Saturday, December 8, 2007

Winding Down

The new site is picking up the pace, and I'm starting a series on the major competitors to Giuliani in 2008. I'm going to be letting this site continue to die a peaceful death, so be sure and subscribe to the feed on the new Will's Perspective!

Free iPod Touch Giveaway!

I just discovered a free file service called “FileLime.” The site is currently hosting a blog contest to give away a free iPod touch. Register here.

Now, about FileLime: It’s a free and incredibly simple host that will allow you to upload a file online to link to. Its strength lies in its simplicity—there’s not even a registration processes. Just select the file and click “upload.” It’s incredibly diverse, it takes photos (keeping them in full quality), PDF files, or your Social Security Number (don’t look for mine). If it’s a file on your computer (not an application, though), chances are you can upload it. You’ll see I’ve begun to use it to link to PDF versions of some of my research papers.

On the other side of the ledger, its greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness. The sheer simplicity of it neglects to provide any instructions or help. For instance, there’s not even an “About This Service” page on the website to explain what they’re about, if I want to find a file later without saving the address, I’m not sure how I would.

Overall, it’s one of those obvious ideas you wonder why no one thought of before—and wonder how long it will last.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Moving On Up

In light of new aspirations and desires for organization, I'm moving shop over to a new website:

I hope all of you will subscribe to the new feed on that site. I'll miss blogspot's ease of use, but the new system is a bit more flexible.

I'm currently in the process of transferring old posts from this blog to the new site, and it will take a few weeks, but hopefully we'll have a searchable database of research soon.

Thanks to all of you for reading.

Best regards,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Huckabee's Fiscal Restraint?

One long-standing 2008 controversy is over the nature of Huckabee's tax hikes and cuts, the context, and impact they may have had on Arkansan voters. He has managed to make enemies with two influential organizations: the libertarian CATO Institute and the venerable conservative economic lobbying group the Club for Growth (the latter of which I'm a member).

I've long had criticisms on some Huckabee positions. The remarkably articulate Governor has gone Dan Quayle a couple of times on fiscal issues ("I support Free Trade, but it must be Fair Trade"), and his baseless income inequality rhetoric is disturbing.

However, as I learned when dealing with the customer relations desk at Wal-Mart, rhetoric is secondary to the bottom line. That line is policy action. Extraordinarily admirable policy stances such as the FairTax have earned a good deal of respect for the Governor from me. Nothing in the Club's report, when conisdered in context, would keep me from voting in for him in a general election.

Dick Morris, for whom I have limited respect--but occasionally he's insightful, had some interesting refutation in this week's column:

A recent column by Bob Novak excoriated Huckabee for a “47 percent increase in state tax burden.” But during Huckabee’s years in office, total state tax burden — all 50 states combined — rose by twice as much: 98 percent, increasing from $743 billion in 1993 to $1.47 trillion in 2005.

In Arkansas, the income tax when he took office was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest, exactly where it stood when he left the statehouse 11 years later. But, in the interim, he doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate, expanded the homestead exemption and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition.

Most impressively, when he had to pass an income tax surcharge amid the drop in revenues after Sept. 11, 2001, he repealed it three years later when he didn’t need it any longer.

He raised the sales tax one cent in 11 years and did that only after the courts ordered him to do so. (He also got voter approval for a one-eighth-of-one-cent hike for parks and recreation.)

He wants to repeal the income tax, abolish the IRS and institute a “fair tax” based on consumption, and opposes any tax increase for Social Security.