May 4, 2012
Republicans and Democrats agree that the federal tax system is broken, but they couldn't disagree more strongly about how to fix it. That's true largely because each side clings to a different set of theories about how taxes affect the country, only some of which bear much relationship to reality. Hoping to dispel a few of the myths pervading the debate, a Washington think tank offered a report this week laying out a dozen facts about tax reform. The bottom line: Good fiscal policy comes at a steep political cost.
May 6, 2009
President Obama roiled the business community Monday by proposing to hike taxes on income generated outside the United States. The changes, which supposedly would close loopholes and remove incentives to export jobs and investment, would bring an estimated $210 billion to the Treasury over the next decade. We're all for closing loopholes and ending tax shelters that enable the wealthy to hide income.
October 31, 2011 |
Tax reform proposals are the political equivalent of science fiction: entertaining but imaginary. No tax proposal ever passes through Congress unscathed. There are too many interests that believe their survival depends on tax preferences — hence the tax code's immutable tendency to accumulate complexities as a ship collects barnacles. Still, presidential candidates' tax proposals are useful windows into their philosophies. Should income taxes on the wealthy go up or down? Should income from investments be taxed at a different rate than income from labor?
April 15, 2010 |
On April 15, every Washington policy wonk's fancy turns to thoughts of streamlining the tax code. This year's most-talked-about idea comes from two iconoclastic senators, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden and New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg. The two have proposed a plan that would simplify the tax law, shrink your 1040 form to a single page and even cut taxes slightly for most people who make less than $200,000 a year. Their plan still has a few kinks.
March 15, 2013 |
The House and Senate budget committees presented their fiscal 2014 budget proposals this week with sharply different story lines. For House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the point of the exercise was to chart a path to a balanced budget that could be sustained for decades. For Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), it was all about reviving the economy and spurring middle-class growth to bring the deficit under control. Strip away the rhetoric, though, and you'll find that both plans have the same basic elements -- you might even say they both lay the groundwork for the long-elusive grand bargain.
February 27, 2012 |
The need to deal with the soaring budget deficit, make U.S. businesses more competitive abroad and address the widening gap between rich and poor make U.S. corporate tax reform inevitable, said former top Obama administration economic aide Lawrence Summers. "Leaders in both parties should commit themselves to the goal of tax reform for growth, fairness and deficit reduction," Summers wrote in an opinion article in the Financial Times on Monday. "Nothing that is likely to be done during the next presidential term will be more important.