America's income tax is disliked by everyone who pays it. Its complexity is beyond comprehension, its rules unintelligible to ordinary and extraordinary people–and to the IRS which often cannot correctly answer tax questions. It is a drag on the economy because complying with it consumes 5.4 billion hours of our time each year that could better be spent on making the country, the economy or our families lives better. And most people feel it is a corrupt system that is politically rigged to unfairly benefit someone else.
The debate over economic stimulus is heating up. Republicans and Democrats are both crafting plans to get the economy out of the gutter and back on track. One of the proposals that has sprouted legs both in Congress and in the private sector is the idea of a short-term payroll tax "holiday."
Ken Alibek, author of "Biohazard" and once the colonel in charge of the Soviet bioterrorism program, reminded us at a Hudson Institute conference on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction that "bioweapons . . . are cheap, easy to make and easy to use. In the coming years they will become very much a part of our lives."
As Democrats inside the beltway dust themselves off from their Election Day shellacking, they began an inevitable tug of war about the ideological direction of the party.
So the first step to recovery is the election of a far-left leader, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. Her congressional district gave Al Gore a 61-point margin over President Bush in 2000, and the president outpolled Ralph Nader by a mere six points. Ms. Pelosi is articulate and telegenic, and she represents the beliefs of her district as elected officials are supposed to do.
Chile was the first country in the western hemisphere to set up a social security system, and the first country in the world to reform it using individual investment accounts.
This year's Republican victories in U.S. House and Senate races have been largely attributed to the popularity of President Bush. But beneath the surface, something else was going on, as many races across the country also became referendums on Social Security reform.
What happened on Tuesday? A popular president, a Democratic Party without a message, and a continuing resurgence of Republicans in rural states turned what was supposed to be an even election into a significant Republican win.