17 February 2005

the Angry Horde

Brave New World Indeed

Over at Vodkapundit, Stephen Green has a really really good post regarding the nature of the blogosphere, in particular how it relates to the so-called Gatekeepers of information in the MSM.

His analogy conjures images of an angry horde milling around the gate while the gatekeeper nervously wonders how bad it will be when the gate is torn from the hinges, and then the walls the hinges are attached to are also torn down.

"...What a brave, new world we inhabit on the internet. Unless, of course, you're one of the gatekeepers. And boy, are they mad..."

Read the whole thing it is good. Of course being a blog post it is littered with cool links as well, another point Stephen riffs on. I am convinced that the ability to link to source references with the push of a button is one of the things that is driving traffic away from the MSM and why the blogosphere continues its roiling expansion.

A Gauntlet Thrown

Mort Kondracke has an interesting challenge for the Democratic party and their new chair in a piece over at RealClearPolitics. Beat W to the punch on tax reform.

Here here.

One thing Kondrackes challenge is missing though, is a stern and affirmative admonishment to the socialist-leaning party that calling for tax INCREASES does not per se meet the definition of a tax reform. Kondracke does make the interesting observation that the Bush administration seems to be reforming the tax code through tax cuts.

"... Aides say that Bush's ideas for tax-deductible health savings accounts, retirement accounts and education savings accounts, plus lower taxes on investment income, amount to piecemeal tax reform - a gradual conversion of the income tax system to a consumption-tax system..."

I don't agree. Just as the democrats proposing to increase taxes does not, by definition, qualify as "tax reform" neither should the Bush administrations cuts be considered "tax reform". What is so onerous about the current Federal taxation regime is it's complexity, and inconsistency. Everyone has seen the examples of identical returns being prepared blah, blah so I won't rehash that here.

The notion that perhaps we should strive for a consumption tax system is perfectly natural since we have an economy driven by consumer spending. The Federal governments method of revenue collection should reflect that. Maya MacGuineas' proposal in the piece is interesting; that of imposing tax reform in such a manner as to encourage savings, especially amongst the less wealthy is a very worthy notion. Probably the best way to get the Democratic party to carry such a proposal is to make it economically rational for them to do so. As a vehicle by which they could reclaim political power.

As to the issues of complexity and inconsistency, that is where the Federal government may have to relax a little. These issues are driven by the fact that the government is taxing income, the creation of wealth; a perverse notion that is not economically rational. Were the government to tax consumption at the retail level, consistently for everyone, and stay out of the social engineering business through revenue collection or the diminishment of same, this country would move to the next level, economically and socially.

That is where the democrats come in, if they offer W some competition in the way of tax policy proposals that are more transparent, and consistent from taxpayer to taxpayer, a bidding war could unfold that has nothing but positive benefits for the American taxpayer.

It might also benefit the democratic party politically. If they want to be the party of the little guy again, perhaps they could start by getting the monster of Federal tax Bureacracy off our back, a monster that they are largely responsible for by the way.

If the Republicans talk-the-talk of getting government off peoples back, and win elections and power with that notion. Imagine what the Democrats might be able to do by walking-the-walk. -SpinDaddy