Stephen Moore on a the Proposed Democrat Tax Rate. Senate Democrats are considering a 3% surtax on income over $1 million to raise federal revenues. According to Stephen Moore, if this should happen, then, along with other leading tax hikes, the U.S. would have a combined federal and state top tax rate on earnings of 62%. "That's more than double the highest federal marginal rate of 28% when President Reagan left office in 1989. Welcome back to the 1970s," laments Moore, "we're headed back to the taxes that prevailed under Jimmy Carter, when the highest tax rate was 70%." This is worrisome to Moore because "this trend is the deterioration of the U.S. tax position relative to the rest of our economic rivals. In 1990, the highest individual income tax rate of our major economic trading partners was 51%, while the U.S. was much lower at 33%. It's no wonder that during the 1980s and '90s the U.S. created more than twice as many new jobs as Japan and Western Europe combined." The time is now, according to Moore, "for a pro-growth Steve Forbes-style flat tax."
Ruth Marcus on Freeing John Edwards. "As far as I’m concerned, John Edwards is pond scum," begins Ruth Marcus, "...But being a jerk, even on an Edwardsian scale, is not a felony, which is what federal prosecutors have been pursuing for more than two years." Edwards was originally under investigation under the theory that he misused funds to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter. After that failed, Edwards may now be indicted because during the 2008 campaign, Edwards, directly or indirectly, approached two financial backers to solicit support for Hunter, who gave more than $750,000."Was that a contribution to the Edwards campaign, in which case it would be illegal because it was not reported as such and exceeded the allowable contribution limits?" Posits Marcus: "That’s a stretch... If I lend my daughter money so she can volunteer for a political campaign, that’s not an illegal contribution to the campaign." Moreover, even "if you were to conclude that the payments to Hunter constituted impermissible campaign contributions, there is the more serious question of whether criminal prosecution is the appropriate remedy... This use of resources is, I am astonished to say, enough to make me feel some sympathy for him."