May 16, 2006

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (051606)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:03 am

Free Links:

  • What if this guy’s right? He predicts that the federal budget will be in balance beginning with the report to be published on April 4, 2008 about March 2008′s receipts and disbursements. A few days ago, he moved his prediction up from his previous break-even estimate of October 2008. His evidence is pretty compelling, but it of course assumes Congress won’t step in and ruin things by porking out or losing the will to extend the tax system beyond its currently scheduled expiration in 2010.
    You may be wondering, if this serendipitous event occurs, if it will convince those who have previously been unmoved that supply-side tax cuts work. Nah — As I noted this past weekend, they’re already trotting out the “it would have happened anyway” excuse.
  • Advice — If you’re going to commit a crime, don’t brag about it on MySpace.
  • A very disappointing ruling from the Supreme Court yesterday on tax incentives:

    In a decision that supports the use of incentives by states in recruiting corporations, the United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that taxpayers in Ohio have no right to challenge nearly $300 million in tax breaks that state officials used to lure DaimlerChrysler to build a plant in Toledo.

    “State taxpayers have no standing … to challenge state tax or spending decisions simply by virtue of their status as taxpayers,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Supreme Court decision issued Monday.

    The 9-0 decision means that the justices do not have to make a ruling on whether such incentive programs are constitutional.

    Two points — First, if taxpayers don’t have the right to challenge these incentive deals, I’d like to know who in the world does; or are we now at the point where imperial elected and non-elected leaders get to set tax policy without the bother of legislation or voter approval? Second, I hate it when the court decisions enable the justices to dodge the big issues, like whether or not incentives are constitutional in the first place. I personally do not believe they are, but we’re going to have to wait for a brand-new challenge from some non-taxpayer with standing, whoever that might be, to run a case all the way up to the Supremes again.

  • I did this post last night, and I’ll betcha that as of this moment, despite predictions all around that it’s a fait accompli, Karl Rove has not yet been indicted (I’m not saying he won’t be.). Speaking of bets, TradeSports, which IS taking bets on, among other things, Scooter Libby’s guilt and various congressional races (see left frame at Luskin’s site), including Ohio’s Sixth District, didn’t have any pools set up on Karl the Evil One as of last night. Some on the left side of the aisle just can’t wait for the official word (if there ever is to be one) — the indictment was announced, and then had to be retracted, at a meeting of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association. If the Jason Leopold from Truthout is the same guy that Howard Kurtz described last year (HT Boraxo at TPM Cafe), I think Karl can sleep soundly.
  • You’ve gotta love this campaign strategy, even if you don’t like his politics, which has its shaky elementsIn a John Fund column primarily about Pennsylvania’s endangered incumbents, who became that way because of an arrogant dead-of-night 16%-54% pay raise passed last year (the pay raise has since been repealed, but not the bad taste in Keystone State taxpayers’ mouths), there is this item about a successful conservative insurgent candidacy in an Indiana primary race (bolds are mine):

    Political types in Indiana already are paying attention. They were shocked earlier this month when three out of 25 incumbent state legislators facing primary challengers lost. The biggest casualty was Robert Garton of Columbus, president of the state Senate and a 36-year Republican incumbent. He lost to Greg Walker, a political neophyte and tax accountant.

    Mr. Garton outspent his opponent 10 to 1 and had groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in his corner. But in a move eerily similar to what happened in Pennsylvania, he set off a prairie fire of protest when he pushed through a bill to give state legislators lifetime health-insurance benefits.

    Mr. Walker seized on the issue and coupled it with criticism that Sen. Garton had become a status quo politician. “Many elected officials serve for so long they become spokesmen for government, rather than those who elect them,” he said. The challenger drove an orange 1970 Plymouth Valiant to emphasize the incumbent had been in office since then and that it was “time for a trade-in.” He cobbled together just enough financial backing from a building contractor group and conservative school choice advocate J. Patrick Rooney to pull off a stunning upset.

    That Valiant must have been quite a sight. Attempts to find a pic of the actual vehicle Walker used did not bear fruit. If anyone has one, send it on.


UPDATE: Porkopolis in the comments refers to AN Orange Valiant I found last night in a search as well, just not THE Valiant. Anyway, here it is (it’s a Valiant/Duster):


UPDATE 2: Michelle Malkin has more on the non-existent Rove indictment.



  1. This 1970 Valiant is not in orange…but it’s probably close enough:

    Maybe the orange color was only for the souped-up Duster model has shown here:

    Comment by Porkopolis — May 16, 2006 @ 10:00 am

  2. “He predicts that the federal budget will be in balance beginning with the report to be published on April 4, 2008 about March 2008’s receipts and disbursements. A few days ago, he moved his prediction up from his previous break-even estimate of October 2008.”

    Not with this Congress and President, it won’t.
    But keep praying to the supply-side God. He will provide.

    Comment by Theo — May 16, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

  3. #2, If (emphasis IF, because I didn’t say he’s right, but YOU are definitely saying he’s wrong), I will cook up a batch of crow just for you.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 16, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  4. Six years of constantly inflating debt would lead me to believe he’s wrong, yes.
    And those “emergency spending bills” for Iraq and Katrina don’t get figured in to these things.
    How convenient.

    Comment by Theo — May 16, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

  5. #4, you’re arguing with yourself. I posted about IF he is right, and you’re assuming he is DEFINITELY wrong. Please conduct self-arguments elsewhere.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 16, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

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