wars and other damaging coordination failures.”
Source: When Will the Candidates Start Talking About the Economy? – The New York Times
Tom Friedman: “How is it that we are not deploying a carbon tax and using that to reduce payroll taxes that discourage hiring and shrink corporate taxes that reduce investment? Many economists — left, right and center — agree that a carbon tax, with adjustments for low-income earners, makes a world of sense. How is it that our two parties cannot agree on imaginative solutions to ease the burden of $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loans — by, say, enabling graduates to pay off student loans with pretax income, the same way we allow workers to save in 401(k)s? The Highway Trust Fund, the primary source of financing for roads and mass transit is going broke primarily because House Republicans won’t agree to an increase in the federal gasoline tax, which has not been raised since 1993!”
Is Friedman right that the Barack and Hillary are useless chickens on the carbon tax issue, or did the Obama team fly a carbon tax once or twice, only to have it shot down in the Congress? I guess that he hates Hillary, because she was tough on Israel, and supported the treaty with Iran.
Coral Davenport wrote in the NYT on 9/27/14 that Obama sent a carbon pricing cap and trade system to Congress, which was roundly defeated. Since a cap and trade system, according to Pope Francis’s encyclical, and environmentalists such as Dean Cycon, is a very weak and manipulable non tax pricing system, its failure suggests a real carbon tax had zero chance. My criticism of Obama, is that he doesn’t fight for it repeatedly. I think Hillary should call for it, so she has a mandate if elected to enact it.
So many presidential candidates. So few daring ideas or trade-offs.
nytimes.com|By Thomas L. Friedman
Mining for Influence in Montana, by Brian Schweitzer, NYT
“All this is in jeopardy, though, thanks to the Supreme Court and its infamous Citizens United ruling. In February the court notified the office of Montana’s commissioner of political practices, which oversees state campaigns, that until further notice, we may no longer enforce our anti-corruption statute, specifically our restriction on corporate money.
The court, which will make a formal ruling on the law soon, cited in the 2010 Citizens United case that corporations are people, too, and told us that our 110-year effort to prevent corruption in Montana had likely been unconstitutional. Who knew?”