Re: What will be the legacy of the Bush administration?

Well I mean you know when you’ve got a 35 percent approval, and you’ve got the Iraqi war hanging over your head, I’m not . . . I’m not sure that he or his team expects to accomplish much in the next year. That’s gonna pre-occupy us more than anything else. I wish, for example, that he had taken on the IRS code instead of Social Security in his second term. I think we had a real chance to focus on how awful that IRS system is and how we can come up with a simpler, better system for our country that would help us in terms of a global trade instead of hurting us. You know I did 40 debates around America with __________ in 40 cities talking about the need to get rid of the IRS code and replace it with a simple formulation that was fair to Americans, and that would help us in global trade. Today our income tax code taxes our products going out and allows products coming in to come in tax free. We’re actually rewarding people for buying foreign products instead of American-made products. Pretty stupid, but we’re doing it in our tax codes. And we’re doing it in a way that the government is telling us how to live every day of our live through that tax code when we really ought to have a simple code that lets you and I make our own decisions about what we do with our income and how we spend it or save it. I’d love to see us take that on, and maybe he can do that in his last year and spend some time on it. He put a commission together and got a report from a commission, and it’s gone nowhere. Nothing’s happened as a result. But let me tell you this: In those 40 cities, __________ and I would talk to crowds. We talked to 23,000 in California in one meeting. In Atlanta we had something like 4,000 people show up. Twenty-seven hundred, I think, showed up in Phoenix. We got huge crowds, and I’ve never touched a hotter political button than the question of whether our income tax code is serving this nation well, and whether we could get rid of it and replace it with a better system. I would love the president to really spend the next year, you know . . . What the heck? He’s got nothing to lose. He’s leaving office. He’s down on the polls. Why not tackle something as wonderful as getting rid of this code and replacing it with something better for America? Something that fits with global trade instead of contradicts our efforts to build good global trade partners. And spare as Americans an awful day on April 15th. I wrote a book entitled “April 15th: Just Another Day” which talks about getting rid of the income tax code and giving us the kind of freedom we ought to . . . we ought to have in this country in terms of making financial decisions for ourselves and our families. So yeah, dream big George. Why not take this on and do it in your last year? I’d love to see him do it.

Recorded on: 9/11/07

He could still fix it.

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Health care: Information tech must catch up to medical marvels

Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.

Photo: Tom Werner / Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
  • Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
  • As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
Keep reading Show less