My fifth grade teacher was, in, simplistic terms, an angry dolt who never should have been allowed in front of a classroom of impressionable young minds.
She publicly and routinely berated yours truly as well as many of my classmates and incredibly once asked a peer, “What were your parents thinking when they had you?”
She seemed confused with regards to required lessons on verb conjugations as well as bristle when someone had the temerity to correct her on the fact that Siam was the former name of Thailand and not China, as she, incredibly, had insisted.
During the 1964 Presidential election, she learned that my father had voted for Barry Goldwater, and dismissed him (my dad) as another one who voted for world destruction.
In retrospect, it was amazing I returned for the sixth grade.
After this past Election Day I found myself turning the clock back four decades and wondering how she would have assessed Tuesday’s vote and specifically, its ramifications over the next several years.
If simple verbs gave her problems, can you imagine her analysis on the effect of Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress?
How about an analysis of the new head at the House Ways and Means Committee, which appears will be veteran New York Congressman Charles Rangel, or at the House Financial Services Committee, which will be likely be helmed by Barney Frank of Massachusetts?
Both will be the key players at committees with direct impact on the accounting and financial services professions.
Rangel, a fierce and often bellicose opponent of the 2001 tax cuts, will discover that it’s far easier to be an armchair critic, than actually implementing change or revisions. Besides, most of the Bush tax cuts are due to expire in 2010 and if the Democrats are eager to maintain their majority in Congress through 2008, it’s doubtful that Rangel’s tax writers would attempt to push through major revisions until then.
Besides, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will enjoy veto power for another two years and will not be shying about using it.
For now, veteran Washington observers remain somewhat divided on the future of such tax issues as capital gains, the estate tax and, of course, the alternative minimum tax.
Frank, who will oversee the committee helps set policy for the banking and securities industries, has promised to focus the FSC on the creation of affordable housing and “correcting” economic inequalities such as exorbitant executive pay.
May I suggest that the first executive salary he investigate be Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive at IAC/InterActiveCorp, an interactive commerce conglomerate, who, last year took somehow took home a pay package of $295 million.
But I digress.
For better or worse, Capitol Hill has changed hands.
And it will likely take more than an inept fifth grader teacher to sort out exactly what it all will mean.
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