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purely fiscal and financial changes that a future presidential candidate might propose

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  • On Behalf Of Alanna Hartzok
    2009: Don t leave home without them. Eric Britton On Behalf Of Alanna Hartzok Have a read of The Obama Letdown, Michael Hudson s recent article on
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2008
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      2009: Don’t leave home without them. Eric Britton

       

       

      On Behalf Of Alanna Hartzok

      Have a read of The Obama Letdown,  Michael Hudson's recent article on Counterpunch here: http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson11262008.html

       

      Hudson's recommendations: to a "future presidential candidate" as he does not see these as possible because of whom Obama has put in as his economic and foreign policy advisors:

       

       

       

      Here are some purely fiscal and financial changes that a future presidential candidate might propose – changes that I don’t expect to be hearing any more about during the next four years. Just to get the discussion going, why shouldn’t these merely marginal changes within the existing system be implemented right now by a presidential candidate who is still bragging about his “mandate for change”:

      * Regarding fiscal policy, re-introduce the estate tax, along with (at the very least) the Clinton era’s progressive-tax schedule.

      * Tax capital gains at the same rate as wages and profits, rather than at half the rate; and make these taxes be paid at the point of sale of real estate or other assets, not deferred ad infinitum if the gains simply are invested in yet more wealth.

      * Require a cost-benefit analysis of any publicly backed infrastructure spending so as to recapture all “external economies” (such as windfall real estate price gains) as the first line of financing such investment.

      * Tax corporate borrowing that is used merely to pay stock dividends or buy back one’s own stock at least at 50%.

      * Close the practice of offshore tax avoidance, and bring criminal cases against accounting firms abetting this practice.

      * Only let a building be depreciated once, not repeatedly as a tax writeoff.

      * Refocus state and local taxation on the property tax, remembering that whatever the tax collector relinquishes is simply “freed” to be paid to the banks as interest.

      * In the sphere of bad-debt banking, when a government agency takes over a bank or company that has negative net worth, the stockholders must be wiped out as their stock has lost all market value. Bondholders must stand in line behind the government in case of insolvency.

      * Write down mortgage debts to the ability of property owners to pay and/or the present market value. Banks that have made loans to these borrowers must take responsibility for their decision that the owners could afford to pay. Even better, apply New York State’s existing Fraudulent Conveyance law, and simply annul loans that are beyond the ability of debtors to pay.

      None of this involves real structural change. It is simply more economically efficient under existing laws and practices – something like actually enforcing environmental law, anti-fraud and anti-crime laws, and the original intent of our tax legislation. It is a small step back toward the Progressive Era a century ago – the era that set America on the path of prosperity that made the 20th century the American century.

      Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist. A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) He can be reached via his website, mh@...

       

       

      Alanna Hartzok, Co-Director

      Earth Rights Institute

      Phone: 717-264-0957 (PennsylvaniaUSA)

      Email: Alanna@... 

      Alanna Hartzok, Co-Director

      Earth Rights Institute

      Phone: 717-264-0957 (PennsylvaniaUSA)

      Email: Alanna@... 

       

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