Archive for the ‘About TaxVox’ Category

How the Tax System Could Help the Middle Class

Today I testified at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Innovative Ideas to Strengthen and Expand the Middle Class.” The middle class certainly needs help. I shared several suggestions, the most important of which is that we replace automatic inflation indexation with regular adjustment of tax parameters to mitigate growing economic inequality. As many commentators […]

An Updated Marriage Bonus and Penalty Calculator

Just in time for this year’s tax filing season (but a bit late for St. Valentine’s Day), the Tax Policy Center has updated its marriage bonus and penalty calculator. The new version lets you compare a couple’s income tax liability when they file as singles or as married for either the 2013 or 2014 tax […]

State of the Union Speech Promotes New Retirement Savings Vehicles

In this year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama announced a new retirement savings account for workers whose employers do not offer any form of pension or savings plan. He also promoted the Automatic IRA, a retirement savings plan that originated at the Retirement Security Project and has been in the Administration’s budget for […]

Where Are Tax Rates Headed?

Effective tax rates have been rising since 2009 and will continue to rise for a few more years before they flatten out, according to Tax Policy Center projections. My TaxVox post earlier this week showed how average federal tax rates have changed over the past three decades. But that was based on a 30-year history […]

Budget Deal Doesn’t Raise Taxes But Many Will Still Pay More

The budget deal announced Tuesday wouldn’t raise taxes—members of Congress can vote for it without violating their no-tax pledges. But the plan will collect billions of dollars in new revenue by boosting fees and increasing workers’ contributions to the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). To people paying them, those higher fees and payments will feel […]

CBO Finds Growing U.S. Income Inequality

Just as President Obama was decrying our nation’s rising income inequality, the Congressional Budget Office provided him with some new ammunition. CBO’s latest report on household income and taxes—which goes only through 2010—shows that the rich have indeed gotten richer. (Full disclosure: In my former life at CBO, I helped assemble these income and tax […]

Narrow Tax Hikes Win Support in Several States

Last Tuesday, voters in several states approved modest tax hikes. Increasingly, states are using ballot measures to determine whether to support new taxes. Some of these referenda are binding, others just advisory. But in 2013, voters in several states seem to be hungering for more revenue—though sometimes from unusual sources and decidedly not by raising […]

Time to Fix the Budget Process

Congressional negotiators are trying to craft a budget deal by mid-December. Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square asked twelve experts what they hoped that deal would include. My suggestion: it’s time to fix the budget process: Odds are slim that the budget conference will deliver anything big on substance. No grand bargain, no sweeping tax reform, […]

States Recovering Unevenly and Fed Shutdown Not Helping

The latest edition of the Tax Policy Center’s State and Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monitor finds that revenue growth is accelerating in most states but many jurisdictions faced strong economic headwinds going into the recent partial government shutdown and potential default. In several states, a decline in public sector jobs was boosting unemployment even […]

Senator Lee’s New Reform Plan Focuses on Young Children

At an AEI panel discussion earlier this week, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) unveiled the Family Fairness and Opportunity Tax Reform Act. The centerpiece is an additional $2,500 tax credit for all children under age 17. The plan retains the $1,000 child tax credit under current law. Unlike the current credit, the new credit would not […]