I haven't gotten to attend many panels this year, because I've been on too many. But of the ones I have gone to, the Austan Goolsbee Q&A is by far the liveliest. People who attend Aspen are very successful, and the questions he's being asked hit close to home for them: marginal income tax rates, taxation of worldwide corporate profits, H1B visas for foreign graduate students educated in America.
The questions for Goolsbee are much more hostile than they were last year. I don't know whether to attribute this to the economy, or the fact that the disadvantages of Obama's policies are now apparent. All policies sound better when they're in white paper, and Obama's rhetorical deftness made it particularly easy to make his proposals sound like all things to all people. Now deficits have to be paid for, climate change bills turn out to lack teeth for anyone except the Chinese, health care gets scored by the CBO rather than optimistic campaign members.
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