Grading the President's Tax Reform Panel's Plan

The President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform was guided by two outstanding economists, Edward Lazear and James Poterba, and an equally impressive former IRS commissioner, Charles Rossotti. They deserve great credit for recommending critical improvements to our tax system. The list includes eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), limiting mortgage and health insurance tax subsidies, eliminating the deductibility of state and local taxes, rationalizing deductions, exemptions, tax credits and retirement account options, and reducing the taxation of saving. If these reforms are implemented with transition rules that don't give away the store, our tax system will be more efficient and, in many ways, more equitable.

A Random Walk Off a Cliff: ‘Beating’

I've always been fascinated by the question, "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" Why don't the experts have an advantage in stock-picking? Or do they? Are markets so efficient that they incorporate all relevant information instantly and leave us nothing to trade on? Or, can some investors "beat the market" consistently?

The Flat Tax: Improving on a Good Idea

Steve Forbes has done a commendable job spelling out why America's tax system must be simplified. Scrap the mind-numbingly complex, loophole-filled, savings-averse code, advises the editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, in favor of one elegant, clear rate. A flat-rate income tax is what America needs.