Monday, January 11, 2016

Three things Congress got right last year

Congress got three things right this year. 

1. End oil export ban.

It was a good-faith effort to reduce dependency on imports after the 1973-74 Arab oil em cargo. But market forces have overwhelmed this simplistic approach. The goal has been attained by increased US production(!) due to fracking. Furthermore US refineries are not set up to handle the characteristics of US crude. It can be processed in many places overseas. Let the marketplace decide where.

2. Make permanent removing marriage penalty from EITC - Earned Income Tax Credit. 

An income subsidy for families with children, it penalized families where both parents were working. A correction was put in place in 2009, but was temporary.

3. Improved military retirement. 

Broadening the “serve for 20 years, so you can retire” rule. Under the existing policy only those who completed 20 years got anything toward retirement. Now all those serving will be able to establish 401(k)-type accounts with employer matching.

Charles Lane puts his best left slant on this meager good news at Washington Post.

Did they get anyting else right? Can't think of anything. Making Paul Ryan Speaker was worse than a disappointment.