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Monday items: Gold passes $1,700; Goldman cites the popping of the hedge fund bubble; Kudlow counsels calm.

Reuters reports gold passing $1,700/oz.

On Asia Times, Spengler (David Goldman) suggests the market selloff is linked to the popping of the hedge fund bubble.

At NRO, Larry Kudlow counsels calm amidst the market collapse.

On The Kudlow Report, Larry Kudlow interviews Harvard conservative Keynesian Greg Mankiw and former Fed official William Poole about Ben Bernanke’s next steps:

The Washington Post reports weak dollar Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner won’t leave his post anytime soon.

At The Freeman, Jeb Bleckly and Joshua C. Hall refute former-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s (NY) claim that higher marginal tax rates have no effect on economic growth.

NRO features a symposium on unemployment, but only two of 13 contributors mention the dollar.

In The WSJ, Harvard’s Robert Barro recommends four good reforms and a fifth bad one (a VAT on top of income taxes.) His analysis omits a stable dollar:

First, make structural reforms to the main entitlement programs, starting with increases in ages of eligibility and a shift to an economically appropriate indexing formula. Second, lower the structure of marginal tax rates in the individual income tax. Third, in the spirit of Reagan’s 1986 tax reform, pay for the rate cuts by gradually phasing out the main tax-expenditure items, including preferences for home-mortgage interest, state and local income taxes, and employee fringe benefits—not to mention eliminating ethanol subsidies. Fourth, permanently eliminate corporate and estate taxes, levies that are inefficient and raise little money.

Fifth, introduce a broad-based expenditure tax, such as a value-added tax (VAT), with a rate around 10%.

In Time, Amy Sullivan suggests austerity economics may fracture the GOP coalition with Christian conservatives.

From The Witherspoon Institute, Carson Holloway argues the Balanced Budget Amendment violates conservative principles.

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