Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Tuesday, August 02, 2011


Congress cut a deal, and Marc "Wormtongue: Thiessen declares victory for the hobbits. The proposed cuts are tiny relative to the annual deficits; in comments I called it "the equivalent of knocking off a couple of orc regiments and leaving Sauron, Sauman, and all the Ringwraiths intact."

It's easy to say that the budget needs to be cut by a trillion or so - not over a period of years, but annually. But how? A lot of people need to start working on that answer - NOW. We need a lot of plans for cutting out a lot of government programs.

At the same time we need to reduce the artificial costs imposed on businesses so the economy can recover.

The government machinery is so complex I can't do justice to the task here. One issue I'd like to see addressed is the regulatory realm. I believe that business regulation can be made more efficient. Take Sarbanes-Oxley, for example. SOX was passed to make it harder for corporations to engage in accounting fraud. But it's so costly that smaller firms can't afford to incorporate.

Allen Organ Company is one firm thatdeslisted from public trading because of SOX. "Steven Markowitz, president of the world's largest electronic organ manufacturer, said the move will save about $500,000 during the next two years, and another $250,000 to $400,000 annually after that."

Offer an X Prize for a less costly (to to both the regulators and the regulated) and less Rube Goldberg-ish alternative to SOX. Entrants must be required to watch the film Brazil.

Some necessary steps cannot be accomplished during an Obama presidency. The creation of the United States Department of Education did not lead to a drastic shrinkage in its 50 state counterparts. It is duplication of effort (at best) that must go. But Obama's in too deep with the educrats. It costs more to lobby 50 state capitals than one national capital - the bigger Washington's role in education, the less the lobbyists have to hit the state capitals.

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