Fergus Hodgson (page 6)

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    Extraterritorial adventurism: the shortsighted Amazon tax

    As I noted back in July with The Future of Freedom Foundation: The “Amazon” tax neither generates revenue nor creates a level playing field. It does eliminate profitable relationships and drive companies out-of-state, but that hasn’t stopped elected officials from plowing ahead obstinately. Since then, more…
    Fergus Hodgson, November 28, 2011
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    Latest state debt rankings out: NC middle of debt-ridden pack

    The State Budget Solutions Project has just released a comprehensive (and painful) assessment of state-level debts. The totals include reported debts plus future liabilities and Unemployment Insurance loans. SBS then ranks each state’s debt per capita, per private sector worker, and as a percentage of private sector economic output.
    Fergus Hodgson, November 24, 2011
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    Reporter’s metaphor highlights economic confusion

    According to this morning’s News & Observer (from AP), the combination of increased taxes and expiring unemployment benefits will “suck $165 billion out of the economy next year.” I can see the vacuum cleaner right now, sucking that money into non-existence. Just where it goes outside of the…
    Fergus Hodgson, November 23, 2011
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    Confessions of an exploited child laborer

    The headline is sarcasm, by the way. For those unfamiliar with my story, I grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in New Zealand—and yes, my parents had all of their six children work alongside them from as young as we can remember. For some jobs, they…
    Fergus Hodgson, November 23, 2011
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    Interview: What now after “super” committee impasse?

    Rick and Donna Martinez of WPTF had me on this morning, as they and their callers sought to grapple with the super-committee announcement. The non-outcome typifies a fiscally impotent and irresponsible congress, and it provided worthy grounds for discussion. Click below to listen—nine minutes (MP3).
    Fergus Hodgson, November 22, 2011
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    Statists fear a balanced budget amendment, invoke doomsday follies

    The majority of Americans get it. Deficit spending is irresponsible. It expands the size and scope of governmental power and does not bring economic recovery. In fact, according to a July 2011 poll, 74 percent of Americans favor a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution—similar to what…
    Fergus Hodgson, November 21, 2011
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    Supercommittee on verge of failure: Time for a new approach

    From MarketWatch: The U.S. congressional committee assigned to draft a plan for cutting $1.2 trillion from the nation’s deficit over 10 years is expected to announce Monday that it has failed, according to media reports Sunday. Is anyone surprised? State Sen. Curtis Olafson (R—Edinburg, N.D.) has just shared these comments, which capture my sentiments precisely: How much longer is the American public going to continue to blindly place their faith in Washington, DC, in the expectation that they will take action to solve this challenge? The Balanced Budget Amendment was voted down and will continue to be voted down, and the Super Committee is a failure. Do you think that perhaps the time has come for us to try something different? Olafson is the national spokesman for the National Debt Relief Amendment, an initiative of RestoringFreedom.org, one which I have reported on and argued in favor of. On account of his prime sponsorship, it first passed in North Dakota, and then, while I was working in Louisiana, it passed there too. Easy to understand, it reads: “An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.” Yes, the time has more than come for a different approach: accountability led by the state legislatures and an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to constrain federal debt. The NDRA offers an historic fiscal solution, if we overcome convention fears. Before an amendments convention can go ahead, 34 states must call for one—and that is yet to occur since original ratification. (There have been more than 34 resolutions, but on different amendments proposals.) As the map above indicates, though, many states are now in the process of making the NDRA a reality.
    Fergus Hodgson, November 20, 2011
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    The nation’s highest marginal tax rate revealed

    Discussions of tax proportionality along income lines are not complete without an address of the various credits and welfare payments that offset them. Since these handouts decline as one’s income rises, the rate of marginal taxation is the combination of the increased taxes and the forgone benefits. Sven…
    Fergus Hodgson, November 18, 2011