Questions for Mr. Geithner

Yes, these are ok and I had fun on the train this morning playing “how would I answer”.  Maybe that’s what you’re always supposed to do, but today was the first time I caught myself doing it.

They’re all pretty straightforward;  answer according to party lines, etc.  Probably a grasp of economics helps, hopefully.  I might not have that, or maybe, but a lot of them are political questions from political people.  Mitt’s questions were particularly dumb and we really dodged a bullet there.  I hope I get around to writing down my ideas about ‘our ability to compete globally’, or I might be too busy trying to put my portfolio back in order.

But moving on:

President Obama supports the estate tax. Why should a person who leaves his money to his children pay more in taxes than another person with the same lifetime income who spends all his money on himself? N. GREGORY MANKIW, a professor of economics at Harvard

The attribution  fails to mention that “From 2003 to 2005, Mankiw was the chairman of Ex-President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors“, according to Wikipedia and my own recollection.  (as an aside, typing that ‘Ex’ made me smile)

As I got off the train and walked the couple of blocks to work I was thinking about that (the question, not the fact that we’ve been waiting for 1/21/09 for 7+ years).  I liked the way he phrased it, and for a second I agreed.  But then I realized there’s nothing wrong with fighting against an accumulation of wealth.  We’re not fighting the American Dream, we’re not saying that you can’t acquire wealth.  We’re just  trying to stop some people from getting too far ahead, so we can all compete on a level surface.  Do they hate competition?

So that’s not particularly profound, but I started thinking about it again with the Kennedy thing.  I wish that the fact that she’s, you know, unqualified meant that we’d get some scrappy fighter from the Bronx.  We won’t, but unless they appoint Bush we’re ahead.

Posted in New York, Politics by matt at January 21st, 2009.

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