Saturday, September 08, 2012

Summer is gone

I've already taught more than 10 percent of my fall semester class (3 sessions out of 28).  Seminar size for what is normally a lecture (Individual Income Tax), which has some real advantages in getting (and I hope keeping) people interested.

Meanwhile, I've once again had to drop for the time being my book on international income taxation, midway through chapter 5 out of what will probably be 7 to 8 chapters, because I realized that two articles I had promised for talks I am giving in early March will not get done in time otherwise.  The one I am writing first, for an endowed lecture on elder law issues at the University of Illinois Law School, concerns Social Security and Medicare.  I will be looking in very general terms at the Obama Administration and Ryan House Budget Medicare plans, plus at Bush-style private accounts for Social Security, but my main focus will be big-picture conceptual, based on the analysis in my  books,  Making Sense of Social Security Reform (from 2000) and Who Should Pay for Medicare?  (from 2004).  There will be some neat stuff in this article, for example, making use of Paul Samuelson's famous 1958 article on Social Security to frame a few issues on how to think about the programs.

The other article, for a conference at FSU Law School concerning 100 years of the federal income tax, will involve looking at some of the classic early U.S. income tax thinkers (Seligman, Haig, Simons, Fisher, T.S. Adams, and such) with an eye to how "we" think about things now as opposed to how they thought about things then.

I've also agreed to write a short post-election article in November for the Canadian Tax Journal regarding the 2013 political outlook in the U.S. on tax and/or budget issues.

When I get invitations to write things and such, my attitude seems to be a bit like what the Steve Martin character expected of Monica in the sadly overlooked (but very funny) movie, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

"One thing about Monica: the words 'I can't' weren't in her vocabulary."
"Monica, I want you to do something for me."
"I can't."
"I guess she had added them since the last time I'd seen her."

I don't appear to have followed Monica in this regard.

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