Author Archives: Jon N. Hall


Promethean Delegates Unbound: the ‘Nuclear Option’

by Jon N. Hall    5/7/16

Why does America have such a screwy “system” for electing party nominees to run for the office of president? There’s only one instance of the word “primary” and its related forms in the Constitution: the 24th Amendment. And the 76 words that make up that amendment all deal with striking down poll taxes, not some justification for any primary election system. More » • (550 views)

Posted in Blog Post | 4 Comments

The Most Important Republicans in 2016

2016Primariesby Jon N. Hall    4/25/16
The 2016 primary campaigns should serve as a major civics lesson for those Americans concerned about their democracy. Because of the unusual length of these primary contests, Americans are beginning to better appreciate the complex byzantine structure of the parties’ primary systems and their delegate selection methods More » • (603 views)

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Inequality in the Personal Income Tax

Taxesby Jon N. Hall    4/16/16
The Individual Income Tax is still the largest source of revenue to the federal government; in fiscal 2014 it accounted for 40 percent of all federal revenue. But huge swaths of Americans don’t pay personal income taxes. More » • (843 views)

Posted in Economics | 7 Comments

Delegates to the Rescue in the Year of the Outsider

RNCconventionby Jon N. Hall    4/11/16
Republicans will hold their presidential nominating convention July 18-21, and Democrats will hold theirs July 25-28. Consider this: what if both conventions nominate someone who hadn’t run in the primaries and caucuses? More » • (665 views)

Posted in Politics | 11 Comments

Nullifying the Republican Primaries

RNCconventionby Jon N. Hall    4/3/16
On Super Tuesday II, not to be confused with Taco Tuesday, I dutifully trekked over to a nearby church to vote in the Missouri presidential primary, despite it being the Ides of March. It wasn’t surprising to see that Missouri had yet again changed its ballot. More » • (1310 views)

Posted in Politics | 41 Comments

Lurching Towards a Contested Convention

RNCconventionby Jon N. Hall    3/16/16
One of the reasons that electing a U.S. president is such a big deal is because once sworn in, there’s little likelihood that he/she could ever be removed from office. Oh, if a president were, let’s say, caught in the Lincoln Bedroom in bed with a dead woman or a live boy More » • (979 views)

Posted in Politics | 28 Comments

Hillary Wants More of Your Money

Taxesby Jon N. Hall    3/3/16
On March 3, CNBC.com ran “Top 1% would see $78,000 tax hike under Hillary” by Robert Frank. Mrs. Clinton seems to be trying to “out Bernie” Bernie Sanders; she’s now going all-out progressive: More » • (1026 views)

Posted in Economics | 13 Comments

The ‘Unchecked Power’ to Tax

Taxesby Jon N. Hall    3/3/16
Should government be allowed to tax everything? Should elected officials have the power and the latitude to tax every transaction, every activity, every non-activity, and every single little thing in our brief little lives? More » • (702 views)

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

The Sublime Subliminal in Cinema

Cinemaby Jon N. Hall2/19/16
In my last little article on cinema, I let drop that Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo “is regarded by some as the greatest film ever.” And just as I predicted, some took the bait and commented. More » • (1073 views)

Posted in Essays | 5 Comments

The Ignored Campaign Issue: the Deficit

FederalDeficitby Jon N. Hall2/17/16
The largest financial operation in the known universe is the United States federal government. For fiscal 2009, that operation ran a budget deficit of -$1.412T, the all-time record. That’s debt at more than -$3.868B a day, more than -$161M an hour More » • (1002 views)

Posted in Economics | 11 Comments

The ‘Right Stuff’ for the Presidency

Testiclesby Jon N. Hall    2/8/16
An old joke I heard during my brief time in the opera business went something like this: There are four types of tenors: leggiero, lyric, spinto, and heldentenor. The leggiero tenor has no balls. The lyric tenor has one ball. More » • (1027 views)

Posted in Politics | 17 Comments

Getting ‘Medieval’ on the Top 400 Taxpayers

Taxesby Jon N. Hall    1/31/16
On Dec. 29, the New York Times ran “For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions” by Noam Scheiber and Patricia Cohen. The article’s blurb was: “The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income.” More » • (951 views)

Posted in Economics | 7 Comments