the fed steps in to starve the beast

Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan came out a few days ago and warned that something would have to be done ASAP if the US was going to stay solvent as a nation. (According to yesterdays New York Times, the shortfall in Social Security and Medicare could reach $44 trillion in the next 75 years if left unaddressed.) Greenspan, however, did not urge Congress to repeal the Presidents tax cuts. Instead, he suggested that we cut entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Princeton economist Paul Krugman saw this as an act of betrayal against the United States on the part of Greenspan. It’s the opinion of Krugman that Greenspan, by saying this, is politicizing the Federal Reserve and, in the process, doing a bit of dirty work for the administration, who would love to cut government entitlement programs, but cant say so publicly during an election year. Regardless of where you come down on Greenspans comments, you have to agree that were headed for disaster unless something is done immediately about the deficit and these looming entitlement shortfalls… Personally, I’d start with a greatly increased inheritance tax for estates valued at $1 million and more, and follow that by tightening corporate loopholes to the point that they’re nonexistent. And, I would aggressively go after off-shore tax shelters. Then, I would consider rolling back the President’s massive tax cuts… Oh, and I’d also audit every company doing business in Iraq… Then, If none of that works, there’s the Logan Run’s solution, where you have a mandatory death sentence for everyone reaching a certain age. I think in the movie it was 35, but perhaps we could make it 75. That would save us a bundle.

This isnt really related, but did you see this article going around the web today about the new $20 bills containing radio frequency tracking technology? Given the current stage of RFID tag technology, I think this is clearly nonsense, but its still interesting to think about the implications if each bill could be tracked over the course of its life, and if you could scan a person and immediately know how much money he or she was carrying. (If the author’s money did burst into flames when he put in the microwave, as he claims in this article, its more likely because of metallic inks, I would think.)

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