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2018年4月17日 星期二

RCP Morning Note, 04/17/2018: Questions for Comey; Navarro's World; Hitting the Brakes; Accounting for Taxes


04/17/2018
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Carl Cannon's Morning Note

Questions for Comey; Navarro's World; Hitting the Brakes; Accounting for Taxes

By Carl M. Cannon on Apr 17, 2018 09:09 am

Good morning, it's Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Owing to the federal government's forbearance, you have until today to pay the government what you owe. Few people like paying taxes, although next year at this time almost everyone will pay less.

That feels like a good thing, although my own happiness will be tempered by nagging thoughts about what lower tax rates will add to the already huge national debt. James Madison noted, "The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government."

Exactly the point, reply devotees of a smaller government. But how small should it be?

"Taxes," observed Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., "are what we pay for civilized society." To this sentiment, mid-20th-century radio and television impresario Arthur Godfrey had a rejoinder.

"I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States," he quipped. "The only thing is -- I could be just as proud for half the money."

Those quotes come courtesy of the IRS, which spiced the eat-your-spinach ethos of its website with the kind of wit and good grace for which it is rarely credited. I'll offer a few of my own favorite quotes about taxes in a moment. First, I'd point you to RealClearPolitics' front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion columns spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

* * *

10 Questions ABC Didn't Ask Comey. Peter Berkowitz offers an alternative set of queries that might have enlightened viewers more than those posed by George Stephanopoulos.

Peter Navarro's Old Employer Would Do the World a Favor by Taking Him Back. RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny argues that the president's trade adviser is doing harm to the global economy with his protectionist policies.

Big Index Funds Use Your Money to Be "Socially Conscious." Also in RCM, Nan Bauroth critiques corporate proposals that burnish the images of funds at the expense of returns for investors.

Self-Driving Car Dreams. In RealClearPolicy, Mark Mills warns that glib promotions and over-eager deployments will impede rather than accelerate the path to driver-less mobility.

Use Incentives, Not Grants, to Spur Broadband Growth. Also in RCPolicy, Johnny Kampis asserts that government proposals tilt too much toward giving away the farm.

National Academic Standards Have Produced a Lot of Nothing. In RealClearEducation, Jonathan Butcher takes a dim view of the results from the recently released Nation's Report Card.

Community Colleges, the PROSPER Act and the Path to Student Success. Also in RCEd, Rep. Virginia Foxx touts a bill aimed at helping community college students.

The Freedom to Smoke Weed. In RealClearHistory, Brandon Christensen considers the history of marijuana and laws regarding its use.

Oldest Human Remains Found in the United States. RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy has the details.

* * *

As promised, here are some interesting observations to mull over on Tax Day 2018:

" 'Tis impossible to be sure of anything but death and taxes." -- Christopher Bullock, 1716, in "The Cobbler of Preston."

"Taxation without representation is tyranny." -- ascribed to James Otis in a March 29, 1818 letter from John Adams to William Tudor.

"In 1790, the nation which had fought a revolution against taxation without representation discovered that some of its citizens weren't much happier about taxation with representation." -- President Lyndon Johnson's June 3, 1964 commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

"The income tax is just. It simply intends to put the burdens of government justly on the backs of the people." -- William Jennings Bryan, speaking at the Democratic National Convention, Chicago, July 8, 1896.

"What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin." -- Mark Twain, December 30, 1902.

"You don't even pay taxes -- they take taxes. You get a paycheck, the money is gone. That ain't a payment. That's a jack."-- Chris Rock, from a 1999 comedy skit, "Bigger and Blacker."
"I'd like somebody to get rid of the death tax. That's what I want. I don't want to get taxed just because I died. I just don't think it's right. If I give something to my kid, I already paid the tax. Why should I have to pay it again because I died?" -- Whoopi Goldberg, 2007.

"The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress or the state legislature meets." -- Often attributed to Will Rogers, this bon mot was first coined by newspaper columnist Robert Quillen in 1934.

Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
ccannon@realclearpolitics.com

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