Kerry has a Secret Plan

Last week, Boston erupted in fury over the news that nearly every major road into Boston would be closed from 4PM to midnight for the Democratic Convention, July 26 through July 29. To get an idea of the impact, take a look at this map. The only route left is the Mass. Pike, Rte. 90, from the west. Since Rte. 93, the Central Artery, will be closed, you can still get to the airport through the Ted Williams Tunnel, but if you’re expecting to go anywhere near the Fleet Center and the convention, forget it. The Democrats had better be awfully thirsty, because all the bars and restaurants that were counting on the out-of-towners were not counting on losing their normal clientele.

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Boston Globe’s Rape Hoax Photos, continued

It looks like Instapundit is on the story broached by Jonathan yesterday about the fake pictures of US soldiers gang-raping an Iraqi. It turns out the pictures were from a porn site, and presented as legitimate by a Nation of Islam loony and a moonbat Boston city councillor.

I e-mailed both the Globe reported under whose by-line the article ran, and the Worldnet Daily reporter who exposed the hoax. I never heard from the Globe (perhaps Ms. Slack has disappeared into the Morrissey Avenue gulag), but Sherrie Gossett was kind enough to reply:

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From Chicago’s East Side — Blogging the Democratic Convention

One nice thing about receiving home delivery of the Boston Globe is that our carrier inserts it into a handy plastic bag which can be used to pick up dog poop. Too often, the packaging is far better than the contents, and the comparison is not much better after I’ve walked the dog. Today the newspaper featured an article on how the authorities at the Democratic convention are grappling with the issue of weblogs as legitimate press. It looks like they will be issuing some press credentials to some bloggers.

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Investing for the Cheap and Timid

Not everyone has In-Cog-Nito’s tolerance for risk. For those of us not equipped with brass appurtenances, reducing investment risk is often a goal. To increase risk, including upside risk, you issue debt, either by buying on margin or selling short, which is really just borrowing shares of stock instead of cash. To reduce risk, you acquire debt. Here is one way to do it for free.

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Contrarian Tax Policy

At the risk of inciting a riot, let me propose that the alternative minimum tax may not be the worst idea since the designated hitter rule. Bear with me a little while before you start looking for something to throw.

The alternative minimum tax is widely unpopular for good reason. It obliterates itemized deductions, including state taxes and mortgage interest not directly related to the purchase or construction of one’s home. It comes as a surprise to the unwary individual taxpayer. Originally intended to keep rich people with clever accountants from escaping income tax, it applies at income levels that hardly qualify for tycoon status ($40,250 for single filers, $58,000 for married couples). The capital gains rate has been temporarily lowered to 15%, but will revert to 20% unless new legislation is enacted. So what is there to like about the AMT?

There are actually a couple of things to like about this tax. First, it is almost perfectly flat. The rate is 26% up to $112,500 for single filers, $150,000 for married couples. Above that, the rate increases, but only to 28%. Depreciation schedules are either straight-line or at least not as accelerated as the MACRS tables used for regular income tax. This brings the cost of tangible assets closer to the way they are presented for financial purposes. Elimination of the state tax exemption keeps the effect of state taxes inside each state’s borders.

The hidden beauty of the alternative minimum tax is that it is almost free of the effects of using tax law for social engineering. There is no income redistribution effect. Most of the rewards and penalties for economic behavior are removed, leaving it an essentially neutral revenue-raising device. It is nearly everything Jack Kemp or Steve Forbes could have asked for. If no legislative remedy is applied, it will slowly become the most common tax regime. Rather than abolishing this tax, perhaps we should consider abolishing all the others.