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The Fiscal Cliff is a Good Thing -- we're published in today's American Thinker
Howard Richman, 11/13/2012

We begin:

The entire discussion of the "fiscal cliff" has things a bit backward. People talk of "going off" the fiscal cliff -- and the natural image is of the disaster that awaits one who tumbles from the edge of a precipice. Instead, perhaps we should say "running into" the fiscal cliff -- the cliff being a force that stops a tumble.

The term "fiscal cliff" refers to the combination of two major policy changes due to go into effect in January 2013:

  1. The sequester. Because the (not-so-)Super Committee succumbed to partisan paralysis and couldn't come up with anything better, the sequester will begin making automatic spending cuts across domestic discretionary (50 billion per year) and defense (50 billion per year) programs.
  2. The Bush and Obama tax cuts expire. The Bush tax cuts increased the deduction for children, cut marginal tax rates, and cut dividend and capital gains tax rates. The Obama tax cut reduced the amount workers pay for Social Security without reducing benefits. In addition, a Medicare "doc fix," which increased reimbursements for hospitals, is due to expire.

Running into a cliff isn't fun. It would raise nearly everyone's taxes. It would cut spending on most of the programs everyone uses. It would temporarily raise unemployment rates. But the fiscal cliff would back us away from a true disaster scenario, and it would slow the growth of the government debt....

To read the rest, go to:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/the_fiscal_cliff_is_a_good_thing.html

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

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  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

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  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]