November 18, 2012 |
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 |
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...
October 8, 2012 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown's tax proposal is terrible public policy. Plain and simple. But it offers the only plausible path to rescuing California schools from more painful budget slashing. So it's not so simple. Politics is the art of the possible, to quote the 19th century German politician Otto Von Bismarck. Brown's Proposition 30 is a political work of art crafted to meet the voters' approval Nov. 6. "This is the politics of the practical, the doable," says the ballot measure's chief campaign strategist, Ace Smith.
August 1, 2012 |
The experts at the nonprofit Tax Policy Center have placed Mitt Romney's tax reform plan under the electron microscope, and their perhaps unsurprising conclusion is that it would " provide large tax cuts to high-income households , and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers. " The analysts -- Bill Gale , a longtime Brookings Institution fellow, and Adam Looney , a former economist for the Fed and the Council of Economic Advisors in the Obama White House -- make an important broader point: Any time you refashion the tax code to hew to principles favored by conservatives, you're going to push tax breaks toward the wealthy.
June 12, 2012 |
North Dakota voters resoundingly defeated an attempt to abolish the state's property taxes Tuesday and were set to allow the University of North Dakota to rename its controversial mascot, which critics say denigrates Native Americans. More than 70% of voters rejected a grass-roots effort to eliminate state property taxes, according to unofficial returns, even though North Dakota has a budget surplus that exceeds $1 billion, in part due to an oil boom. More than 27,000 residents had signed a petition to get the measure on Tuesday's ballot.
May 25, 2012 |
NEWTON, Iowa - From a wind-power factory in this battleground state, President Obama urged Congress to extend tax credits he said would save jobs in the field of clean-energy production. Obama said continuing the production tax credit would save 37,000 jobs that would otherwise be at risk, an estimate his aides based on reports from industry officials. "If Congress doesn't act, companies like this one will take a hit. Jobs will be lost. That's not a guess. That's a fact," Obama said Thursday as he visited TPI Composites, a wind turbine blade manufacturer based in a town that's home to a closed Maytag factory.
May 23, 2012 |
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both smart and accomplished individuals. That's why it is so disappointing that neither candidate has taken a truly responsible position when it comes to the nation's fiscal future. That's not to say that both men haven't advanced some good ideas. Romney, for example, is pushing to limit federal spending, and he's showing political backbone in putting Social Security and Medicare reforms on the table. But Romney also signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.
May 22, 2012
After years in which California Republican lawmakers took their marching orders from out-of-state anti-tax groups, some GOP candidates are now refusing to sign no-tax pledges. It's a welcome development. The candidates should be applauded for their independence. The difference between today and two years ago is stark, as Times staff writers Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York reported Saturday. Back then, candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the Assembly and state Senate weren't serious contenders unless they signed the so-called taxpayer protection pledge, which was enforced by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
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.