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NATIONAL
June 23, 2010 | By Janet Hook, Tribune Washington Bureau
As the Senate scrambles to scale back a $140-billion recession relief bill, the poor, the elderly and the unemployed are bearing the brunt of the squeeze. But NASCAR track developers, movie producers and other special interests are likely to escape unscathed. Those businesses stand to gain $32 billion in tax breaks as part of the bill, which has been stalled for weeks because of rising complaints about deficit spending. In the hunt for ways to cut costs, neither party has proposed curbing the panoply of narrow tax preferences, which Congress has routinely extended each year.
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NEWS
October 1, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- Taking the country over the “fiscal cliff” would cost American households $3,500 in higher taxes next year, on average, if Congress and the White House fail to reach agreement to stop automatic rate changes, according to a report released Monday. Almost 90% of Americans would see their taxes rise through a combination of higher rates on incomes and investments, and the loss of certain tax breaks, including some enacted as part of President Obama's stimulus program that are set to expire.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A potential casualty of the "fiscal cliff" standoff is the ability of Congress to adjust an outdated tax code provision that could significantly boost what millions of middle-income households owe to the government. The provision, called the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, was enacted in 1969 to make sure that the very wealthy paid some income tax. But the threshold for the usually higher tax was not indexed for inflation, and it threatens each year to ensnare millions of people it was never intended to catch - prompting the annual congressional fix. Quiz: How much do you know about the 'fiscal cliff'?
BUSINESS
October 4, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
It happens every time: Republicans and Democrats get into a standoff over the federal budget, and their best plan for wriggling out of it is to nickel-and-dime people on Social Security and Medicare. The worst zombie in this package, a terrible idea that simply won't die, is the "chained CPI. " This is a version of the consumer price index that purportedly yields a more "accurate" reading of inflation, which is supposed to be virtuous because Social Security recipients get a cost-of-living increase every year based on inflation.
NEWS
October 8, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been talking about tax cuts for more than a year, but his bottom line has evolved considerably since last year's 57-point plan for the economy. Those changes raise questions about whether Romney's plan would actually promote economic growth, which was supposedly the point. The answer depends on the details, many of which Romney hasn't provided. But if it's designed the right way, a tax reform like the one Romney has advocated could still spur growth, even if it doesn't actually cut the tax bill faced by "job creators.
NATIONAL
October 8, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
President Obama and Democrats in Congress have aligned on a populist, "tax the rich" strategy for the 2012 campaign. Now they have to figure out exactly who that is. It was clear they had not resolved the thorny question last week, as Senate Democrats unveiled a new "millionaires tax" to pay for the president's jobs bill. The proposal neatly replaced Obama's preferred funding plan and probably bolstered the bill's chances in the Senate. But it also appeared to depart from the party's previous characterization of "the haves we're asking to have less.
NEWS
December 6, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Republicans and Democrats are wrestling with a variety of riddles that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff, a double whammy of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for the start of the new year. Here is a primer on unraveling the knotty political and economic threads. What exactly is the fiscal cliff? The term refers to a combination of forced cuts and tax increases worth more than $500 billion. The best-known parts are the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and the automatic across-the-board cuts to federal spending.
NATIONAL
November 20, 2009 | By Janet Hook
Amid all of the uncertainties about how healthcare legislation would affect each American, one thing is clear: The more affluent would pay higher taxes. Embracing the progressive -- and sometimes politically risky -- principle that the cost of carrying out public policies should fall to the well-off more than the disadvantaged, both the House and Senate bills would place new taxes on the wealthy to help pay for expanded insurance coverage. But the bills differ on who counts as rich and how much they would pay. Under the House bill, couples with more than $1 million in income would pay an additional surtax of as much as 5.4%.
NEWS
October 4, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Weary of contradicting President Obama's repeated attacks on his tax plan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered a homespun version of a truism often ascribed to Soviet strongman Vladimir Lenin . "Look, I've got five boys," Romney said. "I'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that is not the case, all right?  I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans. " Yet both candidates played the repeat-it-often-enough-maybe-people-will-believe-it game on a big issue: for Obama, it was Romney's tax plan, and for Romney, it was how the 2010 healthcare law will affect Medicare and doctor-patient relationships.
NATIONAL
November 2, 2008 | Ralph Vartabedian, Vartabedian is a Times staff writer.
As Americans head to the polls, they carry their deep fears about the economy coupled with the weight of dire warnings about the potential economic fallout of an Obama or McCain presidency. Democrat Barack Obama is accused of having a "socialist agenda," and Republican John McCain allegedly wants to further enrich "millionaires and billionaires." To listen to the campaigns, the risks for ordinary Americans are extraordinary. The heated rhetoric is tapping into more than politics as usual.
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