Thursday, May 19, 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
- The New York Times published a story Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private, which
- mentions "Trump" over 100 times
- cites a number of examples over five decades (including high school) where Donald Trump or his father appears to be "crossing the line"
- reports that the Trump Organization was a construction-industry leader when it came to promoting women into the upper ranks of management, and that Donald Trump was taking such actions over the objections of his father.
- free advertising for Trump
- discredit the New York Times, at least when it comes to accusations against Trump, and perhaps even making it look like the daily screed for the Democratic Party
- put future accusers (if any) on the defensive
- give the campaign an authority to (selectively) cite on how Mr. Trump had taken personal risks in order to be a pioneer at promoting women in business.
Update: Professor Paglia says "Can there be any finer demonstration of the insularity and mediocrity of today’s Manhattan prestige media? ...Blame for this fiasco falls squarely upon the New York Times editors...."
She is probably correct, but might entertain the idea that Mr. Trump is far more clever than the press.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
The only important exception comes with the tax treatment of health insurance obtained on the job, which workers can exclude from the income that is subject to payroll and income taxation. The exclusion generates an annual average of $4,000 in tax savings for each of the 75 million workers that take advantage of this employment perk.
They are not against work, of course, but are against uneven taxation. By making job-related health insurance a unique tax shelter, the exclusion leads to excessive health spending – “Cadillac” health plans – and distorts the composition of economic activity toward businesses that have advantages in providing the shelter.
Rubio, for example, proposes tax credits for purchases of individual health insurance and putting “the tax preference for employer-sponsored insurance on a glide path to ensure that it will equal the level of the credits.” The credits are intentionally limited so that they do not favor expensive plans any more than economical ones.
Introducing a credit for purchases in the individual market, as the Republican candidates propose, is an especially new opportunity for people who do not work and thereby further pushes the federal thumb on the scale favoring not working over working.
Take a 62-year-old worker who is considering retirement. A number of federal policies encourage him to retire sooner rather than later by replacing – at the expense of all taxpayers – part of the wage income lost upon retirement. A retiree pays less income tax, pays no payroll tax, and gets a monthly check from Social Security, whereas the 62-year-old who continues work would not get these privileges. Republican plans would change this by giving him a new tax credit if he retires early.
The special treatment of the health insurance obtained at work is the only major pro-work incentive that the federal government currently has for this 62-year-old. The Republicans are achieving their even-tax objective by reducing the incentive to work.
By my estimates, the economic damage done by further reducing incentives to work is not worth the enhancements to health care delivery that would come with taxing things more evenly. I am not aware of any study even attempting to show otherwise, because the studies of health insurance delivery largely ignore the labor-market burdens created by policies that promise to make health care better.
Just this week, Congress delayed until 2020 Obamacare’s “Cadillac” excise tax on health plans that are provided by employers, which is Democrats’ answer to the uneven taxation problem. But the Cadillac tax does a lot less to discourage work than the Republican approaches do (I cannot say the same about the rest of Obamacare), because the Cadillac tax still lets workers keep much of their perk.
To their credit, Republican candidates have other plans to encourage work, especially by bringing down personal income tax rates. But, in order to get the economics right, they should not be double-counting the benefits of reducing rates. By eliminating or partly offsetting the health insurance exclusion, tax rate reductions are needed just to get the labor market back to where it would have been if the exclusion had continued.
To put it another way, more growth would come from cutting rates and keeping the exclusion in place than would come from cutting both the rates and the value of the exclusion together, which is what many Republicans are proposing.
Bipartisan neglect of the work disincentives that come with health reform is a major reason why we continue to have a Pinto economy. We’re left hoping that tax plans might create jobs faster than health plans kill them.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Read about America's current plan here.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
"Most people who lose their jobs don't even qualify for unemployment insurance."
"Unemployment benefits are only available to those who lost a job through no fault of their own. ... Many of the unemployed are recent college or high school graduates who are now looking for work. Others may have quit their jobs, or they left work years ago to take care of children and are now job-hunting again. People in those categories make up 52 percent of the unemployed."
Saturday, December 12, 2015
In reading the [CBO's analysis of ACA marginal tax rates and the labor market], questions that occurred to me, admittedly a non-economist, included why there is no accounting for the increased employment of health care workers which surely must accompany the coverage expansions?
- when we redistribute income for the purposes of paying for some people's health care, that likely creates additional jobs in the process of supplying health care to the ACA beneficiaries.
- But we cannot forget about the other end of the redistribution. Somebody is paying for this, either by paying taxes or loaning money to the government, and that's funds that the payers cannot spend on other things. So there's a reduction in the employment of people who would be supplying the payers (whatever it was that they would have spent money on: anything from food to forming new businesses).
- The bottom line for labor demand hinges on a comparison of the labor-intensity of healthcare supply and the intensity of supplying those other things.