Visual source: Newseum
Tim Pawlenty will be in Chicago today to deliver a speech on the economy. He's previewing it with a column in the Chicago Tribune:
Let's start with a big, positive goal. Let's grow the economy by 5 percent, instead of an anemic 2 percent.
It's been done before: Between 1983 and 1987, the Reagan recovery grew at 4.9 percent annually. Between 1996 and 1999, under President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress, the economy grew at around 4.7 percent annually.
In each case, millions of jobs were created, incomes rose and unemployment fell to historic lows. The same can happen again.
How do we do it? Our economy will never grow at 5 percent laboring under a federal tax code that is hostile to business.
American businesses pay the second highest tax rates in the world. That's a recipe for failure, not adding jobs and economic growth. We should cut the corporate tax rate by more than half. I propose reducing the rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, recognizing that the tax code is littered with special interest handouts, carve-outs, subsidies and loopholes that should be eliminated.
But just changing business tax rates is not enough. That's because we know most job growth will come from small and medium-size businesses, and their owners are taxed under individual tax rates, not corporate rates. So, pro-job and pro-growth tax reform must include individual tax reform as well.
Over the last three years, Mr. Weiner said, he has conducted sexually charged Internet and telephone conversations with six women whom he has never met, sending similar photographs without even knowing the real identities — or ages — of the recipients. It was a profoundly squalid and offensive pattern of conduct, admitted only after some of the photographs began to emerge on the Web. It also raises serious questions about his judgment and character, considering that he was once considered one of the savvier members of the House. [...]
Mr. Weiner says he will not resign, and there is no evidence yet that he broke the law or abused the resources of his office. He said the computer and BlackBerry that he used were his own, not issued by the government. But Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, was right to call for an ethics investigation into whether he had broken any House rules, an investigation with which Mr. Weiner said he would cooperate. If it shows that he did abuse his office, he should resign.
But if he chooses to run for re-election next year, voters in Brooklyn and Queens will at least have a chance to decide whether they want a man like Mr. Weiner representing their interests in Congress.
So Rick Santorum has now kicked off his presidential run by claiming that Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it didn’t go far enough because it didn’t also include Social Security in his crosshairs.
This tells us something important about the GOP primary: It is a structural requirement for these candidates to push the envelope as much as possible. So get ready to hear them say some pretty whacky things.
Compared to some others in the Republican field, Huntsman barely registers in national polls. But activists in early primary states see a serious resume and considerable political skills. Some talk of his potential for 2016. A number of political heavy-hitters have signed on this time around. In a flat political market, Huntsman is considered a growth stock. [...]
“At the beginning of a campaign,” Huntsman tells me, “labels drive the debate. Once I’m better known — my record as governor, my temperament — this will shift.” Recognizing the power of labels, however, he suggests a different one: “Maybe conservative problem-solver.” [...]
Huntsman may not be able to overcome the obstacle of his anonymity, at least this time around. But he contributes a thoughtful competence to the Republican field. While some seem to be running for a host position on Fox News, Huntsman appears to be running for president.
MIT Economics professor and Nobel laureate Peter Diamond took a regrettable but understandable step this week when he withdrew his nomination to the Federal Reserve Board, after Senate Republicans — most notably Richard Shelby, ranking GOP member of the Banking Committee — stood firm against his appointment. It’s bad enough that cynical behind-the-scenes gamesmanship can keep a highly qualified nominee in limbo for more than a year without an up-or-down vote by the full Senate. Worse yet, Diamond’s fate suggests that academic credentials and interesting ideas have somehow become a disqualification for important economic-policy positions. [...]
The Senate GOP’s intransigence seems to be having its intended effect, as President Obama has avoided any risks — and any bold thinking — in choosing his recent nominees for key posts.
Let’s be clear: Prison is for poor people. Prison is not for rich people. Prison is for people who cannot buy their way out. [...]
Maybe you caught the news story over the weekend. An overgrown brat from suburban Barrington Hills, Ryan LeVin, 36, who had run over and killed two men while drag racing his Porsche in South Florida, was sentenced by Judge McCarthy to a mere two years of house arrest — in one of his wealthy parents’ luxury oceanfront condos — after agreeing to write big checks to the victims’ widows. [...]
But as much as we feel sympathy for the widows, this deal is an outrage, sanctioning two standards of justice — one for the very rich and one for the rest of us.
You should know this: At the time of his arrest, LeVin already had more than 50 moving traffic violations to his name, and he was on probation in Illinois for a high-speed chase in 2006 that injured a police officer and two motorists. [...]
Illinois officials are working to have LeVin returned here, his home state, to face charges of violating his terms of parole when he took one of his trips to Florida. Running over two men at more than 100 miles an hour in a $120,000 Porsche 911 Turbo, we suspect, might also qualify as a parole violation. Our hope is that LeVin is returned to Illinois promptly and thrown in prison to serve out the last few months of his sentence.
Hollywood studios, record labels and other U.S. copyright and trademark owners are pushing Congress to give them more protection against parasitical foreign websites that are profiting from counterfeit or bootlegged goods. The Senate Judiciary Committee has responded with a bill (S 968) that would force online advertising networks, credit card companies and search engines to cut off support for any site found by the courts to be "dedicated" to copyright or trademark infringement. It's goals are laudable, but its details are problematic. [...]
A group of leading Internet engineers has warned that the bill's attempt to hide piracy-oriented sites could hurt some legitimate sites because of the way domain names can be shared or have unpredictable mutual dependencies. And by encouraging Web consumers to use foreign or underground servers, the measure could undermine efforts to create a more reliable and fraud-resistant domain-name system. These risks argue for Congress to take a more measured approach to the problem of overseas rogue sites.