Author Archive

Congress Cries Wolf Over Internet Access Taxes

Unable to do anything important before its election season recess, Congress is about to knock down a favorite digital straw man—It will extend for a few months the about-to-expire federal ban on state taxation of Internet access. The federal moratorium, called the Internet Tax Freedom Act, is scheduled to expire on November 1. The House has […]

Don’t Count on Much Economic Growth From Individual Tax Reform…Or From Tax Rate Cuts

Can individual income tax reform that cuts rates and eliminates subsidies increase economic growth? How about tax cuts by themselves? The answer is: Maybe, but not by much, according to a new paper by the Tax Policy Center’s Bill Gale and Andrew Samwick, director of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and Social […]

Treasury’s Lew Says Anti-Inversion Decision Will Come Soon, But Offers No Hints About What Or When

In a speech today at the Tax Policy Center, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the agency will decide “in the very very near future” how it will respond to the recent wave of tax-motivated corporate inversions.  Lew strongly urged Congress to curb the practice on its own, but suggested Treasury might move administratively if lawmakers […]

Is It Time to Repeal The Corporate Income Tax?

In case you missed it, The New York Times’ political and policy blog The Upshot published a fascinating debate throughout August on the question: Should the corporate income tax be abolished? It’s a query that may be raised on Monday morning, when Treasury Secretary Jack Lew speaks at the Tax Policy Center on business tax […]

CBO’s Spending Projections Map the Coming Fiscal Battle

Without changes in the law, health care, Social Security, and interest on the debt will eat up 85 percent of all new federal government spending over the next 10 years, according to the latest estimates by the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, CBO expects most of the rest of government, including income security for low-income […]

Could The U.S. Fix Taxation of Multinational Corporations With A Sales-Based Formula?

Corporate inversions have been the topic of the summer for tax wonks (beats jellyfish and beach traffic, I suppose), but the issue is a classic bit of Washington misdirection. Instead of focusing on the real disease—an increasingly dysfunctional corporate income tax—we are obsessing over a symptom—firms such as Burger King engaging in self-help reform by […]

How Much Would An Individual Tax Rate Cut Add to the Deficit, and Who Would Benefit?

Reducing tax rates is a guiding principal of most tax reform plans. Even Democrats who see reform partly as a tool to boost revenues agree that some money generated by eliminating tax preferences ought to go to rate reduction. But how much does Treasury lose when Congress reduces individual tax rates, and which taxpayers benefit the […]

Is Treasury About to Curb Tax Inversions on Its Own?

The Treasury Department put out the word that Secretary Jack Lew is considering regulatory curbs on corporate tax inversions, a step that may be intended to increase pressure on Congress to act once it returns from its summer recess in September. The matter of how much authority Treasury has to limit inversions has generated its […]

Does Congress Really Care About the Deficit? Not When It Comes to Vets and Highways.

Next time a lawmaker starts to pontificate about the desperate need to reduce the budget deficit, remind him (or her) about what Congress did just before it left town last week. It passed two bills that are extremely important, but didn’t pay for either of them. And they are likely to add tens of billions […]

A New Way to Invest for Old Age, But How Many Will Buy?

A few weeks ago, with absolutely no fanfare, the Treasury Department announced what could be a major change in the way we save for retirement. It will now permit people to shift a portion of their 401(k)s or IRAs into a deferred annuity that provides a guaranteed stream of income once you reach old age. […]