no
You searched for zelinsky - OUPblog

Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Search Term: zelinsky

Book thumbnail image

The Giving Pledge and private foundations

By Edward Zelinsky
The Giving Pledge, founded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, has announced that eleven more affluent families have taken the Pledge and have thereby committed to donating at least half of their wealth to charity. Among these new Pledgers is Gordon Moore, a legendary founder of Intel and the father of Moore’s Law which postulates that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles roughly every two years.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Public pensions’ unrealistic rate of return assumptions

By Edward Zelinsky
Ten years ago, the financial problems of public employee pensions concerned only specialists in the field. Today, the underfunding of public retirement plans is widely understood to be a major problem of the American polity. Underfinanced public pensions threaten the ability of the states and their localities to provide basic public services while paying the retirement benefits promised to state employees.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The Likely Failure of Obamacare After ‘National Federation’

By Edward Zelinsky
As virtually all Americans now know, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, sustained the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). President Obama hailed the Court’s decision as confirming “a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth — no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.” The President and his supporters tell us that PPACA will provide health care coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans. From the President’s vantage, the Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius guarantees the desired expansion of health care coverage.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The growth of the Giving Pledge and the federal estate tax

By Edward Zelinsky
By taking the Giving Pledge, wealthy individuals publicly commit to contribute “the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.” The Pledge was started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Jr. Recently, twelve more wealthy families signed the Giving Pledge including Elon Musk, a founder of PayPal.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Paul Ryan and the evolution of the vice presidency

By Edward Zelinsky
By selecting Representative Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Governor Romney confirmed the decline of the traditional role of vice presidential candidates as providers of geographic balance. Ryan’s selection reinforces the shift to a more policy-oriented definition of the vice presidency. This shift reflects the nationalization of our culture and politics and the increased importance of the general election debate between vice presidential candidates.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Limit the estate tax charitable deduction

By Edward Zelinsky
One widely-discussed possibility for reforming the federal income tax is limiting the deduction for charitable contributions. Whether or not Congress amends the Code to restrict the income tax deduction for charitable contributions, Congress should limit the charitable contribution deduction under the federal estate and gift taxes. Such a limit would balance the need for federal revenues with the desirability of encouraging charitable giving.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The Buffett Rule President Obama ignores

By Edward Zelinsky
Like many of us, President Obama is a Warren Buffett fan. Most prominently, the president advocates, as a matter of tax policy, the so-called “Buffett Rule.” This rule responds to Mr. Buffett’s observation that his effective federal income tax rate is lower than the tax rate of Mr. Buffett’s secretary. In President Obama’s formulation, the Buffett Rule calls for taxpayers making at least $1,000,000 annually to pay federal income tax at a 30% bracket.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Contraception, HSAs and the unnecessary controversy about religious conscience

By Edward Zelinsky
Among the bitter but unnecessary controversies of this election year was the dispute about the federal government’s mandate that employers provide contraception as part of their health care coverage for their employees. Employers religiously opposed to contraception believe this mandate infringes their right of Free Exercise of religion under the First Amendment. Advocates of the contraception mandate characterize it as vital to women’s health and choice.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

George McGovern

By Edward Zelinsky
On 15 November 1969, I was shivering on the Mall in Washington, D.C., surrounded by a band of self-proclaimed Maoists celebrating the prospect of a Viet Cong victory. This was the second “Moratorium” against the Vietnam War. While the first Moratorium in October had a decidedly mainstream flavor, the tone of the November event was markedly different. I was conflicted on that cold November day in Washington. I opposed the Vietnam War, as did the thousands of others standing on the Mall that day.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Our Antonia

By Edward Zelinsky
The first time I read My Antonia, I hated it. That was to be expected: It was required reading in my sophomore English course at Omaha Central High. This was during the Sixties. In the Age of Aquarius, no one was supposed to like assigned reading. That’s why it had to be assigned.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The Buffett Rule debate: A guide for the perplexed

By Edward Zelinsky
Although he had said it before, Warren Buffett struck a nerve with his most recent observation that his effective federal tax rate is lower than or equal to the effective federal tax rates of the other employees who work at Berkshire Hathaway’s Omaha office. Mr. Buffett’s observations have provoked extensive comments both from those supporting his position (e.g., President Obama) and those critical (e.g., the editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal). In response to Mr. Buffett’s remarks, President Obama has promulgated what he calls “the Buffett Rule,” namely, that those making

Read More