Category: Taxes

Nobody is Blinking, Unfortunately

Back during the debt-limit debate (July 18) that threatened to result in default or debt downgrading, I posted a blog with the title, “Who Cares Enough to Blink?” I was referring to King Solomon’s decision to split the baby in half, with the real mother’s backing off to save her child. The one who cared […]

Debit Card Blues–Connecting the Dots

Conversation at my suburban barber shop is as rare as it is with my seat mates on airplanes these days, but yesterday a real conversation broke out. What had people all riled up was Bank of America’s announcement of a $5 per month fee for using your debit cards. The consensus was that it was […]

Mr. Buffett, His Secretary, and Financial Literacy

I’ve long admired Warren Buffett and still do. I’ve heard him tell many times how his secretary pays a larger percentage of her small income on taxes than he pays on his large income. Sometimes he elaborates; sometimes he doesn’t. When he doesn’t, he does a great disservice to the cause of financial literacy in […]

Pay Now or Pay Later

Someone recently asked me whether I thought the taxpayers would be willing to pay to clean up our fiscal mess. From a political perspective, I doubt that they will be willing to pay enough to convert the fiscal deficits into surpluses, which is necessary to reduce the level of debt. Since public awareness is probably […]

Printing Money: Literally

This post is about the literal printing and issue of money. The next will cover money printing figuratively.) The holiday season is upon us and one thing is for sure: the public is demanding more folding money—cash—for shopping, although debit cards have no doubt cut into that ritual significantly. The public gets more cash by […]

What Happened to the Celtic Tiger?

According to a sign in my office, it’s exactly 4,381 miles from Dallas, Texas, to Limerick, Ireland. That sign, a replica of an Irish road sign, was given to me by a colleague, Mark Wynne, who took my place in a forthcoming speaking assignment in Ireland when I retired from the Dallas Fed in November […]

Taxing the Rich

Long ago and far away I taught economic principles and money and banking in night school. Since those three-hour classes came after long hours in my day job, I must admit—against interest as the lawyers say—that I tended to emphasize things that were easier to teach. Nothing was easier than simple Keynesian relationships because of […]

Banks Don’t Pay Taxes; People Pay Taxes

The fate of the financial reform legislation in the Senate apparently depends on whether it contains a tax increase. The conferrees hastily re-convened to remove one tax objected to by Senator Brown. Okay. That was a good move. But let’s not forget a couple of basics: (1) the imposition of massive new regulations on the […]

Purity, Obscurity and the Slaves of Defunct Economists

The Fed’s lending and the Treasury’s investments in banks will not cost taxpayers anything. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for the government’s stimulus program to create jobs. That is old fashioned government spending: Money spent, money gone. A large stimulus program was needed to cushion the recession and reduce job losses. But the program outsourced […]

Bailouts, Failures, and Death Panels

They are now making jokes about death panels — not to pull the plug on Grandma in the reformed health-care regime, but to pull the plug on banks and other large institutions posing risk in the reformed financial regime. Preventing failure doesn’t seem to be the goal. Triggering and punishing failure are the goals. The […]