I must have used this space to discuss how dumb our tax code is. It’s confusing, frustrating, time consuming, and has an entire profession (nothing against accountants) an entire profession to deal with it. Some studies show “doing taxes” cost Americans 225 million hours a year, and costs the government $2 billion. Well, there must be a reason for it. Some industry group, MAYBE THE ACCOUNTANTS?! must be lobbying the government to keep taxes confusing so they can stay in business. Oh, it’s not the accountants, it’s Intuit, the makers of the online tax prep software the government could just create on their own? Well, surely they must have spent a lot of money lobbying to keep something in place that costs the government $2 billion a year. Oh, it was only $11.5 million? That’s… dumb.
There are likely other fantastic examples of shutdown-related idiocy, but they’re all terrible compared to this example. “All that stuff is published online, bro.”
Just expanding on a link I put on Kottke last week. If sugary drinks were more expensive, less people would drink them. If less people drink sugary drinks, less people will be obese.
A tax-induced 20-percent price increase on caloric sweetened beverages could cause an average reduction of 37 calories per day, or 3.8 pounds of body weight over a year, for adults and an average of 43 calories per day, or 4.5 pounds over a year, for children. Given these reductions in calorie consumption, results show an estimated decline in adult overweight prevalence (66.9 to 62.4 percent) and obesity prevalence (33.4 to 30.4 percent), as well as the child at-risk-for-overweight prevalence (32.3 to 27.0 percent) and the overweight prevalence (16.6 to 13.7 percent).
I read this Newsweek Tumblr excerpt of Fareed Zakaria’s column Obama’s CEO Problem. To save you the trouble, Obama’s CEO problem is too much regulation. If only there was less regulation, the top 500 American nonfinancial companies, who have $1.8 trillion in cash, would be stimulating the economy more themselves. $1.8 trillion is a lot of money and would go a long way. “The Business Roundtable, which had supported the Obama administration, has begun to complain about the myriad new laws and regulations being cooked up in Washington.”
And then, about 25 seconds later, I read this Reuters’ piece via TPM, which made the point that the regulations governing offshore drilling call for use of oil skimming material already being used in the BP oils spill, which means there really shouldn’t be any more drilling or exploration until skimming capacity is increased.
So, I would argue that there really isn’t too much regulation at all, and what there is isn’t working.