February 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - With the higher payroll tax starting to kick in, retail sales rose in January at their smallest rate in three months. Consumers pulled back a bit on their purchases of cars, clothes and home furnishings, the government said. Overall, retail sales ticked up a modest 0.1% last month from December, after gains of 0.5% in each of the prior two months. The subdued January performance was in line with consensus forecasts, as many analysts were expecting a drop-off in the growth rate after the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, which translates to about $40 less in take-home pay for the average worker every two weeks.
February 6, 2012 |
In the first legislative battle of the year, congressional Republicans and Democrats are back at it: another episode of one-upmanship over extending a payroll tax cut for American workers. The tax holiday, which Congress extended as 2011 closed, expires at the end of the month, and both parties say they want to avoid a lapse that would hit Americans with a tax increase of $20 a week for the typical worker. But the problem remains the same: how to pay for the $160-billion package?
December 22, 2011 |
With most lawmakers gone for the holidays, President Obama took full advantage of the empty stage, appearing with everyday Americans to make the case that House Republicans need to relent and pass a payroll tax cut extension that would mean an extra $1,000 a year to a typical family. Obama struck a note of disgust Thursday with the paralysis in the Capitol, making the point that only a small minority of House Republicans is blocking a tax cut extension that would help struggling families heat their homes, fuel their cars and pay for essential groceries.
April 23, 2013 |
With rare bipartisan support, the Senate is poised to pass a bill this week that could lead largely to the end of the nation's long online sales tax holiday. The measure would allow states to require that large online retailers collect sales taxes on goods sold over the Internet, closing a loophole that has benefited the likes of EBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The White House gave the legislation its approval Monday, and it passed a key procedural hurdle. The Senate voted 74 to 20 to begin consideration of the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act, with a final vote expected in a few days.
January 2, 2013 |
Whatever the ultimate shape of the "fiscal cliff" solution that has preoccupied all Washington, and a fair swath of the rest of country, in the final days of 2012 and into the new year, Americans of all walks of life should be asking themselves this question: How do we like being conned? The deal, passed by the Senate on New Year's morning, was made final late Tuesday when the House of Representatives signed on. Its essential elements include expiration of the President George W. Bush-era income and capital gains tax cuts on couples' incomes over $450,000, and a modest increase in the estate tax. Unemployment benefits and tax credits for lower-income families will be extended.
December 21, 2011 |
House Speaker John Boehner and his team of GOP negotiators gathered around a conference table in the Capitol on Wednesday to show they were hard at work -- although they have no one to negotiate with, not even Senate Republicans. "It would be helpful if members of the Senate, both parties, were here to sit down and resolve these differences as quickly as possible,"Boehner said, as he sat looking at empty chairs and a throng of cameras on the other side of the table. The Senate left town this weekend, and most of House has done the same.
September 4, 2010 |
Pressure on President Obama to do something about the weakening economy intensified Friday with new government data showing that hiring remains lackluster, nudging the nation's unemployment rate up to 9.6%. With congressional elections less than eight weeks away, Obama appeared in the Rose Garden to say that he would soon propose a new package of tax cuts and other incentives to spur employment. "We are confident that we are moving in the right direction, but we want to keep this recovery moving stronger and accelerate the job growth that's needed so desperately," the president said.
May 28, 2013 |
Apple Inc.'s success at avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes through some (apparently) legal maneuvers has tax pundits pointing their guns at the corporate tax system. The case has revived numerous hoary cures for the supposed evil of corporate taxes. The cures include abolishing the corporate tax altogether, turning it into a pure "territorial" system that taxes multinational firms only in proportion to the income generated within the United States, declaring a tax "holiday" allowing businesses to repatriate cash parked overseas (where it is taxed at vanishingly small rates, like Apple's)
December 17, 2011 |
The Senate passed a temporary extension of President Obama's payroll tax cut Saturday, sending the House a package that would preserve the $1,000 average tax break for 160 million working Americans — and keeping the issue alive as the 2012 election campaign heats up. Senators overwhelmingly approved a two-month continuation of the tax break, and then swiftly agreed to fund the government to avert a shutdown in a flurry of votes that capped a...