Category Archives: In the News

Rescuing moral probity

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Republican coalition vectors

In a recent post I used a graphic illustrating what I call six traditional Republican “vectors” of general directional agreement over time. Three of these have been virtually obliterated (the red X’s) from public party conversation in the four years of Trump. The bottom vector shown is my contention that pre-Trump Republicans had long put a high value on the… Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #3 – taxing corporations

World map

The first two parts of this series of posts looked at quick hits and then larger principles that I believe Joe Biden should focus on in rescuing the mess that is the U.S. Tax Code. We need to restore both tax fairness and revenue effectiveness, both of which are in rough shape today. Business and corporation taxes, the subject of… Read more »

The anatomy of an 11-day Covid-19 test report

Covid testing Sarasota

The test result finally came eleven days, almost to the hour, from getting swabbed at a mass drive-up testing site on July 2nd. Even then, the confirmation came not through the official portal, but rather via secure email from one of the several email, website response and telephone call queries I had been making for several days. I had been… Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #2 – guiding principles

Tax expenditures 2018

In Part One of this series, I looked at several “quick hit” actions a Biden Administration could take to restore some measure of sanity to the U.S. tax system. In this part, I want to lay out my basic principles for a fairer, simpler, and more effective federal income taxing system. I believe these principles also to be legislatively achievable…. Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #1 – the quick hits

tax-rate-changes-snap

Joe Biden has been honest about the reality of raising taxes to offset the reckless and economically disastrous 2017 cuts if he gets in office. “You all know in your gut what has to be done,” he told a group of fundraisers a year ago. My CPA certificate is in retirement status but I still know how to count. The… Read more »

The Covid attack on empathy, sympathy and compassion

Empathy-Sympathy-Compassion

It is now official. The coronavirus mitigation policy of President Trump and state governors like Iowa’s Kim Reynolds is now essentially, “Sorry, old folks and immigrant workers, a lot of you are gonna die.” As a member of that honored class, pardon me if I am angry today. The coronavirus has taken a huge hit on three bedrocks of human… Read more »

A Florida coronavirus film noir in four acts

June Florida Coronavirus

The dramatic June resurgence of Covid-19 cases in my current home of Florida strikes me as film noir that has been playing out in four acts. You could write this story in a number of ways, but I see the plot line as a battle among the exciting(?) mathematical concepts of uncertainty, probability, and fecundity, with some ugly politics thrown… Read more »

Mail voting – an auditor’s dream

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mail-in-ballot

My Certified Public Accountant certificate is in retirement status, so I am not speaking in an official capacity here. But if I were still a legit CPA, I would assert that the best mail-in systems around the U.S. are much more secure than any in-person voting process in the country. For one thing, they are much easier to audit after… Read more »

Justice Gorsuch and the two conservatisms

Republican coalition vectors

Religious conservatives were taken aback by the recent Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court case, and especially by Neil Gorsuch’s blunt affirmation of the rights of LGBTQ people in the workplace under his “textual” reading of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I see this as an unequivocally good decision, but the “surprise factor” here is worth some… Read more »

How bad are we really? Humankind by Rutger Bregman

Garden of Eden

An ages-old morality play has started a new season of “reality shows,” run on television every night since May 25, 2020. Was George Floyd a bad man or a good man? How about the four policemen who killed him on the street? Were the street protestors outside the White House on June 1 patriots expressing their constitutional First Amendment rights… Read more »