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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Top One-hundredth of One Percent

The fifth in a series of Washington Post editorials lauding the political reshuffling of income begins on the wrong foot. "The quest for ways to reduce inequality," the editors wrote, "begins with taxation. Unlike spending programs, redistribution through taxation is administratively simple."

But collecting taxes is not as easy as it sounds. And taxes don't redistribute income -- they just reduce income. Means-tested federal transfer payments account for little more than 10 percent of federal spending, and more taxes won't change that because the poor don't lobby or contribute to campaigns and rarely vote.

Alan Reynolds


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