– July 7, 2010
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“The Congressional Conference Committee worked all night on Friday, June 25, finally quitting at 5:37 in the morning, so that President Obama could go to the G-20 Summit in Canada saying that Congress had finished a bill. Throughout the night comments were penciled in on the 2,315-page bill, so many in fact that the committee staff ran out of paper. It took 36 hours to put everything together in a typed version that was released on Sunday night. Having pulled some similar all-nighters at Bowdoin on decidedly shorter and less momentous documents, I can only shudder at the final work product.

It was no surprise then that things began to unravel when the document saw the light of day. The big problem was a development that happened at 3:00 in the morning on that fateful night. To make it work, the committee had to come up with $19 billion to pay for some of the “special provisions” in the bill. There weren’t any tax experts around on the committee, so they had decided to give a group of unelected officials the power to set both the size of the tax base and the rate that would be applied on a taxpayer-by-taxpayer basis to a target group of financial service companies. Not since the Sheriff of Nottingham has a tax collector had such discretion on who to tax and how much.” Read more.

“Larry Lindsey ’76: Haste Makes Waste in Financial Regulatory Bill”
Larry Lindsey
Bowdoin Daily Sun, July 7, 2010.

Image by vegadsl / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Tom Duncan

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