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Tax Reform

December 19, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- Grover Norquist, the keeper of anti-tax conservatism, gave his blessing Wednesday to House Speaker John A. Boehner's plan to increase taxes on those earning more than $1 million a year. Norquist's change of heart is a substantial shift for the president of Americans for Tax Reform, who for more than 25 years has been the enforcer of no-new-taxes purity in the Republican Party. “Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill -- the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases -- is consistent with the pledge they made to them,” Norquist's organization said in a statement.
December 2, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — What would happen to home values in the event that popular real estate deductions for mortgage interest and local property taxes were cut significantly? It's an issue you're likely to hear more about as Congress and the Obama administration wade deeper into "fiscal cliff" and comprehensive tax reform negotiations heading into 2013. Some of the forecasts are scary: Any significant reductions in these long-established tax benefits would inevitably trigger declines in home values.
November 29, 2012 | By David Horsey
Ayatollahs seem to just appoint themselves and then start enforcing their own brand of orthodoxy. Grover Norquist has been doing that in the Republican Party for years. Norquist has never been elected to anything. Nobody ever said he should be in charge of the GOP's true religion (although he claims President Ronald Reagan urged him to found his lobbying group, Americans for Tax Reform). But he certainly has been the Republicans' key political theologian, making opposition to tax increases the party's central tenet for more than 25 years.
November 28, 2012 | By Morgan Little
Grover Norquist on Wednesday rebuffed claims that his anti-tax crusade is losing steam, calling statements from prominent Republicans hinting at their departure from his anti-tax pledge "impure thoughts. " Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, met with Politico's Mike Allen to offer his thoughts on the looming “fiscal cliff,” and the growing narrative that Republicans, after years of tying themselves to ATR's pledge not to raise taxes, may be ready to jump ship.
November 27, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Congress returned to a lame-duck session with no signs of quick compromise to ease the nation's budget deadlock, and the White House rolled out a strategy Monday to marshal popular support for raising taxes on the wealthiest tier of income earners. Closed-door talks by senior aides produced no clear progress despite President Obama's private phone call over the weekend to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) in an effort to forge a deficit reduction deal in the five weeks before current tax rates expire, which would lead to tax increases for most Americans.
November 26, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Billionaire Warren Buffett said raising taxes on the wealthy won't stop them from investing and called on policymakers to boost rates for income over about $500,000. Buffett has been a staunch ally of President Obama on boosting taxes on high-income earners. But the Oracle of Omaha did not back Obama's push to raise taxes on income above $250,000, saying he preferred a "somewhat" higher cut-off point. Still, Buffett derided suggestions that increasing tax rates, includint those on capital gains, would keep people from pursuing potentially lucrative investment opportunities and "stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses.
November 22, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - When Republicans in Congress say they are willing to put tax revenues on the table in budget talks with President Obama, that offer obscures a divide within their ranks that could thwart a year-end fiscal compromise. Most Republicans are willing to limit popular income tax deductions as part of a tax overhaul that also lowers rates - a combination they believe will spur economic growth and eventually produce more revenue. But some are less enthusiastic about simply capping those deductions alone, even on upper-income households as Obama prefers, which would create immediate revenue that can be applied to a broad deficit-reduction package.
November 18, 2012 | By Bruce Ackerman
For all the brave talk of a fiscal "grand bargain," President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner are playing small ball on a narrow field designed by the Simpson-Bowles commission. In framing the case for reform, the commission took the basic tax system as a given. In contrast, a final deal should recognize that the country is taxing the wrong things. We should be shifting from taxes on corporations to taxes on pollution and wealth, from taxes on income to taxes on consumption. These changes would increase revenue and promote a more just and efficient economy.
November 9, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- The post-election conciliatory tone began to fade Friday, as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) dug in against higher taxes on the wealthy that President Obama wants as part of a budget deal with Congress to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff.” The nation faces a confluence of automatic tax hikes and spending reductions which, economists warn, would throw the country into a recession if lawmakers and the White House cannot find...
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