Monday, September 28, 2009


The latest heavyweight to come out against the president's fiscal package --specifically, the 2 percent consumption tax and the increase in the corporate tax-- is none other than Vicente Fox. Instead, he called for a VAT of 15 percent and a reduction in the corporate tax, which would increase investment and allow for greater funding of anti-poverty programs. 

Fox is also in the news as a PRD senator called for the elimination of the presidential pension that pays Fox, Zedillo, et al roughly $140,000 per year. I believe that the argument for a presidential pension is that it protects the dignity of the office by removing the necessity for ex-presidents to, say, trade on their name in television commercials. Plus, you could argue that it removes the temptation for corruption in office. In the scheme of things, it's not a huge some of cash, but both of these seem like weak arguments to me. The presidential pension wasn't much of a disincentive against corruption for Mexican presidents throughout the 20th century, from Alemán to Salinas. And while we are all thankful that Vicente Fox hasn't appeared in any Corona ads, it's not like that has made him a picture of dignity since he left office. Furthermore, misbehavior while in office does a lot more to cheapen the office than does earning a living afterward

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