Innovation prizes put space tourism on the launch pad and helped Netflix better predict consumer movie preferences. Now they might even improve oil spill cleanup. Government should join in, too. In austere times, such rewards would be an efficient way for cash-strapped Washington to fund breakthroughs that drive economic growth.
This bit of David Brooks’ column today jumped out at me:
Paul Ryan, the most intellectually ambitious Republican in Congress … has been promoting a roadmap to comprehensively reform the nation’s tax and welfare system. On the tax side, he would sweep away most of the special-interest-favoring tax credits and subsidies and give people a chance to join a simple tax system with only two rates.
Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder have launched a maximum defense of all the government interventions in the economy since 2008. Without TARP, stimulus, various Fed actions — the who kit and caboodle – their model estimates the following:
President Barack Obama’s “recovery summer” has become a summer swoon. GDP growth has downshifted, as have his poll numbers. And with Democrats likely to suffer big losses in November’s elections, the president will have to rethink his economic agenda or face gridlock in 2011.
From the Great One, Larry Kudlow:
Then there’s the confidence-threatening war between business and the White House, which is also related to the liberal tax revolt. It’s still a battle royale between the nation’s business leaders and the administration over taxes, spending, regulation, and trade.
Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, doesn’t want tax rates to reset higher at the end of this year, even for the rich. The White House and the Treasury think differently. Here’s how an off-the-record Bernanke might try to talk Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, around to his point of view.
OK, let me get this straight: President Obama says he wants to build a New Foundation for the U.S. economy based on savings and investment, not debt. So the government borrows billions to prop up General Motors. And now General Motors uses that money to go out and buy AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion so it can more easily lend money to subprime borrowers.