Commentary

Given the political risk of proposing painful tax increases in an election year, many fear that the crisis will remain unresolved. Yet a simple remedy is at hand. By replacing federal income taxes with a steeply progressive consumption tax, the United States could erase the federal deficit, stimulate additional savings, pay for valuable public services and reduce overseas borrowing — all without requiring difficult sacrifices from taxpayers.

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The new book Stolen Without a Gun is a confession from inside history's biggest accounting fraud — the collapse of MCI WorldCom

Stolen provides insight into how Wall Street performance pressures and mega mergers present opportunities for companies to hide flaws and falsify earnings at multiple levels. It's not just about WorldCom and MCI; it's about every merger, corporate scandal, and greed-inspired fraud.


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She may not have Bill's easy-going charm. But the Democratic frontrunner is transforming once unpopular issues into mainstream ones.

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Has deregulation left the economy at risk of another 1929-scale crash? Should the Fed keep bailing out speculators?

It remains to be seen whether we have dodged the bullet for now. If markets do calm down, and lower interest bail out excesses once again, then we have bought precious time. The worst thing of all would be to conclude that markets self corrected once again, and let the bubble economy continue to fester. Congress has a window in which restore prudential regulation, and we should use that window before the next crisis turns out to be a mortal one.

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The death of Carol Anne Gotbaum in the custody of the Phoenix Police Department last Friday afternoon is a shocking, unbelievable and a sad personal story. But, this tragic event is also a lesson in the inappropriate militarization of civilian police departments since 9/11.

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America's badly crafted drug laws have exacerbated the country's already dire racial and economic divisions.

Put simply, badly crafted drug laws have, for decades now, exacerbated already dire racial and economic divisions in the country. They divert a huge number of people into high-cost prisons and sweep enormous public health problems under the carpet rather than dealing with them proactively.

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And of course when it comes to Iranian President Ahmadinajad, well, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is threatening to withhold public funds from Columbia University in New York for inviting Ahmadinejad to speak during the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York, while.

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The sub-prime mess, the huge risks taken by hedge funds, and the conflicts of interest that led to Enron are all the consequences of serial bouts of financial deregulation. Will we reverse field in time to prevent another 1929?

The federal reserve is still struggling to contain what is already the most severe credit contraction since the Great Depression. Yet in all of the press coverage, commentators have scarcely acknowledged that this old-fashioned panic is a child of deregulation.

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The ugliness of America's current government in the White House will long be outlasted by the beauty and endurance of America's other virtues.

Six months ago I wrote an article for Cif entitled "The Other America". With so much anti-Americanism doing the rounds these days, I intended it as something of an antidote, a reminder of what's best in the vast country I live in.

Sometimes you have to go out looking for these reminders. Other times, they just sort of sneak up on you.

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So the Wall Street wiseguys have a very nice game going. When things are booming, they warn government not to spoil the party. But in a bust, they can count on the Fed to rescue them with emergency infusions of cash and cheaper interest rates.

The point is not that the Fed should let the whole economy collapse in order to teach speculators a lesson. The Fed also needs to remember its other role — as regulator.

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