Assorted Links (8/13/2009)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading today (organized by topic):

Political Economy

  • Latest Data on Transfers and Income, by Donald MarronDonald Marron documents in this as well as a series of recent posts the fact that Americans are getting an increasing portion of their income from the government.
  • Tax Withholding Is Bad for Democracy, by Charles MurrayAEI’s Charles Murray argues that the incidence (and relative burden) of both income taxes (e.g., the top 1% of American households pay more in federal income taxes than the bottom 95% combined) and payroll taxes (the social security portion of which is regressive) is obscured by withholding at the workplace.  He argues that ending withholding and replacing it with quarterly payments of estimated taxes would be good for democracy by promoting a common understanding that we all pay a share of the costs of government.
  • Will They Still Love Him Tomorrow?, by Daniel HenningerWSJ:President Everyman is starting to look like a salesman for the superstate.”

Finance and Economics

Health Care

  • Rationing By Any Other Name, by Megan McArdle
    While the statement “we already ration health care; we just let the market do the rationing” is certainly true, it doesn’t logically support rationing by government fiat.  Ms. McArdle notes that the same (self-evident) statement can be made about virtually any other good; e.g., “We already ration food; we just let the market do the rationing”, or “We already ration gasoline; we just let the market do the rationing”, or “We already ration cigarettes; we just let the market do the rationing.”  Duh!

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