Can the center hold?

The Greek left (exemplified by the tax collectors’ union) and some folks in the American right are trying the same approach.   When Greek tax collectors went on strike, I worried for their country.  Now, in America, House Republicans propose to cut the IRS budget by $3 billion, that is, 25 percent.  That’s starving the beast, all right – working for the collapse of the government.

Raleigh News & Observer corrects error . . . online — and in print

Rob Christensen’s column now has corrected  sub silentio the attribution of “riverboat gamble” to Bob Dole that I complained about here.  So the online version now gets the attribution right:

Trickle-down economics. Yes, the same warmed-over philosophy that the elder George Bush once called “voodoo economics” and Howard Baker called “a riverboat gamble.”

Waiting to see if the print version (to which I still subscribe) ‘fesses up.   UPDATE:  Corrected on page A2, August 8.

Tax rates: Carbon and Marijuana

An old friend who stayed in tax policy work as I went and came says a place to start studying the carbon tax is THE DESIGN OF A CARBON TAX, by Gilbert Metcalf and David Weisbach.

The authors “recommend full or partial delegation of rate setting authority to an agency to ensure that rates reflect new information about the costs of carbon emissions and of abatement.”  That approach is in line with my view that we don’t yet know enough about marijuana markets to set tax rates by legislation.  Taxing either substance will be a trial-and-error process.