Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.

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Just Asking

From First Thoughts

Unlike the current tax code, the 9-9-9 plan doesn’t allow businesses to deduct employee wages from their tax liabilities.  Doesn’t this amount to a hidden 9% payroll tax (though without some of the payroll taxes’ distorting effects?)  If I’m wrong I’ll . . . . Continue Reading »

Random Thoughts

From First Thoughts

1. It looks like the 9-9-9 plan is getting some real scrutiny.   Cain is going to have trouble sustaining the argument that “Sure the math makes it look like my plan is a tax increase for the working poor and much of the middle class, but my advisors assure me that you should not believe . . . . Continue Reading »

More Debate Thoughts

From First Thoughts

1.  Avik Roy nails it on why Romney is getting away with murder on Romneycare.  There is a lot there, but one take away is that Romney is a very smart guy who works very hard on his evasions.  His opponents are lazy and short sighted when it comes to health care policy.  They . . . . Continue Reading »

Quick Debate Thoughts

From First Thoughts

1.  I thought Romney killed it.  He actually took some heat in this debate, but fended off the questions great.  God love him for giving a shout out to Milton Friedman. 2.  Perry was awful.  His perseverating on energy production made him sound like he only knew about . . . . Continue Reading »

Why We Are In So Much Trouble

From First Thoughts

Reihan Salam describes Christieism as being a politics that “connects the burden of a bloated and inefficient government with the everyday struggles of working Americans. “  Fair enough, but we are going to need more than this Christieism.  As Salam mentions in his essay these . . . . Continue Reading »

Notes On Perry

From First Thoughts

Didya miss me?  Don’t answer, 1.  I think Perry is undervalued at this point.  The salience of Texas’ job creation should come back over the next several months.  Perry could hardly become more incompetent at attacking Romney.  If he has the chops, he’ll . . . . Continue Reading »

On Perry And The Rest

From First Thoughts

Perry - Perry is having a tough time, but he is still in the driver’s seat.  We just don’t know if he can drive a national cammpaign yet.  Perry has taken an ungodly amount of criticism from the other candidates.  He has stumbled in the early debates.  He is still . . . . Continue Reading »

Cain/Gingrich: 20NEVER

From First Thoughts

There was this point where it became obvious just how little Rick Perry thought of the electoral chances of Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.  During the last debate, Perry was asked which one of the other candidates on the stage he would prefer to be his running mate.  Surrounded by several . . . . Continue Reading »

OMG

From First Thoughts

Chris Christie’s Reagan Library speech reads awesome .  I especially like how he uses the rhetoric of American exceptionalism not for purposes of back patting, but as a call to truth, humility for what we have been given, humility about our unpleasant current circumstances, and . . . . Continue Reading »