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Archive for January 16th, 2010

Everyone in Washington is fixated on the special election in Massachusetts next Tuesday to replace Ted Kennedy. Some polls now show the Republican, Scott Brown, in the lead, which is a shocking result even if Martha Coakley eventually wins. A GOP victory doubtlessly would make Democrats very nervous about ramming through government-run health care, so Republicans are celebrating new polling data showing Brown in the lead.

But if you want to know who is going to win (or at least have a very informed opinion), don’t pay attention to polls. Instead, check out the Intrade betting market, which predicts winners based on people putting real money at risk. Intrade does show a large shift away from Coakley in the last week, but it’s still a very close battle.

Here’s some more interesting Intrade data showing the betting on the 2008 presidential election. It shows that McCain actually took the lead right after the GOP convention, boosted perhaps by the Palin selection. But when McCain rushed to Washington to support the bailout – and made a public spectacle of screwing over taxpayers – his numbers fell through the floor and never recovered.

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I’m now relaxing in the warm sunshine of the Cayman Islands, having given a speech to an International Funds Conference.

My speech was a standard critique of high-tax governments and international bureaucracies for trying stifle tax competition and create a global tax cartel – sort of an OPEC for politicians.

The most interesting part of the conference was when an expert from Hong Kong equated the tax system of the United States with North Korea and Libya. A bit of hyperbole, to be sure, but our tax system has totalitarian aspects that are far worse than anything found even in places such as France. And now Obama wants to further increase the power of the IRS and strip away even more of our freedoms.

For those who want more information on the topic, here’s my video on tax competition, followed by a video castigating Obama’s anti-tax haven demagoguery.

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