Saturday, November 12, 2016


It probably comes as no surprise to readers of this blog to learn that I was not pleased, to put it mildly, by Tuesday's election results.

We all have to deal in our own particular ways with things that upset us.  Mine include resolving greatly to lessen the amount of attention that I pay to U.S. politics, at least for an interim period of time.  This is a period of great uncertainty anyway, and I am hoping that we will land within the less crazy, rather than the more crazy, range of possible scenarios.  But I don't view it as personally constructive to spend my time, as all this gets worked out, agonizing about things that I can't affect anyway, rather than going on with my life.

I am hoping not everyone will do this, but we all have different roles to play, and different personal and family needs to address.

I will pay attention to tax proposals that emerge from the new administration.  While I am bound to dislike both the distributional and budgetary effects of these proposals, it's not impossible that they will actually have structural or design virtues.  In particular, international and business taxation could be made either better or worse as a matter of basic structure and design.  We will see.

Meanwhile, I'm going on with things that interest me and/or which I can do something about.  I've had a quite enjoyable time at the National Tax Association annual meeting in Baltimore, especially socially (seeing colleagues and friends) and I may blog about the conference later today when I'm on the train back to NYC.   An article of mine that, in my final page proof read, I actually quite liked (although my reactions to rereading my own work can vary)  is going to be published and posted online by the University of Miami Law Review, perhaps as soon as today.  More on that when it happens.  It discusses high-end inequality, clearly a topic of continuing interest.  And I've made great strides, I think, in improving the structure and flow of the early portions of my book-in-progress on literature and high-end inequality.

Candide in his garden?  Perhaps.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Longtime reader, as a former tax lawyer who has kept you on his RSS reader years after leaving the field, I still enjoy your extremely thoughtful posts (especially the recent great stuff on Section 385).

It sounds like you have a very healthy way of thinking about what happened on election day. I did not vote for either of them and was very unhappy to see the result, but by the next morning I realized that the best we can hope for is that he positively surprises us and am trying to have a positive attitude. At the very least, comprehensive tax reform is more likely than it has been in decades.

I am actually more than a little concerned that all of the "sky is falling" type protesting going on is actually doing him a huge favor by making expectations so low that if he is not a repressive autocrat but instead merely a fiscally irresponsible buffoon (I think we may have had one of those in the past) his popularity will skyrocket and the opposition will look unreasonable yet again.