Capital Commerce


December 2006


What If Ford Had Won in 1976?

A swing of just under 12,000 votes in Delaware and Ohio and Gerald Ford would have beaten Jimmy Carter in 1976. Could Ford have done a better job dealing with the economy than President Carter? It may not seem like it would have been such a tall order, given that the Carter years were plagued by ...

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Is Bush Going to Raise Taxes?

Some quick thoughts–with plenty more to follow in coming weeks–on the odds of President Bush's raising taxes to help bolster Social Security's long-term solvency. Ever since the midterms, Washington has been buzzing about the possibility of Bush cutting a deal with Democrats that would raise or ...

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5 Reasons to Buy a Big Screen

Tired of strolling through Wal-Mart or Costco with your family and salivating over those sub-$2,000, 50-inch flat screens–but not buying? (I've only heard about this strange phenomenon, of course.) Worried that the housing recession or higher energy prices might still tank the economy and the ...

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Are the Dems Already Wimping Out?

It's a truism that there's often a big bipartisan gap between campaign rhetoric and governing reality. So it was with a little surprise that I read this analysis of the new Democratic majority in Congress, courtesy of the political analysis team at Prudential Financial:

Our early readings in ...

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China Policy Isn't Just About the Yuan

What, maybe you expected Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to come home from China with a pledge from Beijing to let the yuan strengthen, say, 30 or 40 percent against the dollar? If so, you were probably disappointed with the results of this initial "strategic dialogue" meeting between American and ...

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Consumers Put Coals in Pessimists' Stockings

It's not as if the housing slowdown isn't hurting the economy; it certainly is.

Real-estate investment is way down, as is the amount of money people are pulling from their homes. (Numbers from the Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs show that "active" mortgage equity withdrawals–the total sum of money ...

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Bush and Congress May Address AMT

Don't expect any blockbuster legislation, such as major tax or entitlement reform, over the next two years–not with a presidential election looming in 2008. (Look for Social Security and extending the Bush tax cuts to be major issues in the race for the White House.) But what might get passed? One ...

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What About Spending Inequality?

While Democrats and liberal think tanks have been raising the volume over the issue of growing income inequality, less has been said about spending inequality. Now, you're probably well aware that your investment banker brother-in-law spends more than you do–darn those fat year-end bonuses!–but ...

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Cut Corporate Taxes to Boost Wages?

Today's jobs report showed that average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent in November, boosting the 12-month increase in earnings to 4.1 percent–the highest level since 2001. And last month's earnings report showed that average weekly earnings are up a robust 3.2 percent during the past year, taking ...

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Are the Rich Just Lucky?

In the ongoing debate about growing income inequality in America — the top 10 percent of families grabbed 43 percent of income in 2004 vs. 33 percent in 1980 — some have argued that America needs a more progressive tax system, both to share the wealth and to help deal with the government's ...

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A Venture Capital Alternative to Federal Student Loans

Now that they've taken over Congress, Democrats want to show that they can govern. That means pushing practical, incremental solutions that might actually avoid a Bush veto. (So no proposals to implement a Canadian-style national healthcare system or a return to Jimmy Carter-era income tax rates.)

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Election '08: Edwards Raises the Protectionist Banner

Don't think it's too early to ponder 2008 presidential politics. Yes, yes, we are still digesting the impact of the 2006 midterms. But potential candidates are already forming exploratory committees and hiring top talent in Washington and in key early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South ...

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High Deficits, Low Bond Yields: What Gives?

When President Clinton left office on Jan. 20, 2001, the 30-year U.S. treasury bond was trading at 5.55 percent. The U.S. government had just posted its third straight year of budget surpluses. Fiscal rectitude was a key feature of Clintonomics/Rubinomics under the theory that such prudence would ...

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