Monday, 28 April 2008

Up now on The Soup

Kim Kardashian on doing a PSA about Burma (via Kerry Howley):

It’s an incredible story and I’m honored to have helped raise awareness about Burma’s plight. Over all it was a really fun and eye-opening experience!

As Joel McHale would say, she’s famous for having a big ass and a sex tape—not for having a high IQ.

You getting to keep your money = government spending

Ezra Klein reinvents government accounting today:

McCain’s tax cuts—which include the extension of the Bush tax cut and the repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, neither of which are included on CAP‘s cool McCain thermometer—dwarf the spending plans of the Democrats before you even look into his programs (or his war agenda). But that’s rarely mentioned, because the media doesn’t really view tax cuts as spending in the way they view new social programs as spending. [emphasis added]

I’ll hazard a guess that outside Klein’s brain, nobody views tax cuts in general as government spending. I suppose a refundable tax credit, like the earned income tax credit, would be a form of government spending—but that’s not a “tax cut” in the same sense that reducing one’s tax liability (say, by repealing the AMT) is a tax cut.

I propose a very simple criterion for government spending: if the government cuts you a check for more money than you paid in tax withholding and estimated tax contributions, that excess is government spending. The rest… well, that’s taxes.